Friday, 13 April 2012

TALK: The Russian Word's Mouth, Pushkin House, Apr 17

Tue 17 April 2012 – 7.30pm
Michelle Berdy talks about her book "The Russian Word’s Worth" 
Michelle Berdy 
Language: In English

Since 2002, readers all over the world have been enjoying and learning from Michele A. Berdy’s column, The Word’s Worth in The Moscow Times. A quirky, opinionated, sometimes hilarious and yet always thoughtful and authoritative guide, Berdy looks at Russia’s changing culture, politics, and daily life through language and the art of translation.

In the over 200 columns gathered in this volume, she explores the language of popular and youth culture, politics, the workplace, culture high and low, and the comical struggle of expats trying to feel at home in a foreign language and culture. She tackles subjects not found in any Russian textbook or cultural guide, from the serious (expressing condolences and mastering church etiquette) through the annoying (dealing with the plumber and writing the perfect robbery report), to the essential (excusing oneself, politely and not, to use the rest room). Her columns clarify Russian grammar, provide translations of devilishly difficult words and phrases, and throw open a window on Russia in the 21st century.

“The Russian Word’s Worth is essential reading for students and teachers of Russian, translators, Russia-watchers, and anyone who wants to understand Russia today.”

“For those of us in the States dealing with contemporary Russian—newspapers, magazines, novels, movies—Michele Berdy’s columns are so good, they’ve become addictive, providing in-depth insight into what’s new, what’s different, and what’s stayed the same in today’s language. Russian is changing at lightning speed, and her insider knowledge of how Russians actually speak is second to no one’s. If I can’t be on the streets of Moscow or Petersburg myself, at least I have Michele Berdy to be my eyes and ears.” — Marian Schwartz

“Michele Berdy is to the Russian language what Julia Child was to French cooking: the same juicy, humorous approach, the same demystification of a daunting subject, the same message that ‘if I can do this, so can you’.” Joanne Turnbull

“Michele has a truly unique gift for articulating the difficulties that
Russians and English-speakers encounter while trying to understand each other’s worlds. Her work is as entertaining as it is profound, and it will prove equally useful to beginning students and to advanced professionals.” – Robert Chandler

Michelle Berdy has been living in Moscow since 1978, working as a translator in various contexts, guide, consultant and trip organizer, television producer, writer, editor, administrator in non-profit organizations, and health communications specialist. Currently she runs a column in The Moscow Times called “The Word’s Worth”.

Tickets: £7, conc. £5 (Friends of Pushkin House, students and OAPs)

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