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Lesson Transcript

Oksana: [Всем привет! Я Оксана]
Eddie: Eddie here. I hope everyone is having a good day. Today we’re starting our last mini set of Lower Intermediate Lessons.
Oksana: In these five lessons we’ll touch a very delicate issue - the relationship of a married couple with its ups and downs, unpleasant fights and romantic makeups.
Eddie: And even though airing the dirty laundry of these two people might seem inappropriate, even like a rude intrusion into their privacy, how else are we going to learn the language of a true relationship? Only through the live examples.
Oksana: That’s right. Following the marital problems of our characters, we’ll learn how to handle some rather unpleasant situations in Russian, as well as what to say and to do to make your partner happy and madly in love with you.
Eddie: That sounds promising and intriguing. Now should we take a peek and see what the couple is up to?
Oksana: I’d say eavesdropping would be easier for us to do.
Eddie: Ok, I'm all ears. Let’s just be quiet for a minute so our listeners can also hear what’s going on in this average Russian family.
Eddie: Дорогая, ты дома?
Oksana: Дома, дома. Уже час ночи, где ты был? Ты пил? На тебе чьи-то волосы!
Eddie: Я был... на работе, у нас такой важный проект…
Oksana: Я звонила 3 раза, и каждый раз какой-то "проект" отвечал мне женским голосом и говорил, что тебя нет!
Eddie: Это наша новая секретарша. Ну, мы же не могли работать до часа ночи без кофе…
Oksana: Без водки тоже не могли?! Ты мог хотя бы позвонить и сказать, где ты?!
Eddie: Once again, more slowly.
Oksana: Еще раз, медленнее.
Eddie: Дорогая, ты дома?
Oksana: Дома, дома. Уже час ночи, где ты был? Ты пил? На тебе чьи-то волосы!
Eddie: Я был... на работе, у нас такой важный проект…
Oksana: Я звонила 3 раза, и каждый раз какой-то "проект" отвечал мне женским голосом и говорил, что тебя нет!
Eddie: Это наша новая секретарша. Ну, мы же не могли работать до часа ночи без кофе…
Oksana: Без водки тоже не могли?! Ты мог хотя бы позвонить и сказать, где ты?!
Eddie: Once again, with a translation.
Oksana: Еще раз, с переводом. Дорогая, ты дома?
Eddie: Darling, are you at home?
Oksana: Дома, дома. Уже час ночи, где ты был? Ты пил? На тебе чьи-то волосы!
Eddie: Home, home. It's one AM already, where have you been? Did you drink? You have somebody's hair all over you!
Oksana: Я был... на работе, у нас такой важный проект…
Eddie: I...was at work, we're working on such an important project…
Oksana: Я звонила 3 раза, и каждый раз какой-то "проект" отвечал мне женским голосом и говорил, что тебя нет!
Eddie: I called three times and every time some "project" answered me with a female voice and said you weren't there!
Oksana: Это наша новая секретарша. Ну, мы же не могли работать до часа ночи без кофе…
Eddie: It's our new secretary. Well, we couldn't work till one AM without coffee…
Oksana: Без водки тоже не могли?! Ты мог хотя бы позвонить и сказать, где ты?!
Eddie: You couldn't without vodka, either, right?! Could you have at least called and told me where you were?!
Oksana: I feel like I’ve heard something I wasn’t supposed to hear.
Eddie: I feel a bit awkward too, but as they say intelligent people learn from their own mistakes and wise people learn from the mistakes of others. I guess it makes me feel better about the whole situation.
Oksana: So you found a good excuse for your eavesdropping.
Eddie: And you don’t even look for excuses in yourself. You’re just enjoying watching another girl being in such a situation.
Oksana: Well, of course I'm happy it’s not me but I'm not enjoying it. Besides, now we’ll have to really start airing the dirty laundry, analyzing every word we heard there. Isn’t it terrible?
Eddie: Let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word is…
Oksana: [Муж]
Eddie: Husband.
Oksana: [Муж]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Жена]
Eddie: Wife.
Oksana: [Жена]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Дорогой]
Eddie: Expensive, dear, darling.
Oksana: [Дорогой]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Такой]
Eddie: Such, so.
Oksana: [Такой]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Важный]
Eddie: Important.
Oksana: [Важный]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Проект]
Eddie: Project.
Oksana: [Проект]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Каждый раз]
Eddie: Every time.
Oksana: [Каждый раз]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Какой-то]
Eddie: Some, certain, kind of.
Oksana: [Какой-то]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Отвечать]
Eddie: To answer.
Oksana: [Отвечать]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Голос]
Eddie: Voice.
Oksana: [Голос]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Мочь]
Eddie: To be able, can.
Oksana: [Мочь]
Eddie: Next.
Oksana: [Хотя бы]
Eddie: At least.
Oksana: [Хотя бы]
Eddie: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. I think we should start by introducing our characters but we don’t know their names so we’ll just call them husband and wife.
