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Lesson Transcript

Yuriy: Hello and welcome back to RussianPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner season 1, lesson 2 - Read Some Russian Literature! I’m Yuriy.
Elena: А я Елена. Привет. I’m Elena.
Yuriy: In this lesson, you'll learn about noun genders in Russian.
Elena: The conversation takes place at the bookstore.
Yuriy: The speakers are strangers, so they’ll be using formal Russian. Let’s listen to the conversation.
Алекс: Здравствуйте, можно посмотреть вон тот большой англо-русский словарь и вон ту книгу, автор А.П. Чехов?
Продавец: Книга называется "Вишнёвый сад"?
Алекс: Да.
Продавец: Пожалуйста. Словарь очень хороший и недорогой, а книга очень интересная.
Алекс: Отлично! Сколько с меня?
Продавец: 500 рублей, пожалуйста.
Aleks: Zdravstvuyte, mozhno posmotret' von tot bol'shoy anglo-russkiy slovar' i von tu knigu, avtor A.P. Chekhov?
Prodavets: Kniga nazyvayetsya "Vishnyovyy sad"?
Aleks: Da.
Prodavets: Pozhaluysta. Slovar' ochen' khoroshiy i nedorogoy, a kniga ochen' interesnaya.
Aleks: Otlichno! Skol'ko s menya?
Prodavets: 500 rubley, pozhaluysta.
Алекс: Здравствуйте, можно посмотреть вон тот большой англо-русский словарь и вон ту книгу, автор А.П. Чехов?
Yuriy: Hello, can I have a look at that big English-Russian dictionary and that book over there by the author Anton Chekhov?
Продавец: Книга называется "Вишнёвый сад"?
Yuriy: Is the book called "The Cherry Orchard?"
Алекс: Да.
Yuriy: Yes.
Продавец: Пожалуйста. Словарь очень хороший и недорогой, а книга очень интересная.
Yuriy: Here they are. The dictionary is very good and inexpensive, and the book is very interesting.
Алекс: Отлично! Сколько с меня?
Yuriy: Great! How much do I owe you?
Продавец: 500 рублей, пожалуйста.
Yuriy: Five hundred rubles, please.
Yuriy: So Alex bought a book by Anton Chekhov. Is that author very popular in Russia?
Elena: Yes, but not just in Russia! He’s considered to be one of the greatest writers in the world. All children study his works at school because it’s part of the main curriculum in Russia. Have you ever heard of the plays ‘The Cherry Orchard’, ‘Three Sisters’, or the famous ‘Ward 6’?
Yuriy: Hmm, I know the movies.
Elena: Those movies are based on his works. Chekhov was actually a doctor, and writing was kind of like a hobby on the side.
Yuriy: Wow. So, do you think Alex made a good choice?
Elena: I guess so, yes. In any case, I think many Russians would be surprised to hear that non-Russians are interested in Russian literature. Chekhov did a great job getting people into Russian literature, so listeners, you should check out his stuff!
Yuriy: Okay, now let’s move on to the vocab.
Elena посмотреть [natural native speed]
Yuriy to look, to take a look
Elena посмотреть [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena посмотреть [natural native speed]
Elena большой [natural native speed]
Yuriy big, large
Elena большой [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena большой [natural native speed]
Elena словарь [natural native speed]
Yuriy dictionary
Elena словарь [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena словарь [natural native speed]
Elena хороший [natural native speed]
Yuriy good
Elena хороший [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena хороший [natural native speed]
Elena недорогой [natural native speed]
Yuriy inexpensive
Elena недорогой [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena недорогой [natural native speed]
Elena интересная [natural native speed]
Yuriy interesting
Elena интересная [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena интересная [natural native speed]
Elena пожалуйста [natural native speed]
Yuriy please; you are welcome
Elena пожалуйста [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena пожалуйста [natural native speed]
Elena oтлично [natural native speed]
Yuriy great, perfectly
Elena oтлично [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena oтлично [natural native speed]
Elena очень [natural native speed]
Yuriy very, very much
Elena очень [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena очень [natural native speed]
Elena сад [natural native speed]
Yuriy garden, orchard
Elena сад [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Elena сад [natural native speed]
Yuriy: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word for this lesson is...
