Responsive Youtube Embeds

For future reference this is how to style YouTube embeds so that they are responsive (scss-format):

.tube-embed {
    position: relative;
    height: 0;
    padding-bottom: 56.25%;
    overflow: hidden;
    iframe {
            position: absolute;
            top: 0;
            left: 0;
            width: 100%;
            height: 100%;

Wrap embed code to div with class .tube-embed (this technique courtesy of all top 10 hits on search “youtube embed responsive” but I wanted my own copy-paste place)

The only non-obvious bit here is the padding-bottom: 56.25%; which makes sure that embed is in the usual aspect ratio 16/9 (I wonder if CSS aspect-ratio would help here 🤔.

I use this technique in my language learning blog: Russian Verbs - Past Tense | Three Words. I am planning to make it an Eleventy short-code some time soon.

Wrote a quick Eleventy short code and about it and ruby HTML element in my language learning blog: Writing Pinyin and Chinese | Three Words

Three words

I’ve for a while planned to move over my language learning stuff (not just Russian, but all the other stuff) to a completely new domain/blog. Say hello to About | Three Words. This should let me be a better engaged in micro blogging and also write more about language learning in general. Kolme sanaa or Three words will probably have an audience of one but I rather have it out there in the open rather than go with something like Notion or Obsidian

3x365 Russian Words, day 210, loan words

Today’s words are Russian words that have made their way into Finnish.

The first word is окно “a window” which travelled from Proto-Slavic language to Finnish as akkuna. Nowadays, the word is ikkuna but most people would also understand “akkuna” as well.

The second word is vaino which means “persecution” and it sounds like война “war” and is likely originated from the Russian word.

The final word is a slang word in Finnish mesta which simply comes from the Russian место and it means “a place”.

3x365 Russian Words, Day 208, Everything Ready

Yesterday, it was a busy day between work and gardening. I needed to get certain things done at the garden before the rain week that starts today and I did:

“сегодня сделал(а) всё, что планировал(а). завтра вставать в 5.30 утра”

“Today did everything that I planned. I will get up tomorrow at 5.30 am”

“Tänään sain kaiken sunnittelemani valmiiksi. Huomenna herään klo 5.30”

Let’s pick up the verbs here:

  1. сделал(a) - masculine or feminine (-a) past form of сделать to make, to do - tehdä

  2. планировал - masculine or feminine (-a) past form of “to plan” - suunnitella

  3. вставать - to get up - nousta (here: herätä)

3x365 Russian Words, Day 206

Today was a long day of programming, then some gardening and at the end of the day had a beer and pizza:

“съел пиццу и выпил пива”

“I ate a pizza and drank beer” (or I had a pizza and beer)

“Söin pizzan ja join oluen”

Words (we’ve had pizza before)

  1. съел - singular past masculine of to eat - syödä, söin

  2. выпил - same but for drink (выпить) - juoda, join

  3. пива - accusative of пиво - olut

3x365 Russian Words, Day 202, Golden Toilets

Another from the news (Google Translate does a decent job here as well) В Москве задержали замглавы ГИБДД Ставрополья из дела о золотых унитазах :: Общество :: РБК where head of traffic police was detained for corruption (they could have caught him for bad taste 🙃). Pictures here of his mansion are really something, all gold mansion down to the toilets (don’t say it 😬).

We pick up some words from here:

  1. золотой - golden, gold - kulta, kultainen

  2. туалет - toilet - WC

  3. начальник - chief, boss - johtaja, pomo

3x365 Russian Words, Day 201, Covid

There was an interesting story by Russian investigative journalist about the Covid situation in the country. What they did was that they reverse engineered country’s QR coded system of Covid report cards and deduced that 29 million Russians have had a Covid infection so far (not 6 million of the official figures). Story is in Что скрывает QR‑код. В коронавирусном реестре Минздрава 29 млн записей — в пять раз больше официального числа заболевших в России and Google Translate does a good job translating it in English.

