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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Beginner Series Season 2, Lesson 2 - Russian tour guides may lead you to early retirement.
Anna: Hello. My name is Anna. And welcome back to beginner series season 2 at RussianPod101.com where we study modern Russian in a fun, educational format.
Eric: So brush up on the Russian that you started learning long ago or start learning today.
Anna: Thanks for being here with us for this lesson.
Eric: Anna, what are we looking at in this lesson?
Anna: The focus of this lesson is expressing annoyance.
Eric: This conversation takes place at an airport check-in desk.
Anna: The conversation is between unlucky Kevin and the check-in assistant.
Eric: Again, the speakers do not know each other so they’ll be speaking formal Russian.
Anna: Let’s listen to today’s conversation.
Eric: Ok. I’ll be unlucky Kevin, again.
Anna: And I’ll be playing check-in assistant.
Eric: Here we go.
Anna: Смотрите! На вашей сумке лопнула молния! Нельзя сдавать в багаж открытую сумку!
Eric: Черт! Что же мне теперь делать?
Eric: Once again, slowly.
Anna: Еще раз, медленнее.
Anna: Смотрите! На вашей сумке лопнула молния! Нельзя сдавать в багаж открытую сумку!
Eric: Черт! Что же мне теперь делать?
Eric: One time, natural native speed with translation.
Anna: Еще раз, с переводом.
Anna: Смотрите! На вашей сумке лопнула молния! Нельзя сдавать в багаж открытую сумку!
Eric: Look, the zipper on your bag is broken. You can’t check in an open bag.
Anna: Черт! Что же мне теперь джелать?
Eric: Oh, no. What should I do now?
Eric: So, Anna, I noticed in the conversation - of course I go right to it - the word [черт].
Anna: Right.
Eric: Which means - and we’ll talk about this later but…
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: Just for our listeners, what does this mean in Russian?
Anna: Directly it means “devil”.
Eric: Devil.
Anna: Yeah, but you use it when you want to say “Oh, no”.
Eric: It’s pretty strong, right?
Anna: Right. It’s very strong.
Eric: So would this be a vulgar word or a swear word in Russian?
Anna: Yes, it’s a swear word. And maybe you noticed, Russians use a lot of swear words. It’s kind of part of Russian culture, I would say.
Eric: Can you - well, maybe we can leave that for another lesson.
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: That could be a whole… We could even do a series on that.
Anna: That’s right.
Eric: So this word, [черт], is it rude to use in front of your family or friends?
Anna: It’s not really rude, but it implies that you’re really angry about something.
Eric: So how could you say this word a little bit nicer when you’re frustrated with something?
Anna: I guess it depends on your intonation. So if you say [черт] it means like you’re really frustrated. And if you say [ммм.. черт], it’s a light way to say it so…
Eric: So intonation is key.
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: Is there another way you can say…
Anna: There are some different words but I want to talk about them later.
Eric: Ok.
Anne: In our vocabulary part.
Eric: Great. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Anna: Right.
Eric: Our first word is…
Anna: [смотреть]
Eric: To look, to watch.
Anna: [смотреть]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [сумка]
Eric: A bag, handbag.
Anna: [сумка]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [лопнуть]
Eric: To burst, to break.
Anna: [лопнуть]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [молния]
Eric: Zipper.
Anna: [молния]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [нельзя]
Eric: You can’t, you mustn’t, it’s forbidden.
Anna: [нельзя]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [сдавать в багаж]
Eric: To check baggage in.
Anna: [сдавать в багаж]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [открытый]
Eric: Open, opened.
Anna: [открытый]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [черт]
Eric: Devil.
Anna: [черт]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [теперь]
Eric: Now.
Anna: [теперь]
Eric: Ok, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. And the first phrase we’ll look at is…
Anna: [черт]
Eric: Oh, is something wrong, Anna?
Anna: No, I was just saying that we’ll look at the word [черт].
Eric: Oh, I see. I thought you were, maybe, angry about something. From our previous lesson we had that angry other word.
Anna: Right.
Eric: It did so well.
Anna: Ok. Well, we do use [черт] when we are angry about something. For example, in the dialogue Kevin is very annoyed because the zipper on his bag is broken, so he says [черт].
Eric: So we went over this in the beginning of the lesson. Just to recap, is this rude, Anna?
Anna: Not really. It’s informal, but it’s not rude. And literally, it means “devil”.
Eric: Are there any other expressions like this?
Anna: Yes, of course. For example, it is [блин] that literally means “pancake”.
Eric: Pancake?
Anna: Yes.
Eric: Oh, pancake!
Anna: [блин!]
Eric: [блин!]
Anna: [блин!]
Eric: Ok. So, Anna, this pancake word, anyone can use this, children?
Anna: Yeah, actually it’s the first one. It’s the first we learn, I guess. [блин!]
Eric: Ok. So our listeners can say this one for sure.
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: Alright. And what else do we have?
Anna: Sometimes we can say [елки-палки].
Eric: I thought [елка] was a Christmas tree.
Anna: It is a Christmas tree or a [fir] tree in general. And [палки] are “sticks”.
Eric: What a strange expression. Where does it come from, Anna?
Anna: I have absolutely no idea, I’m afraid.
