Sunday, March 29, 2015

Russian 101 - Common Words & Phrases - Level One



This video by The Travel Linguist channel on YouTube is more for travelers. Though, people learning the language can find the repetition helpful. It also is useful that the native speakers are both a man and a woman.

Я не говорю по-русски.
I don't speak Russian.

This is my clue that this video is for a tourist in Russia that wants to be able to express a few key ideas. Anyone interested in learning the language would start with "I speak a little Russian". They do cover that phrase in this video too.

Я немного говорю по-русски. Вы говорите по-английски?
I speak a little Russian. Do you speak English?

Я не понимаю. Вы говорите по-английски?
I don't understand. Do you speak English?

Извините.
Excuse me.

Пожалуйста, повторите.
Please repeat. Please try again.

Откуда, вы?
Where are you from?

This whole video is helpful for seeing the facial and lip positions while speaking. But this phrase is particularly helpful. Откуда, вы? starts  at 2:25. Being a fairly typical American, I find it difficult to pronounce "ы" in "вы" and I get it to sounding too much like "vee". But, when I work a little harder at using the whole bottom lip like this man does, it's pretty difficult say "vee". I'm not sure that I sound like a Russian woman, but perhaps watching and mimicing what the man does with his lower lip when pronouncing "вы" got me a little closer.

Я из Соединённых Штатов.
I'm from the United States.

Я из США.
I'm from the USA. An easier option.

Миссис - Мисс - Мистер
Mrs. - Miss - Mr.

В этом нет необходимости
This is not necessary.

Конечно!
Of course!

Сегодня - Завтра - Вчера
Today - Tomorrow - Yesterday

Pronunciation for "вчера" starts at about 7:33. This is one instance where the pronunciation of the Cyrillic "В" isn't a Latin "V", but instead sounds more like a faint "F". The rules for why this is are not covered in the travel phrase video. But I found it helpful to watch and listen to the woman say this word.

Почему?
Why? Why so?  How come?

У меня тоже.
I too. Same here.

Может быть.
Maybe.

Как это говорится по-русски?
How do you say in Russian?

Медленнее, пожалуйста.
Slower please.

Пожалуйста... one of the Russian words I'm not finding easy to spell. I miss the "й" every time.