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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
John: Hello and welcome to Culture Class: Russian Superstitions and Beliefs, Lesson 1 - Black Cats Crossing Your Path and Horseshoes Above a Doorway. I'm John and I'm joined by Karina.
Karina: Привет! (Privet!) I'm Karina.
THE TWO SUPERSTITIONS
John: In this lesson we will talk about two common superstitions in Russia. The first superstition is about bad luck. What’s the superstition called in Russian?
Karina: чёрный кот перебежал дорогу, (chornyy kot perebezhal darogu).
John: Which literally means "black cat crossing your way." Karina, can you repeat the Russian phrase again?
Karina: [slow] чёрный кот перебежал дорогу [normal] чёрный кот перебежал дорогу
John: In Russia, it's believed that if a black cat runs across your way, you're going to have bad luck that day.
Karina: I think this a common superstition.
John: Yeah. When I was growing up in the States, I knew a kid who would go out of his way to avoid black cats.
Karina: Well you might see that in Russia, too.
John: This is because black cats are believed to be connected to mysterious and dark things.
Karina: Very spooky.
John: The second superstition is about good luck. What’s the superstition called in Russian?
Karina: подкова над входом, (patkova nat fkhodam).
John: Which literally means "horseshoe above the doorway." Let’s hear it in Russian again.
Karina: [slow] подкова над входом [normal] подкова над входом
John: Did you ever hang a horseshoe above your front door for good luck?
Karina: Yes! I actually still have one.
John: Why do you hang it above the doorway?
Karina: It’s believed that if you hang it inside the house, it’ll protect the people and the things inside.
John: And if you hang it from the outside, it’ll keep thieves and bad forces out of your house.
Karina: Which is good too.

Outro

John: There you have it - two Russian superstitions! Are they similar to any of your country’s superstitions? Let us know in the comments!
Karina: Пока! (Poka!)

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Did you already know about these superstitions?