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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Eric here. Beginner Series Season 1, Lesson 8 – “Russian imperative – stop wondering aimlessly, please.”
Anna: Hello everyone and welcome back to RussianPod101.com
Eric: With us, you’ll learn to speak Russian like a native.
Anna: We also provide you with cultural insights and tips you won’t find in a textbook.
Eric: In the previous lesson, we focused on asking how much something was and we talked about taxis.
Anna: Ok. And the focus of this lesson is asking for directions.
Eric: Today’s conversation takes place on the street.
Anna: And again, we have James Johnson.
Eric: American tourist.
Anna: And a Russian local.
Eric: The speakers do not know each other, so they’ll be speaking formal Russian.
Anna: Eric, it’s our marketing time now, but please try to think about something new today, ok?
Eric: You mean a new voice?
Anna: A new voice, yeah.
Eric: I haven’t practiced this one for a while, but I have a Russian [бабушка].
Anna: Really?
Eric: A Russian grandmother.
Anna: I’d love to hear this.
Eric: Ok, well, let’s see what we can do. Drastically improve your Russian with the voice recording tool… Oh, my god, that’s horrible. Let’s… I can only do it in Russian like [здравствуйте, как ваши дела].
Anna: Yes, please, Eric, use your normal voice.
Eric: I don’t mind. Drastically improve your pronunciation with the voice recording tool in the Premium Learning Center. Record your voice with the click of a button and play back what you record just as easily. This tool is the perfect complement to the line by line audio.
Anna: That’s much better, Eric.
Eric: I think I’ll stick to my real voice for this lesson.
Anna: Ok. Let’s take a look at today’s conversation.
Eric: So I’ll be James…
Anna: And I’ll be the Russian local.
Eric: Ok, here we go.
Eric: Извините. Скажите, пожалуйста, как пройти в метро?
Anna: Идите прямо, потом поверните направо.
Eric: Спасибо.
Eric: Once again, slowly.
Anna: Еще раз, медленнее.
Eric: Извините. Скажите, пожалуйста, как пройти в метро?
Anna: Идите прямо, потом поверните направо.
Eric: Спасибо.
Eric: One time, natural native speed with translation.
Anna: Еще раз, с английским переводом.
Anna: [ Извините. Скажите, пожалуйста, как пройти в метро?]
Eric: Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the subway, please?
Anna: [Идите прямо, потом поверните направо.]
Eric: Go straight on, then turn right.
Anna: [Спасибо.]
Eric: Thank you.
Eric: Alright, Anna, how good are you with directions? I'm infamous for getting completely lost wherever I travel, even with the directions.
Anna: I always knew you were a lost soul, Eric.
Eric: [Не смешно] Not funny. That wasn’t funny actually. But seriously, is the way James asked for directions, [извините, скажите, пожалуйста, как пройти в метро ], a pretty common and polite way to ask someone for directions?
Anna: Yes, Eric. It’s very polite and common phrase to use when you are lost.
Eric: And I actually use this quite a bit cause I'm always getting lost. So Anna, is it common in Russia to ask a person on the street for direction?
Anna: Yes, it’s pretty common. And you’d better go for a person on the street rather than to the police officer.
Eric: Ok, as we’ll find out in a few lessons from now.
Anna: Yeah, it’s going to be an interesting story about Eric.
Eric: Stay tuned. Ok, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Eric: The first word is…
Anna: [направо]
Eric: Right.
Anna: [направо]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [налево]
Eric: Left.
Anna: [налево]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [прямо]
Eric: Straight, straight on.
Anna: [прямо]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [поверните]
Eric: Turn – in the command form, formal or plural.
Anna: [поверните]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [идите]
Eric: Go – command form, formal or plural.
Anna: [идите]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [как пройти в]
Eric: How to get to.
Anna: [как пройти в]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [скажите пожалуйста]
Eric: Could you tell me, please?
Anna: [скажите пожалуйста]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [потом]
Eric: Later, then.
Anna: [потом]
Eric: Let’s have a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Anna: And the first phrase we’ll look at is [скажите, пожалуйста].
Eric: Which means…
Anna: “Tell me, please” and it’s commonly used to address a passer-by to ask for directions or the time.
Eric: So Anna, this is a formal expression, right?
Anna: This is formal expression and is used with people you don’t know or want to be polite with.
Eric: Great. Next we have…
Anna: [идите] which is used to ask or tell someone to go somewhere on foot.
Eric: And the next word is…
Anna: [поверните]
Eric: Which is formal, again.
Anna: Yes, it’s again formal and it means “turn”.
Eric: “Turn”. [поверните направо], right?
Anna: Or [налево].
Eric: [налево] is “left”?
Anna: “Left” and [направо] is “right”.
Eric: Next we have?
Anna: Next we have [прямо]?
Eric: What does [прямо] mean?
Anna: [прямо] means something in between [направо] and [налево].
Eric: Straight on.
Anna: “Straight on”. But sometimes it can also mean “directly” or “frankly”.
Eric: As in talk to me straight?
Anna: Yeah, I can say Eric, [скажи мне прямо].
Eric: “Talk to me straight”, ok.
Anna: Yeah.
Eric: But we never have that problem, Anna. You’re always pretty straight with me.
Anna: I hope we would never have it.
Eric: No, I don’t think so. So Anna, if I say [идите налево], is that ok?
Anna: Yeah, it’s ok. It means “go left”.
Eric: “Go left”. Is [поверните] common?
Anna: If you drive a car, for example, and if you’re asking for directions, you can use this.
Eric: But on foot?
Anna: On foot as well. You’re turning at some point, right? You cannot go straight.
Eric: Ok.
Anna: All the time.
Eric: So we have [идите налево] would be “go left”.
Anna: Go left.
Eric: Or [поверните налево] “turn left”.
Anna: Turn left.
Eric: Either or.
Anna: I guess you could use both, but it’s better to say [поверните], [поверните направо] or [поверните налево].
Eric: Ok, got you. And the last word we’ll look at is…
Anna: [потом]
Eric: Which in this context means “then”. Can you give us an example with all of the vocabulary together?
Anna: Ok, so…
Eric: Let me ask you for directions here real quick. [Извините. Скажите, пожалуйста, как пройти в банк? ]
Anna: [Идите прямо, потом поверните направо]
Eric: [Спасибо]
Anna: So we played the dialogue again, right?
Eric: Yeah, I guess that wasn’t very original, was it?
Anna: Ok, at least we didn’t read from the script.
Eric: So Anna, how did you use [потом] in this example?
Anna: So notice I wanted to combine two sentences and I said “First go straight and then turn” so I used [сначало идите прямо, потом поверните].
Eric: Ok, [потом] “then”, “then turn”.
Anna: Yes.

