Dialogue - Russian

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Vocabulary

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день рождения den' rozhdeniya, den` razhdeniya birthday
лучший luchshiy best
самый samyy most
целый tselyy whole, all
лагерь lager' camp
поездка paestka journey, trip
подушка podushka pillow
заглянуть zaglyanut' to glance, peek; take a look; to drop by
приготовить prigotovit' to prepare
взрослый vzroslyy adult, grown-up
совсем sovsem completely, totally, at all
за za behind (about place); for

Lesson Notes

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Grammar

The Focus of This Lesson is совсем ("completely," "totally"), целый ("whole"), the Preposition за, and Superlatives
Ух ты, поездка в летний лагерь, на целых 2 месяца!
"Wow! A trip to a summer camp, for a whole two months!"


Совсем ("completely")


We use the word совсем in positive sentences with the meaning of "completely," "totally."

For Example:

Он совсем с ума сошёл
"He's totally gone crazy."

...or in the negative sentences with the meaning of "at all."

For Example:

Он совсем не изменился
"He hasn't changed at all."

There's also a set phrase with this word: не совсем, which means "not quite."

For Example:

  1. Ты всё понял?
    "Did you understand everything?"
  2. Не совсем
    "Not quite."

целый ("whole")


The word целый has almost the same meaning and usage as the word "whole" in English. Here are two examples with slightly different undertones:

  1. Это две части одного целого
    "These are two parts of the whole."
  2. Ты целый день ничего не делаешь
    "You haven't been doing anything for the whole day."

The Preposition за


The preposition за has many meanings in Russian. The four most common ones are:

  1. "Behind"
    За домом есть аптека
    "There's a pharmacy behind the house."
  2. "Instead of"
    Я сдал экзамен за него
    "I took the exam for him." (instead of him)
  3. "In exchange for"
    Я купил кофе за доллар
    "I bought coffee for a dollar."
  4. "In" (when talking about time)
    Он повзрослел за этот год
    "He's matured (in) this year."
    Она написала статью за ночь 
    "She wrote an article in a night."

Superlatives


Самый is the word to form the superlative degree (to indicate something is the best, or the most) in Russian. Just like in English, we form the superlative degree in two ways.

First, we can form the superlative with the help of the suffixes. In Russian they are -ейший and -айший.

For Example:

  1. умный - умнейший ("smart - smartest")
  2. простой - простейший ("simple - simplest")

Secondly, we form the superlative with the help of the word самый ("most").

самый + the adjective

For Example:

  1. самый умный - literally, "the most smart" ("the smartest")
  2. самый простой - literally, "the most simple" ("the simplest")

The difference is, unlike in English, you can apply either way to almost any adjective in Russian, so if you are not sure about your word being correct, you can just use самый + the adjective you need.

There are adjectives, which sound totally different from their original forms when turned into the superlative degree. You should just remember them.

  1. хороший - лучший ("good - best")
  2. плохой - худший  ("bad - worst")

Note: The phrase самый лучший (literally, "the most best") is the only case where the word самый and the word in the superlative form - лучший - are allowed to come together. In all other cases, the word самый requires adjectives in their primary forms.

Cultural Insights

Superstitions related to gift-giving in Russia



There are many occasions to give or receive a present in Russia: a birthday, New Year's Eve, Children's Day, Easter, and so forth.

Very often, parents hide the present somewhere in the room (drawing a map and playing a little game) or just put it under the pillow.

Putting something under a pillow is connected with many different beliefs in Russia: To help remember a text, for example, you put a book or a notebook under your pillow. To know the name of your future husband, you put some papers with male names on them and choose one (no looking!) in the morning.

So next time in Russia, be careful. You never know what you might find under your pillow!

