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February 26, 2005

I'm tired of you

This is one of those language bloopers that either makes us laugh or blush. Lesser insults could start a feud or in other words, with friends like this who needs enemies! Since Thursday I set a goal to study Russian Ĺ hour per day, using my two 15 minute breaks at work and then blogging about Russian or in Russian on the
weekend. So in two days I have so far studied Russian for 1 hour! It adds up. But on Friday as I was practicing speaking, here's what happened. Itís a good reason why using the correct case is really important!

My coworkers and I usually go for walks during the day around the park. It gets us away from the computer screens, gives us fresh air and only takes 7 minutes to complete the tour back to our desk. While we were walking to the elevator, I turned to one of my coworkers and said, Я устал. А тебя? [ya u-stal. A teb-ya?], meaning to say, "I'm tired, and you?" She looked at me, then looked away, then looked back at me with a strange look on her face and asked me to repeat what I said. So I did, and she just said ok, and changed the subject as we went on our walk. Then she told me to tell our other coworker the same thing I had said to her. Luckily for me she wasnít at her desk for me to repeat this phrase.
After our walk my coworker told me that what I actually said was something like, "I'm tired of you." And that she wanted me to tell our other coworker that so we could all get a good laugh out of it. I have to admit that after the horror wore off, It was funny. One little slip of the tongue and I said something really bad. Haha. We laughed really hard about that one. She informed me that I should have said, Я устал. А ты? [ya u-stal, a Ti?]

The reason I said it the first way was because I had just read in my book the phrase Меня зовут джим. А тебя? [men-ya zo-voot Jim, a teb-ya?] which means "My name is Jim, and yours?" and It stuck in my head. I used the same phrase for, "I'm tired, and you?" But here's where I wasn't thinking clearly. Меня зовут [Men-ya zo-voot] literally means "They call me..." which makes 'me' the object of the sentence and it requires the accusative case. So when I say Меня зовут джим. А тебя? [men-ya zo-voot dxim, a teb-ya?] I'm saying 'They call me Jim, and what do they call you?' тебя [teb-ya] is the object, so it takes the accusative case. What I'm really trying to say is, "I'm tired, and you are tired?" 'You' is the subject so I have to use ты [Ti]

In Russian íAí is used for Joining and Contrasting and in this case used to introduce follow-up statements or questions [ see bottom of page 32 - начало]

Isn't this fun? We're still laughing about my little mistake that proved to be a big learning opportunity!

Сейчас Я устал. А ты? [cey-chas ya ustal, a ti?] Now Iím tired, and you?

But wait! Thereís more! I couldnít remember the difference between the word for entrance and the word for exit. I know itís hard to believe, but itís a been a while and the words are very similar. But my coworker told me that if I know the meanings of the word parts, I can never forget and she was right.

One of The words used for entrance is:
вход
The word for exit is:
выход (stress is on вы)

ход is the root of the word and it means passage, walk.
в means in.
Combined, вход means entrance. (stress is on the o)

вход to me is also a fun word to say, because we just donít have a sound like that in English! Itís pronounced something like ĎFchhodí where the F and the throaty sound run together.

Now for something interesting. Here is a Russian learner's blog that I found through a Korean learnerís blog. There are some interesting comments about different language materials and ideas on language learning.
http://lizzielearnsrussian.blogspot.com/

So far so good! One language blogging goal accomplished for the week! Comments or corrections are welcome. I am a lifetime student.

Posted by carl1236 at February 26, 2005 11:12 PM | Russian

Comments

Hi Carl1236,
Sounds like you've got a good handle on beginning Russian grammar! I liked your detailed explanation of accusative and nominative cases. Also, great tip on remembering "entrance" & "exit" vocabulary!
Thanks for the hyperlink. I moved my blog to russkiblog.blogspot.com if you want to see the newer content.

Posted by: Елизавета at March 12, 2005 11:15 PM