Foreigners who study the Russian language agree with the definition of “great and mighty”, love the word “grandmother”, but swear at the letter “Y” and the abundance of cases.
Quentin Len, France: “I hardly explained to my friends what stress was”
A 26-year-old native Frenchman, born in the Basque country, ten kilometers from the border with Spain, lectures on French in Chelyabinsk. At the same time he is studying Russian – in dictionaries, reference books and books.
“Russian is very difficult. The most difficult thing for you in Russia is to learn declensions and conjugations. There are a lot of exceptions. For example, the word mouth. The language “in the mouth”, and not “in the company”, the vowel disappears, this is an exception, and it is difficult for a foreigner to understand this. Another difficulty is stress. To my friends in France, I could hardly explain what it was. In French, emphasis is always placed on the last syllable, no one even thinks about it.
I cannot read Russian art books yet: many words are difficult when used together, allegorically, it is difficult for me to understand the meaning of the text. But I love literature, because I study the history of Russia from a textbook for the sixth grade: everything is clear there.
There are also comic moments in Russia. Your word “bill”, which is constantly heard in restaurants, in French means “toilet”. And it is rude, almost abusive. I still can’t get used to it when I hear it, asking me to calculate for lunch at a cafe. ”
Filippo Lbate, Italy: It is difficult to pronounce the letter Y
Wedding photographer, moved to Petersburg from Italy a year ago with his Russian wife. Language is taught independently by the tutorial and with the help of his wife.
“Russian is generally one big difficulty. At the age of 40, learning a new, unlike anything language is difficult to triple. I still often confuse the letters C and W, W and W, X and F … and do not understand why, for example, the word milk reads Malako and t dd
It is very difficult to pronounce the letter “Y”, considering that there is no such sound in Italian, as well as the letter “X”, it is also not in Italian, and the result is a guttural almost Arabic “KH”.
For the rest, I can say that I am in love with Russia. ”
Lindy Belaya, Israel: “Russian is a complete pantomime for me”
Lindy Belaya, 26, was born in Kazakhstan in 1987, and at the age of 6 she moved to Israel with her parents. At that time, she still couldn’t read or write, and the Russian knew only “by ear”. Recently, the family returned to Russia.
“At school I was taught to read and write, of course, in Hebrew. But I did not forget Russian – I ran after my parents with the alphabet and asked to show me where the letter was. Russian letters are harder to memorize, because there are only 22 in Hebrew.
In Israel, every sixth resident knows Russian. I had to learn Russian, even if I didn’t want to. Because there are very few Hebrew books. I read my first book, the fantastic story The Wizard’s Rules, only at 12 years old. Who could hardly get Russian, they learned English – the benefit of the book in English was published.
Some Hebrew words are very similar to Russians. For example, before going to serve, everyone had to undergo a physical examination. And, of course, there was a psychiatrist among the doctors. In Hebrew, the psychiatrist sounds like a boar קבן (mental health officer). We laughed: So, we all go to the psyche to check the mind. But we called our deputy battalion commander samgad (סמגד). In Russian, this word is very similar to reptile. By the way, in the Israeli army they use foul language in Russian.
Any Russian can be recognized in Israel by the timbre of his voice. Russian is a subtle language. Hebrew – more dense, bass, heavy.
Sometimes Russian for me is a complete pantomime. It used to be in Israel: I forgot the word in Russian – I will replace it in Hebrew, I forget it in Hebrew – I will replace it in Russian. You can’t do that in Russia – they simply won’t understand you. Therefore, you have to resort to pantomime, when you can not remember the right word.
Somehow I worked in a store, they turned to me when they paid for the purchase: “Do you need it?”. And I say: Yes, do not … just give!. In general, I did not even understand what was asked of me.
My husband and I bought food at the supermarket, he went for the fruit, and he said to me: “Go, take yogurt in a tetra pak.” I did not immediately hear. I searched and did not find such a company, went to the cashier and whisper in her ear: “Can you tell me where your company is Kontropak dairy products?”. She immediately realized that I was not Russian. And she explained that “Tetrapak” is such a package. Again, in Israel, this is just kefir in a box.
The word put down also caused confusion. A new employee came to work, bought fruit and drinks, put it on the table and went out for a while.
The guys come up to me and say: Oh, here, I decided to put down!. And I thought to “give up” – for me these two words were one. But in Russian it means to die. For a long time I could not understand why the alleged deceased walks around the office and treats us with fruits! A ladle borscht. Pour me a ladle. I wondered: how can you pour paloMniki?
But it also happens that the Russians themselves do not know some of their words. Here is a vortex – this is the same as a washcloth. I often say it is a whirlwind – they do not understand me. And they always fix what I say is wrong – it rings and does not ring. But they themselves have to “go to Katy”, and not “To Katya”, for example.
Maria Kangas, Finland: “Crashes are horror!”
Maria Kangas has been living in Yaroslavl for a month now, getting acquainted with the habits and dialect of Russians. This trip to Russia is not the first. Before Yaroslavl, Masha, as Russian friends call her, managed to visit other Russian cities, work at the consulate and fall in love with Pavlovo Posad shawls.
“Oh, the Russian language … How is it correctly spoken? Great and powerful! I started teaching him five years ago. And still I can not say that I know perfectly well. The perfect and imperfect kind of verbs – how to use them? Cases – it’s just awful! I, besides my native Finnish, also know English and Swedish. I can tell you that they are much easier. We Finns are generally very slow (laughs). And Russians speak very quickly, swallowing words, it is sometimes difficult for me to understand them.
