Rhymes in Russian

Follow along with Zhanna Liksutina as she teaches us two rhymes in Russian: Geese! Geese! and Clumsy Bear!

Meet Zhanna Liksutina
Learn the rhyme Geese! Geese!

Learn the rhyme Clumsy Bear

Learn about the language and culture through information and stories

Meet Zhanna Liksutina

Zhanna Liksutina was born in Moscow and came to Burnaby in 2006. Zhanna and her husband speak Russian at home and do their best to pass their native language to their children. Their daughter makes a brief appearance in the video.

Geese! Geese!

In this cautionary rhyme, children are warned of the danger posed by wolves lurking near farmyards, a very real fear in old Russia. Sometimes birds and animals make different sounds in different languages. In Russian, geese say "ga-ga-ga." In English they say "honk, honk, honk."  Find books with animal sounds in different languages.

Print the words to this rhyme [PDF]
Find ideas for using this rhyme in a program about wolves

Есть хотите?

Что ж домой вы не летите?
Серый волк под горой
Не пускает нас домой!

Ну, летите как хотите,
Крылья, ноги берегите!

´Yest' kha´tite?

´Shto zh da´moi vy ni li´tite?
´Seryi ´volk ´pad ga´roi
´Ni pus´kait ´nas da´moi!

´Nu, li´tite kak kha´tite
´Krylja, ´nogi biri´gite!

Geese, Geese!
Geese, Geese!
Honk, honk, honk!
Are you hungry?
Yes, yes,yes!

So, why don’t you fly home?
A grey wolf under the mountain
Does not let us go home!

Then fly any way you like
[But] take care of your wings and feet!

Clumsy Bear

Mishka is a common Russian nickname for the male name Mikhail. It is also the name frequently used for bears in Russian folklore. There are several slightly different versions to this well-known children's rhyme.

Print the words to this rhyme [PDF]
Find ideas for using this rhyme in a program about bears

Мишка косолапый
Мишка косолапый
По лесу идёт
Шишки собирает
Песенки поёт

Отскочила шишка
Прямо мишке в лоб
Мишка рассердился
И ногою – топ!

´Mishka Kasa´lapyi
´Mishka kasa´lapyi
´Po lisu id´yot
´Shishki sabi´rayet
´Pesinki pa´yot

´Atska´chila ´shishka
´Pryama ´mishki v ´lop
´Mishka rassir´dilsya
´I na´goyu – ´top!

Clumsy Bear
A clumsy bear
Is roaming about the woods
Picking up cones
Singing songs

A cone sprang back
And hit the bear right on his forehead
The bear got angry
And stamped his foot - bang!

Learn about the language and culture through information and stories

Russian is the principal language of Russia and a second language in other former republics of the Soviet Union. It’s written with a 33-letter alphabet. Did you know that Russian gave English the words mammoth and beluga? English acquired words from Russian as long ago as the 16th century.

Learn five welcoming phrases in Russian
Find information and stories about Russia