Slava Paperno, Alice Stone Nakhimovsky, Alexander Nakhimovsky and Richard L. Leed

viii + 340

Designed for students who have had at least one year of Russian, this textbook is appropriate for the 3rd, 4th, or 5th semester and can be covered in one or two semesters. It is the middle course of the series of Russian textbooks produced by the Upstate New York writing team from Cornell and Colgate universities (Beginning Russian and Advanced Russian are the others), but it can be used in any other sequence of texts. The main part of this book consists of 18 lessons, all with the same tripartite structure: texts, dialogs, and exercises. The texts are a coherent, smooth-flowing abridgement of the classic novel by Il'f and Petrov. The dialogs are designed to develop fluency in the spoken style of literary Russian. The exercises are divided into four groups: text exercises, dialog exercises, grammar exercises, and a translation. The texts and the dialogs are accompanied by extensive comments on Russian grammar, style, and culture. The text exercises are designed to develop the art of paraphrasing and the dialog exercises offer practice in using familiar cliches and conversational gambits. The grammar exercises are based primarily on the section of the book that follows the 18 lessons, the Overview of Russian Conjugation by Alexander Nakhimovsky. This section contains a detailed analysis of the verb system: the prefixes, suffixes, and the types of roots that play a role in Russian word formation. Although there is considerable overlap between the three main parts of each lesson in terms of grammar and vocabulary, it is possible to use them independently and to skip one or another of them. Information on the inflection of Russian words is given in a 12-page section on Russian Endings at the end of the book. This concise review of the rules for adding endings onto stems also contains extensive illustrative paradigms of nouns, adjectives, and verbs. The rules given in this section are essentially the rules of Beginning Russian, but some of them are more detailed. This section also serves as a guide for using the exhaustive Russian-English glossary, which contains all of the content words of the book along with their morphological characteristics (stress patterns, irregular forms, aspect partners, etc.). This inflectional information is based on A.A. Zaliznjak's grammatichskii slovar' russkogo iazyka. There is also a complete English-Russian word index. Each lesson has additional readings in the form of a dialog between two students; this provides vocabulary for discussing courses, teachers, textbooks, impressions and thoughts about fictional characters, etc. Short displays of Russian roots are interspersed among the lessons. The book is beautifully illustrated with reproductions of the original Kukryniksy drawings. For technical and legal reasons, Slavica Publishers no longer carries the The Twelve Chairs DVD-ROM However, more than a dozen films based on the novel 12 Chairs have been produced worldwide. Some of them are easily available on DVD or online today: The Twelve Chairs, 1970, directed by Mel Brooks, in English 12 стульев, 1976, четырех-серийный телевизионный художественный фильм, режиссер Марк Захаров, на русском языке. At the time of this writing, the film can be watched without restrictions at http://youtu.be/RhlPZuPmOS8. Двенадцать стульев, 1971, режиссер Леонид Гайдай, двух-серийный художественный фильм на русском языке. At the time of this writing, the film is offered by Mosfilm for free unrestricted viewing at http://cinema.mosfilm.ru/films/film/Dvenadtcat-stulev/dvenadtsat-stulev-1/. Contact the author of the book, Slava Paperno for more information: slava.paperno@cornell.edu.

Lora Paperno. English translation and photographs by Richard D. Sylveseter


The book is divided into 14 chapters (Transport, Knizhnyj magazin, Pervyj vizit v gosti, etc.). Each chapter contains 15 to 20 dialogs, typically 4 lines long. The dialogs are written in a very colloquial style. The book contains no grammar explanations, and no glossary. Side-by-side translations make clear what each line means, and a number of footnotes explain cultural differences. The dialogs have worked well with students in their fourth or fifth semester, and fit conveniently into a course that has a conversation class once a week. They can also be useful to graduate students, exchange scholars, and anyone residing in the Soviet Union for a period of work or study. They're easily memorized, and should be, to be acted out with another person. Once performed, the situation can be developed -- ask directions, take a taxi, and so on. The 39 photographs, taken expressly to go with these dialogs, provide a context and a starting point for new situations. Additional materials for this title are available through the Cornell Language Resource Center at: http://www.lrc.cornell.edu/sales/links/russian

Wieslaw Oleksy and Oscar E. Swan

xiv + 378

An innovative, multi-faceted textbook of Polish which takes a popular Polish television soap opera as its basis, this textbook is aimed above all at advanced learners, but may be used, by adapting classroom activities appropriately, as a supplement to all levels of study, from the beginning on. W labiryncie, which the authors, trying to be faithful to American soap-opera conventions, translate as "Labyrinth of Life," is a multi-media textbook written to further the study of Polish in an accurate linguistic and cultural setting. In promoting the study of language in its communicative and socially interactive function, the present work relies on image, sound, and print in order to bring the study of Polish to new levels of realism and quality. Based upon a condensation of a popular television program which has run over the course of several years in Poland, the present work offers a view into contemporary social relations and customs which, as in any soap opera, is condensed and stylized, but at the same time highly revealing culturally. The language used for the serial is the main reason this particular television work was selected. Colloquial yet stylistically careful, reflective of the standard speech of educated speakers of contemporary Warsaw Polish, the language of W labiryncie represents exactly the speech norm that should be emulated by the foreign learner of the language. In their adaptation of W labiryncie for teaching purposes, the authors have given primacy to the text itself. They have not tampered with individual segments, but have endeavored to highlight, by separate commentary, those linguistic and cultural elements in the text which might escape the notice of the non-native learner. Each lesson is designed to be covered in one week of a three-hour-per-week course. Each lesson's viewing segment is around ten to fifteen minutes in length, broken up into smaller scenes. Lessons consist of: 1) a recap of the preceding action; 2) the main video script, transcribed from the segments for viewing; 3) questions for discussion; 4) condensed versions of the video script, presented in the form of a short, memorizable dialogue; 5) mini-dialogues: brief, instantly memorizable four-line exchanges based upon the lesson's phraseological material; 6) scenarios: suggested situations for enactment in class, based upon creative use of the lesson's material; 7) language commentary, directing attention to grammatical features of the text; 8) grammar exercises, practicing various grammatical points suggested by the material; 9) viewing for gist, segments for relaxed watching, from which only the main aspects of the action need be extracted; 10) cultural notes, consisting of a brief discourse touching on one or another culturally significant topic raised by the week's installment.

