Similarities between Russian and English (cognates), English words that you can freely use in Russian & words to avoid.
What you'll learn in this lesson:
- Words that are the same in Russian and English
- A simple trick that you can use on 100's of words to 'Russify' them.
- Words that can get you in trouble
Last lesson you met Vlad, who taught you your first phrases in Russian. Unfortunately, he missed his flight and wasn't able to go on holiday. Bad for him, but good for us, since he invited an American friend of him for sightseeing in Moscow.
Let's join them!
Donald just arrived at the airport. And despite the fact that he doesn't know a word in Russian he's already having a good time!
His flight from Washington to Moscow was 9.5 hours and he could use a drink. And Wifi, cause he hasn't tweeted for more than 10 hours.
Great! Donald is waiting for his suitcase while he checks Yandex taxi to get to the center where Vlad is working.
I am American
That should be enough for now. Vlad agreed to meet him at the Red Square to start their little tour around the Moscow center.
Sightseeing in Moscow
After a short walk around the Red Square, seeing the Bolshoy Theater, buying a nice fur coat for Donald in Tsum and taking a walk on Stariy Arbat, Donald starts getting hungry and wants to go home.
Vlad offers to bring him to his hotel room and they hop in the car. Vlad hits the pedal and Donald gets pushed back into his chair and Vlad exclaims:
Donald completely gets what Vlad said and here's another great lesson that will make your Russian life so much easier:
English words ending in '-tion' can virtually always be translated to Russian by changing the ending to '-tsia (ция)'.
Here's a list of common words that you already know:
Some words are not what they seem
Unfortunately, after half a kilometer Vlad's car starts to sputter and make weird noises. They put it on the sidewalk and Vlad screams:
Моя машина не работает!
(ma-ya ma-shi-na nye ra-bo-ta-yet)
My car isn't working!
May machine robot?!?
Donald is confused. After his good start at the airport, the taxi and while sightseeing he thought Russian wouldn't be too difficult.
Turns out there are quite some words that mean something different than what you might think at first sight
She is working
Note: the word for 'my' changes in Russian according to the noun it's in front of. If a word ends in an 'a' sound (а or я), then the word for 'my' also ends in that sound. We'll cover this more in-depth in a later lesson!
So you've got to watch out when listening to Russian. Here are some other words that mean something different than what you'd think:
As you can see, this can cause some funny mistakes:
For example when you hear a sentence with magazine and prospect in it, it's good to know that they weren't looking to publish a new sort of journal (which, by the way, does mean magazine in Russian), but that they probably went to the shop on the main street.
Most of these words you don't really need to remember. Just go through the list (see what I did there?) 3 times so that you'll recognize them when they might pop up.
The most common ones to know are:
Use of English words in Russian
Just like in virtually any other language, English is invading the Russian language. Some language purists might object, but English vocabulary is to stay.
Bad for language purists. Good for us! It makes communication a lot easier and sometimes you can even take an English word and say it with a Russian accent and you'll be understood.
While waiting for the car repair service to arrive, Vlad teaches Donald some words that Russian took from English.
That should give your Russian vocabulary a quick start!
Want to test what you've learned before we move on? Take the quiz below!