Russian - n8an

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Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-03-27, 3:21

Okay, I'm finally doing this :lol:

I grew up around Russian speakers, and the language is almost as "familiar" to my ear as Hebrew and Arabic. In my mid teens I was capable of understanding basic conversational Russian, however most of that has faded away.

I've been doing the Penguin course for about a week now, and because I already knew so much, I think I'm making good progress. I'm up to chapter 10, but I admit that I've been a bit lazy about doing "extra" practice - I feel like I already know so much of the vocabulary and grammar that I kind of skim over it, when in reality I definitely DON'T know it as well as I think I do.

I've been using the following sites to practice my declension of nouns and adjectives in the cases/numbers/genders I've so far encountered:

http://www.practicerussian.com/Tests/Te ... tives.aspx

http://www.practicerussian.com/Tests/TestNouns.aspx

I find these both really amazing tools that I wish I had for other languages. Sometimes it doesn't work properly (for example: sometimes if you press "enter" on your keyboard instead of actually clicking the button, it gives you the wrong result), but it's really helping me to become more automatic in my knowledge of cases.

What is really tripping me up is genitive plurals (I know I'm joining a long list of people here :D ) and even just nominative plurals in the class that adds "-a". I definitely need a lot more practice there.

I sometimes also mix up the noun and adjective declensions, so I'm working really hard to practice as much as possible. When I sit and think about it, I nearly always get it right - but I want it to become faster and more automatic.

I do have some questions for now:

1. The pronunciation of я, е and о seem so irregular.

я:

I mean, in words like язык I hear it as "yezik" (which, thanks to hearing Russian so much as a child but never learning it properly, I assumed was the correct spelling of the word too!), and I can't quite predict when it is pronounced in this way. Sometimes I'm sure it's "ya", but then it's "ye" or "yi". How is it pronounced in яя, also?

е:

Sometimes it really sounds like "yi" rather than "ye". Also, "ее"?

о:

I know it's usually somewhere between an "a" and "e" in unstressed positions, but how do I really know? Is there any way to really get it? I mean, in ого it sometimes sounds like "ava" and other times I almost hear "eve" or something.

2. Sometimes I feel like ы is basically the same as и.

I know I'm probably wrong, but that's how I sometimes hear it. Then again, many of my friends are not formerly educated in Russian and only learned it through family.

3. I'm not this advanced with grammar yet, but I'm curious: how do you decline adjectives and nouns when there are two potential cases involved? Eg: "I am at my older brother's big house". Which case is involved? Genitive? Prepositional?

4. This is probably stupid, but if I'm not mistaken, the feminine singular genitive declension of nouns is the same as the nominative plural. Does this ever cause problems?




Thanks in advance to anybody who can answer these questions, and anybody who wishes to help/encourage me :D

I'm not confident enough yet to write sentences, but I'd love some private assistance from any Unilangers :yep:

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-03-29, 2:42

Okay, my confidence is slowly fading as I go through the genitive plural.

Since starting this, I've forgotten some of the spelling changes that occur with the other case endings. I remember the "basic" rules, but all the spelling changes are escaping my mind.

What's worse is that with all that, I'm forgetting the genitive plural itself.

I think I really need to knuckle down and get some stuff done over the Easter (Passover פסח! for me!) break.

:nope: :nope: :nope: :cry:

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby voron » 2018-03-29, 16:11

Добро пожаловать на русский форум, Натан!

n8an wrote:1. The pronunciation of я, е and о seem so irregular.

Here is a nice chart that shows the vowel reduction rules in a bit more detailed way than it's usually taught in popular Russian courses.
Image
Tonic means the stressed syllable, pretonic is the one immediately before the stress etc.

I've taken it from this freely available Russian grammar: http://www.seelrc.org:8080/grammar/main ... nguageID=6 (section Phonology). It should answer your questions about the pronunciation of а, о, е.
я:

I mean, in words like язык I hear it as "yezik" (which, thanks to hearing Russian so much as a child but never learning it properly, I assumed was the correct spelling of the word too!), and I can't quite predict when it is pronounced in this way. Sometimes I'm sure it's "ya", but then it's "ye" or "yi". How is it pronounced in яя, also?

There is a special rule about я that the chart above does not cover:
In the pretonic syllable, я is always pronounced as /ji/, so язык becomes /jizɨk/.