We can pick our daily words from the story:

  1. запись - a record, an entry - tietue

  2. реестр - a register - rekisteri

  3. заболеть - to fall ill - sairastua

3x365 Russian Words, Day 200, Pulcinella's secret

I was made aware of a Russian idiom “Pulcinella’s secret” or rather “секрет полишинеля”, a supposedly secret thing that every one knows about (see Open secret - Wikipedia). This came up as another rather high-profile #metoo case surfaced in Finland in the Finnish punk rock scene. Reaction from the scene was: “🤷‍♂️, I guess we kind of knew about it” 🤯.

“секрет полишинеля - это секрет, который все знают. или ещё так: это секрет, который всем известен”

“Pulcinella’s secret is a secret everyone knows. Or, in other words: this secret is known by all.”

“Kaikki tietävät Pulcinellan salaisuuden. Tai toisin sanoin: kaikki tietävät salaisuuden”


  1. секрет - a secret - salaisuus

  2. знают - third person of “to know” - tietää

  3. известен - singular, masculine adjective “known” - tunnettu

3x365 Russian Words, Day 199, Weather(s)

We were talking yesterday about weather again. It has been four straight weeks of “helle” in Finland (streak ended up at 31 days) which was a new record again(😰) and practically no rain in Helsinki during that period 🌵.

Apparently, Finnish word for weather “sää” (also “ilma”) acts a bit differently than Russian погода or English weather. One can say: “näitä säitä” which would be “these weathers” in English i.e. one can count instances of Finnish weather.

“Suomessa päättyi tänään pitkä hellejakso. Seuraavan viikon ajan on selvästi viileämpää. Näitä säitä on mukava muistella talvella”

“Сегодня в Финляндии закончилась продолжительная жара. На следующей неделе будет явно прохладнее Эту погоду будет приятно вспоминать зимой”

“A prolonged heatwave ended in Finland today. It will be cooler next week. We will dearly miss this weather in the winter”

Words to remember by:

  1. закончиться - to finish, to end - päättyä, loppua

  2. прохладный - cool - viileä

  3. зимой - instrumental of зима, winter - talvi

outside view of the window over a hill, trees and a lot of yellowing hay and grass

3x365 Russian Words, Days 197&198, PhD

Yesterday we discussed about degrees and my spouse said something along the lines of: “I only have one PhD” and it made me chuckle. Not all of us can be Bruce Banners with seven doctorates. 🙃

“у меня есть только российская степень и нет западной степени PhD. нет, снова писать диссертацию я не хочу”

“I only have a Russian degree and no western PhD. And no, I don’t want to write a thesis again”

“Minulla on vain venäläinen tutkinto eikä tohtorintutkintoa lännestä. Ja ei, en halua uutta tutkintoa”

(Yes, she was joking)

Words, plenty good ones:

  1. только - only - vain

  2. степень - degree - tutkinto

  3. западной - Western - länsi, läntinen

  4. снова - again, anew - uusi, uudestaan

  5. писать - to write - kirjoittaa

  6. диссертацию - dissertation - väitös

3x365 Russian Words, Day 196, Another Hot Day

Let’s jump right in:

“очень жарко и хочется спать. но скоро начнется семинар и придёт доставка, поэтому не могу прилечь”

“Very hot and I want to sleep. But a seminar starts soon and the delivery arrives and that is why I can’t lay down”

“On kuuma ja haluaisin nukkua, mutta seminaari alkaa pian ja paketti saapuu, siksi en voi maata”


  1. скоро - soon - pian

  2. начнётся future form of начаться - to start - alkaa

  3. придёт - third person future of to come, to arrive - tulee

stream in a forest on a hot day

3x365 Russian Words, Day 195, IKEA

Highlights of this week have been IKEA trip in person (first in two years) and the Helsinki cup football tournament (our kids’ got to play at the Olympic Stadium 🥰)

Let’s start with IKEA (and most importantly, Allen key is in Russian Шестигранный шлиц )

“расскажи, что вы купили в икее”

“Tell me, what you bought from Ikea”

“Kerro minulle mitä ostitte Ikeasta”


  1. расскажи - (you) told - kerro

  2. купили - plural past perfective of “to buy” - ostitte

  3. шлиц - nick, slit, slot - kolo (Allen key is kuusiokoloavain in Finnish)

Enterance of IKEA Espoo

3x365 Russian Words, Day 193, Stiil Hot, Need to Swim

It is the day 193 of the year, there are only 172 days to go this year 😱. Is it me or is it unseasonably warm all the time now? The day was not particularly hot “only” +27℃/80F but it seems night time won’t get below +21. No wonder we were mostly planning to go swimming:

“когда ты закончишь работать? хочешь после этого искупаться?”

