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:
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.
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
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