2. Sometimes I feel like ы is basically the same as и.

They are different sounds. Also, и causes a change in the preceding consonant (palatalization), and ы doesn't -- that's also how you can tell which is which.

3. I'm not this advanced with grammar yet, but I'm curious: how do you decline adjectives and nouns when there are two potential cases involved? Eg: "I am at my older brother's big house". Which case is involved? Genitive? Prepositional?

Я в большом доме своего старшего брата.
I in big.PREP house.PREP my.GEN old.GEN brother.GEN

The possessed thing (big house) comes first and is put into whatever case its role in the sentence requires.
The possessor (my older brother) comes second and is always in genitive.

4. This is probably stupid, but if I'm not mistaken, the feminine singular genitive declension of nouns is the same as the nominative plural. Does this ever cause problems?

No. In fact because of the vowel reduction many cases may sound the same. For example for a girl name Маша:
Nom: Маша
Gen: Маши
Dat: Маше
Prep: Маше
-- all four of them may sound [maʂə] in casual speech. Think about Arabic -- it doesn't have any cases at all and the word order is quite free, but it doesn't usually cause any problems either.

Okay, my confidence is slowly fading as I go through the genitive plural.

Don't be hard on yourself. Genitive plural is notoriously difficult in all Slavic languages which have cases; it's difficult even for us native speakers. You'll get used to it with time.

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-03-31, 5:35

First off, Дзякуй! :D

Image
Tonic means the stressed syllable, pretonic is the one immediately before the stress etc.

There is a special rule about я that the chart above does not cover:
In the pretonic syllable, я is always pronounced as /ji/, so язык becomes /jizɨk/.


This is so helpful! I'm paying a lot of attention to it now.

The я thing makes so much sense. I'm really glad I have you to explain it to me, because my Russian-speaking friends aren't as educated in their language and couldn't really explain it.

Я в большом доме своего старшего брата.
I in big.PREP house.PREP my.GEN old.GEN brother.GEN

The possessed thing (big house) comes first and is put into whatever case its role in the sentence requires.
The possessor (my older brother) comes second and is always in genitive.


This is cool. I think it will still take a while before it comes automatically to me, especially when I have to juggle multiple cases with adjectives.

No. In fact because of the vowel reduction many cases may sound the same. For example for a girl name Маша:
Nom: Маша
Gen: Маши
Dat: Маше
Prep: Маше
-- all four of them may sound [maʂə] in casual speech. Think about Arabic -- it doesn't have any cases at all and the word order is quite free, but it doesn't usually cause any problems either.


Got it. I suppose this is where my lack of actual education in Russian (despite the heavy exposure I've had) is most evident.



And thanks also for helping with my motivation! I went back to my textbook yesterday and went over everything that I've learned so far, and tried out those test sites again with MUCH more success.

It's a busy weekend for me (Passover and Easter both in my family), but I'm feeling much more confident than I was before :D

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-04-07, 6:25

I'm getting more confident with most cases now, but what I really need is to practice reading and more conversational stuff.

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-04-18, 16:29

Okay, back at it.


I had another look over Chapter 10 of the Penguin book, because I wasn't sure that I had really learned it properly.

Apologies in advance for my handwriting and the fact that I still have not learned Cyrillic handwriting script. I will get there one day.

Image

I feel like I did okay with this exercise.


BUT, I did get a bit stuck here:

Image


Okay, so for each sentence:

1. I understand that animate accusative plural nouns and adjectives are the same as the genitive, so this makes sense.

2. I originally wrote американские because I got too caught up with "genitive plural for animate accusative, nominative plural for inanimate accusative", but then I realised that this was just genitive and not even an accusative sentence.

3. This is where I got a bit stuck. **Sorry for the spelling error in больших!**

"пять больших бутылок сока" made sense in my head, but I couldn't really quite understand why больших бутылок was in plural genitive while сока was singular. I finally realised that the больших бутылок was in genitive plural because of the number пять, but сока was in genitive singular because it was "of juice".

"одну маленькую бутылку вина" trips me up, though.

I understand that одну маленькую бутылку is in the accusative case, as the one little bottle is being bought, and that "вина" is in the genitive because it is "of wine".

What I struggle with, however, is why пять болших бутылок is in the genitive but not in the accusative at all, since they are also being bought. Is it because numbers other than "one" are not declined for case? I mean, bottles of wine are not animate nouns, so should they not be declined as they are in the nominative case here?

