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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Eric here. Beginner Series Season 1, Lesson 2 – I hope she can tutor you on Russian genders.
Anna: Hello everyone and welcome back to RussianPod101.com
Eric: In our previous lesson we looked at presenting papers at the Russian consulate.
Anna: The focus of this lesson is speaking Russian to strangers.
Eric: To strangers? You mean meeting people for the first time?
Anna: Yes, meeting people for the first time on the airplane or…
Eric: You just like to speak to strangers, don’t you?
Anna: I do, Eric.
Eric: Ok. This conversation takes place on a flight to Russia.
Anna: And this conversation is between James and Natasha.
Eric: The speakers have never met before so they’ll be speaking in formal Russian. I’ll be James and Anna will be Natasha.
Eric: [Вы говорите по-русски?]
Anna: [Да, я русская. А вы?]
Eric: [Я американец. Я не очень хорошо говорю по-русски.]
Anna: [Давайте говорить по-английски!]
Eric: One time, slowly.
Anna: Еще раз, медленнее.
Eric: [Вы говорите по-русски?]
Anna: [Да, я русская. А вы?]
Eric: [Я американец. Я не очень хорошо говорю по-русски.]
Anna: [Давайте говорить по-английски!]
Eric: One time, natural native speed with the translation.
Anna: Еще раз с переводом.
Anna: [Вы говорите по-русски?]
Eric: Do you speak Russian?
Anna: [Да, я русская. А вы?]
Eric: Yes, I’m Russian. And you?
Anna: [Я американец. Я не очень хорошо говорю по-русски.]
Eric: I’m American. I don’t speak Russian very well.
Anna: [Давайте говорить по-английски!]
Eric: Let’s speak English.
Eric: Anna, [Вы говорите по-русски?]. Has anyone ever asked you this question?
Anna: No, unfortunately never. I would love to be asked this question. I would love to practice my Russian with a foreigner.
Eric: Anna, this isn’t a dating service.
Anna: I didn’t mean that.
Eric: Ok, ok. By the way, how would you ask a guy whether he is Russian or not?
Anna: I would say [Вы русский?]. In case of the masculine noun, you would use the ending [-ий] instead of [-ая], [русский] - [русская] which is used for feminine nouns, so we would say [русская] for females and feminine nouns, and [русский] for males and masculine nouns.
Eric: It’s not that easy, eh? Probably because [Я не русский].
Anna: [Ты американец.]
Eric: [А ты русская]. Let’s repeat that last little dialogue right there. I said [Я не русский], which means “I’m not Russian.” [Я не русский].
Anna: Yeah, [Ты американец] “You are American.”
Eric: One more time?
Anna: [Ты американец]
Eric: “And you are Russian.” [А ты русская]
Anna: Yes, I'm Russian. [Я русская]
Eric: So Anna, we’ve been talking about this question “Do you speak Russian?”, but I think another even more useful question, especially for beginners, would be “Do you speak English?”
Anna: Right, Eric.
Eric: So for example, Anna, if you’re talking to a stranger that you just met, how would you ask this question?
Anna: You would ask [Вы говорите по-английски?]
Eric: Break that down for us.
Anna: [вы]
Eric: “You”, formal.
Anna: [говорите]
Eric: Speak.
Anna: [по-английски]
Eric: “In English.” Literally “You speak in English?” or translated “Do you speak English?”
Anna: Right.
Eric: And if you were younger or you were talking to a child.
Anna: Or if you know the person.
Eric: Or if you know the person.
Anna: You can say [Ты говоришь по-английски?].
Eric: Ok, let’s break that down.
Anna: [ты]
Eric: “You”, informal.
Anna: [говоришь]
Eric: Speak.
Anna: [по-английски]
Eric: “In English”. “You speak in English?” or “Do you speak English?”, informal.
Anna: That’s correct.
Eric: Ok, so that’s a great phrase or question to know if you’re traveling in Russia and you want to ask someone if they speak English. Obviously you could ask them in English, “Do you speak English?” but it might be a little nicer to show off some Russian knowledge.
Anna: Perfect, Eric.
Eric: Ok, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. First word.
Anna: [говорить]
Eric: To speak.
Anna: [говорить]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [по-русски]
Eric: In Russian.
Anna: [по-русски]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [по-английски]
Eric: In English.
Anna: [по-английски]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [русская]
Eric: “Russian”, female, nationality.
Anna: [русская]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [русский]
Eric: “Russian”, male, nationality.
Anna: [русский]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [А вы?]
Eric: And you?
Anna: [А вы?]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [очень]
Eric: Very, very much, really.
Anna: [очень]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [давайте]
Eric: Let’s, shall we.
Anna: [давайте]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [американка]
Eric: “American”, female, nationality.
Anna: [американка]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [американец]
Eric: “American”, male, nationality.
Anna: [американец]
Eric: Let’s have a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word we’ll look at is…
Anna: [говорить], which is mainly used in the context of speaking languages or talking on the phone. It can also mean “to say” in phrases like “He says that”. [Он говорит, что]
Eric: In our example, we used the phrase [Я не очень хорошо говорю по-русски], which means “I don’t speak Russian very well.”
Anna: And the next phrase was [по-русски].
Eric: It’s used only in phrases such as “to speak Russian”, “to understand Russian” or “to read/write Russian”. Am I correct, Anna?
Anna: Yes, but you should also remember that it can`t be used in phrases like “to learn Russian”, “He’s Russian” or “Russian is a beautiful language”.
Eric: Yes, in this case we use the word [русский]. We also use [русский] if we are talking about a man and [русская] for a woman. To say “He is Russian”, you don’t need a verb. [Он русский], “He is Russian.”
Anna: Yeah, or something like [Я русская. А вы?], which means “I’m Russian. And you?”
Eric: [Нет, я не русский, я американец] That means, “No, I’m not Russian. I'm American.”
Anna: So [А вы?] is formal version of the question “and you?” and in informal situation will be used [А ты?].
Eric: Ok. Our next word is [очень], which literally means “very”. In our example, we introduced a phrase [Я не очень хорошо говорю по-русски]. When else can we use [очень], Anna?
Anna: Well, when we want to emphasize something. For example, [очень хорошо] means “very good”. [очень интересно] means “very interesting”. Eric, you look tired, how are you?
Eric: [очень хорошо, спасибо]
Anna: I don’t believe you. Wake up.
Eric: Ok, I'm awake. I was just thinking about this phrase [давайте], which reminds me of Russian parties when people around me kept saying [давайте выпьем] to each other.
Anna: Ok. Usual thing to hear in Russia. It means “Let’s have a drink”. We say [давайте] when we propose someone to do something. Its informal equivalent is [давай].
Eric: [давай выпьем] after class, Anna.
Anna: No way.
Eric: I figured that.

