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Lesson Transcript

Natalia: Здравствуйте, с Вами Natalia.
Eura: I’m Eura, and this is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 9, “The Missing Russian Waitress.”
Natalia: Eura, what are we going to study in this lesson?
Eura: In this lesson, you will learn how to order in the restaurant.
Natalia: And the conversation obviously takes place in a restaurant.
Eura: The conversation is between Ben and Nica.
Natalia: The speakers are friends. Therefore, they will be speaking informal Russian. So let’s listen to the conversation and learn how to ask for help and get what you want in Russia.
Eura: Ника, помоги мне, пожалуйста. Я не могу найти пиво в меню.
Natalia: Ммм... Я тоже не вижу. Девушка, у Вас есть пиво?
Natalia: Да, Вам разливное или в бутылке?
Eura: А какое пиво у Вас есть?
Natalia: Балтика, Хайникен, Асахи...
Eura: Бутылку Хайникен, пожалуйста.
Eura: One time slowly.
Natalia: Ника, помоги мне, пожалуйста. Я не могу найти пиво в меню.
Eura: Ммм... Я тоже не вижу. Девушка, у Вас есть пиво?
Natalia: Да, Вам разливное или в бутылке?
Eura: А какое пиво у Вас есть?
Natalia: Балтика, Хайникен, Асахи...
Eura: Бутылку Хайникен, пожалуйста.
Eura: One time natural native speed, with the translation.
Natalia: Ника, помоги мне, пожалуйста. Я не могу найти пиво в меню.
Eura: Nica, help me out please, I can’t find the beer in the menu.
Natalia: Ммм... Я тоже не вижу. Девушка, у Вас есть пиво?
Eura: I can’t see it either. Waitress, do you have beer?
Natalia: Да, Вам разливное или в бутылке?
Eura: Yes, would you prefer draft beer or bottled beer?
Natalia: А какое пиво у Вас есть?
Eura: What kind of beer do you have?
Natalia: Балтика, Хайникен, Асахи...
Eura: Baltika, Heineken, Asahi.
Natalia: Бутылку Хайникен, пожалуйста.
Eura: A bottle of Heineken, please. So drinking during the day is not a big deal in Russia right?
Natalia: It’s not drinking, it’s just beer. The worst thing that may happen after the pelmeni, beer mix, is a big fat belly. But other than that, it’s very tasty. Beer brings out the taste of meat in pelmeni.
Eura: I see. And if I order pelmeni for dinner after work, would I have to get vodka to go with them?
Natalia: Eura, the times when people were forced to drink are gone in Russia as well as the stereotype of heavy drinkers. Actually, I don’t think Russians drink more than anyone else. Anyway, you don’t have to get vodka, but believe me, a shot of it before meal will improve your appetite, warm up your stomach, improve your digestion.
Eura: I guess I really do have to order vodka with pelmeni to experience everything you describe above. Okay. Why don’t we listen to the vocabulary used in this dialogue? I’m sure there are way more words to learn than just beer and vodka.
The first word we have is.
Natalia: помогать
Eura: To help.
Natalia: помогать
Eura: And the next word is?
Natalia: мочь
Eura: To be able to, can.
Natalia: мочь
Eura: And the next word?
Natalia: найти
Eura: To find.
Natalia: найти
Eura: Okay. And the next word?
Natalia: Пиво
Eura: Beer.
Natalia: Пиво
Eura: And the next word?
Natalia: меню
Eura: Menu.
Natalia: меню
Eura: And the next?
Natalia: тоже
Eura: To, also.
Natalia: тоже
Eura: And the next word?
Natalia: видеть
Eura: To see.
Natalia: видеть
Eura: And the next word?
Natalia: разливное
Eura: Draft.
Natalia: разливное
Eura: Okay. And the next word?
Natalia: бутылка
Eura: A bottle.
Natalia: бутылка
Eura: Okay. And the last word?
Natalia: какой
Eura: What, what kind, which.
Natalia: какой
Eura: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Natalia: And the first word we’ll look at is.