Oksana: The word for “husband” would be [муж].
Eddie: Sounds like half of the word [мужчина], “man”.
Oksana: Actually it is just half of this word. It’s a stem of [мужчина]. It sounds bad though saying that [муж] is just a half of [мужчина]. Too sad to think that it really happens when men get married.
Eddie: Yeah, the word was probably created by the unmarried friends of one [мужчина]. What about the word for wife, is it also half of woman?
Oksana: Almost. It sounds as [жена] and the word for “woman” is [женщина]. So basically marriage cuts out the heart of [женщина], leaving just the first and the last two letters of the word [жена].
Eddie: You Russians have got pretty dark perspective on marriage.
Oksana: We’re just sarcastic people, but it gets better. We have very nice word next, [дорогой].
Eddie: In the dialogue it sounded like [дорогая] in the feminine gender. The primary meaning of this word is “expensive”, but it’s also a word for “dear” or “darling” in Russian.
Oksana: It sounds a bit too much for me. Well, I guess young unmarried people don’t use it much. It sounds more natural for a couple over 35.
Eddie: That’s probably what our couple is. I doubt a guy would come home drunk and covered in his secretary’s hair just a couple of months after the wedding.
Oksana: Yeah, I can picture them as 30-35 year old couple. So this guy, trying to sound all sweet and loving, asks whether his wife is at home. [Дома]
Eddie: Silly question, it’s 1 AM. Unless his wife is a night shifter. So she answers with obvious irritation in her voice.
Oksana: [Дома, дома. Уже час ночи!] Literally “already hour at night”. We can leave out the word “one” when we talk about time and just say [час].
Eddie: She keeps venting. What did she say next?
Oksana: [Где ты был? Ты пил?]
Eddie: “Where were you? Have you been drinking?” Obviously she’s not talking about orange juice. And then she notices something that makes her lose her temper.
Oksana: [На тебе чьи-то волосы!] where [на тебе] means “on you”, [чьи-то] “somebody’s” in plural number because there wasn’t just one hair there, and [волосы], “hair”. We usually use this word in plural but if you want to single out one specific hair you can call it [волос].
Eddie: Apparently [муж] had a lot of them on his suit. He’s trying to defend himself but it doesn’t seem to be going very smoothly.
Oksana: [Я был... на работе, у нас такой важный проект...]
Eddie: Let’s take a look at the second part of this sentence. [У нас] is just a shortened version of [у нас есть], “we have”. [Важный] means “important”.
Oksana: You can also use this word to describe people and whether it sounds normal or derogatory it depends on your intonation. For example, if you say [Он очень важный человек в компании] it sounds like a simple statement. He’s an important person in the company. But if you say [Он такой важный], that could be translated as “he’s so self-important”.
Eddie: And it wouldn’t sound like a compliment, obviously. By the way, the word [такой] means “so” or “such”. It’s an adjective in Russian so it has to be modified according to genders. For example, [Такая красивая], “so beautiful” if you’re talking about a girl or a picture for instance, which is also feminine in Russian. But if you’re talking about a guy, you should say [такой] like in [такой умный], “so smart”.
Oksana: Right. But in our case it’s [Важный проект] which was probably the first thing to say that came to that guy’s mind.
Eddie: That’s probably true because the girl called three times and… and what?
Oksana: And [Каждый раз какой-то “ проект” отвечал мне женским голосом].
Eddie: Yes, and every time some project answered with a woman’s voice. Doesn’t sound nice. [Каждый раз], he could’ve picked up the phone at least once.
Oksana: Guys never want to ruin the party and think that they can deal with the problems later. So this [“проект” отвечал] answered [женским голосом], “with a female voice”, we had to put [женский голос] into the instrumental case because it is an instrument here by means of which the project answered, right?
Eddie: Yeah, plus we can translate it with the preposition “with” or “by”, which are also signals for us to use this case. By the way, that voice said that the guy wasn’t there.
Oksana: Right, [Говорил, что тебя нет]. [Нет] in this case is a verb for “there is no” or “is not”. So to say a simple phrase like “I'm not here” you can simply say [меня нет].
Eddie: And the phrase “I am here” would sound as [Я есть].
Oksana: That’s right. Much simpler than in English, I think.
Eddie: So next we have the husband explaining himself.
Oksana: [Эта наша новая секретарша]
Eddie: “This is our new secretary.” And then the explanation why that secretary had to stay in the office with them until 1 AM.
Oksana: [Ну, мы же не могли работать до часа ночи без кофе...]
Eddie: “Well, we couldn’t work till 1 Am without coffee.” Let’s break this phrase down. [Ну] can be translated as “hesitant”, well, just like in English. [Мы же], this little word [же] doesn’t really have any meaning but is used to emphasize a fact. Like in our case the husband is trying to emphasize that they really couldn’t have worked without a secretary, almost making his wife feel stupid for asking such a ridiculous question. Kind of, “We obviously couldn’t” or “We couldn’t”, right?