Lesson Transcript

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INTRODUCTION
Oksana: [Всем привет!]
Eddie: Eddie here. Lower Intermediate Series Season 1, Lesson 1. How to make the best out of your Russian vacations.
Oksana: [Здравствуйте!]
Eddie: Welcome to the first lesson of this Lower Intermediate Series of 25 lessons, the series where we will introduce you to a whole new level of the Russian language.
Oksana: In this series we’ll focus on conversational Russian, the ways to express yourself in a natural and colorful way.
Eddie: The grammar will be touched upon too. Maybe you’ll find it a little bit heavy in the PDF materials, but that’s just for general reference in case you want to learn more.
Oksana: Yes, stick to the useful phrases and interesting expressions and the grammar part will come to you naturally with time.
Eddie: So what’s this lesson going to be about?
Oksana: Not just this lesson, but five lessons will be dedicated to a family problem, sort of a conflict-solving lessons, five situations in which a young boy and his elder sister involved.
Eddie: Ok, we’ll start with that and then you’ll have another four amusing stories, five lessons each and through all that learning Russian. Well, we’ve been talking a lot. Let’s start. First, let’s listen to the dialogue.
DIALOGUE
Oksana: Егор, сегодня у тебя День Рождения, ты уже совсем взрослый мальчик.
Eddie: Да, мне уже десять лет, и я хочу взрослый подарок!
Oksana: Мы с папой приготовили тебе сюрприз, загляни под подушку.
Eddie: Ух ты, поездка в летний лагерь, на целых 2 месяца! Здорово!
Oksana: Ты рад?
Eddie: Конечно, рад! Это самый лучший подарок за десять лет!
Eddie: Once again, a little more, slowly.
Oksana: Еще раз, медленнее. Егор, сегодня у тебя День Рождения, ты уже совсем взрослый мальчик.
Eddie: Да, мне уже десять лет, и я хочу взрослый подарок!
Oksana: Мы с папой приготовили тебе сюрприз, загляни под подушку.
Eddie: Ух ты, поездка в летний лагерь, на целых 2 месяца! Здорово!
Oksana: Ты рад?
Eddie: Конечно, рад! Это самый лучший подарок за десять лет! Once again, with a translation.
Oksana: Еще раз, с переводом. Егор, сегодня у тебя День Рождения, ты уже совсем взрослый мальчик.
Eddie: Egor, it's your birthday today, you are a totally grown up boy now!
Oksana: Да, мне уже десть лет, и я хочу взрослый подарок!
Eddie: Yes, I'm already ten years old, and I want a grown up present!
Oksana: Мы с папой приготовили тебе сюрприз, загляни под подушку.
Eddie: Dad and I prepared a surprise for you. Take a look under your pillow.
Oksana: Ух ты, поездка в летний лагерь, на целых 2 месяца! Здорово!
Eddie: Wow! A trip to a summer camp for a whole two months! Cool!
Oksana: Ты рад?
Eddie: Are you happy?
Oksana: Конечно, рад! Это самый лучший подарок за десять лет!
Eddie: Of course I am! It's the best present I've gotten in ten years!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Oksana: So we have a boy who’s just turned 10 and what a typical Russian present, a trip to a summer camp.
Eddie: Have you been to summer camps, Oksana?
Oksana: Oh, all the time. Every summer I spend one-two months in different camps.
Eddie: What a good way for parents to get rid of the kids for a whole summer.
Oksana: True and most of the kids love camps. And the reaction is usually just like what Igor showed us now.
Eddie: Ok, let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson and learn to sound as excited as Igor.
VOCAB LIST
Oksana: [День рождения]
Eddie: Birthday.
Oksana: [День рождения]
Eddie: Next one.
Oksana: [Совсем]
Eddie: Completely, totally, at all.
Oksana: [Совсем]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Взрослый]
Eddie: Adult, grownup.
Oksana: [Взрослый]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Приготовить]
Eddie: To prepare.
Oksana: [Приготовить]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Заглянуть]
Eddie: To glance, peak, take a look, to drop by.
Oksana: [Заглянуть]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Подушка]
Eddie: Pillow
Oksana: [Подушка]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Поездка]
Eddie: Journey, trip.
Oksana: [Поездка]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Лагерь]
Eddie: Camp.
Oksana: [Лагерь]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Целый]
Eddie: Whole.
Oksana: [Целый]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Самый]
Eddie: Most.
Oksana: [Самый]
Eddie: And next.
Oksana: [Лучший]
Eddie: Best.
Oksana: [Лучший]
Eddie: And next.
Oksana: [За]
Eddie: Behind (talking about place), in (talking about time).
Oksana: [За]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Eddie: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. First the phrase for “birthday”, of course, as it’s the main event in the dialogue.
Oksana: [День рождения]
Eddie: Literally it means “day of birth”. And how would the congratulation “happy birthday” sound, Oksana?
Oksana: Oh, that’s worth remembering. [С днем рождения!]
Eddie: Do you have a birthday song like “Happy birthday to you”?
Oksana: Well, of course, I guess every language has it. [С днем рождения тебя] and so on.
Eddie: Ok, it’s not a karaoke lesson so let’s jump to the next word. What was it?
Oksana: [Совсем] which can mean a couple of things.
Eddie: Well, let’s start from the meaning “completely, totally”. What example can you give us with this meaning?
Oksana: [Ты совсем сошел с ума!]
Eddie: “I'm totally crazy?” Is that because I didn’t let you sing or what?
Oksana: No, just an example.
Eddie: We can also use this word in negative sentences in which case it’s translated as “at all” in English.
Oksana: For example, [Ты совсем не изменился].
Eddie: “You haven’t changed at all.” Oh, do you mean me?
Oksana: Not everything is about you, Eddie. Just another example.
Eddie: Ok, here’s another set phrase with this word.
Oksana: [Не совсем]
Eddie: Which means “not quite, not really”.
Oksana: Let’s make a short dialogue with that, Eddie. [Эдди, ты все понял?] “Eddie, have you understood everything?”
Eddie: [Не совсем] “Not really.”
Oksana: Good. Now the next word. [Взрослый]
Eddie: “Grownup, adult” or “an adult”. Just like in English, it can be both an adjective and a noun.
Oksana: Like [Ты уже взрослый], “You’re already grown up” or [взрослый и ребенок], “An adult and a child”.
Eddie: Next we have a word that is used much more often in Russian than in English. The word for “prepare” which we often replace with “make” or “do” in English.
Oksana: Right. There are some examples with the word [приготовить]. [Приготовить домашнее задание]
Eddie: To do homework. Prepare homework.
Oksana: [Приготовить обед]
Eddie: To make dinner. To prepare dinner.
Oksana: [Приготовиться к экзамену]
Eddie: “To prepare for an exam.” Great, next word we have is…
Oksana: [Заглянуть]
Eddie: “To glance, to peak, to take a brief look at something.” In our case it’s to peep under the pillow.
Oksana: By the way if you put a preposition [к] after [заглянуть], you’ll get a phrase for “to drop by”. For example, [Заглянуть к другу], “to drop by on a friend”.
Eddie: Then we have a simple noun for “a pillow”.
Oksana: [Подушка]
Eddie: Maybe we should mention words like “quilt” and “bedsheet” and a complete bed set.
Oksana: Ok, so “quilt”, “comforter” or “blanket” will be [одеяло], neutral gender. And “a bedsheet” has a feminine gender and sounds as [простыня].
Eddie: Great, we’re set for a night. Now the word for “a trip”.
Oksana: [Поездка]
Eddie: Usually it indicates a long-distance trip, at least to another city.
Oksana: [Поездка на Гаваи]
Eddie: Yeah, like a trip to Hawaii or to a summer camp which is apparently a bit far from where Igor lives.
Oksana: By the way, the phrase for summer camp will be [летний лагерь]. [Летний] is an adjective that comes from the word [лето], “summer”, and [лагерь] is simply “a camp”.
Eddie: The next word we’ll take a look at is no different from its English equivalent.
Oksana: [Целый]
Eddie: Just like in English, it can indicate something inseparable, one unit like a whole apple…
Oksana: [Целое яблоко]
Eddie: Or it can indicate the full amount, extent or duration like “he’s been at home the whole day”.
Oksana: [Он целый день дома]
Eddie: It can also be translated as “complete” like “he ate the whole apple”.
Oksana: [Он съел целое яблоко]
Eddie: So, you see, the word [целый] has all the same meanings the English “whole” does. Now we have a couple of words that require special attention. Why don’t we talk about them in our grammar part?

