Interesting Nuances of Russian

Russian word is multifaced and great. It helps to express the slightest gradations of one or other subject, phenomenon, notion. It can express noise of rain, music of vawes, colors of the rainbow, whispering of leaves, birds' singing, sound of waterfall and a lot of other things. The force and energy of Russian language helps conversationalist to express any sounds, colors, shades. Very short one-syllable words (мак /poppy/, сыр /cheese/, злой /evil/), and also quite long ones (семидесятичетырехлетний /seventy-four-year-old/, стопятидесятидевятилетний /one-hundred-fifty-nine-year-old/, высокоинтеллектуальный /highly intelectual/) perfectly coexist in Russian.

Inspite of the fact that a lot of people speak Russian from the early childhood, and it is mother-tongue for them, it is easy to make a mistake, so far as a great amount of rules which always have exceptions exist.

Changing the Gender of Word

Some words in Russian during the history of its existence have changed their gender. The word «кофе» /coffee/, which was of masculine gender till 2009, and then officially changed its gender for neuter, typifies for this. But supposedly that is for the better, inasmuch as too many people made mistake in this word, talking about it in neuter, not masculine gender, because neuter gender exactly suggests itself here according to the flexion «о» (кофе - оно /coffee - it/).


There are magic words in Russian that are words which can change their meaning depending on the stress. For example, сОрок сорОк /forty magpies/. In the first case, when the first syllable is stressed, we have a number, and in the second case, when the second syllable is stressed, we have the name of a bird in Genitive case, plural. A good example is the word ЗАМОК. Put the stress on the first syllable and you will get зАмок /castle/, which is a "palace", and if you make the second syllable stressed, you will get the word замОк /lock/, which is a thing or device for locking something.


There are "unisex" words in Russian, which are suitable for denoting creatures both of masculine and femenine gender: малыш /nestling/, карапуз /tot/, свинтус /grunter/, поросенок /piggy-wiggy/, котенок /kitty/, солнышко /sweetie/, прелесть /pretty/, душка /dear/, соня /sleeper/, сладкоежка /sweet tooth/. And there are such pet names, which fit both for men and women: Саша /Sasha/ (Александр /Aleksandr/ (м.р /m/)/ Александра /Aleksandra/ (ж.р /f/)), Валя /Valia/ (Валентин /Valentin/ (м.р /m/)/ Валентина /Valentina/ (ж.р /f/)), Кирюша /Kiriusha/ (Кирилл /Kirill/ (м.р /m/)/Кира /Kira/ (ж.р /f/))

Bewilderment with Some Verbs

There are verbs in Russian, which don't have the first form singular. The shining example of this is the verb «победить» /to win/. This verb has to be changed into the word-combination «одержать победу» /to gain victory/ inthe first form singular, so one needs to say «я одержу победу» /I'll gain victory/. It will be correct. An attempt to put a verb «победить» /to win/ itself in the first form singular «я победю» or «я побежду» come forward as humor or ignorance.


Sometimes people mix meanings of verbs and attribute them absolutely outlying, and sometimes even opposite meaning by mistake. It often happens with the verbs «Одеть» /to dress/ and «Надеть» /to put on/. We often use these words as absolutely equvivalent by mistake, however, that's all wrong. We can dress only someone else (одеть сына /to dress a son/, одеть женщину /to dress a woman/), and we can put on only something  (надеть вещь /to put on a thing/, надеть костюм /to put on a costume/, надеть шляпку /to put on a hat/). The verbs «Занять» /to borrow/ and «Одолжить» /to lend/ also have a bit different meaning. One can borrow only from somebody (он хочет занять у тебя денег /he wants to borrow money from you/), and lend only to somebody (я одолжила сестре свое платье /I lent my dress to the sister/).


The verbs «Заехать» /to call on/, «Поехать» /to go/, «Приехать» /to come/ in imperative mood will sound like «Заезжай/Заезжайте», «Поезжай/Поезжайте»и «Приезжай/Приезжайте». It is incorrect to say «ехай/ ехайте», «Едь/Едьте»,«Езжай/Езжайте».


An interesting nuance of Russian language is a possibility to use the prefix «пра» /great/ before a word, which means family ties, unrestricted number of times: «прапрапрапрадедушка» /great great great great grandfather/ or «прапрабабушка» /great great grandmother/. So, you can get an incredibly long word.


You also need to know that the majority of words in Russian, which begin with the vowel «а», are borrowed from other languages, and just few words are are considered indigenously Russian. They are: авось /perhaps/, азбука /ABC/, аз /elementaries/.


With a knowledge of suchlike nuances of Russian language, you'll never get screwed while communicating with Russian-speaking people.

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