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Lesson Transcript

Natalia: Привет, я Natalia.
Yura: Yura here, and welcome to Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 2; From America to Russia. How are you today, Natalia? Ready to move on from the introduction phase?
Natalia: Sure. Ben obviously didn’t ask Nica’s name just out of curiosity and then stand up and leave after that.
Yura: What would be your next question if you met a foreigner?
Natalia: What time is it?
Yura: Okay. You obviously met too many of them to be curious about their nationality. But for Nica, it’s still a matter of interest.
Natalia: And for Ben, it’s just a way to keep the conversation flowing because he is the one who starts talking about nationalities.
Yura: Okay. Don’t reveal the story.
Natalia: Fine, Yura. We won’t say too much but let’s give our listeners a little idea about what they’ll learn in this lesson.
Yura: In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to talk about nationality and gender in Russian.
Natalia: And the speakers still don’t know each other very well, therefore, they will be speaking formal Russian. This conversation takes place near a bench in a public place.
Yura: The conversation is between Ben and Nica.
Natalia: The speakers are becoming friends so they will be speaking informally but polite language.
Yura: Let’s listen to the conversation and find out what this nationality talk ended up being all about.
Yura: Ника, вы русская?
Natalia: Нет, я украинка, но живу в России. А вы откуда? Вы американец?
Yura: Да, я из Америки.
Natalia: А из какого штата?
Yura: Я родился в Орегоне, но живу в Нью-Йорке.
Yura: Okay. Let’s do that one more time, slowly.
Natalia: Сейчас ещё раз, медленно.
Natalia: Ника, вы русская?
Yura: Нет, я украинка, но живу в России. А вы откуда? Вы американец?
Natalia: Да, я из Америки.
Yura: А из какого штата?
Natalia: Я родился в Орегоне, но живу в Нью-Йорке.
Yura: Okay, one more time with natural native speed with the translation.
Natalia: Ещё раз с естественной скоростью носителя языка с переводом.
Natalia: Ника, вы русская?
Yura: Nica, are you Russian?
Natalia: Нет, я украинка, но живу в России. А вы откуда? Вы американец?
Yura: No. I’m Ukrainian but I live in Russia. Where are you from? Are you American?
Natalia: Да, я из Америки.
Yura: Yes. I am from America.
Natalia: А из какого штата?
Yura: What state are you from?
Natalia: Я родился в Орегоне, но живу в Нью-Йорке.
Yura: I was born in Oregon but I live in New York.
Yura: It’s totally normal to ask whether a person is Russian in Russia especially in Moscow.
Natalia: Yeah. Just like any big city in the world, Moscow is pretty international. And even if a person is a native Russian speaker, he can be a citizen of any of the post-USSR countries.
Yura: Yeah, like Nica. She’s Ukrainian by origin but lives in Moscow and maybe even has a Russian passport.
Natalia: Right.
Yura: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we have is.
Natalia: русская
Yura: Russian
Natalia: русская
Yura: and the next one
Natalia: украинка
Yura: Ukrainian
Natalia: украинка
Yura: Okay. And the next word
Natalia: жить
Yura: to live
Natalia: жить
Yura: and the next word
Natalia: в
Yura: in
Natalia: в
Yura: Okay. And the next word
Natalia: откуда
Yura: from where, where from
Natalia: откуда
Yura: Okay. And the next one
Natalia: из
Yura: from
Natalia: из
Yura: And next
Natalia: какой
Yura: what, what kind, which
Natalia: какой
Yura: And next
Natalia: штат
Yura: state
Natalia: штат
Yura: And the next word
Natalia: но
Yura: but
Natalia: но
Yura: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Natalia: And the first phrase we look at is.
Yura: Are you Russian, right?
Natalia: Yes. “Вы - русская?” literally, “you Russian”.
Yura: So "русская" means Russian, right?
Natalia: Yes. But only for women. You see, there is this thing in Russian. Every object has a gender. When it comes to people, it’s just masculine or feminine obviously.
Yura: I see. So how would the word Russian sound in regard to a man.
Natalia: русский
Yura: Русский, so “я - русский” right?
Natalia: Well, grammatically, yes “ты- русский”. But actually “ты - американец, Юра”.
Yura: Да, я - американец. And my mom would be?
Natalia: американка
Yura: What about Ben, our guy?
Natalia: “Он -американец”. He’s American and his mom would be "американка".
Yura: Right. So again, all you need to say your nationality is "Я" and the nationality in the proper gender. We’ll come back to it in the grammar part.
Natalia: Okay. Let’s get back to our characters. Nica says she is "украинка", which is Ukrainian but…
Yura: But she lives in Russia. How do you say I live in Russia in Russian?
Natalia: “Я живу в России”. So the phrase “I live” would sound as "Я живу".
Yura: And it’s both for men and women, right?
Natalia: Yeah. We only worry about gender when we use nouns. And "живу" is a verb “live” so it’s same for me and you.
Yura: Oh right. Ben says that too. He says he lives in New York, right?
Natalia: Yes. “Я живу в Нью-Йорке.”