“When will you finish working? Do you want to swim after that?”

“Mihin aikaan lopetat työt? Haluatko uida sen jälkeen?”

Words (mostly old acquaintances):

  1. закончишь future 2nd person of закончить - to finish - lopettaa

  2. после - after - jälkeen

  3. искупаться - to swim - uida

3x365 Russian Words, Day 190, Taxi (part II)

I am going to get a taxi next to start a weekend trip:

“Я хотел бы заказать такси”

“I would like to order a taxi”

“Haluaisin tilata taksin”

Words here are mostly old, but still useful:

  1. хотел - singular, past of imperfective of “to want” - haluaisin

  2. бы - makes the sentence conditional (yes, interesting, need to come back to this) - ending -isi is the Finnish equivalent

  3. заказать - to order - tilata

taxi in Shanghai

3x365 Russian Words, Days 182-189

I slacked off a bit on my holiday, but still managed to put in few Russian words.

  1. волнуйся - to worry - huolehtia

  2. пытался - tried to - yritti

  3. позвольте - let me - anna minun

  4. вина - fault - vika, syy

  5. Обещаю - I promise - lupaan

  6. немедленно - immediately - heti

  7. показать - to show - näyttää

  8. подарок - a present - lahja

  9. Торопиться - to rush - kiirehtiä

presents a.k.a подарок

3x365 Russian Words, Days 180&181, More Swimming and Fairy Tales

These are the words and sentences from the last two days. First off on Tuesday, my spouse had trouble enticing anyone to join her swimming and asked:

“почему никто не хочет со мной идти купаться?”

“Why doesn’t anyone want to go swimming with me?”

“Miksi kukaan ei halua kanssani uimaan?”

Words that are mostly familiar to us already:

  1. никто - nobody, no one - ei kukaan

  2. со - same as preposition c “with” when the next word starts so that “s” sound is awkward - kanssani

  3. мной - mine - minun

And yesterday we discussed about this Russian Fairy Tale. The fairy tale itself is fiendishly complex, but this saying from the story “пойди туда, не знаю куда. принеси то, не знаю что” is in modern Russian used as:

In modern Russian, the phrase Poydi tuda, ne znayu kuda, prinesi to, ne znayu chto (Russian: Пойди туда, не знаю куда, принеси то, не знаю что - Go I Know Not Whither and Fetch I Know Not What) refers (usually with irony) to a poorly defined or impossible task.

That sentence is in (more modern English):

“Go there, don’t know where to fetch I don’t know what”

In Finnish:

“Mene sinne, en tiedä minne, tuo sieltä, en tiedä mitä”

Words we mostly know already:

  1. туда - there - siellä, tuolla

  2. куда - where - missä

  3. принеси принести - to fetch - noutaa

3x365 Russian words, Day 179, Smell/sniff

Yesterday’s words were Finnish words “haistaa” and “haista”:

  1. haistaa - to sniff - нюхать

  2. haista - Wiktionary - to smell (of) - пахнуть

  3. miellyttävä - pleasant - приятно

3x365 Russian Words, Day 178, Cool Swimming

Last few days we needed a lot of refreshment. Here are some cooling and swimming words from yesterday:

  1. круто - cool (colloquial) - cool, siisti, viileä

  2. классно - slang for cool, awesome - cool, siisti, viileä

  3. купаться - to swim - uida

beach and a lonely swimmer

3x365 Russian Words, Day 177, Heat maps

The City of Helsinki launched this week a service that:

The page will display the congestion status of key tourism-related areas, sights and services in Helsinki for the current minute in the form of a colour-coded map view. Thanks to the Heatmap service, tourists and local residents alike can make their visits more pleasant and avoid crowds in order to feel safer.

