Archives par étiquette : russian

Language of the Week: Russian

russian

Russia first peaked my interest when I heard about their beautifully crafted ice hotels that were not only remarkable to look at but could also accommodate real guests. I was astounded, and immediately added “stay in ice hotel in Russia” to my bucket list. Now, more about their official language, Russian, which is also spoken in other countries such as Ukraine; Belarus and Kazakhstan.

The Russian alphabet is known as the Cyrillic alphabet. There is a total of 33 letters in the alphabet including 11 vowels, 20 consonants and 2 pronunciation signs.

There are a few letters that have almost identical pronunciations as their English look alike, such as:

A, K, M, O and T

Then there are ones that look like English letters, but have a completely new sound:

B, E, H, P,C , Y, X

Then the remaining letters that you’ve probably never seen before:

Б,  Г, Д ,З ,И Л ,П ,Ф ,Э ,Ю ,Я ,Ё ,Ж ,Ц ,Ч ,Ш ,Щ ,Ы ,Й

Lastly, letters that have no sound of their own but are still considered letters:

Ъ  and Ь 

It is said that the pronunciation and grammar of Russian is the most difficult for students. That is because in Russian, there are six declensions: Nominative, Accusative, Prepositional, Genitive, Dative and Instrumental that tell you the context of the word. It’s similar to having six different reasons to conjugate nouns, adjectives and pronouns differently.  On a positive note, unlike other languages such as French, where it is almost necessary for students to memorize if a noun is masculine or feminine, in Russian there are strict rules with very few exceptions.

If you are currently learning Russian, don’t give up! If you are thinking about it, try these simple words and then decide how you feel!

Russian Word Pronouncation English
Здравствуйте Zdrastvooyte Hello
Привет! Preevyet Hi!
Как поживаешь? Kak pazhivayesh? How are you?
Спасибо, прекрасно! Spaseeba preekrasna! Fine, thanks!
Как Вас зовут? Kak vas zavoot? What’s your name?
Меня зовут… Meenya zavoot… My name is…
Вы говорите по-английски?  Vi gavareetye pa angleeskee?  Do you speak English?
Спасибо Spaseeba Thank you
Извините Eezveeneete Sorry!

 

Пока (« pa-ka »)  Bye !

 

 



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