Anyone who can explain this would be much appreciated!


4. Here again - why is it in genitive and not accusative? I know that anytime you count 2, 3 or 4 nouns, the noun itself will be in the genitive singular while the adjective will be in either genitive plural (masc/neut) or nominative plural (fem).

But why is it not in the accusative at all? I mean, the languages are being "known", right?


Sorry for being stupid. I'm just having trouble with this.

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby Drink » 2018-04-18, 18:47

First of all, on the first page, you have a couple minor mistakes:

1. ва́ших, not **ваши́х

10. I'm not sure what the last word is supposed to be. If it is supposed to be денег, then it is де́нег, not **дене́г.

Everything you said about the second page is basically correct up until here:

n8an wrote:3. ... What I struggle with, however, is why пять болших бутылок is in the genitive but not in the accusative at all, since they are also being bought. Is it because numbers other than "one" are not declined for case? I mean, bottles of wine are not animate nouns, so should they not be declined as they are in the nominative case here?
...
4. Here again - why is it in genitive and not accusative? I know that anytime you count 2, 3 or 4 nouns, the noun itself will be in the genitive singular while the adjective will be in either genitive plural (masc/neut) or nominative plural (fem).


So when you use numbers (other than "one", because "one" works like ordinary adjectives and not like the other numbers), you have to remember that what you're dealing with first is the case of the number, and not the case of the noun. The case of the noun then depends on the case of the number.

The numbers here are all in the accusative case, as you expect, which for these numbers happens to be the same as the nominative.

Now that that's settled, the rule for the noun (only the noun that is numbered by the number) is that for the nominative case, the noun and any adjectives describing it are in the genitive case (the adjectives always in the plural genitive, the noun in the singular genitive for 2-4 and the plural genitive for 5+; sometimes this form is not exactly the same as the ordinary singular/plural genitive, but let's not get into that now). This also covers the accusative case of numbers when it is the same as the nominative. For all other cases, the noun and any adjectives describing it are in the plural and in the same case as the number.

Thus, for example:
- nominative and accusative: пять больши́х буты́лок, три иностра́нных языка́
- genitive: пяти́ больши́х буты́лок, трёх иностра́нных языко́в
- instrumental: пятью́ больши́ми буты́лками, тремя́ иностра́нными языка́ми

Hope this helps :)
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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby Saim » 2018-04-18, 19:15

n8an wrote:4. Here again - why is it in genitive and not accusative? I know that anytime you count 2, 3 or 4 nouns, the noun itself will be in the genitive singular while the adjective will be in either genitive plural (masc/neut) or nominative plural (fem).

But why is it not in the accusative at all? I mean, the languages are being "known", right?


Sorry for being stupid. I'm just having trouble with this.


That's not a stupid question at all! It does have accusative, but the accusative declension of три is the same as the nominative form:

Image

EDIT: I see Drink has beat me to the punch, but maybe the visual aid will help cement it in your mind.

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-04-19, 16:37

Wow, thanks for the quick responses! :D

Drink wrote:First of all, on the first page, you have a couple minor mistakes:

1. ва́ших, not **ваши́х

10. I'm not sure what the last word is supposed to be. If it is supposed to be денег, then it is де́нег, not **дене́г.


Can you tell that I'm doing my Russian stuff after midnight when I'm half asleep? 8-)

So when you use numbers (other than "one", because "one" works like ordinary adjectives and not like the other numbers), you have to remember that what you're dealing with first is the case of the number, and not the case of the noun. The case of the noun then depends on the case of the number.



Now that that's settled, the rule for the noun (only the noun that is numbered by the number) is that for the nominative case, the noun and any adjectives describing it are in the genitive case (the adjectives always in the plural genitive, the noun in the singular genitive for 2-4 and the plural genitive for 5+; sometimes this form is not exactly the same as the ordinary singular/plural genitive, but let's not get into that now). This also covers the accusative case of numbers when it is the same as the nominative. For all other cases, the noun and any adjectives describing it are in the plural and in the same case as the number.

Thus, for example:
- nominative and accusative: пять больши́х буты́лок, три иностра́нных языка́
- genitive: пяти́ больши́х буты́лок, трёх иностра́нных языко́в
- instrumental: пятью́ больши́ми буты́лками, тремя́ иностра́нными языка́ми

Hope this helps :)



Okay, very helpful. I am sure (extremely, extremely sure) that I will still struggle to completely use this correctly, but it definitely makes more sense now.