City of Helsinki Press Release about the Heat Map. The service itself can be found at Helsinki Heatmap - Hypercell

I might say something about Helsinki, Finns, and what constitutes a crowd here, but 🤷‍♂️.

How would you say all this in Russian?

“тепловая карта хельсинки позволяет узнать, где есть толпы”

“Helsinki heat map lets you know where the crowds are”

“Helsingin lämpökartta kertoo väkijoukkojen sijainnin”

And we have some excellent words here:

  1. тепловая, тепло - warm, heat - lämmin

  2. узнать - to find out, to learn

  3. позволяет, позволять - allow, permit - sallia, mahdollistaa

Friday morning rush in Helsinki (December 2020)

3x365 Russian Words, Day 176, Football

UEFA Euro 2020 was a first major tournament for Finnish men. Results were ok for first timers. We, for instance, did better than Russia that got pummelled by their own fans for crashing out as the last team in the group. There was this meme(-ish) floating around in the Russian internet that goes somehow like this:

“Это были не наши футболисты. Форму, бутсы и мяч можно купить в любом спортивном магазине”

“Those were not our footballers, you can by kits, boots, and balls from any given store”

“Ei ne ollut meidän joukkueemme. Tarvikkeita voi ostaa mistä vain urheiluliikkeestä.

This is a riff on Russia’s explanation in 2014 on how professionally equipped troops with no insignia just happened to take over Crimea. “Not our troops, you can buy that stuff from any military store”


  1. наши - ours - meidän

  2. мяч - ball - pallo

  3. любом - any - mistä vain

lonely footballer on a tiny football pitch

3x365 Russian Words, Day 175, Work

Last few weeks I’ve worked very hard to complete a customer project before the summer holiday (Starting Thursday morning July 1st) and work is all I can think of:

“мне нужно работать. тебе нужно работать. всем нужно работать. я . ты занят. мы заняты.”

“I have to work. You have to work. Everyone must work. I am busy. You are busy. We are busy”

“Minun täytyy tehdä töitä. Sinun täytyy tehdä töitä. Kaikkien pitää tehdä töitä. Olen kiireinen. Sinä olet kiireinen. Me olemme kiireisiä”

These words are already familiar but let’s review “work and busy”:

  1. нужно - predicative for “one must” - täytyä

  2. работать - to work - tehdä työtä, työskennellä

  3. занятый - busy -kiireinen

Soviet productivity poster (CC Wikimedia)

3x365 Russian Words, Day 172, Crocs

Speaking of Crocs, we did discuss buying them yesterday:

“думаю - купить кроксы или нет? не знаю. - не хочу кроксы. настоящие кроксы слишком дорогие“

“I am thinking if I should buy crocs or not? I do not know. - I don’t want crocs. Genuine crocs are too expensive”

“Ajattelen, että ostaisinko Crocsit vai en. En tiedä mitä tehdä. - Minä en halua Crocseja, aidot Crocsit ovat liian kalliita”

Words that are new and useful:

  1. настоящий - real, genuine - aito, aidot

  2. слишком - too, too much - liian

  3. дорогой - expensive - kallis

3x365 Russian Words, Day 170, Tropical Nights

I don’t know how many “unseasonally warm” days I have and will see in my life, but this week has been one long tropical night. Reminds me of Budapest (one of my) favourite cities couple summers back

“погода как в будапеште - тёплые летние ночи”

“The weather is like in Budapest - warm summer nights”

“Sää on kuin Budapestissa, lämpimiä kesäöitä”


  1. тёплый - warm - lämmin

  2. летние - summery - kesäinen

  3. ночи - night - yö

budapest by Danube at night

3x365 Russian Words, Day 171, Young, Younger

I shaved and definitely look younger now. My face looks younger, but not young anymore 😢

“я побрился и снова выгляжу молодым. ну, по крайней мере, моложе”

“I shave and look young again. Well at least younger”

“Ajoin partani ja näytän nuorelta taas, tai ainakin nuoremmalta”

Excellent new words here:

  1. побрился - to shave oneself (past, perfective, singular) - ajoin partani

  2. снова - again, anew - taas

  3. по крайней мере - at least - ainakin

I look *younger* but can’t escape the greys