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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.

Lesson focus

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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