Oksana: Right, he’s trying to sound like his wife is asking silly and obvious things. Next we had the phrase [Не могли работать].
Eddie: “Couldn’t work” or “couldn’t have worked”. This word “can”, it’s an important word to know. Why don’t we stop on it for a minute?
Oksana: I think the best way would be to conjugate the verb because conjugation is the trickiest part of any verb. I’ll conjugate it for you in the present tense and you can find the rest in the PDF materials. So [Я могу].
Eddie: I can.
Oksana: [Ты можешь]
Eddie: You (singular, informal form) can.
Oksana: [Вы можете]
Eddie: You (plural or polite form) can.
Oksana: [Он, она, оно может]
Eddie: He/she or it can.
Oksana: [Мы можем]
Eddie: We can.
Oksana: [Они могут]
Eddie: “They can.” Remember that in the past tense verbs are conjugated according to gender and number but not according to person like in present and future tenses. Oksana, why don’t we give some sample sentences in all three tenses just to understand this word a little better?
Oksana: Ok, here they are. First in the present tense. [Вы можете завтра прийти?]
Eddie: “Can you come tomorrow?” Even though we’re talking about tomorrow, we use the word “can” in the present tense, just like in English. What about the future tense?
Oksana: We should only add one letter S to the word to turn it into the future tense. [Я не смогу прийти завтра]
Eddie: “I won’t be able to come tomorrow.” And the past tense, please.
Oksana: [Он не мог позвонить]
Eddie: “He couldn’t call.” Great, but note that you can’t use this word when talking about skills like in a sentence “I can swim”. In this case you should use the word [Уметь. Я умею плавать], “I can swim”.
Oksana: That’s right. We only have one word left that is worth our attention - [хотя бы].
Eddie: It means “at least”. It doesn’t change in any case. Besides, you can put it anywhere in your sentence, it’s very flexible. Let’s get to the grammar now.

Lesson focus

Eddie: The grammar part of today’s lesson is dedicated to very interesting parts of speech - indefinite pronouns.
Oksana: You should probably explain first what that is exactly.
Eddie: Those are the words like “somebody”, “anything”, in a word everything that starts with the word “some” or “any”. These words refer to indefinite or unknown things, people, features or quantities. Can you give us some examples in Russian?
Oksana: Sure, here are some. [Что-то]
Eddie: Something.
Oksana: [Что-нибудь]
Eddie: Anything.
Oksana: [Кто-то]
Eddie: “Someone” or “somebody”.
Oksana: [Кто-нибудь]
Eddie: “Anyone, anybody.” So these words don’t tell us anything concrete about things or people, but they’re used quite often in any language. What about our dialogue? I think we came across a couple of such pronouns today.
Oksana: We did, we had two. [Чьи-то]
Eddie: Somebody’s.
Oksana: And [Какой-то].
Eddie: “Some kind of”. I see, well I just mentioned that in English we usually form such words with the help of “some” or “any”. How is it in Russian?
Oksana: The way of forming Russian indefinite pronouns is quite easy. I’ll tell you now how to build those words step by step. So first you should take a question word, for example [Кто].
Eddie: Who.
Oksana: [Что]
Eddie: What.
Oksana: [Где]
Eddie: Where.
Oksana: [Куда]
Eddie: Where to.
Oksana: [Какой]
Eddie: What kind of.
Oksana: [Чей]
Eddie: Whose.
Oksana: There are plenty of them. Then you put a hyphen after it if you’re writing it. If you’re just saying it, add suffixes [то] or [нибудь] to the question word you need. For example [кто] “who” becomes [кто-то], “somebody” or [кто-нибудь], “anybody”.
Eddie: Basically the suffix [то] stands for the English “some”, and suffix [нибудь] stands for the English “any”, right?
Oksana: Yes, but the suffix [нибудь] only stands for the English “any” in the questions. In the statement like “anyone can do it”, you should use the same question word but add the word [угодно] instead of the suffixes mentioned above. For example [кто угодно], “anyone”, [что угодно], “anything”.
Eddie: Let’s make some sample sentences with these words. For example how would you say “This is some new restaurant. Let’s check it out.”
Oksana: [Это какой-то новый ресторан. Давай зайдем!] So we took a question word [какой], “which”, “what kind”, and added [то] to get the word “some” or “some kind of”. Here’s another example. [Здесь есть какой-нибудь ресторан?]
Eddie: “Is there any restaurant around here?” What about the word [угодно]?
Oksana: It will also be translated as “any” in English, but in a statement, not a question. For example [Там есть какие угодно рестораны].


Eddie: “There are all kinds of restaurants around here.” Ok, I think we covered that. Today we witnessed two married people arguing over a very delicate issue. I hope they taught us at least how to handle something like this in Russian, but let’s hope you’ll never have to do that in real life. Ok, thanks for being with us for today’s lesson. We’ll see you next time on RussianPod101.com.
Oksana: [До скорого! Пока!]