Elena: Пожалуйста, which can be translated as “please”. You’ve learned the meaning of this word in the previous lessons, and in this lesson, we’ll explain what other situations you can use it in.
Yuriy: The word “пожалуйста” can also be used when we give or pass something to another person. Using this word puts an emphasis on politeness. Imagine you’re sitting at a table and someone asks you to pass the salt. Or, for example, a police officer asks you to show your documents. When you pass the salt or hand over the documents, you can say Пожалуйста, meaning “Here it is” or “Here they are”. Let’s show an example for documents, Elena.
Elena: Ваши документы.
Yuriy: Пожалуйста.
Elena: “Your documents.”
Yuriy: “Here they are.”
Elena: It’s also used when a person agrees to your request or gives you permission. For example, someone is asking your permission to sit near you, or you’re asking to look at something in the store. Можно сесть? “Can I sit down?”
Yuriy: Пожалуйста. “Sure.”
Elena: Можно посмотреть вон ту книгу? “Can I look at that book?”
Yuriy: Пожалуйста. “Here it is.” And the next word is...
Elena: Отлично, which can be translated as “Great!” or “Excellent.”
Yuriy: You use this word when you want to express that a situation or someone’s actions are good, great, or even excellent! For example...
Elena: Я пойду в магазин.
Yuriy: Отлично! Купи мне пива.
Elena: “I will go to the store.”
Yuriy: “Great! Buy me a beer.” Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Yuriy: As you know, all nouns in Russian have genders. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to determine what gender a noun has.
Elena: There are several rules that can help you to determine the gender of a noun. Let’s have a closer look at one of them.
Yuriy: The first rule can be called the ‘ending’s rule’. Following this rule, you can guess the gender of a noun by looking at its ending.
Elena: As a rule, masculine nouns have one of four endings: nouns ending in consonants, й, ь, or ий. For example, in the words банк, музей, словарь, and планетарий.
Yuriy: Right, the word “банк”, which means “bank”, ends with a consonant, к.
Elena: The word музей, “museum”, ends in й. Cловарь, or “dictionary”, ends with ь, and планетарий, the word for “planetarium”, ends in “ий”.
Yuriy: What about feminine nouns?
Elena: Feminine nouns end in a, я, ь, or ия.
Yuriy: For example, книга, “book”, ends in a.
Elena: семья, or “family”, ends in я.
Yuriy: Италия, meaning “Italy”, ends in ия.
Elena: помощь, meaning “help”, ends with ь.
Yuriy But wait, masculine nouns also end with ь. So, how can you tell whether this noun is masculine or feminine?
Elena: That’s easy. Most feminine nouns ending with ь are preceded by a sibilant such as Ж, Ш, Щ or Ч. For example, ночь which means “night”...
Yuriy: ...мышь which means “mouse”...
Elena: …дочь which means “daughter”...
Yuriy: ...вещь which means “thing”...
Elena: So, to answer your previous question about помощь, or “help”...
Yuriy: No wait, don’t tell me...it’s feminine.
Elena: Exactly! Nice job.
Yuriy: So basically, the difference between masculine and feminine nouns ending in ь is that feminine nouns end with a sibilant plus ь, and masculine nouns don’t, right?
Elena: That’s right. But please note that there are words, which don’t end in the sibilant plus ь combination, but, these are still feminine. And unfortunately, you’ll just have to memorize those ones!
Yuriy: Ok, what about neuter gender?
Elena: Neuter nouns end in о, е, and ие. For example, золото.
Yuriy: “gold”, which ends with o.
Elena: поле
Yuriy: “field”, which ends with е.
Elena: общежитие
Yuriy: “dormitory”, which ends with ие. Are there any exceptions to these rules?
Elena: Of course. You can find them in the lesson notes, so be sure to check them out, listeners.
Yuriy: Okay, and that brings us to the end of this lesson!
Elena: Thanks for listening everyone.
Yuriy: See you in our next lesson. Bye!
Elena: До скорого встречи!