Understanding Spoken Russian – Learn Russian Ep. 8

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* NOTE *

All phrases intended for translating/listening practice have been deleted.

Welcome to Episode 8. In the last episode we learned to pick out two important verb patterns in Russian…the first was for when a speaker is talking about themself in the present tense—like, я работаю я живу я смотрю …and we also learned to pick out when they’re talking about you.

Like: Где ты работаешь? Где ты живёшь? In today’s lesson we’ll add a new form.

But first let’s review what we learned. All I want you to say is whether Я or Ты is the subject of the sentence…the one doing the action. Ready?

– – –

Alright, on to today’s main topic which is the “he/she” form of verbs…again, in the present tense.

No rules or conjugation charts…just a super easy pattern that we’ll practice spotting. In the following exchanges, Katya is sitting with Anton and some friends who don’t speak Russian. So, Katya will ask Anton…for ex: Do you want pizza? And he’ll answer: No, Tony wants pizza….each time, using a different name. Just listen…

– – –

So we had: Майкл работает, София делает, Роберт знает, Джессика хочет, Андрюша не может

Those were the he and she forms of those verbs. And we heard an “et” sound at the end of each one. Let’s do nearly the same thing, using those same verbs, but this time it’ll go:

Does Anton work…No, I work…

– – –

Not all he and she forms end with that “et” sound. It can be ит…

…The ending can also be ёт…

…but there’s always that ‘T’ at the end. So in this first exercise, you now need to choose between three possible subjects. Are we hearing the Я form of the verb, the Ты form, or the Он Она-He/She form. Let’s give it a try…

– – –

As for that word ‘магазин’ …think of the clip on a gun, which is called a magazine…it stores bullets. магазин = store

So from all of that, the one phrase I want to be our official new word of the day is this: Я знаю.

We’ve heard it quite a few times already in this episode, so let me give you a few chances to use it in context. Imagine you’re outside with some friends, and Sara slips away into a shoe store. Someone asks…Эй…Где Сара?

Say: I know. She’s in the store.

Maybe someone’s searching for the box of Halloween decorations you put in the basement last year. Where are they? someone asks. Где они?

Say: I know. In the podval.

If someone tells you something you already know, you can confirm without saying “ya.” Just…

Да, знаю.

Yeah, I know.

It’s probably more common used in the negative. That is, saying: I don’t know. Imagine you’ve just woken up and your roommate is searching for something. He peeks in your room: Эй, где мой телефон?

Shrug your shoulders and tell him: I don’t know.

Я не знаю.

It’s also a polite way of asking if they know something. For example, in English we might say, “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to know where my rucksack is?”

In Russian, literally: You don’t know where my rucksack?

Ты не знаешь где мой рюкзак?

Try that again. Ask: You wouldn’t happen to know where my book is?

Alright, so now…let’s try our all-Russian section. Someone will talk, and then you answer the Yes or No questions that follow. If you don’t know the answer, then say: I don’t know.

NOTE: The Russian Immersion section has been deleted from this transcript. This is because the entire focus of this course is listening and understanding.

<<Tip of the day>>

Do you know what a cognate is? If you’re going through my Russian Made Easy podcast, or my Russian Accelerator course, then you’ve heard me talk a lot about cognates. Apologies for the repetition, but it’s such a key strategy to employ. Cognates are words that sound very similar between two languages and have the same meanings. Can you tell what these are?








Why are they so important? Well, when used properly, cognates let the student focus on the other things within an unfamiliar Russian phrase. You’re not stressing about the meaning…you already know it. Instead, you can target the word endings and spot the patterns…so you understand the word’s function in the sentence.

Take that word ‘engineer’. (инженер) How is it being used in the following sentence?

Я дал планы инженеру.

I gave the plans to the engineer. Engineer has that recipient marker on the end..that U sound.

Or this example with the word client: клиент

Я сказала клиенту, что ты не знаешь его адресс.

I told the client that you don’t know his address.

