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Lesson Transcript

Eric: Beginner Series Season 2, Lesson 1 – Loosen the red tape to get your vacation start head.
Anna: Hello, everyone. I’m Anna and welcome to RussianPod101.com.
Eric: With us you’ll learn to speak Russian with fun and effective lessons.
Anna: We also provide you with cultural insights.
Eric: And tips you won’t find in a textbook. The focus of this lesson is short adjectives.
Anna: This conversation takes place in a Russian consulate.
Eric: The conversation is between unlucky Kevin, who wants to go to Russia, and a consulate officer.
Anna: And the speakers don’t know each other, therefore they will be speaking formal Russian.
Eric: If you haven’t already, please stop by RussianPod101.com.
Anna: And sign up for your free lifetime account.
Eric: You can sign up in less than 30 seconds.
Anna: So let’s listen to today’s conversation.
Eric: I’ll be playing unlucky Kevin.
Anna: And I'm playing consulate officer.
Eric: Here we go.
Eric: Здравствуйте, моя виза готова? Вот квитанция.
Anna: Нет,еще не готова. Приходите завтра.
Eric: Как завтра! У меня завтра утром самолет!
Eric: Once again, slowly.
Anna: Еще раз, медленнее.
Eric: Здравствуйте, моя виза готова? Вот квитанция.
Anna: Нет,еще не готова. Приходите завтра.
Eric: Как завтра! У меня завтра утром самолет!
Eric: One time, natural native speed with translation.
Anna: Еще раз, с переводом.
Anna: Здравствуйте, моя виза готова? Вот квитанция.
Eric: Hello. Is my Visa ready? Here’s the receipt.
Anna: Нет,еще не готова. Приходите завтра.
Eric: No, it isn’t ready yet. Come tomorrow.
Anna: Как завтра! У меня завтра утром самолет!
Eric: What do you mean tomorrow? My plane is leaving tomorrow morning.
Anna: So Eric, did you have any problems with your visa to Russia?
Eric: Actually, I didn’t. I used a travel agency and they filled out all the paperwork for me and it was quite easy.
Anna: So you were lucky, Eric.
Eric: Very lucky. So in our first beginner series, we talked about [регистрация] or…
Anna: Registration.
Eric: And if you don’t want to do it alone, which can be difficult because you have to get a person to vouch for you basically, right?
Anna: Right.
Eric: It might be easier just to have an agency do all the work for you and you play a flat fee, right?
Anna: Right. But what about you, Eric? So you did it by yourself, right?
Eric: No. Well, actually, I got the Visa through a company.
Anna: Right.
Eric: And the registration I did by myself.
Anna: Ok. So was it difficult for you?
Eric: No, I just got the hotel to give me a stamp.
Anna: Oh, that’s great. Lucky Eric.
Eric: Yeah. So Anna, I noticed some anger in Kevin’s voice. Do you think this was warranted? Do people often speak like this to Russian officials or to workers, like [как завтра]?
Anna: Oh, you know, Eric, I think it’s kind of normal. If you’re just frustrated about the fact that your plane is leaving tomorrow but you don’t have a Visa yet. I mean it’s normal for everyone. In Russia, you can allow yourself to speak like that, I guess.
Eric: I don’t think he’s going to get anywhere with the consulate officer if he says [как завтра]. She’s going to be like, “Ah, actually, it’s next week. Actually, it’s in two weeks from now. Sorry about that.” That’s what I would do if I were the consulate officer. Alright, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Eric: Our first word is…
Anna: [Виза]
Eric: A Visa.
Anna: [Виза]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [Готов]
Eric: Ready.
Anna: [Готов]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [Квитанция]
Eric: A receipt.
Anna: [Квитанция]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [Приходить]
Eric: To come.
Anna: [Приходить]
Eric: Next.
Anna: [Как завтра!]
Eric: What do you mean tomorrow?
Anna: [Как завтра!]
Eric: Ok, let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Anna: And the first word we’ll look at is [Готов]. Actually, that makes me think of pioneers.
Eric: Pioneers? Like you mean American pioneers in the… no.
Anna: No, Eric. Pioneers was the name for scouts in Russia during the soviet times. They used to wear the red ties and their motto was [Будь готов!]. That means…
Eric: “Be ready”? Similar to the American scouts. “Always be prepared”.
Anna: Oh, I didn’t know that. Were you a boy scout?
Eric: No, but I had a friend who was an eagle scout. He had all the merit badges so I know a little bit.
Anna: Ok.
Eric: So Anna, are there girl scouts in Russia?
Anna: I don’t think so.
Eric: No thin mints? No good cookies?
Anna: No. No. I don’t remember this, at least.
Eric: For non-American listeners, the girl scouts sell really good cookies every year for a fundraiser and it’s a great time of the year because they are really good. But did the pioneers… did they sell cookies?
Anna: No.
Eric: Was that what Russian scouts were all about?
Anna: No. It was a different thing.
Eric: Oh, ok. So getting back to the lesson, I’d like to ask you, Anna, when Kevin says [Как завтра?] in the conversation, doesn’t [как] mean “how”?
Anna: That’s right, Eric, but you can also use [как] to express surprise or anger. You use it directly before the word you’re surprised or angry about. For example, if someone borrows your car and they crash it, they will tell you [Я разбил твою машину].
Eric: Which means “I’ve crashed your car”.
Anna: Exactly. And what would you reply?
Eric: [Как разбил?]
Anna: Right. “What? What do you mean crashed?” And, you know, the intonation is very important here. You should sound angry and the stress should be on [как].
Eric: Another important word is…
Anna: [квитанция]
Eric: When you pay your electricity bill, for example, you get a [квитанция], which is a piece of paper proving that you actually paid.
Anna: Right. That’s right, Eric.
Eric: So can I also use this word for the check I get when I buy something in a supermarket?
Anna: You could use this, but it’s better to say [чек] instead of [квитанция].
Eric: Like “check” in English. Same word.
Anna: Right.
Eric: Ok, there you go.