Eura: The first word is the one that deserves you special attention, the word “to help.”
Natalia: Помогать in the dialogue we heard "помоги мне" “help me.”
Eura: The word "pomogatj" is the word for “to help” in Russia, and "pomogi" is just the command form for it. As you might remember from the previous lesson, to make your command sound more polite, all you have to do is add "-te" to the end of it.
Natalia: So if you need help of a person you don’t know or just someone you want to show respect to, you should say, "помогите". Помогите мне.
Eura: "мне" is just a modification of the pronoun "Я" “I” and means “to me.”
Natalia: Yes. This is what often happens to the pronouns in Russian.
Eura: Unlike in English, Russian pronouns don’t have too many propositions to go with them. For example, there’s no such thing as “to” in Russian, when it comes to the phrases like “write to me.” Instead, the whole pronoun is modified to express the concept of direction “to.”
Natalia: So Russian “to me” and “to you” would be "мне".
Eura: To me.
Natalia: "тебе"
Eura: To you, informal, singular.
Natalia: "Вам"
Eura: To you, formal or plural. Right. So the help Ben needs is to find beer in the menu.
Natalia: Yes. He says, " Я не могу найти пиво в меню".
Eura: Let’s talk about the phrase "ya ne mogu", the key word here is "mogu" “can.”
Natalia: It comes from the infinitive of "мочь" “to be able to.”
Eura: Yes. We should probably conjugate this verb at least according to the first and second person.
Natalia: Good idea. So “I can” is "Я могу", the informal “you can” would sound as "ты можешь", and the formal or plural one "вы можете".
Eura: You should know though that this word can’t be used when you talk about skills like playing sports or instruments. It’s only used to indicate whether you’re able or unable to perform some specific action.
Natalia: Yes. Like “I can come” or “I can do” but not “I can play the piano.” The word for talking about skills and abilities is different.
Eura: Right. Next, we have the word “to find.”
Natalia: найти. Я не могу найти “I can’t find,” Пиво is “beer” in Russian, and "меню" is obviously a “menu.”
Eura: Nothing difficult here. Let’s move on. Did Nica find beer in the menu?
Natalia: No. She says, "я тоже не вижу" literally, “I also can’t see.”
Eura: Just like with languages, you don’t need the actual word “can” when you talk about “being able” or “unable” to see something. In Russian, “I can’t see” sounds simple as "Я не вижу"..
Natalia: And the word "tozhe" can both be translated as “to” and “neither, either” in Russian. In other words, it can be used both in positive and negative sentences. For example, Я знаю
Eura: I know.
Natalia: Я тоже
Eura: Me too.
Natalia: Я не знаю
Eura: I don’t know.
Natalia: Я тоже
Eura: Me neither. Oh, and before we go further, why don’t we conjugate the word “to see” for the first and second person?
Natalia: Okay. Я вижу
Eura: I see, I can see.
Natalia: Ты видишь
Eura: You see, you can see, informal, singular.
Natalia: Вы видите
Eura: You see, you can see, polite or plural. Great, next, not able to find beer on the menu, Nica is asking a waitress for help.
Natalia: Девушка, у Вас есть пиво?
Eura: We know the word "девушка" already, it means a “girl, a young lady.” But it’s also the way to call a waitress, just "девушка!".
Natalia: Right. We also know the phrase "у Вас есть", which is “do you have?” We learned it before in an informal context when Nica asked Ben, "у тебя есть брат или сестра" “do you have brother or sister?” Now, it’s more formal using the polite "you" – "У Вас есть"?.
Eura: Right. So of course, any Russian restaurant has beer. The question is what kind of beer you want? Of course you can just name a brand, but I personally prefer draft beer. So the word "разливное" was of much help to me in Russia.
Natalia: Right. "Разливное пиво" means “draft beer,” but literally it actually means “poured beer.” And the opposite of it would be "пиво в бутылке", which is “beer in a bottle” or “bottled beer.”
Eura: So the waitress gave Ben a choice of "разливное пиво" or "пиво в бутылке". But he wants to know what kind of beer they got there.
