Dialogue - Russian

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Vocabulary

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справа от sprava ot to the right of; on someone or something's right
слева от slyeva ot to the left of; on the left of; on someone or something's left
знаменитый znamenityy famous, well-known
Ого ogo wow!
здание zdanie building
дворец dvorets palace
музей muzey museum
напротив naprotiv opposite
находиться nakhaditsa to be, to locate, to be situated
уважаемые uvazhayemyye dear

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of this Lesson is How to Say "This is..." and "This is not.." in Russian
Нет, это не банк, это торговый центр.
"No, this is not a bank, this is a shopping center."


 

Grammatical structure:

Q: Это музей?
Eto muzey?

A: Да, это музей.
Da, eto muzey.

A: Нет, это не музей.
Net, eto ne muzey.
          
Q: "Is this a museum?"
A: "Yes, this is a museum."
A: "No, this is not a museum."

This grammar is quite simple. The phrase  "This is" could be literally translated as Это есть (Eto est'), where Это (Eto) means "This" and есть (est') means "to be." In this grammatical structure, the verb "to be" should be elided, in other words, omitted. So instead of saying Это есть музей (Eto est' muzey?) you should simply say Это музей (Eto muzey).

The affirmative answer has the following structure:

"Yes, this is..."/Да, это.... (Da, eto..)

For example:

- Это парк? (Eto park?) - Да, это парк. (Da, eto park.)

- "Is this a park?" - "Yes, this is a park."

 

A negative answer has the following structure:

"No, this is not..."/Нет, это не....(Net, eto ne...)

As in English, in Russian, the negative answer has double negation: Нет, это не...(Net, eto ne....) No, this is not...

For example:

- Это парк? (Eto park?) -Нет, это не  парк. (Net, eto ne park.)

- "Is this a park?" - "No, this is not a park."

 

Note: Be careful about your intonation. 

This question can be asked in two ways by using two different intonations. Depending on the intonation the answer will also differ.

The first type of intonation is: Это музей? (Eto muzey?) "Is this a museum?" the stress should be put on the word музей (muzey) "museum." This type of question means that the speaker is not sure whether this building is a museum or, for example, a bank. The answer to this question is: Да, это музей (Da, eto muzey), "Yes, this is a museum" or Нет, это не музей (Net, eto ne muzey), "No, this is not a museum."

The second type of intonation is Это музей? (Eto muzey?) "Is it a museum?" The stress should be put on the word Это (Eto) "Is it." This type of question means that a speaker is probably thinking that this building is a museum but needs confirmation of it. The answer to this question will be: Да, это (Da, eto), "Yes, it is" or Нет, не это (Net, ne eto), "No, it is not."

                                        

Language Tip


 

 

All consonants in Russian can be divided into voiced and voiceless. Some letters denote only one sound, for example щ whereas others can denote two sounds, for example з, д, б, о and so on. What does it depend on? It depends on their position and whether they are stressed or unstressed. Let's take a closer look.

О - {а} and {о}. Here is the rule: If the letter O is stressed we should read and pronounce it as O. If the letter O is unstressed we should read and pronounced it as А.

For example: 

вода

[vada - "water"]
Last "a" is stressed.

большой

[bal'shoy - "big"] First "o" is unstressed.

торговый центр

[targovyy tsentr - "shopping center"]
First "o" is unstressed, whereas second "o"  is stressed.

это

[eta - "this"]
"O" is unstressed.

 

Cultural Insights

Places to See in Russia


 

Russia is rich for sightseeing places. There are plenty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (both natural and of artificial origin) such as the Golden Mountains of Altai (Золотые горы Алтая), the mysterious Lake Baikal (озеро Байкал), Moscow Kremlin (Кремль) and Red Square (Красная площадь), the Historic Center of St. Petersburg (Исторический центр Санкт Петербурга) and so on. But one of the most famous sightseeing places, one of the symbols of Russia for many foreign tourists is Saint Basil's Cathedral.

