The Real Russian Riddle №2


Ivan Bilibin – Crawfish (Postcard, Riddle: Shoemaker but not a shoemaker, tailor but not a tailor, holding a bristle in his mouth and scissors in his hands)
Ivan Bilibin, postcard (1909).

Riddle:

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Real Russian Riddle (R.R.R.)


Ivan Bilibin – Mushroom (Postcard), 1909.
Ivan Bilibin, postcard (1909).

Riddle:

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#RussianProverb: It’s Better to See Once than to Hear a Hundred Times


The painting by Ivan Bilibin called "Buyan Island" (1905) made as an illustration for Alexander Pushkin's tale "The Tale of Tsar Saltan" (1831).
The painting by Ivan Bilibin called “Buyan Island” (1905) made as an illustration for Alexander Pushkin’s tale “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” (1831).

Лучше один раз увидеть, чем сто раз услышать (luchshe odin raz uvidet’, chem sto raz uslyshat’), i.e. it’s better to see [something] once than to hear [about it] a hundred times.

English equivalents:

  • seeing is believing;
  • a picture is worth a thousand words.

#RussianFridays: Day 2. Big Bad Mother Masha (Fairy Tale).


Ivan Bilibin Illustration to The Tale of Golden Cockerel (1906)
Ivan Bilibin – Illustration to The Tale of Golden Cockerel (1906). Tsar Dadon meets the Queen of Shemakha.

The tale is a lie but there’s a hint in it, a lesson for fine lads.

Alexander Pushkin “The Tale of Golden Cockerel” (1835). Continue reading “#RussianFridays: Day 2. Big Bad Mother Masha (Fairy Tale).”

#RussianSaying: a Tomtit in the Hands is Better than a Crane in the Sky


Ivan Bilibin - Ivan Tsarevich catching the Firebird's feather, 1899.
Ivan Bilibin – Ivan Tsarevich catching the Firebird’s feather, 1899.

Лучше синица в руках, чем журавль в небе (lúchshe sinítsa v rukákh, chem zhurávl’ v nébe).

Literally: a tomtit in the hands is better than a crane in the sky.

Continue reading “#RussianSaying: a Tomtit in the Hands is Better than a Crane in the Sky”