Eric: Maybe one of our listeners knows where this comes from, and if you could leave a comment about the origin of this expression, it would be very helpful and very nice of you.
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: And what does this mean? It’s just like “shoot”, “darn it”.
Anna: Something very close to [блин].
Eric: It’s like when you’re frustrated, annoyed.
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: How would you say it? Like…
Anna: [елки-палки]
Eric: So what’s our next word, Anna?
Anna: It is [лопнуть].
Eric: Which means “to burn” or “break”. So I can say [моя машина лопнула].
Anna: No, that would mean that it burst like a balloon. You should say [моя машина сломалась].
Eric: Anna, can we translate that for our listeners?
Anna: Yes. [моя]
Eric: My.
Anna: [машина]
Eric: Car.
Anna: [сломалась]
Eric: Broke down.
Anna: Right.
Eric: What’s our next word?
Anna: It is [молния].
Eric: We’ve heard this before. Does it have anything to do with a storm?
Anna: It does. Actually, [молния] is “lightning” but we use the same word for zipper.
Eric: Any connection.
Anna: Lightning and a zipper do seem to have something in common. Don’t you think so?
Eric: We’ll leave it up to our listeners to fill in those missing pieces. Alright, and our next word is…
Anna: [теперь] which means “now”.
Eric: Is this the same as [сейчас], Anna?
Anna: Sometimes it’s the same, but it’s connected more to the past. For example, when I say [теперь, я понимаю], it means that “I didn’t understand before, but now I understand”.
Eric: Anna, let’s break down that sentence.
Anna: [теперь]
Eric: Now.
Anna: [я]
Eric: I.
Anna: [понимаю]
Eric: Understand.
Anna: So anyway, if you are not sure which one to use, it’s safer to use [сейчас].
Eric: Or as the Russians would say [щас].
Anna: [щас], right.
Eric: Ok, Anna, let’s move on to the grammar. The check-in assistant in the dialogue says [смотрите] or “look”. I’ve also heard [смотри], what’s the difference?
Anna: Alright. The check-in assistant doesn’t know Kevin, so she uses the formal [смотрите]. If you were talking to your friend, you would say [смотри].
Eric: So, as you can see, you can use the word [смотреть] to attract someone’s attention. For example…
Anna: [смотри, птичка!]
Eric: “Look! A little bird.” Can I also use it in the sense as to look at something or somebody?
Anna: Yes, but in this case you need the preposition [на] plus the accusative case. For example, [почему ты смотришь на меня?].
Eric: “Why are you looking at me?” Let’s break that down, Anna.
Anna: [почему]
Eric: Why.
Anna: [ты]
Eric: You.
Anna: [смотришь]
Eric: Look.
Anna: [на меня]
Eric: “At me”. Or “Why are you looking at me?”
Anna: Right.
Eric: I remember, actually, I was looking at a Russian girl and I thought I recognized her. I'm not just saying that, I really thought I recognized her. And she told me [Че смотришь, глаза испортишь!].
Anna: Oh, no.
Eric: I do remember that. Can we break that down for our listeners? If you’re staring at someone, they may say this to you. In Russian.
Anna: [че]
Eric: The informal or impolite version of [что] or “what”.
Anna: [смотришь]
Eric: “Look” or “What you looking at?”
Anna: [глаза]
Eric: Eyes.
Anna: [испортишь]
Eric: Are ruined?
Anna: Will be ruined.
Eric: “Will be ruined?” “So you’re going to ruin your eyes, what are you looking at?” It was pretty rude.
Anna: It’s very rude, actually.
Eric: And I didn’t know how to respond. I was just [ниче].
Anna: Like [блин]. Didn’t work.
Eric: [елки-палки]
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: This, this could be the time to use our new words this lesson. I wish I had had this lesson before. I didn’t know what to say. I was like [извини] would be what in Russian?
Anna: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.
Eric: Yeah. I will never look your way again. Ok. So do you always use the preposition [на] after [смотреть]?
Anna: No, not always. For example, in the expression [to watch TV] you don’t need [на]. For example [я смотрю телевизор].
Eric: “I’m watching TV.” So there’s no [на], [я смотрю на телевизор], no? It’s just [я смотрю телевизор]…
Anna: Yes.
Eric: [телевизор] Ok. So [смотреть] also means “to watch”.
Anna: Yes.
Eric: This is a versatile verb here.
Anna: “To look” and “to watch”.
Eric: Ok.
Anna: Theirs is another interesting thing about [смотреть]. Even though the verb ends in [еть] we conjugate it like the verb ends in [-ить].
Eric: What do you mean?
Anna: Something like [говорить].
Eric: Ok. So why don’t we conjugate this in the present tense?
Anna: Yeah, that’ll be great. [я смотрю]
Eric: I look.
Anna: [ты смотришь]
Eric: You look – informal.
Anna: [он,она смотрит]
Eric: He or she looks.
Anna: [мы смотрим]
Eric: We look.
Anna: [вы смотрите]
Eric: You look – formal or plural. And lastly…
Anna: [они смотрят]
Eric: “They look”. Ok, Anna, I think that will do it for today’s lesson.
Anna: Ok, some of our listeners already know about the most powerful tool at RussianPod101.com.
Eric: That would be me.
Anna: Listener.
Eric: I am a tool. No. Actually, we mean line by line audio.
Anna: This is the perfect tool for rapidly improving listening comprehension.
Eric: By listening to the lines of the conversation again and again.
Anna: Listen until every word and syllable becomes clear. Basically, we break down the dialogue into comprehensible, bite-sized sentences.
Eric: You can try the line by line audio in the Premium Learning Center at RussianPod101.com.
Anna: Thanks for listening.
Eric: And please leave us a comment.
Anna: [до встречи!]
Eric: [пока-пока!]


