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Top 5 Russian Books Translated into English

russian books translated into english

You can name many famous Russian authors that have left a notable footprint in the history of literature. We all have heard of or even read the books written by Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov. Some of them are a part of the recommended literature list, others attract the attention of millions just because they are world famous. We have prepared a short list of Russian books translated into English you might not have heard of yet but which are definitely worth your attention. If you speak Russian, you will easily find the books in multiple formats. In case you don’t, you can get translated versions that are available online and in major bookstores. Here we go.

The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

the master and margarita

We’ll start off with one of the most famous and beloved Russian authors and his best novel. This book is unique in the way the reality of ordinary life merges with surreal phenomena like the devil and his retinue visiting the capital of Russia. Bulgakov gives his readers the chance to get a taste of what Moscow in 1930s looked like. You will see several parallel stories with different characters including the ones from the New Testament. As you can guess, those stories will then combine into one epic narrative. The novel is full of irony and satire that the author gracefully uses to depict human wickedness. You will come to know that even though the devil is a negative character, he says many good and just things.

The Gulag Archipelago, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Gulag Archipelago

It will be fair to say that this is not a novel, it is a historically accurate list of crimes against humanity that took place in the Soviet Union. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn spoke against the regime and honestly depicted the terrors of the labor camps system. When you read about all the humiliation and horror people had to go through during those times, your hands start to shake. Solzhenitsyn was a great novelist and won the Nobel prize but was afraid to come to Sweden to get it. Fear was the only emotion Stalin seemed to respect when it came to having total control over such a big country as Russia. If you would like to know more about those times and what people had to go through, this trilogy is truly a masterpiece that can give you all that.

The Turkish Gambit, Boris Akunin

The Turkish Gambit

If you enjoy reading detective stories, you will love following the adventures of the former diplomat and talented detective Erast Fandorin. The novel will take you in the times of war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Here you will see Fandorin saving the life of a young beautiful woman – Varya Suvorova – who is disguising herself as a boy to find her fiance. The historical context is rather accurate, although there are many exaggerated plot twists to make the story more exciting, of course. The writer managed to create a special atmosphere that brings you back in the time to the 19th century. It is not the first book Akunin dedicated to the escapades of the witty detective. If you like this one, you can also try reading the rest of the literary pieces written by this author.

The Twelve Chairs, Ilya Ilf, Eugene Petrov

The Twelve Chairs

You are about to join the quest of a rather unexpected duo – a witty con artist Ostap Bender and a former nobleman Ippolit Matveyevich Vorobyaninov. The goal of this quest is to find the jewels that cost a lot. They belonged to Ippolit’s aunt who hid them in one of the 12 chairs. The chairs now belong to the Soviet authorities and the mission of this duo is to find the right chair before their enemies will. You will witness numerous funny and tragic situations the characters get into on their way to the long-awaited wealthiness. The authors are masters when it comes to showing real human qualities through their deeds and moral principles. If you enjoy the style of Ilf and Petrov, you might also enjoy reading their earlier works dedicated to life in the US (their subjective view on it).

Night Watch, Sergei Lukyanenko

Night Watch

If you are a fantasy fan, you will love this book. It is the first one in the pentalogy so you will have a lot to read in case the author makes a positive impact on you. You will find yourself in the contemporary Moscow surrounded by the agents of the Dark – the Night Watch – and the agents of the Light – the Day Watch. The two forces managed to maintain the balance for many years but now they have stumbled upon a threat that can destroy the balance. The consequences can be dramatic including the possible end of the world. A Night Watch agent named Anton plays a key role in the way the things will go. This is a chilling thriller that makes you want to read more and more. Luckily, Lukyanenko has dedicated five books to the topic so that you would not get bored.

Kiswahili Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local


kiswahili phrases

Page Content:

  1. Basic Kiswahili Phrases
  2. Advanced Kiswahili Phrases
  3. Essentials for Tourists

The reason why Kiswahili/Swahili is so diverse is that there were many traders from around the world who visited the African coast and enriched the language with their native words. The language is still popular as there are around 50 million people speaking it. If you are looking for some business opportunities or simply have always dreamed of visiting Africa, don’t miss the chance to learn some of the common Kiswahili phrases. Even if this will be the first time you get familiar with this language, there are still good chances for you to pronounce the expressions correctly. The pronunciation is simple as you sound out every letter. Don’t change your mind and learn these expressions even if you will use them only once in your life. It is worth it. The people you talk to will appreciate your efforts.