But you have to use the right cognates. Because a lot of cognates—since they were borrowed from other languages–don’t follow standard Russian patterns. Their word endings often don’t change. That can lead to confusion. So in this course—in all my courses—I’m using plenty of cognates, but believe me, they are carefully chosen. Not so much a tip, I suppose, but an insider’s view into the making of an effective language course.

<< end tip>>

Next, let’s listen to clips from the Russian version of SAM & CAT..the show that made Ariana Grande famous. And I should add…like the Thunderman’s episodes we’ve listened to, I’m not cherry picking here. What I mean is, this is literally the first episode of SAM and CAT I came across. And yet there’s plenty here you can grasp. So in this episode, Sam and Cat learn that their friend is a bodyguard for their favorite rock star, Dell DeVille. Just listen and see what you can pick out…

Мне не видно! (ВИД! there it is again)

Да….Я не могу рассказать потому что это секрет. Серёзно! Я не могу говорить о работе.

Новая работа?

Кто тебе сказал что я работаю телохранителем?!

Ты телохранитель?

Кто тебе ДАЛ эту информацию?

Ok, so…Cat has a blanket over her head, which is why she says…”Мне не видно.”

Lit: “For me not visible.” In normal English: “I can’t see.” And of course, our core word from Episode 5 was there: вид

So their goofy friend says, “I cant tell because it’s a secret.”

“Seriously. I cant talk about work.”

The kid says: “New job?”

Goofball says: “Who told you that I work as a bodyguard?”

“You’re a bodyguard?”

“Who gave you this information?” ‘Giving’ information counts as doing something to it, so эта информация changed to эту информацию

So they learn he’s the bodyguard to Dell Deville. Listen…

(kid) Ты работаешь на Делла-ДиВилла?

(Cat) Я люблю Делла-ДиВилла!

(Goomer) Нет. Я не могу этого сделать!

There were three present tense verbs in there from today’s podcast. Listen again…

So the kid said…You work for Dell DeVille?

Then Cat says: I love Dell DeVille.

And their friend says…No, I can’t do this.

So they try to meet this Dell DeVille guy at his favorite Burrito stand and Cat is standing with a big balloon. Off of Sam’s annoyed glance, Cat explains,…

Я люблю шарики.

I love balloons…then she looks around and says….

Стоп! А где Гумер?

Stop! So, where’s Goomer?

Then they show Goomer searching for the rock star guy. What does Goomer say?

Дэл! Я купил тебе бурито!

Dell! I bought for you a burrito!

A series of misfortunes and the rock star ends up in their home. Sam comes out and sees this massive breakfast that Cat made. And Cat tells her…

Смотри! Я сделала завтрак для Делла-ДиВилла.

Я вижу.

Remember, Я смотрел баскетбол? I was watching basketball? Well, смотри is the command form. So she’s telling her, Look!

And what does Sam say?

Я вижу. I see.

Sam comes over to free Dell’s hand. They have him temporarily restrained. He asks…

Что ты делаешь?

What are you doing?

She brought him coffee, but he insults her and so she leaves his hands locked…and the coffee just out of reach.

Я….Я не могу дотянуться.

He’s reaching as far as he can…I…I can’t дотянуться..I cant reach it.

Listen to him as she walks away:

нет нет нет стой стой стой…Я хочу латте!

no no no….stay stay stay….I want a latte!

I know, they all speak really fast in these clips, but that’s the point. I’m trying to get you used to hearing real speech, right from the beginning. So hang in there. As we progress, you’ll get more and more comfortable with the way native speakers really talk.

– – –

Before our final exam of this episode, let’s do a little speaking practice with words we’ve officially learned. Try to say…

– – –

Alright, enough pressure for today. Now just sit back and see if you can translate the gist of these phrases. Remember, if there’s a word you don’t know…no biggie. Just toss it into your translation.

Like…Папа купил мне галстук. Just say….Dad bought for me a galstuk. Ready?

– – –

My email is Mark @ understandingspokenrussian com I hope to hear from you, and how you’re doing with all this. And in the meantime, I’ll see you in Podcast #9.