Olga Kagan, Tatiana Akishina, and Richard Robin


The rapid growth in the number of Russian heritage students in our high schools and colleges represents an underserved and underutilized national language resource. By "heritage speaker" we mean those who grew up with Russian in North America without a native Russian's full educational or cultural background. Because of their different proficiency profiles, heritage speakers have special learning needs which are often not met in either Russian-language textbooks for English speakers or textbooks for Russian children in Russia. The textbook Russian for Russians fills that gap. Its approach is based on both theoretical research into bilingualism in general and on theoretical and pedagogical research into Russian-émigré language attrition.

Even though intended for heritage speakers, Russian for Russians is a useful teaching tool for mixed classrooms, allowing for teaching both heritage students who are gaining literacy and advanced non-heritage students in gaining proficiency.  While the heritage students spend time learning the spelling rules and low-level writing conventions (spelling and punctuation), advanced non-heritage students practice essay writing and work on their vocabulary expansion. The grammar outlines can be used as a review for advanced non-heritage students while being a formal introduction for their heritage peers. The readings and conversational and cultural topics, based on the contrast between Russian and North American (or other) cultures, will not only satisfy the needs of both groups but will provoke and stimulate discussion. The Russian For Russians' website hosts audio accompaniment along with selected exercises that lend themselves to automatic correction and feedback.


Winner, 2004 AATSEEL Award for Best Contribution to Language Pedagogy (American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages)

Lidija Iordanskaja and Slava Paperno, English equivalents by Lesli LaRocco and Jean MacKenzie, edited by Richard L. Leed

xxx + 418

This remarkable book is an exhaustive combinatorial Russian-English dictionary of a small group of words that are of more than passing interest in everyday life and language. The dictionary contains 73 entries: 63 parts of the body, plus 10 words describing certain organs, emissions, and physical manifestations of emotional states (heart, tears, laughter, etc.). The aim is to present all the information necessary for the correct use of the Russian words in a great variety of expressions. The entry for ruka, for example, contains about 275 related words and expressions. The user-friendly format is a simplified, bilingual version of the format of the Explanatory Combinatorial Dictionary proposed by Igor A. Mel'chuk and Alexander K. Zholkovsky. The words selected for inclusion are very useful for the Russian language learner -- they are of high text frequency and occur in a large number of set phrases (or cliches or collocations) which the learner of Russian ignores at his or her peril, e.g., U Ng iz nosag techet "N's nose is running" (the literal English-to-Russian translation in this case being less than uninformative). These words are also very interesting to lexicographers, as explicitly detailed in the scholarly foreword by Lidija Iordanskaja, an essay that any student, teacher, translator, or linguist can profit from reading, quite apart from its value to the user of this particular dictionary. Each entry contains the following sections: Headword (with translations and examples), Style, Semantics, Morphology, Syntax, Lexical Relationships, and Sample Texts. Collocations are grouped together semantically in the section on Lexical Relationships, which contains expressions describing the appearance of the body part, sensations, movements, etc., as well as synonyms, diminutives, augmentatives, syntactic derivatives, generic terms, and the like. Since the aim of the book is to present all of the common expressions that describe the typical properties and situations associated with each of these parts of the body, a number of free expressions in addition to set phrases have been included. For example, the entry nos "nose" includes the expression nos merznet "one's nose is cold." On the other hand, idioms containing the names of parts of the body have been excluded, e.g., ne videt' dal'she sobstvennogo nosa "to be narrow-minded," lit. "not to see further than one's own nose." This book will be indispensable for all serious students and teachers of Russian.


This combined reprint incorporates both volumes of an original two-volume Slavica reprint of the original work, published in Sofia in 1964 and 1968 under the title Български език, първа част and втора част, with Milka Marinova listed first among the authors of the first volume and Hubenova listed first among the authors of the second. This volume still represents the most complete Bulgarian course available in English. It provides quite complete coverage of all the common constructions and forms of the modern Bulgarian language. It starts with 62 lessons, each of which has abundant exercises of various types, and then has 60 pages of reading selections, mostly from Bulgarian literature. There is a substantial Bulgarian-English vocabulary at the back.