Lesson focus

Eric: Ok, great. Now let’s have a look at the grammar in this lesson. The imperative or command form in Russian is used to ask or tell someone to do something. It isn’t impolite to use the imperative form even with people you don’t know. Is that correct, Anna?
Anna: Yeah, it’s perfect, Eric. If you add [пожалуйста] it becomes a polite request.
Eric: Ok, so if I say to you [скажите, пожалуйста, кто это]?
Anna: Could you tell me who it is?
Eric: Good. Or [повтори, пожалуйста].
Anna: Can you repeat it, please?
Eric: That’s a really good phrase to know. [повтори, пожалуйста]
Anna: I agree, Eric.
Eric: And if I was speaking to someone formally, how would I say that?
Anna: [повторите, пожалуйста]
Eric: [повторите, пожалуйста]. Maybe you didn’t understand something? Could you say this?
Anna: Yes, of course. It’s the right phrase to use.
Eric: [повторите, пожалуйста]. Also, the command form can be used to give orders, of course. [иди сюда]
Anna: Come here.
Eric: This was my favorite one. I heard this a lot.
Anna: Really?
Eric: Yeah.
Anna: With whom did you use it?
Eric: I didn’t use it so much, but the host family I was living with, brothers and sisters used it a lot with each other. So I heard [иди сюда].
Anna: Ok, ok. But it’s not that bad as it sounds.
Eric: Yeah, I think maybe the tone here… if you say [иди сюда] that’s like “Get over here, you’re in trouble.” [иди сюда]
Anna: That’s right.
Eric: “Come here, come here, come here. I want to show you something or…” Yeah. So the tone is important on this one.
Anna: And also in an informal situation, if you use [ты] with someone, the imperative form usually ends with [-и] or [-й].
Eric: Let’s give some examples, Eric.
Anna: [иди]
Eric: “Come” or “go”.
Anna: [скажи]
Eric: Tell.
Anna: [повтори]
Eric: Repeat.
Anna: [дай]
Eric: Give.
Anna: [слушай]
Eric: Listen.
Anna: [работай]
Eric: “Work”. Ok, Anna, if we add the [-те] to all of the verbs we just mentioned, that will make them polite, right?
Anna: Yes, that’s true.
Eric: Let’s do these verbs again with the formal command.
Anna: Ok. [идите]
Eric: Go.
Anna: [скажите]
Eric: Tell.
Anna: [повторите]
Eric: Repeat.
Anna: [дайте]
Eric: Give.
Anna: [слушайте]
Eric: Listen.
Anna: [работайте]
Eric: And “work”.


Eric: Ok, Anna, that just about does it for today’s lesson.
Anna: Again, stop by and leave us a comment.
Eric: We’d love to hear from you. Alright, we’ll see you later.
Anna: [До встречи]