Everything for a Princess in Russian: Princesses, Princes, Fairy-Tales.
The first time I saw a Disney princess movie was when I was 14. It was the movie Aladdin. So for 14 years I did not even know that such a thing as a Disney princess existed! Was I still interested in princesses as a girl? Absolutely!
I loved fairy-tales as a child. In addition to lovely traditional Russian tales I spent hours reading translated into Russian stories by Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault and many more. That’s where I found out about princesses, queens and beautiful elegant balls.
My daughter has not escaped the love for anything related to a princess. It started with Frozen and spread to all Disney princesses and beyond. Now any book that involves a princess is pretty much a hit. While we read a fair share of Disney based princess books in English, I found that the books about the same Disney princesses in Russian are not something I read with her frequently. I found this YouTube channel that has a lot of Disney stuff told in Russian though and we occasionally visit it. I am not the biggest fan of Disney books in Russian as the quality of the translation is not always stellar, there are no Russian realities, and I just did not feel it was helping her understand the Russian take on princesses.
I was intent on presenting to my daughter the vocabulary special to the Russian literature and fairy tales. It’s a complex and beautiful language and I am trying to find stories that are more age/vocabulary appropriate and do not make it hard for her to follow. So far as long as there are princesses in the stories, I can hold her attention. Although in Russian fairy tales you are more likely to find a tsarevna (царевна -tsar’s daughter or tsaritsa – царица – tsar’s wife) and they are not always great role-models, there are many who are quite mean. Lots of tsarevnas actually start up as just girls, sometimes poor who just end up married to a prince in the end and become royalty then.
One thing that I can tell you is that the books had a pretty good princess to prince ratio. When I thought about it, I even though there might be more princes, as main protagonists.
A list of tales of princesses and princes in Russian that I recommend you explore with your children
This is a great site with lots of Russian Fairy tales you can read to your child, the list is really long: http://hyaenidae.narod.ru/, so I will point out some that I like, not all of them are an easy read
- ЕЛЕНА ПРЕМУДРАЯ
- ИВАН-ЦАРЕВИЧ И БЕЛЫЙ ПОЛЯНИН
- ИВАН-ЦАРЕВИЧ И СЕРЫЙ ВОЛК
- КОРОЛЕВИЧ И ЕГО ДЯДЬКА
- ФИНИСТ – ЯСНЫЙ СОКОЛ
- And some other ones
This site has some fairy-tales from Russia but also from other countries around the world.
Three very popular authors of children’s fairy-tales and stories translated into Russian are by Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault and this is a good site to go and read them from.
A list of frequent Russian words that start fairy-tales
Жили-были, Жил да был, Жили-поживали – basically means there once was/were/lived
В некотором царстве, некотором государстве – in some kingdom, in some state
Some key words everyone interested in princesses should know in Russian.
Тиара – tiara
Диадема – diadem
Драгоценности – jewelry
Платье(я) – dress(es)
Наряд(ы) – outfit(s)
Принцесса – princess
Королева – queen
Королевна – young queen or king’s daughter
Принц – prince
Король – king
Королевич – young king or king’s son
Царь – tsar
Царевич – tsar’s son
Царевна – tsar’s daughter
Царица – tsar’s wife
Замок – castle
Дворец – palace
Хоромы – beautiful room in a castle/palace
Бал – a ball
Карета – carriage
Придворные – courtiers
Слуги – servants