Short Stories - Old

Here you can find a collection of Russian short stories, essays and fables. For your learning convenience, we have adapted them for English-speaking learners following Ilya Frank's reading method.

"In order to remember we don’t need to be frantically memorizing something, while half-asleep, or polishing certain skills. What we need is novelty of impressions" - says Ilya Frank. "Instead of pronouncing the same word several times, it would be better if we saw it in different collocations and various contexts of meaning. The largest part of the most frequently used vocabulary will be memorized naturally, if you utilize the suggested reading method, due to the frequency of words".

Following Frank, we have divided each text into excerpts that you read twice. The first excerpt has accent marks and an English translation inserted in the text in brackets. The second text contains the same excerpt but without the English translations. You should first read the text with the inserted translations and then the same text with no translations. The untranslated passage allows you to “swim on your own”. If you forget the meaning of some word but understand the text in general, it is unnecessary to look for a translation in the adapted excerpt. You will come across this word more than once in the future. When you have finished reading the original (unadapted) text you move on to the next adapted excerpt. There is no need to go back to review the material – you simply keep reading and learning.

This kind of reading can be undertaken at the earliest stages. You will be able to read Russian literature in the original without waiting for years till you become more proficient in the language. The adapted texts will help you overcome a very crucial barrier: you’ll learn the vocabulary and get accustomed to the logic of the language while saving time and energy.

А. П. Чехов "Рыбья любовь"
И. С. Тургенев "Собака"
Л. Н. Толстой "Слепой и молоко" - With mouse-over translation and audio
Л. Н. Толстой "Как мужик гусей делил" - With audio!
М. А. Вишневецкая "Крот и яйцо" With mouse-over translation
К. Г. Паустовский "Старик в станционном буфете"
И. Ильф и Е. Петров "Рассказ старого ковбоя"