Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Hello and welcome to Russian Survival Phrases. This course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Russia. So join us for Russian Survival phrases. You will be surprised at how far a little Russian will go.
In today's lesson we'll cover another extremely important phrase: "Can you speak English?" Using this phrase as opposed to speaking English at someone is important for many reasons. For one if the party you’re speaking to doesn’t understand English, at least they’ll be able to understand what you’re asking. Furthermore, it shows a lot of respect, to show that you took the effort to learn even a little bit of the language, and for these reasons and many more, we’re going to cover this phrase.
In Russian "Do you speak English?" is "Vy gavarite pa-angliski?". Let`s break it down by syllable: Vy ga-va-ri-te pa-an-gli-ski?. Now, let`s hear it once again: Vy gavarite pa-angliski?. The first word "Vy" means "you". Let`s break down this word and hear it one more time: Vy. This is followed by "gavarite", which in English is "speak" or "talk", gavarite, ga-va-ri-te, gavarite.
"Pa" means "on". "Pa-angliski" is a set phrase which means "English" related to the language. So, altogether we have: "Vy gavarite pa-angliski?". Literally this means: “You speak English?”.
Now let's try a different language. How about French?. Can you speak French? "Vy gavarite pa-frantsuski?". The word for "French" is "frantsuskiy". Let`s break down this word and hear it one more time: fran-tsu-skiy. Here the word that changes is the word for the language. The rest is the same.
Nowadays in Russia English is studied at schools, so the number of speakers is increasing. However, there are still many people who don't speak English. As a foreigner you might be asked whether you speak Russian with: Vy gavarite pa-ruski?”, “Do you speak Russian?”. You can give a short answer: net, which means “no”, da, which means “yes”. Or you might want to say “ochen` plokha”, which means “very bad”. Even though you do not speak any Russian you certainly heard of some famous writers like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov etc. Russians are very proud of their literature. That`s why you should let them know that you know some of their writers. They would be very pleased to talk about it and share some of their knowledge.
Ok, to close out today`s lesson we'd like for you to practice what we`d just learnt. I will provide you with the English equivalent of the phrase and you are responsible for saying it aloud. You'll have a few seconds before I`ll give you the answer. Udachi! That means “good luck”! Ok, here we go!
Do you speak English?……..Vy gavarite pa-angliski?
Do you speak French?………. Vy gavarite pa-frantsuski?
Alright, that's going to do for today. See you tomorrow, which in Russian is da zaftra!

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