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Zel's Randomness Journal Umm....a journal...of randomness.....

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Exercise A: Read these nonsense words out aloud:

кар, гар, зар тар, вар, мар, кир, гир, зир, тир, вир, мир, эрп, прул, дол, зам, рам, троп, лор, рем, пир, пер, пар, зур, дур , вуф, фам, фаз, вом, дел, хол, хар, ях, ям, як, ят, вят гая, гою , фаю, му, эк, эрю, шам, чам, цам , жам, жир, жена, цем, цём, ём, шет, щет, чет, чай, май, мыр , мык, быр

Exercise B: Now pronounce these real words:
1) океа'н
2) чай
3) мо'ре
4) сло'во
5) москва'
6) тру'дный
7) лёгкий
cool фундамента'льный
9) поби'ть
10) же'нщина

Exercise C: What does it say?:
1) рестора'н
2) фильм
3) мир
4) компью'тер
5) интерн'ет
6) студе'нт
7) автомоби'ль


Solution of Exercise C:
1) restaurant
2) film/movie
3) mir (like the Russian space station)
4) computer
5) internet
6) student
7) car (automobile)


Lesson 2: Я Тарзан, ты Жeйн

Unlike most Indo-European languages, the Russian language uses no verb "to be". Moreover, the Russian language doesn't have articles either, so the words "the, a" and "an" do not exist in Russian, which makes Russian kind of a Tarzan language at first sight. For example, we say "I am a student" whereas Russians would simply say I student.

Let's take a look at some introductions in Russian, which will make you familiar with the words for I, you, he, she etc...

I am Ivan and I am a student. Я Иван и я студе'нт.
You are Ivan and you are a student. Ты Иван и ты студе'нт.
He is Ivan and he is a student. Он Иван и он студе'нт.
She is Ivanova and she is a student. Она' Иванова и она' студе'нтка.
We are Ivan and Pyotr and we are students. Мы Иван и Пётр и мы студе'нты.
You are Ivan and Pyotr and you are students. Вы Иван и Пётр и вы студе'нты.
They are Ivan and Pyotr and they are students. Они' Иван и Пётр и они' студе'нты.

The above example showed you all so-called personal pronouns. You now know how to say "I" and "We", etc.. You have also learned the word for "and", which is of course "и". You have also learned the word for "student", which becomes "студе'нтка" in it's feminine form and "студе'нты" in it's plural form.

Russian is not an easy language, although you might find it easy that there are no words such as "the, a" and "to be". The Russian language has noun gender and cases. This may not say much to you yet, so we will look into this more.

Noun gender

To explain the concept of noun-gender we'll first have to explain what a noun is, if you didn't already know. A noun is a word that represents an object a person or an abstract something, nouns can be preceded in English by the word "the".

In most other languages, but not in English, a noun has a certain gender. So you're telling me a noun can be a boy or a girl? Indeed...that's what we're saying. A noun has a certain gender, in Russian (and many other Germanic languages) there are three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. Every noun (note that this gender concept only applies to nouns) has one of these three genders. How to determine what gender is very difficult sometimes, but most grammar rules are dependent of the gender of the noun, so you'll have to learn the gender of each noun. From now on, we will mention the gender of a noun when we discuss one, we use the abbreviations "m" for masculine, "f" for feminine and "n" for neuter.

Pointing at Possession

We will now discuss two important parts of Russian grammar, noun-gender plays a very important role here, as with most other grammar rules as well. We have already learned to say things like "He is a student". Now we will take a look at how to point at things or people, by saying: "This is a student" or "That is a student". In Russian we can use the word "это" to say "this/that". This fortunately doesn't involve noun gender yet:

Э'то студе'нт This/that is a student
Э'то студе'нтка This/that is a (female) student

Things get a bit trickier though when you want to say "this student" instead of "this IS A student". Noun gender will get involved now and we will also see a separating in this and that: "это" will be used for "this" while "то" will be used for "that". And they all have to agree with the noun in gender and number. The following example will explain this:

Э'тот студе'нт This student (m)
Тот студе'нт That student (m)
Э'та студе'нтка This (female) student
Та студе'нтка That (female) student
Э'та кни'га This book (f)
Та кни'га That book (f)
Э'то окно' This window (n)
То окно' That window (n)

Now we will discuss possession. Like in any languages, it is also possible in Russian to say things like: "My car", "Your book", etc... Again, noun gender is an important aspect here because it will determine which translation of My/Your/Our/Their to use. Take a look at the following example:

Э'то мой автомоби'ль This/that is my car (m)
Э'то твой автомоби'ль This/that is your car (m)
Э'то наш автомоби'ль This/that is our car (m)
Э'то ваш автомоби'ль This/that is your car (m) (plural form and/or formal form)
Э'то моя' кни'га This/that is my book (f)
Э'то твоя' кни'га This/that is your book (f)
Э'то на'ша кни'га This/that is our book (f)
Э'то ва'ша кни'га This/that is your book (f) (plural form and/or formal form)
Э'то моё окно' This/that is my window (n)
Э'то твоё окно' This/that is your window (n)
Э'то на'ше окно' This/that is our window (n)
Э'то ва'ше окно' This/that is your window (n) (plural form and/or formal form)

So you see that the possessive adjectives (as they are officially called) agree with the noun according to gender. So if the noun is masculine you use "мой, твой, наш" or "ваш", if the noun is feminine you use "моя', твоя', наша" or "ваша" and if it's neuter you use "моё, твоё, наше" or "ваше". We haven't discussed the plural form yet, that will come in a later lesson.

There is only one more thing we need to discuss. We haven't yet discussed the translation for the possessive adjectives "his", "her" and "their". But you are fortunate, because these three words don't act like the ones we just mentioned. They don't have to agree with the noun in gender, so you just use one form for all genders. The following example will demonstrate this:

Э'то е'го кни'га This is his book (f)
Э'то её кни'га This is her book (f)
Э'то их кни'га This is their book (f)
Э'то е'го автомоби'ль This is his car (m)
Э'то её окно' This is her window (n)
Э'то их стол This is their table (m)

This concludes the second lesson.


окно' (n) window
автомоби'ль (m) car
кни'га (f) book
стол (m) table
студе'нт (m) student
студе'нтка (f) (female) student


Exercise A: Translate to English:
1) Я студе'нт
2) Э'то кни'га
3) Та кни'га
4) Мой стол
5) Наше окно
6) Он студе'нт
7) Мы студе'нты

Exercise B: Translate to Russian:
1) You are a student
2) This is the window
3) This window
4) My book
5) The window
6) She is a student
7) That is my table
cool That student
9) This is Ivan and that is Ivanova
10) Our book


Solution of Exercise A:
1) I am a/the student
2) This/that is a/the book
3) That book
4) My table
5) Our window
6) He is a/the student
7) We are students

Solution of Exercise B:
1) Ты студе'нт
2) Э'то окно'
3) Э'то окно'
4) Моя' кни'га
5) Окно'
6) Она' студе'нтка
7) Э'то мой стол
cool Тот студе'нт
9) Э'то Иван и э'то Иванова
10) На'ша кни'га

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