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.
“I don’t understand” is going to be a very useful phrase because most of the time, maybe even almost 100% of the time, you won’t understand. While there are some similarities between English and Russian, Russian sounds very different from English and in the beginning there will likely be an adjustment period during which your ears get used to Russian.
In Russian “I don’t understand” is "Ya ni panimayu". Let`s break it down by syllable: Ya ni pa-ni-ma-yu. Now, let`s hear it once again: Ya ni panimayu.
The first word "ya" means "I". Let`s break down this word and hear it one more time: ya. This is followed by "ni", which in English is "not", followed by "panimayu" which means "understand", pa-ni-ma-yu and panimayu. So to recap here, we have "ya ni panimayu". Literally this means "I don't understand".
So now, if you want to say that unfortunately you don't understand and you want to highlight the word “unfortunately” you can use the following phrase: “K sazhaleniyu, ya ni panimayu”, which means “Unfortunately, I don't understand”. I will repeat it for you: K sazhaleniyu, ya ni panimayu”. In a situation where you are caught by surprise and some is talking to you in Russian not knowing that you do not understand a word of Russian you can just shrug your shoulders. This is a widely used sign in Russia to show that you don't understand or that you just dont know.
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 give you the answer. Udachi! That means “good luck”! Ok, here we go!
I don’t understand……..Ya ni panimayu
Alright, that's going to do for today. See you tomorrow, which in Russian is da zaftra!

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