My Russian Instructor at DLI was a history buff. He talked about how Russian words were created from a root/base, with one or more prefixes or suffixes added as needed to convey the meaning. (I owned a book on Russian roots, it helped a lot).
Anyways, Red/красный was considered the most beautiful/красивый color so it shares the same root.; but, (according to him), here is the interesting part:
When Красная Площадь was built, it was called that, but it meant Beautiful Square...
The meanings of the two words swapped over the years.
Old Russian houses have a red corner ( or beautiful corner) in the main room where the most important icon is housed.
Do you remember the title of the book? It would be really nice to read about these. :)
Roots of the Russian Language - An Elementary Guide to Wordbuilding
When I came across a new word in the newspaper I'd look up the root and compare the difference in meaning when the prefix and/or suffix was changed. A simple example early in Duo's Russian course: писать, записать and написать
Off the top of my head there's also: списать, описать, прописать, подписать, выписать и расписать.
Once you become familiar with the more common prefixes and suffixes and start to see more roots, your ability to 'guess' from context goes way up.
Thanks a lot!! :) Yes, it definately will make the learning easier (not to mention reading).
I will have to get used to this. Since "красная" sounds like "krásná", which is in my native language (Czech) "beautiful".
Comes from the same root. The "beautiful" meaning remains in the word прекрасный.
FYI краса still means beauty (usually it sounds archaic though), красна девица=a beautiful girl (from folklore).
Why isn't the second word capitalized? Shouldn't it be, as this is a proper noun?
Only Красная is a proper name [I'm wrong here], площадь is just a square. It is not capitalized in wiki as well: https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D0%BF%D0%BB%D0%BE%D1%89%D0%B0%D0%B4%D1%8C
No, "Красная площадь" is the proper name. In Russian mostly the first word is capitalized (unlike in English).