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Tuesday at 6:30 pm
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Чёрт! can be translated as "oh no!" but literally it means "devil." What word would you use in a similar situation in other languages (for example, Spanish or Japanese)? Do you know any other Russian words used to express mild annoyance that were not mentioned in this lesson? (Please, be polite...) :)

Tuesday at 4:07 pm
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Hi A,

Thanks for your comment. May I please know where you spotted this sentence? I'll forward it to my team and edit if necessary.



Team RussianPod101.com

Wednesday at 9:58 pm
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"я не смотрю фильмы" = "I don't watch any sports"?

I don't think so.

Check your stuff! It's full of flaws and errors.

Sunday at 1:21 pm
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Hello Catherine Bouveyron,

Thank you for sharing with us :)


Team RussianPod101.com

Catherine Bouveyron
Sunday at 2:11 am
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In French: Zut alors!

It sounds nice!

Monday at 10:26 am
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Hello François,

Because bag here is the object of an action (a direct object).


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Friday at 8:51 pm
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Why "открытую сумку"? Can someone please explain the reason of the accusative case in this example?

Thursday at 9:11 am
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Hello Ron,

Basically, the phrase “Что же мне теперь делать?” is a short version of “Что же мне теперь нужно делать?”. The word нужно (must, should, have to) is skipped here.

With the word нужно we use nouns or pronouns in Dative case. Even though we skipped нужно, мне still should be in dative case.

Please let me know if my answer is unclear.

Best regards,


Team RussianPod101.com

Thursday at 3:18 am
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During the dialogue, Kevin says, "Что же мне теперь делать?" ("What do I do now?")

Why is the dative case (мне) used here?

Thursday at 10:10 am
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Hello Jason,

Thank you for the positive feedback!

We're glad to hear that you enjoy learning with RussianPod101.com. :thumbsup:

Let us know if you have any question.



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Wednesday at 8:19 pm
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@ Laura: That Rosetta Stone was the WORST $1000 I ever spent! (actually, my MOTHER spent! it was a gift! :flushed: ) I've learned more here in a WEEK than I did with a YEAR of that one!