The construction of the Cathedral started around the year 1555 on the order of Ivan the Terrible and was accompanied by many legends. As the saying goes, the architects went on to build the most beautiful and gorgeous cathedral in the world. In order for the architects not to be able to set the same or even more magnificent church, Ivan the Terrible ordered that they be blinded. Nowadays, the Saint Basil's Cathedral works only as a museum and is still considered to be one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.

 

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Yuriy: Hello and welcome to RussianPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner season 1, lesson 1 - Doing Some Sightseeing in Russia. I’m Yuriy.
Elena: Привет, меня зовут Елена. Hello, and my name is Elena!
Yuriy: In this lesson, you'll learn how to say “This is” and “This is not” in Russian.
Elena: This conversation takes place on the street.
Yuriy: The speakers are strangers, so they’ll be using formal Russian. Let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
Экскурсовод: Уважаемые туристы, это Красная площадь. Слева находится Мавзолей В.И.Ленина, а справа - знаменитый Храм Василия Блаженного.
Алекс: Восхитительный собор! Простите, а напротив Кремля, это университет?
Экскурсовод:Нет, это не университет, это большой торговый центр.
Алекс: А вон то здание, это музей?
Экскурсовод: Да, это Государственный исторический музей.
Алекс: Ого! Целый дворец!
Ekskursovod: Uvazhayemyye turisty, eto Krasnaya ploshchad'. Sleva nakhoditsya Mavzoley V.I.Lenina, a sprava - znamenityy Khram Vasiliya Blazhennogo.
Alex: Voskhititel'nyy sobor! Prostite, a naprotiv Kremlya, eto universitet?
Ekskursovod: Net, eto ne universitet, eto bol'shoy torgovyy tsentr.
Alex: A von to zdaniye, eto muzey?
Ekskursovod: Da, eto Gosudarstvennyy istoricheskiy muzey.
Alex: Ogo! Tselyy dvorets!
Экскурсовод:Уважаемые туристы, это Красная площадь. Слева находится Мавзолей В.И.Ленина, а справа - знаменитый Храм Василия Блаженного.
Yuriy: Dear tourists, this is Red Square. The Lenin Mausoleum is situated on the left side and the famous St. Basil's Cathedral is on the right side.
Алекс:Восхитительный собор! Простите, а напротив Кремля, это университет?
Yuriy: What a wonderful church! Excuse me, but is that a university opposite the Kremlin?
Экскурсовод:Нет, это не университет, это большой торговый центр.
Yuriy: No, it's not a university, it's a big shopping mall.
Алекс:А вон то здание, это музей?
Yuriy: And that building, is it a museum?
Экскурсовод:Да, это Государственный исторический музей.
Yuriy: Yes, it's the State Historical Museum.
Алекс:Ого! Целый дворец!
Yuriy: Wow! A great big palace!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Yuriy: Alex must really like sightseeing! He has questions about every building in Red Square.
Elena: Of course! Did you know that the State Historical Museum in the square is a very unique museum? It has more than five million items.
Yuriy: That must be all of Russia’s history under one roof. Listeners, you should definitely visit someday.
Elena: And while you’re there, don't forget to also visit St. Basil's Cathedral. It’s just across from the museum. It’s very colorful and beautiful. I think it’s truly stunning.
Yuriy: I read an interesting legend that said Ivan the Terrible had the architects of the Cathedral blinded, so that they would never be able to build a better cathedral.
Elena: Well, we have a lot of legends about it, and a tour guide will certainly tell you many of those!
Yuriy: Now let’s take a look at the vocabularies of this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
Elena справа от [natural native speed]
Yuriy to the right of; on someone or something's right
Elena справа от [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena справа от [natural native speed]
Elena слева от [natural native speed]
Yuriy to the left of; on the left of; on someone or something's left
Elena слева от [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena слева от [natural native speed]
Elena Ого [natural native speed]
Yuriy wow!
Elena Ого [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena Ого [natural native speed]
Elena здание [natural native speed]
Yuriy building
Elena здание [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena здание [natural native speed]
Elena музей [natural native speed]
Yuriy museum
Elena музей [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena музей [natural native speed]
Elena находиться [natural native speed]
