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  • Writer's pictureOlga Jarrell

Первый раз в первый класс. What can I learn from this cartoon?

Updated: May 19, 2022

Masha and the Bear - Маша и Медведь - is one of the most popular Russian cartoon series, and it's getting more and more popular all over the world. One of the episode is called Первый раз в первый класс! that literally means “first time to the first grade”, but translates as “First Day of School”. It was just in time for the Day of Knowledge День знаний celebrated all over Russia on the first of September. This is a quite enjoyable, well-made cartoon with two main characters - a cute but annoying girl Маша and a caring and almost silent bear called Медве́дь, or Ми́ша for short.
Watching a cartoon for entertainment is one thing. If you want to learn some Russian from a cartoon, you have to have a purpose, some tasks to complete. In other words, you have to study it. Here is what you can do.
  1. Watch the movie once and get the main idea: what the characters are, and when and where the action takes place.

  2. Watch the movie the second time and try to answer the questions. Stop the movie if you need to get the details. Watch carefully and pay attention to the posters on the walls.

    • Can you guess the meaning of the word Азбука? *

    • What do you think the phrase С но́вым уче́бным го́дом! means? **

    • Can you recognize the portraits of the Russian classic authors on the wall? ***

    • What is the word for “school desk”? ****** By the way, does it look like any school desk you’ve ever known?

    • What is the Russian words for numbers 2, 3, and 4? *******

    • What are the names of the 4 main school subjects in the first grade? ****

    • What is the Russian word for “recess”? *****

There are a few useful words and expressions in this cartoon. What are the meanings of the following words and expressions? If you cannot figure out, refer to the script for help.
  • Здо́рово!

  • За́втра в шко́лу!

  • как все

  • хочу́ учи́ться

  • Что-то не так?

  • Ве́рно - Неве́рно

  • Ух ты!

  • шко́ла

  • переме́на

  • ещё

  • навсегда́

This version of the cartoon doesn’t have subtitles, so the script could help you follow along and clarify any word you don’t know. Please note that only Masha speaks in the cartoon.

Вот и ста́ли мы на год взросле́й… (singing a famous song) We became one year older… И я, как все, хочу́ учи́ться. I want to go to school like everybody. Сде́лай шко́лу! Make school! Ура́! За́втра в шко́лу! Hurray! School tomorrow! И про па́рту не забу́дь. And don’t forget about the desk. С пе́рвым сентября́! Happy first day at school! Здо́рово! Ух ты! Так-так! So cool! Wow! OK-OK. Ну вот тепе́рь мо́жно и поучи́ться! Now I am ready to study. Чистописа́ние (school subject) Handwriting Так! Так! И ещё па́лочка! Так! И ещё! Well-well. Another stick! One more! Па́лка.... Огуре́чик. То́чка... Запята́я. Получи́лся медвежо́нок. Медвежо́нок! Stick… Small cucumber. Period. Period. Comma. It turned to be a baby bear. Baby bare! Ура́! Переме́на! Hurray! Recess! Арифме́тика (school subject) Arithmetic

Четы́ре. Что? Что-то не так? Four. What? Is something wrong? Три. Неве́рно? Three. Incorrect? Два. Two. Ура́! Переме́на! Hurray! Recess! Чте́ние (school subject) Reading А-М-И-Ш М-А-Ш-А. Ма́ша! М-И-Ш-А. Ми́ша! (Misha – derived from Bear; Медве́дь – Ми́ша) М-А-Ш-А. Ма́ша! Х-О-Р-О-Ш-А. Хороша́! Ма́ша хороша́! Masha is nice. У Ма́ши Ми́ша, а у Ми́ши Ма́ша. Masha has Misha, and Misha has Masha. Ми́ша ку́шает ка́шу. Ми́ша дру́жит с Ма́шей. Ми́ша у́чит Ма́шу. Ми́ша с Ма́шей навсегда́. Навсегда́! Misha eats cereal. Misha is a friend of Masha. Misha teaches Masha. Misha and Masha are forever. Труд. (school subject) Home Economics (literally: labor) Т-Р-У-Д. Труд! Ага! Yeah! Ну как я потруди́лась? Did I do a good job?

Check your answers below:

* the ABC

** Happy New School Year!

*** Пу́шкин, Толсто́й, Че́хов, Достое́вский, Го́голь, Некра́сов

**** Writing, Reading, Arithmetic, Home Economics

***** переме́на

****** па́рта

******* два, три, четы́ре

Now you can watch the cartoon and learn Russian! Good luck! Жела́ю уда́чи!

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