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Erik: Newbie series season 1, Lesson 5. Do You Like to Act Like That in Russia? My name is Erik Fritz and I am joined by
Anna: Anna Lemeshkina
Erik: And we will be your host for this Russian Newbie series.
Anna: In this series, we will cover the basics of Russian language including essential phrases, pronunciation and cultural insight.
Erik: So brush up on the Russian that you started learning long ago or start learning today. All right Anna, what do we have planned for lesson 5?
Anna: Actually Erik, we will have a special two-part lesson that I am sure all of you listeners will appreciate. We will be talking about a few of our favorite dishes from the Russian speaking world and how to order those at the restaurant.
Erik: The focus of this lesson is talking about things we like.
Anna: Okay and this conversation takes place in the restaurant before ordering a meal.
Erik: And today’s conversation is between Anna and myself and we will play ourselves again.
Anna: And because we are friends, we will be speaking informal.
Erik: Let’s listen to today’s conversation.
Эрик: [Анна, что ты хочешь кушать? Что ты будешь?]
Erik: (Anna, chto ty hochesh’ kushat’? Chto ty budesh’?)
Анна: [Мне нравится шашлык из курицы и винигрет. А ты?]
Anna: (Mne nravitsya shashlyk iz kurirsy i vinigret. A ty?)
Эрик: [Мне нравятся блины с мясом и оливье.]
Erik: (Mne nravyatsya bliny s myasom i oliv’e.)
Анна: [Давай покушаем шашлык и оливье?]
Anna: (Davaj pokushaem shashlyk i oliv’e?)
Эрик: [Хорошо. Девушка, извините! Я буду...]
Erik: (Horosho. Devushka, izvinite! Ya budu...)
Erik: One time slowly.
Anna: Еще раз, медленнее.
Эрик: [Анна, что ты хочешь кушать? Что ты будешь?]
Erik: (Anna, chto ty hochesh’ kushat’? Chto ty budesh’?)
Анна: [Мне нравится шашлык из курицы и винигрет. А ты?]
Anna: (Mne nravitsya shashlyk iz kurirsy i vinigret. A ty?)
Эрик: [Мне нравятся блины с мясом и оливье.]
Erik: (Mne nravyatsya bliny s myasom i oliv’e.)
Анна: [Давай покушаем шашлык и оливье?]
Anna: (Davaj pokushaem shashlyk i oliv’e?)
Эрик: [Хорошо. Девушка, извините! Я буду...]
Erik: (Horosho. Devushka, izvinite! Ya budu...)
Erik: One time natural native speed with the translation.
Anna: Еще раз, с переводом.
Anna: [Анна, что ты хочешь кушать? Что ты будешь?] (Anna, chto ty hochesh’ kushat’? Chto ty budesh’?)
Erik: Anna, what do you want to eat? What will you have?
Anna: [Мне нравится шашлык из курицы и винигрет. А ты?] (Mne nravitsya shashlyk iz kurirsy i vinigret. A ty?)
Erik: I like chicken kebab and vinigrette salad and you?
Anna: [Мне нравятся блины с мясом и оливье.]
Erik: I like bliny with meat and potato salad.
Anna: [Давай покушаем шашлык и оливье?]
Erik: Let’s eat kebabs and potato salad.
Anna: [Хорошо. Девушка, извините! Я буду...]
Erik: Okay. Waitress, excuse me, I will have...
Erik: All right Anna, wow! A lot of interesting words in the conversation we just had.
Anna: I agree.
Erik: So Anna where you are from Tashkent?
Anna: Yes I am from Tashkent.
Erik: What kind of food do you eat at home? Do you have Shashlik every day?
Anna: Oh no not really. We eat Shashlik during parties and some family gatherings.
Erik: So is Shashlik common in Moscow?
Anna: I think it is quite exotic but Shashlik is more like Barbeque on the stick. So if you go outside to the country to [дача] like villa, you probably cook Shashlik.
Erik: I have fond memories of Shashlik in the summertime especially.
Anna: Oh what are they?
Erik: Walking down the streets in the bazaar area and seeing the big smoke coming out. They usually cook Shashlik on the sidewalk.
Anna: That’s true.
