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Memes and More: A De-Brief on Hermiona's Masterclass with Ksenia Turkova

Updated: May 24, 2020

This past Sunday, Hermiona hosted a free masterclass with Ksenia Turkova -- a world-renowned journalist, linguist, news anchor, and author. You’d think that we might discuss the news or politics … but we thought to discuss something a little more relevant to all of us: memes. (Link to the masterclass is here:

Over the course of the approximately one-hour webinar, Ksenia spoke to us about how memes are born: what photos they come from, what cultural context they require, etc. Some of them we remembered, and some of them we didn’t -- not all memes are meant to have long and successful lives, she said -- but all of them made us laugh. And, more importantly, they made us think: why was this particular meme successful?

(This is one of the memes that Ksenia talked to us about!)

Most exciting was to see the spread of participants. We had a real spread of time zones and cities: Novosibirsk, Moscow, Kyiv, Almaty, Boston, Chicago, and more. All of us had the chance to ask Ksenia our questions at the end, some of which were serious: how was the response to X meme different from country to country? Others were more playful: what was your favorite meme?

Ksenia had a lot of favorite memes (one of which was from the Russian cartoon “Масяня” about the made-up word “наружа” -- unfortunately, this doesn’t really translate to English). But we all left the class thinking what our favorite memes were. Personally, I have a pretty terrible memory for memes, but a few have stuck in my mind over the years. Ever since the class, I’ve been inspired to do some research on where they are from!

But learning with Ksenia doesn’t end with this masterclass: She’ll be teaching two classes as part of Hermiona’s new online learning initiative, Hermiona University. If you want to strengthen your Russian language skills, join her in “Entertaining Russian” and “Spelling Workout!” You’ll learn about more than just memes: you’ll learn about grammar, spelling, and stress in a different way than your teachers ever taught you. Join Ksenia -- and the Hermiona team -- for more online learning. From memes to spelling, we are working on ensuring the best remote education for you!



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