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Hindi Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local

Hindi is one of the most-spoken languages in the world. If you are looking for some business opportunities or just want to visit the beautiful country of India, these phrases will come in hand. Locals always appreciate foreigners taking the effort of learning even a few expressions. When meeting with business partners, it is always a good sign of respect to learn basic Hindi phrases. As soon as you start learning Hindi, you will dive deep into the culture that is very different from the western one. Enjoy the new discoveries and open a whole new understanding of the world around you. To start your journey, check out these categories of Hindi expressions.

Page Content:

  1. Basic Hindi
  2. Advanced Hindi Phrases
  3. Essentials for Tourists

hindi phrases

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Chinese Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local

You’ve probably heard the hypothesis of the Chinese language becoming the language of the future. There is no way to know if all the nations will speak some kind of an alternative version of Chinese but it will be a smart move to start learning it today. Apart from having good prospects for the future environment, knowing basic Chinese phrases can lead the way to success in business. In case you are an entrepreneur and would like to expand your business to China, learning some of the common expressions will help you a lot.

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Arabic Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local

Page Content:

  1. Basic Arabic Phrases
  2. Advanced Arabic Phrases
  3. Essentials for Tourists

arabic phrases

As soon as you start learning the Arabic language, there will be new challenges every day. It is not at all easy to get your head around all the peculiarities of Arabic but your efforts will pay off. No matter if you are planning to have business negotiations using this language or have friends you want to impress with your knowledge, they will definitely appreciate it. If you want to go an extra mile, you can try learning some local Arabic phrases and dialects.

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Greek Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local

Greece is not only the perfect country for a summer vacation destination. It is also a good place for starting a new business or growing the market presence of an existing one. Be aware that the business partners you encounter might have a different working pace and slightly distinct business behavior than you do. You can’t ignore the cultural difference so be prepared to face them. Learning some Greek phrases will certainly help to melt the ice between you and your colleagues and friends. The Greek language is a tough one to learn as it has nothing in common with the Latin alphabet at the first sight. But as you start learning it, you will see how beautiful and melodic it is.

greek phrases

Page Content:

  1. Basic Greek Phrases
  2. Advanced Greek Phrases
  3. Essentials for Tourists

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Ukrainian Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local

Page Content:

  1. Basic Ukrainian Phrases
  2. Advanced Ukrainian Phrases
  3. Essentials for Tourists

Ukraine is on its way to establishing true democracy, improving the business environment, and conquering the corruption issues. Many entrepreneurs start looking for business opportunities there as the production and labor costs are more attractive than those elsewhere in Europe. Learning some of the interesting local Ukrainian phrases won’t hurt if you want to impress your business partners or new friends. The Ukrainian language is very musical but hard to learn. the foreigners often think that Russian and Ukrainian are the same languages with some minor differences. In reality, there are more differences than one may think. The locals will appreciate your efforts in trying to speak their language.

ukrainian phrases

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Russian Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local

Visiting Russia can be an experience of a lifetime. The unique culture, friendly people, and KGB agents following you everywhere. We are joking about the latter, of course. Even if you don’t get a chance to travel there, there is a high probability you can come across a business partner who speaks Russian. The Russian language is widely spoken outside the borders of the former Soviet Union and you can practice your skills with native speakers living in the US. Look at the common Russian phrases that might come in hand during your long conversations.

Page Content:

  1. Basic Russian
  2. Advanced Russian
  3. Essentials for Tourists

russian phrases

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Polish Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local

Page Content:

  1. Basic Polish
  2. Advanced Polish
  3. Essentials for Tourists

Poland is a fast developing European country that has proven to be quite effective in creating new successful businesses. It is a great place for any entrepreneur to consider when looking for a good investment opportunity. Besides its economic attractiveness, Poland has a lot to offer culture-wise. The beautiful churches and old narrow streets of the old towns like Wroclaw, Krakow, Warsaw will charm every tourist who visits Poland. To feel more comfortable, you can learn some of the Polish phrases. The Polish language is not that easy to learn but will help you impress the locals or your future business partners.

polish phrases

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Norwegian Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local

Page Content:

  1. Basic Norwegian
  2. Advanced Norwegian
  3. Essentials for Tourists

Norway is a beautiful Scandinavian country and you will be lucky to visit it one day (in case you still haven’t done it). There is a lot to see and to do whether you are going on vacation there or having a business meeting. The Norwegian language is very diverse and it will be difficult to learn some of the local Norwegian phrases. In this article, you will find different categories of expressions that might come in hand during your journey.

norwegian phrases

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