Saim wrote:That's not a stupid question at all!


Okay, thanks. Stay tuned for some truly stupid questions :silly:

It does have accusative, but the accusative declension of три is the same as the nominative form:

Image
[/quote][/quote]


Thank you so much! This is incredibly helpful.

I suppose it does help me when I think of "пять больших бутылок сока " as two separate parts: "five big bottles" - in the genitive plural because of the number "5", and "OF juice" - in the genitive singular because it's "of juice".

The fact that I now know that пять is in the accusative here, and три is in the accusative in the other sentence, makes all the difference.

I'm sure I'll make this mistake again, but thank you very much for this advice for now :D

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-04-25, 15:02

I've been quite slack on using the book lately, mostly because it's becoming apparent that I really need to do more than just use this book and its exercises. As it gets more complicated, I'm realising that I definitely do not someone to practice with and ask questions of.

I have been using HelloTalk more, though, and I think my pronunciation is progressing well.

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-05-31, 16:41

Massively slacked off just when I should be trying harder.

I think my motivation for language learning has really decreased in the past 3 years. I need to figure out a better way to handle it.

Still, I am trying to improve my use of formal and technical vocabulary in Hebrew, so I guess once I get a bit better there I'll be more keen on Russian again.

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-06-04, 12:40

Back on some kind of track with this. It's so hard with all these distractions in my life :?

Anyway, I just finished chapter 15 of the book.


Here are my answers to the review questions:

Image

I posted it on HelloTalk, and I got some commentary:

A) In the 8th sentence, I wrote отдахну instead of отдохну. Noted.

B) In the 9th sentence, I spelled нельзя incorrectly :oops:

C) Someone said that in sentence 13, I should have written петровой. I don't understand why - I think it should be петрове, in the dative case.

D) In the 10th sentence, I should have written минеральной.



My main question is related to sentence 12: why is "every week" in the accusative case (каждую неделю)? I cheated by looking at the answers, so I know I'm right; I just don't know why.

Is anyone able to help me out with this stuff and give me any other advice?

Thanks :D

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby Drink » 2018-06-04, 13:20

1. купи́ть, not ку́пить
4. Е́ве, not Еве́
12. The reason каждую неделю is in the accusative case is simply that this how an adverb of time is formed from каждый + time noun. For example, каждую пятницу, каждую минуту, etc. Note that каждый год, каждый понедельник, etc. are also in the accusative, just the accusative is the same as the nominative. I thought this was a more general rule, but I can't think of any other time constructions (i.e. other than with каждый + time noun) that are just straight in the accusative without a preposition. But do note that many time constructions with the preposition в take the accusative as well, instead of the prepositional case, e.g. в первый раз, в пятницу, etc.
13. The reason it should be Петровой is that certain kinds of last names, such as those ending in -ов(а) have a special mixed adjectival declension. See the table at the Wiktionary entry for Петров.
14. не́сколько, not неско́лько
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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-06-04, 17:11

Drink wrote:1. купи́ть, not ку́пить
4. Е́ве, not Еве́
12. The reason каждую неделю is in the accusative case is simply that this how an adverb of time is formed from каждый + time noun. For example, каждую пятницу, каждую минуту, etc. Note that каждый год, каждый понедельник, etc. are also in the accusative, just the accusative is the same as the nominative. I thought this was a more general rule, but I can't think of any other time constructions (i.e. other than with каждый + time noun) that are just straight in the accusative without a preposition. But do note that many time constructions with the preposition в take the accusative as well, instead of the prepositional case, e.g. в первый раз, в пятницу, etc.
13. The reason it should be Петровой is that certain kinds of last names, such as those ending in -ов(а) have a special mixed adjectival declension. See the table at the Wiktionary entry for Петров.
14. не́сколько, not неско́лько


Ah, thank you so much! I'll remember all that.

Interesting about the Petrov thing!

I'm irritated at all my spelling errors (and wtf am I thinking with the accents when I know exactly where the stress is IRL). I guess I should stop trying to race through things at 2am.

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Re: Russian - n8an

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-06-02, 17:43

n8an wrote:I guess I should stop trying to race through things at 2am.

I think I have the same problem. Especially with Hebrew :lol:


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