Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
John: Hi everyone, and welcome back to RussianPod101.com. This is Business Russian for Beginners, Season 1, Lesson 12 - Asking for Help in a Difficult Russian Business Situation. I’m John.
Karina: Привет, I'm Karina.
John: In this lesson, you’ll learn How to Ask for Help in a Difficult Situation. The conversation takes place at an Office.
Karina: It's between Linda and Alexander.
John: The speakers are co-workers, so they’ll use formal Russian. Okay, let's listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Линда: Извините за беспокойство, но не могли бы Вы мне помочь?
Александр: Конечно, в чем проблема?
Линда: Принтер заело, вы знаете как он работает?
Александр: Дайте посмотреть...
Линда: Большое Вам спасибо!
John: Listen to the conversation one time slowly.
Линда: Извините за беспокойство, но не могли бы Вы мне помочь?
Александр: Конечно, в чем проблема?
Линда: Принтер заело, вы знаете как он работает?
Александр: Дайте посмотреть...
Линда: Большое Вам спасибо!
John: Listen to the conversation with the English translation
Linda: I'm sorry to bother, could you help me?
Alexander: Sure, is there any problem?
Linda: The printer is stuck, do you know how it works?
Alexander: Let me see...
Linda: Thank you so much!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
John: What are the dos and don’ts when asking a Russian colleague for help?
Karina: Russians are a very generous people, so receiving what you asked for shouldn't be a problem. It’s normal when there is a parental type of relationship between junior and senior team members.
John: That sounds reassuring.
Karina: The reverse side of this fact is that Russians also like giving advice about any problem possible, which can be quite annoying sometimes.
John: So don't hesitate to ask for help in the office, but be prepared to receive more information than you need. Karina, what is the Russian for "to ask for help"?
Karina: просить о помощи
John: Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
John: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is..
Karina: беспокойство [natural native speed]
John: bothering, worrying
Karina: беспокойство[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: беспокойство [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Karina: помогать [natural native speed]
John: to help
Karina: помогать[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: помогать [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Karina: проблема [natural native speed]
John: problem
Karina: проблема[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: проблема [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Karina: принтер [natural native speed]
John: printer
Karina: принтер[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: принтер [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Karina: заедать [natural native speed]
John: to get stuck, to jam
Karina: заедать[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: заедать [natural native speed]
John: Next we have..
Karina: дать [natural native speed]
John: to give
Karina: дать [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: дать [natural native speed]
John: And last..
Karina: посмотреть [natural native speed]
John: to look, to take a look
Karina: посмотреть[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Karina: посмотреть [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
John: Let's have a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first phrase is..
Karina: Дайте посмотреть...
John: meaning "Let me see..."
Karina: This phrase consists of the modal verb дать or давать "let" and the verb посмотреть "to have a look." The prefix по means "to try to".
John: Can you give us an example using this word?
Karina: Sure. For example, you can say.. Дайте посмотреть, должно быть где-то здесь.
John: ..which means "Let me see, (it) must be somewhere here."
Karina: Phrases using дать, "let," can also express emotions like anger or irritation. For example, дай мне поработать means "let me work," or дайте мне слово сказать means "let me say a word."
John: The personal pronoun мне "me" is usually skipped as it will give the phrase even more emotional emphasis. Okay, what's the next word?
Karina: заедать
John: meaning "to get stuck, to jam" This verb is usually used when speaking about some machines or devices.
Karina: You can also use this when you can't open the door, as in дверь заело meaning "the door is stuck."
John: Can you give us an example using this word?
Karina: Sure. For example, you can say.. Кажется, эту дверь заело.
John: .. which means "Seems that this door is stuck."
Karina: This verb has a homophone, заедать, meaning "to chase down with"
John: The homophone is usually used when swallowing something while drinking or also to mean "to eat too much because of stress," referring to emotional eating disorders.
Okay, now onto the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

John: In this lesson, you'll learn about How to Ask for Help in a Difficult Situation. Let’s start from the example in the dialogue
Karina: Извините за беспокойство, но не могли бы Вы мне помочь?
John: which means
Karina: “Sorry for bothering you, but can you help me?”
John: Let’s have a closer look at this sentence. The formula is, apologizing for bothering first, and then adding the request.
Karina: Извините за беспокойство meaning “sorry for bothering you,” usually comes as a set. Then you come to the main idea by first adding но, “but.”
John: Asking for help itself uses the same formula we learned in a previous lesson, so let’s review the main points.
Karina: The negative form of verb “can” - не могли -makes it more polite. The hesitational, бы, meaning “if” makes it even more polite, but you can omit it if “can” is in the present tense. Finally, remember to use the polite, Вы, “you,” if you are speaking to your boss.
John: Okay, now let’s see some possible answers to this kind of request.
Karina: As in the dialogue, the other person could say в чём проблема?
John: meaning “What's the problem?”
Karina: If you are the one who has to say this, be careful to not say Какая проблема?, which sounds very informal and even aggressive, so Russians prefer to ask в чём проблема? or что случилось? - which means, “What’s happened?”
John: Can you use this also when talking to your boss?
Karina: When asking your boss, use the longer version, у Вас возникла какая-то проблема?
John: which means “Some problem has occurred?”
Karina: The longer version includes a personal pronoun with the preposition у meaning “at, by.” All together, it’s: у Вас
John: Usually this preposition is not translated in English.
Karina: Then, it follows the indefinite pronoun, какая-то, in the feminine form, meaning “some.” And finally, возникла проблема, literally meaning “the problem occurred.”
John: This last phrase is made up of the past form of the verb and a noun in the nominative case.
Karina: You can also say, возник вопрос, literally meaning “the question occurred,” or возникло решение, literally meaning, “the decision occurred.”

Outro

John: Okay, that’s all for this lesson. Thank you for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time! Bye!
Karina: Пока!

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