Natalia: какое пиво у Вас есть?
Eura: We know "у Вас есть" already, it means “you have” or “do you have.” Now, "какое" means “which, what kind, what,” but in this case, it’s put in to the node or gender because "пиво" “beer” is nooder.
Natalia: Eura, do you remember the examples from the previous lessons where we used the word "какой"? It was a bit modified there, but anyway, can you remember them?
Eura: Yes, I remember a couple, "из какого штата?" “from what state?” And "ты на каком курсе?" “what year of university are you?”
Natalia: Yes. Thank you. Next, the waitress gives Ben a choice of beers they have. Baltika is one of the most popular beers in Russia.
Eura: Yes, I’ve tried it. I think it was Baltika 10 or something with an alcohol percentage close to a liquir.
Natalia: I know. It’s the most popular among teenagers.
Eura: And how can I order a bottle of it in a restaurant?
Natalia: It’s easy. You just say, "бутылку" then the name of the brand, and then “please” pozhaluista. “A bottle of, please.”
Eura: I see. So "бутылку Хайникен, пожалуйста"!.
In this lesson, we will talk about the thing called grammar cases in Russian.
Natalia: Yes. As you might have noticed in this dialogue, we heard the word “bottle” "бутылка" twice. But both times, it sounded differently. First time, it was "в бутылке", second time "бутылку".
Eura: You can hear that we change the endings in both words.
Natalia: Which means, we modified our nouns according to certain grammar patterns, called “grammar cases.”
Eura: In Russian, all nouns change their forms and modify their endings according to the function they have in a sentence. These forms are called cases.
Natalia: Yes. There are six grammar cases in Russian, which means each noun may have six different endings according to its role in a sentence.
Eura: The six cases are, nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental and propositional.
Natalia: Nominative case represents the initial form of the noun, the word that you can find in a dictionary. For example, the dictionary form of the word “bottle” is "бутылка".
Eura: And when you say “in a bottle” we change it into "бутылке" with the ending "e". It’s modified according to the prepositional case because there’s a preposition proceeding a noun "в" – “in.”
Natalia: And in the sentence “a bottle of Heineken, please,” the word "бутылка" is changed into "бутылку" with the ending "у" according to the accusative case.
Eura: Right. If we don’t change it, it will just get a statement that this is a bottle of Heineken. But if we modify the ending into "у", it will express the concept of request here.
Natalia: Right. If we say, "бутылка Xайникен, пожалуйста", it will mean something like “this is a bottle of Heineken” or “here is a bottle of Heineken, please.”
Eura: Also the word order is very flexible in Russian, which requires us to change the word in a way that we can understand them as a whole phrase no matter where they are in the sentence.
Natalia: We gave you a very rough idea of what the Russian case system is and of course, we’ll be coming back to it again and again, looking carefully into each case and learning the patterns of nouns modifications.
Eura: But for now, remember this, Russian nouns change their endings in six different ways according to six grammar cases, which are defined by the role a noun plays in the sentence.
Natalia: Cases are as important in Russian as the word order in English. When you speak English, you just put the words into the right order and your sentences make sense. They are grammatically right. But in Russian, word order is very flexible. And if you put the words in their dictionary forms into a random order, your speaking won’t make much sense.
Eura: But if they modified according to the certain cases, you can put them wherever you want in a sentence and it will still be correct.
Natalia: So as long s your nouns take proper cases, you can arrange words in almost any order and still be speaking perfect Russian.
Eura: Get ready for this grammar in our next lessons. Okay. That’s just about does it for this lesson.
Natalia: Attention, iPhone, iPod or iPod users.
Eura: Listen, tap and swipe your way to fluency with our Russian language apps.
Natalia: Grow your vocabulary and practice on the go with our Russian language applications.
Eura: Fun and easy to use. Russian apps are available on iTunes.
Natalia: Visit our iPhone page on RussianPod101.com/iPhone now to learn more.


Yura: Bye
Natalia: Bye.