Yuriy to be, to locate, to be situated
Elena находиться [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena находиться [natural native speed]
Elena напротив [natural native speed]
Yuriy opposite
Elena напротив [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena напротив [natural native speed]
Elena уважаемые [natural native speed]
Yuriy dear
Elena уважаемые [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena уважаемые [natural native speed]
Elena дворец [natural native speed]
Yuriy palace
Elena дворец [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena дворец [natural native speed]
Elena знаменитый [natural native speed]
Yuriy famous, well-known
Elena знаменитый [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena знаменитый [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Yuriy: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word we have is...
Elena: Уважаемые, which can be translated as “dear”.
Yuriy: We use this word when we want to address third parties in a very polite way.
Elena: Yes, this word is used at official presentations, meetings, announcements, or in official letters, at conferences, or when writing to the authorities.
Yuriy: Can you give us some examples?
Elena: Уважаемые посетители, просим Вас не кормить животных.
Yuriy: "Dear visitors, please do not feed the animals." The next word is...
Elena: Ого! which can be translated as “Wow”.
Yuriy: We use this word when we want to emphasize our feelings of astonishment and surprise, like when something is better or worse that we expected it to be.
Elena: Right, but it’s important to know that this feeling is sudden. For example...
Yuriy: Это платье стоит 10 000 долларов. “This dress costs ten thousand dollars.”
Elena: Ого! Как дорого! “Wow! How expensive!”
Yuriy: In this sentence, the interjection “Wow!” emphasizes the feeling of unpleasant surprise at the dress being so expensive. Here’s another example.
Elena: Я выиграл в лотерею! “I won the lottery!”
Yuriy: Сколько? “How much?”
Elena: 15 000 долларов. “Fifteen thousand dollars.”
Yuriy: Ого! “Wow!”
Elena: In this sentence the interjection “Wow!” emphasizes the astonishment at the huge amount of money won in the lottery.
Yuriy: In written Russian, the interjection Ого should be separated by a comma or an exclamation mark. Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Yuriy: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to say “This is” and “This is not” in Russian, as well as two types of intonations you can use to ask the question “Is this..?”
Elena: This grammar is quite simple. The word “This is” could be literally translated as Это есть, where Это means “This” and есть means “to be”.
Yuriy: In Russian, the verb “to be” should be omitted.
Elena: So, instead of saying Это есть музей you should simply say Это музей.
Yuriy: To ask the question “Is this a museum?” you don't need to change the word order, just change your intonation. For example...
Elena: Это парк, which means, “This is a park”. It’s an affirmative sentence.
Yuriy: And if you want to form a question, you can simply change your intonation like this:
Elena: Это парк?
Yuriy: “Is this a park?” Compare the two.
Elena: Это парк and Это парк?
Yuriy: There’s one more important grammar rule. The question can be asked in two ways, by using two different intonations. Depending on the intonation, the answer will also differ. The first intonation is:
Elena: Это музей?
Yuriy: “Is this a museum?” As you can see, the stress was placed on the word музей which means “museum”. Elena, could you repeat it one more time?
Elena: Это музей?
Yuriy: Using this intonation implies that the speaker is not sure whether this building is a museum or, for example, a bank. The answer to this question will either be:
Elena: Да, это музей.
Yuriy: “Yes, this is a museum.” or...
Elena: Нет, это не музей.
Yuriy: “No, this is not a museum.” The second intonation sounds like this:
Elena: Это музей?
Yuriy: “Is it a museum?” The stress is put on the word Это, meaning “Is it”, showing that the speaker probably thinks that the building is a museum but wants to hear confirmation of it. The answer to this question will be...
Elena: Да, это. or Нет, не это.
Yuriy: “Yes, it is.” or “No, it is not.” Let’s compare the two intonations.
Elena: Это музей? Это музей?
Yuriy: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. For more examples and information, please check the lesson notes.

Outro

Elena: Thanks for listening everyone.
Yuriy: See you in our next lesson.
Elena: До скорого встречи!