Warren H. Held, Jr., William R. Schmalstieg and Janet E. Gertz

ix + 218

This elementary textbook is an introduction to the Hittite language and writing system for self instruction and for beginning students, especially students who cannot work easily with the existing German grammars but who want a more up-to-date source than Sturtevant's 1933 Comparative Grammar of the Hittite Language. Beginning Hittite contains a grammar, reader, glossary, and cuneiform sign list. The grammar is descriptive, not historical, although features of Old Hittite which differ significantly from the younger language are noted. Copious examples are provided, especially in the syntax section. The selections for reading include portions of the Apology of Hattusilis, the Treaty with Alaksandus, the Hittite Laws, and the Letter of King Tut's Widow to Suppiluliumas. Each is presented in cuneiform with interlinear transliteration and verbatim translation. Free translations are also given. All words occurring in both the reader and the grammar section are included in the glossary, where definitions, grammatical identification, and location in the book are provided. "...In short, the text-book is a well-written, easy to understand text-book that covers all essential aspects of the language of interest to the student and professional non-specialist alike.... Beginning Hittite is therefore not only an ideal text-book for the first-year student of Hittite and Indo-European, but also an essential reference book for the general linguist and in particular for those working in the fields of comparative linguistics and language typology." (GL)

Michael Heim, Zlata Meyerstein and Dean Worth


Readings in Czech is for students who have mastered the rudiments of Czech grammar. It introduces them to a body of Czech texts widely divergent in style and subject matter. Each selection is prefaced by a brief description of its source and context. A small number of the non-literary readings identified in the preface have undergone minor editing (mostly by deletion rather than addition or change). After working through the selections and memorizing the basic vocabulary words, students will be able to read most Czech texts without difficulty. For the historian the reader offers an outline of Czech history by one of the deans of Czech historiography, excerpts from Czech translations of Cosmas's Chronica Bohemorum and Charles IV's autobiography, selections about Hus and Comenius, an essay comparing Masaryk and Benesh, Masaryk's own essay on Communism, a sketch of early Czech emigration to America, a passage from Fuâk's Report from the Gallows, and a textbook account of the Slovak National Uprising. For the social and political scientist it contains the 1962 statutes of the Communist Party and "Two Thousand Words" -- the most controversial document of the 1968 movement. For the linguist there are articles on the differences between Czech and Slovak, the formation of the modern Czech lexicon, the structure of modern colloquial Czech, and examples of Slovak and Old Czech. The student of literature will find an essay on Prague School poetics by Mukarovsky, Masaryk's view of Tolstoy, and reflections on Kafka's Czech ties. Although some of these readings are necessarily specialized, none is so technical as to discourage the uninitiated. Furthermore, they occur side by side with abundant examples of Czech poetry, prose, folklore, and songs, and items of general interest (a letter written by Dvorak from New York, an analysis of the techniques of an important practitioner of the Czech cinema's new wave, etc.). The glossary comprises approximately 2,500 of the most common Czech words, culled mainly from Frekvence slov, slovnich druhu a tvaru v ceskem jazyce (Prague 1961) and supplemented by the vocabulary lists of several elementary Czech grammars and a modicum of grammatical terminology. Pertinent morphological information accompanies each entry. All words that do not figure in the glossary are defined on the page where they appear. The purpose of this system is twofold: first, it saves students the time of thumbing through dictionaries for words they are unlikely to meet again soon; and second, it provides them with a guide to high-frequency words, words they ought to be learning first. "...strongly recommended." (SEEJ) "...the book's only shortcoming is that it did not appear earlier." (CSP)

Michael Heim


UCLA Slavic Studies no. 3

This textbook aims to give the beginning student a solid working knowledge of the literary language. It consists of two parts: a grammar and a series of review lessons. The grammar is designed to be covered in one semester and students will be able to master the essentials of the language because the first part avoids nearly all irregularities. They can therefore devote their efforts to the basic patterns rather than the exceptions. Once the students have worked their way through the grammar section, they are ready to begin reading. The texts can be chosen according to the students' interests. Along with the readings the review lessons serve both to foster an active knowledge of basic forms and constructions and to introduce the most common irregularities. "...can be recommended to everyone ... as the best introductory course currently available." (MLJ) "This book has been thoughtfully and intelligently compiled, is well designed, and contains few printing errors. It is to be welcomed as a very useful aid to those learning Czech from scratch." (MLR)