Erik: And then you can walk up and just order Shashlik and when you go into the restaurant and they put lots of onions.
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: And maybe send a little bit of Vinegar.
Anna: Yeah did you like that?
Erik: I loved it.
Anna: I really miss it now.
Erik: So what is Shashlik exactly? We are talking about this.
Anna: Oh okay.
Erik: Nobody knows what this is.
Anna: How can I explain this? I think it’s better to try than explain. Well, it’s kind of – I would say it’s a barbeque on the stick.
Erik: Umm so like a kebab meat.
Anna: Kebab.
Erik: On a stick.
Anna: Meats on the stick yeah.
Erik: And barbequed.
Anna: Well yeah.
Erik: It’s really, really good.
Anna: I agree.
Erik: And we have in here Shashlik [из курицы]
Anna: Oh that’s true.
Erik: What does that mean? [из курицы]
Anna: It means kebab from chicken.
Erik: From chicken.
Anna: From chicken yeah.
Erik: So a chicken kebab.
Anna: Chicken kebab right.
Erik: Chicken kebab. What other kinds of kebabs are common?
Anna: Oh well, it depends on the country, it depends on the city. For example, in Moscow, I would say like Pork Kebab is most common and Uzbekistan, it’s more like
Erik: Mutton?
Anna: Lamb.
Erik: Yeah great. And what about this [девушка] at the end of my conversation, I said [девушка].
Anna: Right.
Erik: What does that actually literally mean?
Anna: [девушка] means young lady.
Erik: Young lady. So it’s not rude for me to say, young lady to call over a waitress?
Anna: It’s not rude. It’s really, really good.
Erik: Yeah.
Anna: But it depends right. You know, the interesting thing is like, if she is over 50, you would call her [девушка] any way.
Erik: So she is very – that’s why she is still in the job. She loves hearing that every day. Young lady! That’s a nice compliment but is this – sometimes I felt a little uncomfortable calling an older lady if she was a waitress [девушка]
Anna: No it’s completely fine.
Erik: It’s okay.
Anna: Yeah it’s okay.
Erik: Okay.
Anna: And you even don’t have to pay her tips because you called her [девушка] I am just kidding.
Erik: Okay. All right, there is so much to talk about in this lesson. This is a really good segway for the vocabulary section. So let’s break down the phrases and words.
Anna: [быть]
Erik: To be.
Anna: [быть]
Erik: Next.
Anna: [что]
Erik: What.
Anna: [что]
Erik: Next.
Anna: [мне нтавится]
Erik: I like used with singular nouns.
Anna: [мне нтавится]
Erik: Next.
Anna: [мне нравятся]
Erik: I like used with plural nouns.
Anna: [мне нтавятся]
Erik: Next.
Anna: [шашлык из курицы]
Erik: Chicken kebab.
Anna: [шашлык из курицы]
Erik: Next
Anna: [винегтер]
Erik: Russian salad with Beets and Beans.
Anna: [винегтет]
Erik: Next
Anna: [блины с мысом]
Erik: Russian style pancakes wrapped with meat inside.
Anna: [блины с мясом]
Erik: Next.
Anna: [оливье]
Erik: Russian style potato salad.
Anna: [оливье]
Erik: Next
Anna: [девушка]
Erik: Young lady.
Anna: [девушка]
Erik: Next.
Anna: [извините]
Erik: Excuse me, pardon me.
Anna: [извините]
Erik: Next.
Anna: [официант]
Erik: Waiter.
Anna: [официант]
Erik: Next.
Anna: [официанка]
Erik: Waitress.
Anna: [официанка]
Erik: Next.
Anna: [молодой человек]
Erik: Young man.
Anna: [молодой целовек]
Erik: Okay Anna, let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases we just used. First we have [блины с мясом]
Anna: Yes.
Erik: What kind of pancake has meat in it? What is this?
Anna: Very delicious one.
Erik: Yeah. This is a really common dish in Russia right? A common favorite?
Anna: A common favorite.
Erik: A common favorite but it’s not so commonly made maybe.
Anna: Well you know, you can wrap everything you have in your fridge to the pancakes. It can be [блин с мясом] it can be [блин с икрой].
