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Dr Stephen Ellis, the translator, read Australian and American history at the University of New England, Australia and Russian history at Duke University, North Carolina USA. He began to learn Russian at a summer school at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, in 1971, where he was taught by Russian emigres who had trained at the Harbin Pedagogical Institute in the 1930s. He continued his studies at Duke University with Russian emigres who had come from Russia via Asia and California, and at another summer school at the University of Toronto with emigres who had come from Russia via Poland. From fellow graduate students at the Moscow and Leningrad State Universities he learnt how to swear in Russian and why it was important not to do so.