Learning Russian from Twitter

As every language teacher knows, it’s a good idea for students of a language to change their social media sites to the language they are studying – allowing certain words and phrases to be assimilated by stealth. I changed my Twitter account to Russian a few weeks ago and very quickly noticed that it was making it much easier for me to remember those complex rules about numbers:

One new tweet  = nominative case

Two/three/four new tweets = genitive singular

Five or more (or 14!) new tweets = genitive plural

Sorted 🙂

So what else can we learn from Twitter? Well I learned the phrase “what’s new?” uses the genitive too, (a bit like “Quoi de neuf?” in French:


In fact, Twitter is quite helpful with the genitive, because we also have:


“language of the tweet”.

Seeing these endings every time I visit Twitter, they are now embedded in my brain.

I’ve also learned  that, whereas we say “Follow” they say “Read” and where we say “Following”, Russians  say “I read”:


From that one, and from the number phrases, I have also picked up  that you can use the infinitive (читаь, пoсмотрeть) as an imperative So “to tweet” and “retweet” are твитнуть and  ретвитнуть, which are also the commands to do so, on Twitter.


This one is a bit tricker for me, at my basic level:


It’s Following and Followers – so I *think* we see the present passive “being read” and a plural noun  “readers” but don’t quote me on that; I am just guessing. I think we get a similar present passive here, in “being promoted”? (Correct me if I am wrong.)


And what about “like”?


A very popular expression that we all learn early on – similar to German “mir gefällt” or Spanish ” me gusta”.

And taking that further, we delve into singular and plural endings after the preposition ‘B’ with “likes a tweet in which you were mentioned/likes tweetS in which you were mentioned”:

in which mentioned

I must say, such sentences do make you realise in some ways, English is not so difficult after all 🙂

Of course, there is more. Or, as the Russian tweeters would say …


But that’s enough Twitter time for me today 🙂

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