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Lesson Transcript

Oksana: Привет всем!
Eddie: Eddie here. All about, lesson 6. Five Words Your Teacher Will Never Teach You. Hello, and welcome back to RussianPOD101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Russian! I'm joined in the studio by…
Oksana: Hello everyone. Oksana here.
Eddie: I’m REALLY excited about this lesson.
Oksana: Me too. We’re going to cover real Russian, Russian that is spoken everyday by native speakers and makes it the wonderful country that it is.
Eddie: Yes, we’re going to cover swear words!
Oksana: Eddie! We are NOT going to do any such thing.
Eddie: OK, OK sorry. What we’re really going to cover today is 5 words which are informal. They aren’t considered rude though you should really only use them with people you know quite well.
Oksana: Yes, this is something that you aren’t going to be taught or find in any textbook even though it’s arguably just as important.
Eddie: Quite. You don’t want to be amongst friends and be speaking like a talking dictionary! So, is this like slang, Oksana?
Oksana: Actually that’s’ a really good question. Russian slang is called “мат”.
Eddie: So that’s obviously informal is it?
Oksana: Well, it’s obviously informal but not in that sense. “Мат” is considered extremely offensive, even among young people and it isn’t even something that people would want to see in print.
Eddie: I understand. So here we are not going to cover that, but we are going to cover informal phrases that are just fine to use in the company of people you know well. OK so before we start, let’s begin with a tip when it comes to how to sound informal. We’ve covered in previous lessons that the order of words in a sentence in Russian is more flexible than it is in English.
Oksana: Indeed it is. What is less known is that the more unusual you make the order of words, the less formal you sound.
Erik: So to sound informal in Russian, you can just use “unusual” word order?
Oksana: That’s exactly it. For example, to ask “What’s your name?” you would normally say “Как тебя зовут?”. However, saying «Тебя как зовут?» sounds less “rigid” and therefore informal.
Eddie: I see, so you’re putting the object in front of the sentence it seems?
Oksana: Absolutely, that will often do the trick.
Eddie: So you can say, “Яблоки купил?” for “Have you bought the apples?” instead of saying “Ты купил яблоки?” ?
Oksana: Yes. And when it comes to questions, you can put the question word after the subject to make it sound less formal. Like, “Он где работает? - “Where does he work?”, rather than “Где он работает?”.
Eddie: Excellent! OK, let’s start with the first word.
Oksana: “Жрать” which is an informal way of saying “to eat”.
Eddie: Like to wolf down, to gorge, to stuff one’s face!
Oksana: It’s seems that you’re very familiar with this term, Eddie?
Eddie: I’m not sure if that’s a compliment.
Oksana: I always compliment you! So what other Russian words also mean “to eat”?
Eddie: The words “есть” and “кушать” both mean “to eat”.
Oksana: “Кушать” might sound more formal than “есть” to some people. Also you can say “кушать” about yourself. “Жрать” also means “to eat”, but this word conveys the idea of eating too quickly, too much or eating unsuitable things!
Eddie: Eating unsuitable things? Sounds scary.
Oksana: For example: “Он жрёт всё, что находит.” - He wolfs down everything he finds.
Eddie: And, “Хватит жрать!” - Stop stuffing yourself!
Oksana: As you can see, these terms can be used in a jovial way with people you know well, just bear in mind that some people might not like it if you speak like this in their presence.
Eddie: Very true, you may know your friend well, but not your friend’s friend. OK what’s the next word?
Oksana: “Тю-тю” meaning, gone or lost.
Eddie: This funny sounding word, which is very easy to remember and use, will certainly impress your Russian friends! Actually, it isn’t a verb, but it can be translated into English as “gone” or “lost”. You just put it directly around the thing that is supposed to be lost.
Oksana: Couple of examples are…. “Он вернулся, а кошелёк тю-тю” meaning “He came back but the wallet was already gone”. And, for example, “Все его денежки тю-тю!”, which translates to “He lost all his money!”
Eddie:He should have put it in the bank!
Oksana: Though if he had we wouldn’t have learnt that phrase.
Eddie: You’ve always got an answer for all of my jokes.
Oksana: Oh they were jokes? I’m sorry, I had no idea. I thought that...
Eddie: OK, moving swiftly on! “Однокашник” is the next word and this means a “classmate” or a “schoolmate”.
Oksana: This word is the informal version of “одноклассник”. This comes from the words “один” and “класс” or “same class”.
Eddie: The word, “однокашник” also comes from “один”, but contains the word “каша”, which means… porridge!
Oksana: In old Russian “каша” used to mean a meal that is eaten with others so “однокашник” was a person you shared meals with. However, now it’s just an informal word for “classmate”.
Eddie: Wow that’s from a meal to a classmate! Quite a transformation. How would you use it in a sentence or phrase?
Oksana: You may say: “Это Славка, мой однокашник.”, which means “This is Slavka, my classmate.”
Eddie: That’s a great word and I love its history from old Russian, pretty cool.
Oksana: It really is.
Eddie:And the fourth word we have is: “тормозить” which means “to react too slowly”.
Oksana: Yes, “тормозить” usually means “to brake”, for example: “машина тормозит” means: “The car is braking.”
Eddie: But when it’s used informally or as a joke it’s all about reacting slowing, right?
Oksana: Yes exactly that, it’s used to tell someone that they are reacting or acting too slowly.
Eddie: So, for example you could say: “Отвечай, не тормози!” – “Wake up and answer me!”
Oksana: I expect you hear that quite often!
Eddie:Are you suggesting I’m a sleepy head?
Oksana: I’m not suggesting anything!
Eddie: The other example is: “Я сегодня торможу, потому что очень устал.” which means: “I'm slow today because I'm very tired.”
Oksana: That’s a really good example actually, very popular.
Eddie: OK, the fifth and last word that your teacher will never teach you is “прикалываться”.
Oksana: And this means “to joke” or “to play”. You may know the word “шутить”, to joke. “Прикалываться” is its informal version and is much more commonly used, especially among young people. For example: “Я просто прикалываюсь.” meaning “I'm just playing.”
Eddie: Another example is: “Хватит прикалываться, скажи серьёзно!” which means “Stop joking, speak seriously!”
Oksana: The adjective “прикольный” has the same root as “прикалываться” and means “funny” or “cool”. For example: “прикольный чувак” meaning “a cool dude”.
Eddie: I know that phrase well because I hear it all the time!
Oksana: Really, Eddie?
Eddie: Absolutely!
Oksana: Are you sure you’re not getting it confused with “Хватит прикалываться, скажи серьёзно!”
Eddie: Nice recap! OK, on that note, that covers our five phrases that you’ll be very unlikely to see in any Russian language textbook.
Oksana: Informal Russian is just as important as knowing the formal way of expressing as well as knowing when to use each.
Eddie: That’s why there really is no better place to learn Russian from RussianPod101.com. That just about does it for today. Before we go, we want to tell you about a way to drastically improve your pronunciation.
Oksana: The voice recording tool...
Eddie:Yes, the voice recording tool in the premium learning center...
Oksana: Record your voice with a click of a button,
Eddie: and then play it back just as easily.
Oksana: So you record your voice, and then listen to it.
Eddie: Compare it to the native speakers...
Oksana: And adjust your pronunciation!
Eddie: This will help you improve your pronunciation fast!
Eddie: Bye, see you soon!
Oksana: Пока-пока!


