great site!

Great site! Very useful and well conceived. A current, regularly updated online dictionary of idioms is an essential tool for the study of a foreign language, particularly insofar as both the meaning and usage of idioms seem to change and evolve at a faster rate than the individual words that comprise them. For that reason your site is ideal: by means of a discussion forum, categories of "obsolete idioms" and other interactive elements, the online dictionary of idioms provides precisely the kind of dynamic material which printed dictionaries lack.

A few possible suggestions, in case you have not thought of them already:

1) As someone noted in the "Diary," the inability of your interface to alphabetize entries represents a small but potentially significant inconvenience. If / when your the list of idioms for a given letter expands to three, four, five or more pages, I think you will lose a number of readers who do not wish to browse more than a few lists in order to find a specific idiom.
2) The search engine is a critical component -- especially if the interface will not fully alphabetize the list of entries -- but it does not seem to work. If / when you get it working, it should be able to locate entries based on any word in the string, i.e. not only on the initial word only (as with some search engines). For a regular dictionary this would not be as important, of course, since the entries consist of single words. In the case of an idiom, however, for which a user may recall only one or two key words, it would be very useful to search for ANY word in the entry. For example, in my experience, in addition to the expression "TAKE the bull by the horns" I have often heard the variant expression "GRAB the bull by the horns." The fact that the latter variant does not appear under the "G" list would not matter if I could search for the word "bull," but since I cannot, then my only choice is to try and think of a possible equivalent.
3) I think it would be worthwhile to reconsider the lexical structure of the entries for the sake of clarity and consistency. For example, the site lists the expression "clip ONE's wings," although in English one would not commonly perform this action on ONESELF (e.g. "I clipped my wings"), as the listing implies; rather, one subject usually performs this action on a different subject,, e.g. "He clipped her wings," "They clipped my wings," etc. Therefore a more logical listing for this entry, I think, would be "clip SOMEONE'S wings." In terms of morphological (?) consistency, moreover, those entries that begin with a verb might be better listed in the infinitive form, e.g. "TO clip (someone's) wings." But again, the efficiency of an online phraseological dictionary really depends on the power of the search engine.
4) At some point a greater division into different categories of "idioms" or "expressions" might be useful, along with a brief but clear explanation of your system of classification, in order to help a user to narrow a search. In other words, I think I would find it easier to locate a given expression if there were a clear separation between proverbial expressions ("pogovorki") like "volkov boiat'sia -- v les ne khodit'", for example, and very short descriptive expressions like "brain drain," which represents a very specific socio-historical phenomenon. (Furthermore, there should be a cross-listing for a phrase like "brain drain" in Russian; that is, the equivalent "utechka mozgov" is given only under the "brain drain" entry, but not as an entry in itself, i.e. among Russian expresssions).
5) Finally, I think the value of the site would be increased significantly by the addition of a forum, bulletin board, etc. for specific references to the use of a given expression in printed literature. This could include anything from classical Russian literature (e.g. something from a Pushkin story) to a recent speech by Putin as quoted in a Russian newspaper. A constantly growing list of concrete examples of idiomatic usage from real sources would really make the site come alive.

Thanks for a wonderful site -- I look forward to using it and watching it evolve!


prepodavatel' russkogo
(florida, S.Sh.A.)

М-р Шариков, спа

М-р Шариков, спасибо что заглянул.
У меня к тебе вопрос. Я тебе это все намылю, но, может, ты
здесь как-нибудь ответишь, так как это может быть интересно
всем, кто тут работает. Поэтому спрашиваю здесь.
Скажи, а как можно cделать так, чтобы о сайте узнали на кафедрах
русского в тех университетах, где таковые есть?
В принципе, я могу и сам туда написать, но какая у вас там на гнилом
Западе обычная процедура? Вот есть сайт, и я хочу, чтобы о нем узнали
в конкретных местах.

Hello and thanks for your kin

Hello and thanks for your kind review!

Let's get straight to the point.
1) Alphabet order If you enter a paricular letter, 'C' for example, you might notice the word 'Topic' on top of the table comprising also 'Replies' 'Created' 'Last reply'. If you click on it you'll have all the entries ordered alphabetically. Of course, as the site is growing we might consider grouping idioms under letter clusters e.g. A - al; al- as; as - az to facilitate search.

2) I am working on it :)
3) Ok, it's just a mistake, I'll fix it - still, that's what we need native speakers for! To get the genuine, authentic language - and correctly!
4) So far we've been lumping everything together, but I hope we'll sort things out whan it comes to publishing. The question of idioms vs cliches vs metaphors has been raised but I got a response there's no clear-cut distinction between the one and the other. So, I guess, we'll divide them later into strictly idioms and common spoken expression.
5) We can discuss any idiom right on the spot - in the topic created under its name. It's far more convenient than making a new place - and closer at hand. I have conceived the idea of idiom forum where each idiom constitutes an individual topic for this purpose exactly.

Thanks once again for your advice, I'll try to do my best.