Lesson focus

Eric: Now let’s focus on grammar. In the conversation, Kevin asks [Моя виза готова?] so I know that [готова] means “ready”, but it doesn’t look like an adjective. I thought feminine adjectives end in [-ая] like [большая собака], “a big dog”.
Anna: That’s right, Eric, but [готова] is a short adjective. There are two types of adjectives in Russian.
Eric: And short adjectives don’t go before a noun?
Anna: No, they go after the subject. They can’t possibly go before a noun. For example, [Этот студент умен].
Eric: “This student is intelligent.”
Anna: And [Эта девушка красива].
Eric: “This girl is beautiful.” So these were examples of short adjectives, Anna?
Anna: Right.
Eric: Can you say the short adjective, just the short adjective, once more?
Anna: [Умен]
Eric: Intelligent.
Anna: [Красива]
Eric: “Beautiful”. So instead of [Эта девушка красивая].
Anna: Right.
Eric: [Это красивая девушка.] “This pretty girl”. Here it’s [Эта девушка красива.] - “This girl is beautiful”.
Anna: Right. So it’s more like a statement. It’s a fact.
Eric: Ok.
Anna: [Эта девушка красива.]
Eric: There you go. So do the short adjectives change depending on the gender of the nouns as full adjectives do? For example, if I speak about myself, I wouldn’t say [Я готова], I would say [Я готов].
Anna: Yes, short adjectives change depending on whether they refer to masculine, feminine, neutral or plural noun or pronoun. Let’s take [готов] as an example. We say [Он готов].
Eric: “He is ready.”
Anna: [Готов] is masculine. [Она готова] means…
Eric: “She is ready.”
Anna: [Готова ] is feminine. [Письмо готово] means…
Eric: “The letter is ready.” So [Письмо] which means “letter”…
Anna: Right.
Eric: That’s neutral, right?
Anna: That’s right.
Eric: Ok. So it sounds a lot like the feminine form.
Anna: Yeah, you’re right, Eric, but they’re spelled differently. The feminine form ends in A and the neutral form ends in O. However, their pronunciation is similar because when O isn’t stressed, it’s pronounced almost like A. For example, [Девушка красива].
Eric: So [Письмо] is neutral, right?
Anna: Right.
Eric: Because it ends in an O. But then we say [Письмо готово] and [Готово] ends with an O but it sounds like the feminine form [Готова].
Anna: That’s right, Eric. Even though they sound similar, they’re spelled differently. In feminine form, the short adjectives ends in A, and the neutral form short adjectives ends in O. And when O is not stressed, it’s pronounced as A.
Eric: So Anna, could you give an example again with the neutral side by side with the feminine?
Anna: Alright. For example, [Я готова]. “I’m ready.”
Eric: Ok. And that was feminine.
Anna: Right. And [Письмо готово].
Eric: And that’s neutral.
Anna: “The letter is ready.”
Eric: Ok, so even though they sound the same, in Russian it’s spelled differently.
Anna: Right.
Eric: Ok. Just to recap, would I say [Я готова] with an O?
Anna: For yourself?
Eric: For me.
Anna: No, you cannot say this. For masculine nouns you should use [готов].
Eric: [готов] There you go. So masculine [Я готов].
Anna: Right.
Eric: Feminine.
Anna: Я готова
Eric: And neutral?
Anna: [Письмо готово]
Eric: “The letter’s ready.” There we go. One last thing - if we want to say “they are ready”, Anna, how do we do that?
Anna: [Они готовы]
Eric: [Готовы]. Okay. So this ending is…
Anna: [ы]
Eric: [ы] Alright. [Спасибо], Anna.
Anna: [Спасибо], Eric.
Eric: I think that just about does it for today.


Anna: Before we go, we want to tell you about a way to drastically improve your pronunciation.
Eric: Drastically.
Anna: The voice recording tool.
Eric: Yes, the voice recording tool in the Premium Learning Center.
Anna: Record your voice with the click of a button.
Eric: And then play it back just as easily.
Anna: So you record your voice and then listen to it.
Eric: Compare it to the native speakers.
Anna: And adjust your pronunciation.
Eric: This will help you improve your pronunciation fast. Thanks for joining us for this new beginner series. We hope you enjoy and learn a lot this new season.
Anna: [Спасибо и пока]
Eric: [Пока]


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