Please to leave a comment.
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RussianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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The word "тормозить" is also often used in its noun form, "тормоз", which describes a slow, sluggish person. For example:

Он такой тормоз - he is such a slowcoach!

RussianPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:46 PM
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Hello Luis,

Thank you very much for your comment. Of course you can`t use these words with unknown people. Even with your friends you should be careful in usage.

Best regards, Elena

Team RussianPod101.com

Thursday at 09:30 AM
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I was discussing this lesson with a friend who is from Astrakhan. I wanted to practice my pronunciation. She asked me if this web site was for preparing foreigners to have exciting conversations with inmates in Russian prisons.

She says never, ever use жрать with anyone. She also said it was okay to use тормозить as slang in this way with other men that I'm very well acquainted with but I should never use it with a woman, no matter how well or how long we've known each other.

Jack D. Palmer
Tuesday at 05:40 PM
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Russianpod is great. One thing I would like to see is to be able to use the audio on all of the words in my word bank. If I open up one full page and want to listen to the words I can only listen to about half of the words on the page and the rest will not respond to the audio. I am pleased and use

Russianpod everyday.

I especially like the way the lessons are given in Russian and then translated. It really helps

Tuesday at 09:51 AM
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Wow! That was a quick reply. You are truly расторопный

I'm sure I will have many more questions, but I just can't think of them that quickly.:mad:

Tuesday at 09:43 AM
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You can say “быстрый, как пуля”, fast like a bullet (just like in English). But that is not a phrase to describe the way a person thinks or works, but just the way he moves.

To describe a bright, sharp, quick-witted person, we usually use the word “сообразительный”. And a person who does everything in a quick and efficient way can be called “расторопный”.

There`s another very popular word you can use about a fussy person, the one who does everything quickly but messy, tries to do a lot but the result is poor: “суетливый”. I wish this word wasn`t so popular in Russia :D

Tuesday at 09:27 AM
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That is a useful word. How do I say somebody is really, really, fast?

Thank you for another incredible lesson.