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Forum LockedAbout Russian language: its difficulties

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: About Russian language: its difficulties
    Posted: 14-Feb-2009 at 21:34
Originally posted by gcle2003

Originally posted by Sarmat

Originally posted by Arekushii

It just takes time to get used to things, common in Russian, like inversions na poljane krasivoj derevo raslo (inversion, while normal sentence: na krasivoj poljane raslo derevo) - A tree was growing in a beautiful meadow; and stuff like that :p
 
I believe this is a grammatic influence of Uralo-Altaic languages. Including Finno-Ugrian ones Wink.
 
It's common in English, though it sounds poetic.
"In the beautiful meadow a tree grew", "In the beautiful meadow (there) grew a tree", "There grew in the beautiful meadow a tree", "There grew a tree in the beautiful meadow" are all perfectly acceptable English, usually because the speaker is trying for a specific effect.
 
And of course you could put it any way around that you like in Latin.
 
So with regard to difficulty you have to state what language you are coming from.
 
 
It is not exactly what Arekushii implied. You cant's say in English "In the meadow beautiful gree a tree" can you?. In Russian you can. It will mean exactly the same as "In the beautiful meadow..." although a bit poetic.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slayertplsko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 09:55
Anton, can you do it so freely in Bulgarian as well??
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 12:33

It is used sometimes, especially in poetry. How is it in Slovak? Apparently it is general slavonic rule. 



Edited by Anton - 28-Feb-2009 at 12:41
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 13:58
Originally posted by Slayertplsko

Aha, I see. Just out of interest, which movie was it? Perhaps I could get the DVD.Big smile


Treasure Island (1934 film), 1934 film starring Jackie Cooper and Wallace Beery
Treasure Island (1950 film), 1950 Disney film starring Bobby Driscoll and Robert Newton
Treasure Island (1972 film), 1972 film starring Orson Welles
Treasure Island (1972 animated film), a 1972 film released by Filmation
Treasure Island (1988 animated film), 1988 Soviet animated film released by Kievnauchfilm
Treasure Island (1990 film), 1990 film starring Christian Bale and Charlton Heston
Treasure Island (1999 film), 1999 film starring Kevin Zeger and Jack Palance

The one I had in mind was the one with Robert Newton, who was genuinely a west countryman (from Dorset), and 'pirate talk' is a kind of West Country dialect since that's where all the best pirates came from (indeed most of the best admirals, except for Nelson Cry )
 
I haven't seen the others, but Newton established the stereotypical figure. Like Charles Laughton is the stereotypical Henry VIII.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slayertplsko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 14:00
In Slovak the word order can be changed relatively freely, so in Czech.

Slovak: Na krásnej poľane rástol strom.
Czech: Na krásné louce rostl strom. (Czech probably doesn't know the word poľana, so I used louka instead)

Strom rástol na krásnej poľane.
Strom na krásnej poľane rástol.
Strom na poľane krásnej rástol etc.

In poetry, even Strom na poľane rástol krásnej. and Strom na krásnej rástol poľane. can be accepted. Only Strom na rástol poľane krásnej. can never be correct.

You don't declinate in Bulgarian anymore, do you??
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 14:01
But in Russian it can be used in general situations as well it doesn't need to be poetry. Is it the same in other Slavic languages?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slayertplsko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 14:07
Originally posted by Sarmat

But in Russian it can be used in general situations as well it doesn't need to be poetry. Is it the same in other Slavic languages?

In Slovak and Czech yes, most of the variation can be used in normal situation, except probably the two where the verb is between the adjective and the noun, that would sound strange in everyday use.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 14:09
Interesting. In Russian it still would sound OK.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 14:30
Originally posted by Anton

Originally posted by gcle2003

Originally posted by Sarmat

Originally posted by Arekushii

It just takes time to get used to things, common in Russian, like inversions na poljane krasivoj derevo raslo (inversion, while normal sentence: na krasivoj poljane raslo derevo) - A tree was growing in a beautiful meadow; and stuff like that :p
 
I believe this is a grammatic influence of Uralo-Altaic languages. Including Finno-Ugrian ones Wink.
 
It's common in English, though it sounds poetic.
"In the beautiful meadow a tree grew", "In the beautiful meadow (there) grew a tree", "There grew in the beautiful meadow a tree", "There grew a tree in the beautiful meadow" are all perfectly acceptable English, usually because the speaker is trying for a specific effect.
 
And of course you could put it any way around that you like in Latin.
 
So with regard to difficulty you have to state what language you are coming from.
 
 
It is not exactly what Arekushii implied. You cant's say in English "In the meadow beautiful gree a tree" can you?. In Russian you can. It will mean exactly the same as "In the beautiful meadow..." although a bit poetic.
You can in English if you push it. It seems odd with 'beautiful' but reads better with the proper adverbial form 'beautifully grew the tree. 'In the evening sweetly smiles my love' sounds fine: if no-one's written it yet, they probably will, but it actually sounds tantalisingly familiar.
 
This is an old folksong with the same construction:
Green Grow the Rashes, o Lyrics:
Chor. - Green grow the rashes, O;
Green grow the rashes, O;
The sweetest hours that e'er I spend,
Are spent amang the lasses, O.

There's nought but care on ev'ry han',
In ev'ry hour that passes, O:
What signifies the life o' man,
An' 'twere na for the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c..
Rushes aren't trees, but the construction is the same.
 
Still I'll happily admit that Russian is freer in word order than English is. But English can cope with twisted word orders more easily than some people realise.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 14:45
Originally posted by Slayertplsko

In Slovak the word order can be changed relatively freely, so in Czech.

