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One British guy asked me recently – is «The Red Square» means “red” or “beautiful”? This question inspired me to tell about some groups of words in Russian language which can look identical, but have different meaning.
1. The first group of words is words which are written equally, but when you put stress on different syllables the meaning of the word changes. There are a few of such words, so it’s possible to remember then simply understand where to put the stress. Here some of such words:
Замок – castle
Замок – lock
Кружки – cups
Кружки – mugs
Read the rest of the article here: http://www.learnrussianlanguage.ru/red-square-russian-idioms
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Don't forget about "мука" and "брак"! Also funny words.
I also was confused by the word "банка", when security at the airport in Russia asked me, what's in the "banka" in my bag, which they saw on the baggage scanner. I just realised that they can't be talking about a bank, but I didn't know the word. So the woman from the security let me unpack the glass from my bag, took it and said "Ну вот, эта банка"
About "red/beautiful square":
I have learned that it once was the "beautiful square". But the word "красный" changed its meaning to "red". But it has the same origin as the word "красивый" The name of the square stayed the same. So now it's the "Red Square", and many people think, that it got its name in sowjet times, and is dedicated to the colour of the revolution.
A similar "change of meaning" you have right beside Red Square in Китай Город. Today it means translated "China/Chinese Town". But "Китай" orginally refers either to the old word (non russian) "katay" which is similar to the russian "замок" or to "kit" which would name wooden planks, and would also refer to the wooden fortress-walls around the settlement beside the Kreml.
ahhah)) funny story about банка!!!)))
yeah there are a lot of interesting words that can be misunderstood. I'll try to find out more)
Got another one:
Корица (cinnamon) < -- > курица (chicken)
here another two:
конь - a horse
кон - a part of game
Funny one:сад - зад:D
ahhhaha))) it'll be sad to make this mistake)))
крутой парень — cool guy
крутой склон — steep slope
оросительный канал — irrigation canal
телевизионный канал — TV channel
ручка двери — door handle
ручка для письма — pen