For additional materials, visit the author's website at: http://lektorek.org

"Thus, they view their book as a contribution to state-of-the-art, proficiency-based instruction, and, as such, it succeeds admirably. The care and competence of the authors are evident throughout..." (MLJ) "On the whole, this creative contribution to the teaching of advanced Polish should be applauded for its presentation of authentic language material in an organized, goal-directed fashion and for its real glimpse into Polish everyday culture, both as a subject and the context within which W labiryncie was created." (SEEJ)

Alexander D. Nakhimovsky and Richard L. Leed

vii + 262

Advanced Russian is intended for students who have had at least two full years of Russian, and can be used in third, fourth, or fifth-year classes. Its strongest features are good, colloquial Russian, solid, up-to-date grammatical analysis, considerable cultural information, and a wealth of varied exercises. The book is divided into twelve lessons, each consisting of Text, Comments, Analysis, and Exercises. Each lesson will take about two weeks to cover properly. The First Edition received very favorable reviews and was widely used for seven years. This is the final volume of the integrated sequence of textbooks produced by the Cornell-Colgate team of writers: Beginning Russian, and Intermediate Russian precede it, although Advanced Russian can be used after any intermediate course. The Glossary at the end of the book contains morphological and syntactic information. The Appendix contains the rules on which the morphological specifications in the Glossary are based, and it may be used as a reference for information on the inflectional morphology of Russian. Additional materials for this title are available through the Cornell Language Resource Center at: http://www.lrc.cornell.edu/sales/links/russian "The first edition of this book appeared in 1980 and was generally received with considerable favor ... AR-2 represents, nevertheless, a major improvement in what was originally a first-rate work, and the authors are to be commended for their efforts." (RLJ)

Cynthia L. Martin, Joanna Robin, and Donald K. Jarvis

x + 136 + CD-ROM

Develop listening comprehension and oral proficiency with this unique course, using authentic audio and text materials from contemporary Soviet TV, radio, and press. Suitable for conversation courses, individualized study, and as a supplementary text in general language courses from high intermediate (1+) to superior (3) levels. This is excellent preparation for Educational Testing Service's Advanced Russian Listening Proficiency Test. In each lesson, students prepare for listening tasks appropriate to their level by reading short newspaper articles and studying vocabulary on a given theme. They then listen to audio excerpts on that subject and answer multiple-choice questions on the content of the recorded passages and reading. Finally they outline answers to questions preparing them for conversation class work. Chapter One introduces students to the fine art of conversation in order to raise conversation above the level of sequential monologues. Please note that the CDs are an essential part of the course, and the book is not usable without them. Transcripts of the recorded excerpts are available only in the instructor's manual, which also includes teaching suggestions and materials for a midterm and final examination of listening, reading, and conversational skills. The CD available with the Instructor's manual -- a recording of an educated native speaker reading the questions of the listening comprehension examinations -- is important for simulating standardized proficiency testing.


Book Reviews

"To their credit, the authors of The Russian Desk have rendered those of us who teach listening and comprehension courses an enormous service in compiling and developing these highly useful materials. ...the authors of The Russian Desk succeed admirably in their goal." (SEEJ)

"... a carefully graded, innovative approach to developing listening comprehension skills and oral proficiency. ... Both student and teachers should find it enjoyable to use." (MLJ)

Sophia Lubensky and Irina Odintsova with interactive software by Slava Paperno


This innovative suite of instructional material for advanced students of Russian is aimed at fostering their transition from slow, controlled speech to native-like fluency. The driving methodology is lexicalist-oriented, implying an emphasis on the situated internalization of vocabulary, so that grammar skills develop naturally with the repeated use of particular words and phrases in combination. The textbook centers around authentic stories by contemporary Russian writers, supplemented by cultural background, various activities, and the treatment of select grammatical points. These stories will not only challenge students to read real Russian, they will also provide a stimulus for free discussion about social circumstances, human relationships, and moral values reflected in the literature.

The text is accompanied by cloud access to multimedia materials designed by Lexicon Bridge Publishers. These are the first instructional materials for advanced Russian that are oriented around unmodified literary texts; focus on the development of fluent speech; use cutting-edge technology to support guided reading; offer microtexts as the basis for numerous activists; provide detailed and varied potential responses to open-ended questions; and underscore the one point that almost goes without saying: that one cannot master a language without knowing the words.