Lesson focus

Oksana: That would be a good idea because these words definitely require some grammatical explanation. For example the word [самый].
Eddie: “The most”. It’s the word to form the superlative degree in Russian to indicate that something is the best or the most. Just like in English, the superlative degree can be formed in two ways. First with the help of suffixes.
Oksana: In Russian they are [ейший] and [айший]. For example, you change [умный], “smart”, to [умнейший], “smartest”. The same happens to [простой], “simple”, it changes to [простейший], “simplest”.
Eddie: The second way is with the help of the word [самый], “most”. [Самый] plus the adjective.
Oksana: [Самый умный]
Eddie: Literally “the most smart”, “the smartest”.
Oksana: [Самый простой]
Eddie: “The most simple” or “the simplest”. The difference is, unlike in English, you can apply either way to almost any adjective in Russian so if you’re not sure about your word being correct, you can just use [самый] plus the adjective you need. But of course there are adjectives which sound totally different from their original forms when turned into the superlative degree. You should just remember them.
Oksana: [Хороший]
Eddie: Good.
Oksana: [Лучший]
Eddie: Best.
Oksana: [Плохой]
Eddie: Bad.
Oksana: [Худший]
Eddie: “Worse”. But in our dialogue we met a weird combination - the word [самый], “the most” and the word [лучший], “the best, which altogether sounds as “the most best”. Does that sound ok to you, Oksana?
Oksana: Actually the phrase [Самый лучший] is probably the only case where the word [самый] and the word in the superlative form, [лучший], are allowed to come together. In all other cases the word [самый] requires adjectives in their primary forms like [Самый красивый], “the most beautiful”.
Eddie: And the last thing we should take a look at today is the preposition [за] which has several meanings, therefore might be confusing at times. These are the most common of them.
Oksana: Its primary meaning is “behind” like “behind the house” for example, where the noun “building” should be put into the instrumental case. Here’s a sample sentence. [За домом есть аптека].
Eddie: “There’s a pharmacy behind the house.” The second meaning the preposition [за] can have is “instead of” or “for”.
Oksana: For example [Я сдал экзамен за него].
Eddie: “I took the exam for him” or “instead of him”. The third meaning of [за] we can translate as “in exchange for” or just any time you want to say how much you gave away to get what you want. For example…
Oksana: [Я купил кофе за доллар].
Eddie: I bought coffee for a dollar.
Oksana: So, yes, in this case it just means “for”. When you’re talking about the price you paid for something [за] comes in handy.
Eddie: And the last meaning for [за], you should know now, is “in”. When you’re talking about time you used to achieve something like “I ate my lunch in two minutes”, where “two minutes” are the time you spent to complete an action. Here are some other examples.
Oksana: [Он повзрослел за этот год. ]
Eddie: He’s matured in this year.
Oksana: [Она написала статью за ночь.]
Eddie: “She wrote an article in a night.”

Outro

Eddie: That just about does it for today. [Пока]
Oksana: [Пока!]