Erik: Yeah.
Anna: You know this with caviar.
Erik: Yeah or [с творогом] or with cottage cheese…
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: Or with Sour cream.
Anna: [с творогом] is my favorite one.
Erik: So it’s kind of like a crepe right? It’s not really thick.
Anna: It’s not thick….
Erik: Like a pancake. You can’t really because you have pigs in a blanket. In America, we wrap the sausage but it’s a little awkward. These are really almost like a French Crepe and you put meat inside.
Anna: Yeah and sometimes they are not salt, they are not sweet. They are just you know like…
Erik: Just right.
Anna: Just yeah. So something you put in really mix.
Erik: Yeah so try this if you go to Russia. It sounds weird, meat in a pancake but it’s actually pretty good eh!
Anna: Hah it’s really good.
Erik: All right. Now Anna, can I ask you a personal question about this meat pancake?
Anna: Okay.
Erik: Do you usually make meat pancakes at home or is this more of a restaurant specialty?
Anna: No, no it depends on the family. In my family, we do cook pancakes but we usually put in Tvorog which is cottage cheese.
Erik: Ah and not [мясо] which is meat?
Anna: Not common I would say.
Erik: Okay and what about [винегрет]. This is if you are a vegetarian, this is a nice salad for if you don’t eat meat?
Anna: I would say Vinaigrette is not that popular in Russian families but it’s very popular among foreigners. This thing really surprised me.
Erik: Interesting.
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: I wonder if it’s because it’s the one dish that has no meat.
Anna: Might be.
Erik: No I am sure there are other dishes but they have Beets, maybe a little potato, some…
Anna: Cabbage?
Erik: Cabbage.
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: Some beans like Pinto beans, cooked and maybe a little bit of potato or pickle depending on its – every recipe is different right?
Anna: Well you know, what we say – in Russia, we say like everything you have in your Fridge could be in your Vinaigrette salad.
Erik: There you go. That sums it up quite nicely.
Anna: Hey Erik.
Erik: Yes.
Anna: We talked about [оливье]…
Erik: Yes.
Anna: In our conversation. It sounds like French to me. Do you happen to know the origin of this name?
Erik: You know this is kind of like Urban legend but I am not sure. It sounds like a French man’s name.
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: Yeah [оливье]. Maybe it’s the person who works at the Hermitage. I think it’s a famous restaurant in Moscow, not the museum in St. Petersburg.
Anna: Oh, okay, okay, okay.
Erik: Not that. I think this is a restaurant in Moscow. I am not sure. I am going to ask our listeners to see how good their research skills are.
Anna: Oh that’s a good idea.
Erik: Yeah maybe you can comment on the lesson. Where does the origin of this word come from [оливье]. We would really love your help in finding this mystery out. One last thing about the vocabulary that I noticed that we don’t have in the dialogue because not every restaurant has a waitress. Sometimes there are waiters right?
Anna: Uhoo…
Erik: So what would you use if it were a waiter instead of a waitress, would you use [официант] which is the formal version.
Anna: No we don’t usually use it. I would say [молодой человек]
Erik: And what does [молодой человек] mean?
Anna: Literally it means young man.
Erik: Young man.
Anna: But here I am not sure how to call the waiter a waitress. Just say [извините]
Erik: [извините]
Anna: [извините]
Erik: This is a really handy expression in Russia.
Anna: True.
Erik: In the Russian speaking world.
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: And what does [извините] mean?
Anna: Sorry or excuse me.
Erik: So if you are not sure about the age, if you don’t want to be too familiar, you can say
Anna: [извините]
Erik: [извините]
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: Excuse me
Anna: Excuse me [извините]

Lesson focus

Erik: Okay great. All right Anna, let’s talk a little bit about the grammar in this lesson. We know from our previous lessons that [хочешь кушать] means literally, you want to eat but what does [что] mean?
Anna: Oh it’s a piece of cake Eric. Not the piece of the baleen though.
Erik: Bad joke Anna. Really bad joke.
Anna: It’s a good joke. Stop it. Okay [что] literally means what. So you can use it both in questions and general sentences.
Erik: Okay. So here in the dialogue, how do we have it?