Lesson focus

Eric: Today we’re going to focus on the usage of some Russian verbs.
Anna: All Russian verbs are divided in two large groups, verbs ending in [-ить] and all other verbs.
Eric: The verbs belonging to the same group are usually conjugated in the same way. Please not that there are some exceptions. To conjugate a verb in the present, we take the infinitive of the verb, for example “to speak” [говорить] and replace it with one of the following endings. The choice of the ending depends on the subject.
Anna: In the PDF file for this lesson, you will find a table to help you learn the endings of the verbs ending in [-ить].
Eric: Can you give us some examples, Anna?
Anna: Ok, let’s look at the verb [говорить], which is “to say” in English. [Я говорю]
Eric: I speak, I say.
Anna: [ты говоришь]
Eric: You say.
Anna: [он говорит]
Eric: He says.
Anna: [она говорит]
Eric: She says.
Anna: [мы говорим]
Eric: We say.
Anna: [вы говорите]
Eric: “You say”, formal.
Anna: [они говорят]
Eric: “They say”. So if I wanted to ask someone whether he or she speaks Russian, I would say [ты говоришь по-русски].
Anna: And I would answer [да, я говорю по-русски].
Eric: And if I wanted to be little bit more formal, I would say what?
Anna: [вы говорите по-русски?]
Eric: [да, я говорю по-русски] So the answer stay the same, the only thing that changes in the question is the verb, which for informal you would be [говоришь] and formal you would be…
Anna: [говорите]
Eric: So in the exchange we just had, the question and answer and the formal example and the informal example, the answers are the same. [Да, я говорю по-русски] “Yes, I speak Russian.” But the questions are a bit different. What are the two parts that are different, Anna?
Anna: Well, the first part is definitely pronoun. In informal situations, you will use [ты] and in formal ones you would use [вы]. And also the verb changes according to the pronoun, so in informal situations I would ask [Ты говоришь по-русски].
Eric: “Do you speak Russian?” And what about for formal situation?
Anna: I would ask [Вы говорите по-русски]
Eric: What do you think is the safest bet for someone?
Anna: It’s better to go with [Вы говорите по-русски].
Eric: Formal.
Anna: Yes, formal.
Eric: Ok, and the answer is always…
Anna: Yes or no.
Eric: Alright. Ok, thanks, Anna. I think that just about does it for today. Be sure to use the line by line audio in the Learning Center. The conversations are broken down into comprehensible, bite-sized sentences you can listen to at your own convenience. Simply click on the flash button and listen to recordings of native Russian speakers again and again, until every word and syllable becomes clear. It’s the perfect complement to the Voice Recording Tool.


Anna: [До завтра]
Eric: See you tomorrow.