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Thread: Compiling conversation ideas--what do Russians like to discuss?

  1. #1
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    May 2013
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    Compiling conversation ideas--what do Russians like to discuss?

    I am going to be spending several weeks in Ukraine, then in Russia. I am a relative beginner of Russian, and I want to expand my vocabulary so I can have some more nuanced, abstract conversations. Thus, I want to gather a sense of what interests Ukrainians and Russians, so I can be prepared for their questions about American life. From your travels, what topics are intriguing to those in the former USSR? For instance, I work with ESL students, mainly from East Asia, and the most common topics they want to discuss are Amish people, sit-coms, and fast food culture. On the other hand, what do Ukrainians/Russians like to share about themselves? I know this is very general and varies highly from individual-to-individual, but it would be helpful to get a sense of what one could expect in conversation, and conversely, what will not be discussed. Do you know of any particular taboos in conversation? I hope to talk about religion in Russia, Putin, Chechnya, and socioeconomic issues, but I don't want to step on any toes. Are there any topics that I should avoid, or handle in an exceptionally careful fashion?

    Finally, what are conventions in terms of sharing one's experiences? I am a travel virgin, but some of my friends who are globe trotters have explained that in certain cultures, it might be considered rude to share photos of one's home renovations, for instance, because that could be perceived as bragging. I have nothing to flaunt, but if I show pictures of say, an American Christmas tree with some gifts underneath or old high school prom photos of myself in a fancy gown (albeit a $10 thrift store find!), could that be perceived as boasting? My hope is to share what life is like in America, not offend anyone. I just want to make sure I am being considerate!

  2. #2
    Почётный участник
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    Mar 2013
    Kazakhstan, SKO
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    Приветствую! Думаю Чечня это не самая лучшая тема для разговора, хотя тут конечно вчера зависит от того настолько хорошо вы знаете собеседника) Политика, цены, выступление хоккеистов на ЧМ, в меру философии, а так в принципе особых запретов нету.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2013
    Russia, Ekaterinburg
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    Вообще, в политике можно и нужно разобраться самому. Спрашивать у кого-то об этом на улице — это, мягко говоря, странно.
    Только начинать надо с базовых методов, отвечающих на вопрос «почему?» и «как?». То есть от общего к частному.

  4. #4
    Почтенный гражданин DrBaldhead's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    There is not much reason for you to be disturbed about. The times of rumors about incredibly rich American life are gone today, so you can show your pictures freely. Although I don't think you'll get anyone to be actually surprised by the most of what you tell them . Aside from that everything will depend on what particular kind of person you have met.

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    I think you need this.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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