Yura: So now we know how to say our nationalities. For example, “Я- американец” and where we live like “Я живу в России”. Now, how can say I’m from England? How does the structure start from I’m from sound?
Natalia: It sounds the simplest I think. "Я из", I am from.
Yura: So "Я из" and the country, right?
Natalia: Well, the country name gets slightly modified at the end. For example, “Америка” becomes “Америки”. “Россия” becomes “России”.
Yura: And I guess “Англия” would become “Англии” if we follow the pattern.
Natalia: Right.
Yura: Next, Nica is curious about the state Ben is from. We need the word “from” again here. So "из"…
Natalia: “Из какого штата”, where, "какого" means which or what and "штата" is just a modified "штат", state.
Yura: All these modifications but I find it easier just learning patterns rather than going deep into the grammar explanations at this point.
Natalia: Yeah. That’s all we need now. The next phrase we should learn is "я родился в".
Yura: I was born in. “Я родился в Германии.”
Natalia: And how would you say, “I was born in Potsdam?”.
Yura: “Я родился в Постдаме.”
Natalia: Yes. And for me, it would sound a little different because in the past tense, verbs change according to gender. I should say, "Я родилась в Германии" or "Я родилась в Постдаме." Well, actually, "Я родилась в России".
Yura: You were born in Russia but you’re Ukrainian, right?
Natalia: Да, я - украинка.
Yura: Okay. Now the grammar part. We went through pretty much everything in our dialogue already. All the words phrases and grammar patterns.
Natalia: We did. But let’s talk about the concept of gender in Russian a little more.
Yura: Yeah. So all Russian nouns have genders, masculine, feminine and neuter.
Natalia: And it’s really easy to figure out the gender in Russian. The nouns that end in consonants are masculine. For example "штат" ends in "т", a consonant. So we know it’s masculine.
Yura: Feminine nouns usually end in vowels "a" or "я". For example, Украина and Россия. One ends in "a" and the other one ends in "я". Therefore, they are both feminine.
Natalia: And the last category is nouns in the neuter gender. They usually end in "o" or "e". For example, Colorado is neuter in Russian because it ends in "o" or "море" which means "sea" is Russian.
Yura: So this is the general concept. When you talk about nationalities, you have to mind gender, too as we talked about before. Natalia, let’s just review quickly how to say different nationalities in masculine and feminine genders.
Natalia: Okay. Let’s start with Russian. If it’s a girl who’s Russian then she’s “русская”. If a guy, “русский”. Ukrainian, “украинка” if it’s a girl and “украинец” if it’s a guy. American, “американка”, a girl; “американец”, a guy. British, “англичанка” if it’s a girl and “англичанин” if it’s a guy.
Yura: Thanks, Natalia. We will also learn how to say, “I’m from, I live in and I was born in.”. After all those phrases, you have to put a place, right. So that place will be modified according to gender, too.
Natalia: Right. Let’s review those modifications, first with the phrase “I, from,” which is "Я из" in Russian. So listen carefully. Я из России.
Я из Америки.
Я из Англии.
Я из Мичигана.
Я из Орегона.
Yura: That’s right. So feminine nouns change their endings into "и" and masculine nouns just "a" to the end. Remember this pattern for the phrases "Я из"..
Natalia: And now, the phrases “I live in” and “I was born in.” "Я живу в", "Я родился" or "Я родилась". The places that go after those phrases are modified in the same way. Feminine nouns take the endings "и" or "е",and masculine just add the ending "е".
Я живу в России
Я родился в России
Я живу в Лондоне
Я родилась в Киеве
Я живу в Мичигане
Я родился в Орегоне
Yura: Okay. Now the final review. Why don’t we just tell the listeners about ourselves a bit using the structures we’ve just practiced? Okay, I’ll start.
Natalia: And I’ll translate.
Yura: Я - американец.
Natalia: I’m American.
Yura: Я из Нью-Йорка.
Natalia: I am from New York.
Yura: Я родился в Германии..
Natalia: I was born in Germany.
Yura: Я живу в Японии.
Natalia: I live in Japan. Great. I’ll do the same but using my feminine gender when it’s needed.
Yura: And I’ll translate this time.
Natalia: Я - русская.
Yura: I’m Russian.
Natalia: Я из Хабаровска.
Yura: I’m from Khabarovsk.
Natalia: Я родилась в России.
Yura: I was born in Russia.
Natalia: Я живу в Японии.
Yura: I live in Japan. Now you practice telling us about yourself. That just about does it for today.
Natalia: Listeners, have you ever dreamed of starring in one of our lessons?
Yura: If your answer is yes, use the voice recording tool on the lesson page.
Natalia: Record your voice with a click of a button.
Yura: And then play it back just as easily.
Natalia: Then compare it to the native speakers in the lesson.
Yura: And adjust your pronunciation.
Natalia: After a few tries, you’ll be speaking better Russian than Yura here.
Yura: Thanks.
Natalia: Go to RussianPod101.com and rapidly improve your Russian pronunciation.


Yura: Goodbye
Natalia: Спасибо, что вы были с нами сегодня. До свидания
Yura: Пока.