Slovak: Na krásnej poľane rástol strom.
Czech: Na krásné louce rostl strom. (Czech probably doesn't know the word poľana, so I used louka instead)

Strom rástol na krásnej poľane.
Strom na krásnej poľane rástol.
Strom na poľane krásnej rástol etc.

In poetry, even Strom na poľane rástol krásnej. and Strom na krásnej rástol poľane. can be accepted. Only Strom na rástol poľane krásnej. can never be correct.

You don't declinate in Bulgarian anymore, do you??
Some of this illustrates another difference that sometimes causes problems - the lack of definite/indefinite article. Also, though it may be coincidental here, there doesn't seem to be any difference between 'The tree in the meadow grew beautifully' and 'the tree in the meadow grew beautiful' since either appears to translate "Strom na poľane rástol krásnej".
 
Also does Strom na poľane krásnej rástol translate 'The tree in the meadow grew beautiful or 'The tree in the meadow grew beautifully' or 'The tree in the beautiful meadow grew' (all three of which are permissible English variants with different meanings - i.e. which is beautiful, the meadow or the tree, or the way it is growing? Would your diffeerent word orders affect the meaning in that way?
 
And then does 'grew' mean 'grew' as in 'getting bigger' or 'grew' as in 'becoming'? (ah the webs one weaves....)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 15:30
Originally posted by Slayertplsko


You don't declinate in Bulgarian anymore, do you??
There are some traces of grammatical cases but majorly they are not used.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 15:40
Originally posted by gcle2003


Also does Strom na poľane krásnej rástol translate 'The tree in the meadow grew beautiful or 'The tree in the meadow grew beautifully' or 'The tree in the beautiful meadow grew' (all three of which are permissible English variants with different meanings - i.e. which is beautiful, the meadow or the tree, or the way it is growing? Would your diffeerent word orders affect the meaning in that way?
 
I suppose it is meadow that is beautiful even though 'beautiful' stands after 'meadow'.
 
You can determine to which words it is related by its ending (from Russian example):
Na poljane krasivoj derevo roslo (meadow is beautiful)
Na poljane krasivoe derevo roslo (the tree is beautiful)
Na poljane krasivo derevo roslo (the tree grew in a beautiful manner i.e. it is the process of growing that is beautiful)
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2009 at 17:35
Originally posted by edgewaters

Wow ... there's a Soviet version of Treasure Island??? 

That's what I want to know ... in Russian, is pirate-talk possible? 

 
I know soviet version of Treasure Island from 1980-ies. But as far as I remember there was no attempt to emphasize a specific slang. And also there was a quite funny Treasure Island cartoon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slayertplsko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 10:50
Originally posted by gcle2003

Some of this illustrates another difference that sometimes causes problems - the lack of definite/indefinite article.
 
Yes, the realisation is then a bit different. Usually, if we want to express definiteness, we have to use demonstrative pronouns (so it would be ten strom).
 
 
Also, though it may be coincidental here, there doesn't seem to be any difference between 'The tree in the meadow grew beautifully' and 'the tree in the meadow grew beautiful' since either appears to translate "Strom na poľane rástol krásnej".
 
Actually, there is. Krásnej (with a dark N) is locative (or more better local) form of krásna, the adverb would be krásne (pronounced with a soft N, just like in Russian - the same distinction: dental ''dark'' D, T, N, L, and their palatal ''soft'' ÄŽ, Ť, Ň, Ľ counterparts).
 
Also does Strom na poľane krásnej rástol translate 'The tree in the meadow grew beautiful or 'The tree in the meadow grew beautifully' or 'The tree in the beautiful meadow grew' (all three of which are permissible English variants with different meanings - i.e. which is beautiful, the meadow or the tree, or the way it is growing? Would your diffeerent word orders affect the meaning in that way?
 
Strom [strom] - tree
na [nÉ‘] - on (here's a difference between what preposition is used in Slovak and English)
poľana (loc. poľane) [poÊŽÉ‘nÉ‘, poʎɑɲe] - meadow (especially a mountainous one)
krásna (loc. krásnej) [krÉ‘:snÉ‘, krÉ‘:snej] - beatiful
rásÅ¥ (3Sg, past rástol) [rÉ‘:sc, rÉ‘:stol] - to grow (get bigger)
 
Strom na poľane krásnej rástol -  (A) Tree on (in) (a) meadow beautiful grew.
 
The adverbial is krásne [krÉ‘:sɲe], and just like in English it can be moved around more freely than the adjective.
 
Beautiful is the meadow. The word order wouldn't affect the meaning at all - a tree would still grow on a beautiful meadow. That's because of the declination and conjugation. So we would know that krásnej belongs to poľane, because strom would need krásny, and also we know that the tree grew, because it's in nominative and  because of the verb form, ie. the form is what we call l-participle and since it's a participle, it's gender-specific (poľane is F, strom M). The expression of past tense solely by a participle might seem strange to someone.
 
And then does 'grew' mean 'grew' as in 'getting bigger' or 'grew' as in 'becoming'? (ah the webs one weaves....)
 
Getting bigger.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2009 at 14:12
That answers my question.
 
My actual point, in line with the thread topic, is that I don't think word order presents difficulties to English people learning Russian, not compared to the difficulty of getting the various endings right. Going into Russian, English word order is , at least usually, OK, and coming from Russian odd word orders don't usually affect the meaning of the sentence.


Edited by gcle2003 - 01-Mar-2009 at 14:18
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