When I first started learning Russian, I had big problems with pronunciation. The stress is horror, it is pff … (Maria almost hisses, exhaling – note of the author). I make a lot of mistakes. Prepositions – how many are there? How to use them? But the most difficult for beginners is the pronunciation of the letters W, C, X, and, I can not lie, she herself still can not cope with everything.
At the institute we have lessons of oral speech and grammar. The grammar is very difficult for me. You can talk with mistakes, but people will still understand you, but to write … Especially, where to insert AND, and where Y, commas, colons, dashes …
I can say one thing: what you learn from textbooks, and when you communicate with people in Russian – two completely different things. Take, for example, the owner of the apartment we live in. We are me and my new girlfriend Katerina from Germany, who also came here to study. A woman utters many words that are not in the dictionaries. Therefore, sometimes you just have to guess what she is talking about. But this is all unimportant. The main thing – we listen to the Russian language and try to understand. If it does not work, we explain it with gestures. This we have mastered perfectly.
This is what I still do not understand: why does a man marry and a woman gets married? In our language, this is denoted by one word. Or words such as street, bear cub – at first did not understand what I was talking about. It also seems strange to me that words have two meanings: positive and negative. It seems that the word is normal, but it turns out they can be hurt.
Russian language is very complicated, tangled, but I do not give up! It only seems to me that I will study him for another five years in order to speak smoothly (am I right?). ”
Helene Mosque, France
Helen teaches French in Orenburg and part-time studies the Russian language.
“I first heard Russian speech on TV, it seemed to me very pleasant to the ear, very melodic. In France, the Russian language is rare, so I find it so exotic, it does not look like anything and is generally surprising.
For example, the verb to go in French means action when someone goes somewhere. But once I saw the phrase “time passes,” I was surprised and only then I found an explanation that this is a figurative meaning.
Russian words are not similar to words from French and other Romance languages. You have several consonants in a row in one word. “Hello,” I often say and have become accustomed, but I still cannot pronounce “bread” and “adult”.
I like the words that are easy to pronounce and remember, where vowels and consonants alternate, for example, the words “grandmother”, “brother”, “sister”, “family”, “fraternity”.
I have never read books in Russian, this is a demotivating factor in learning, too difficult. I learn language in conversations with people.
When people around you see that I am a foreigner, they try to speak more slowly, to build their speech more carefully. But if I find myself in a place where there are many Russians, I almost don’t understand what they are talking about.
It happens that one word in Russian and French means different things. For the French, Vinaigrette is a mustard, oil and vinegar sauce, but not a salad.
It is difficult to understand the phrase, in which there is agreement, and denial, and convention, as yes no, probably. People who say so either do not want to communicate, or are not sure of their answer.
It is difficult for me to remember not the Russian letters themselves, but their order of arrangement. Before I find a word in the dictionary, I look at the alphabet. French is my mother tongue, but I have the same problem there.
In Russia, along with the name of the store, it is rarely indicated what kind of place it is. For example, before I did not know that under the sign Neighbor or Magnet you can buy products.
I read Russian fairy tales in French as a child. Like that often there are three characters. The last tale I read in Russian was about a girl who got lost in the forest, came across a house, ate there, slept. It turned out that this was the home of bears, who were unhappy that someone had penetrated their lair. But then the little bear thought that there was a good thing in it – he found himself a new true friend. ”
Mario Salazar, Costa Rica
Mario moved to Orenburg from the hot city of San Jose and is now teaching Spanish to local students.
It is interesting when the Russians say: 20 degrees of frost, warmer! There are no frosts in Costa Rica. When my friends call me, they first ask about the weather. I really wanted to see snow in Russia.
It is easier for me to read Russian books than to hear the conversation. There is a time to think, look in the dictionary. When you speak Russian, you have to think a lot, and this happens very quickly.
There are many beautiful words in the Russian language – “peace”, “his”, “woman”, “Russia”. I like the way they sound and their meaning too.
The most difficult thing is to memorize the plural of all words. There are no cases in Spanish, but in Russian there are, all the time I’m afraid to forget them, it’s very difficult.
I easily understand the jokes in the films, when I see what is happening, what the situation is. I love to watch the film Ivan Vasilyevich changes his profession. And when people talk and laugh, I almost always wonder what it is.
I watch TV, listen to the radio. It is easy to understand what they say in stupid TV shows, and nothing at all – in the news.
Writing Russian words is a horror! Especially long. “Hello” – I do not understand what letters this word consists of, in what order to write, so as not to miss one?
When I write, sometimes I confuse W and W, E and E. Sometimes I do not understand why the Russians themselves write “E”, but read “E”.
The most difficult sound for me is “Y”, especially in combination with “L”, there is no such combination in Spanish. It is very difficult to say the words onion, puddle.
It is difficult to understand how Russians place stress. For example, “milk”: which letters are read as “A” and which ones as “O”? And where to put stress?
There is no black bread in Costa Rica, and this is very tasty! We also have no marshmallow and kvass.
To strangers I appeal: “sorry”, “you can help”, “hello”, “goodbye”. I rarely appeal to strangers on the street, I hesitate. But when you need to talk to someone, I say you-you.
I tried to read fairy tales, but it is difficult: there is an old vocabulary. I found the word cripples and asked my friends what it was, but they themselves did not know.