Anna: [что ты хочешь кушать?] For example…
Erik: [что ты хочешь кушать?] and that means
Anna: What do you want to eat?
Erik: Okay good. So we are building on our vocabulary from the previous lessons. We can now make a question. Is this our first question?
Anna: I don’t remember.
Erik: But we have how are you but that’s more of a greeting.
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: This is our real – a real question.
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: Alright good.
Anna: This is going to be more sophisticated [что ты хочешь кушать?]
Erik: I like it. All right and then I said [что ты будешь?] which literally means what will you?
Anna: What will you.
Erik: Yeah. And the verb [быть] can’t really be used in the present. Can it? It only works in the future or past.
Anna: Yeah that’s true. You are right.
Erik: So there is no to be verb in the present tense in Russian.
Anna: That’s true.
Erik: It’s kind of crazy.
Anna: But it’s very easy. You just don’t use it.
Erik: Yeah. So if I say, I am a student. We just say [Я студент]
Anna: Yes that’s true.
Erik: I student.
Anna: Like this yeah.
Erik: Okay, okay but here we are using [будешь] as what will you in a sort of an ellipsis there. What will you have?
Anna: What will you have?
Erik: Okay and this is – Is this pretty common to ask [что ты будешь?]
Anna: I’d say it’s the most common way to ask what you want to eat.
Erik: Okay good and now let’s talk about how to say I like.
Anna: Okay.
Erik: This one is tricky.
Anna: But it’s my favorite one.
Erik: Oh no. It took me a long time to say this word because there are so many consonants and…
Anna: Okay.
Erik: It’s also different from English. It kind of means it pleases me.
Anna: [мне нравится]
Erik: Right.
Anna: Hey I have never thought about it. Thanks Erik. I learned so much from you.
Erik: No.
Anna: Oh really well but I think this is the way Russian works. So it’s better to memorize this phrase.
Erik: Umm so let’s go over the pronunciation real quick again because I think it’s important. Can you say it slowly for us one more time?
Anna: Okay [мне нравится]
Erik: A little slower.
Anna: [мне нравится]
Erik: [нравится]
Anna: [нравится]
Erik: And how do we have it in the dialogue?
Anna: Okay for example, I like Shashlik.
Erik: Yeah. How would you say that?
Anna: [мне нравится шашлык]
Erik: What kind of Shashlik?
Anna: Oh it’s another question Erik.
Erik: Okay and that’s used with singular nouns right?
Anna: Yeah that’s true.
Erik: So one like one kebab [мне нравится шашлык]
Anna: Yes.
Erik: But here [блины] is a plural noun right?
Anna: Well that’s true yeah.
Erik: Pancakes.
Anna: Pancakes.
Erik: So how does it change [мне нравится] It’s a very slight change.
Anna: It’s very slight change. So with the plural nouns, we would use [мне нравятся]
Erik: But if you say it fast, it almost sounds the same right?
Anna: Okay. I will try to do this. I like Shashlik [мне нравится шашлык] and for example, I like [мне нравятся блины]
Erik: Gosh! It sounds the same to me.
Anna: Okay but this is…
Erik: But you know what, that’s a good thing…
Anna: Yeah.
Erik: For our listeners. We are fortunate here that we don’t have to worry too much about the nuances because it sounds so similar. I just wanted to point out that there is a difference right?
Anna: I wouldn’t recommend this.
Erik: Oh Anna!
Anna: But still yeah I think it’s a good way to learn Russian at this level.


Erik: Okay so if you are curious about this, check out the PDF. There is a detailed write up of these vocabulary words and phrases and we also have in the PDF for you some examples with I like and singular nouns and I like and plural nouns. So if we’ve overwhelmed you a bit today which I imagine is the case, it took me several weeks to learn I like. Don’t worry because we are going to use the same kind of phrases in the next lesson in a little bit of a different way but you will get to practice these new vocabulary words and phrases again. So stay tuned for the next lesson and be sure to pick up the PDF at russianpod101.com. Also if you have any questions, please feel free to use our forum or comment on today’s lesson. Alright, see you again tomorrow.
Anna: [Пока, пока!]