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Thread: Essential Russian for socialising with and aiding a child?

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    Essential Russian for socialising with and aiding a child?

    "Здравствуте! Меня зовут Сэм. Добро пожаловать в Америку!"

    I will be spending a few days with a Belorussian child (somewhere between 10-13 years old, not too much younger than myself) and need to know some helpful phrases a newbie to Russian should learn to help the child.

    For example, I need a correction on this: Я не горовю по-Беларусский, но Я горовю немного по-русский. I'm attempting to explain that I cannot speak Belorussian, but I can speak a little bit of Russian. I need to know things like:

    - Are you hungry?
    - Are you hurt?
    - Where does it hurt?
    - What's wrong?
    - Do you need help?
    - Can I get you something? (For example, at dinner, "Could I get you more drink?")
    - similar things that would aid in taking care of someone and keeping them entertained. There will also be other kids, about the same age, who speak English. They'll probably ask some questions like "What's it like in Belarus?" and such. I'd like to know some general phrases to aid in translating these questions as well as their answers.

    On all the "are yous", I'd like to note that I know that "to be" isn't [commonly] used in Russian. Just like Вы...[verb]

    Also, the child is not that much younger than me. Do I use (when first meeting him) the formal, semi-formal, or informal words? Would I say "Здавствуй" or "Здравствуте?" Would I use Вы or ты? How long should we be around each other before it is acceptable to talk informally (e.g. greeting him with "Привет") rather than [semi-]formally.

    Спасибо,
    Sam
    "Cogito ergo sum." -- Renee Descartes

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    Re: Essential Russian for socialising with and aiding a chil

    Quote Originally Posted by hopelesslinguist
    "Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Сэм. Добро пожаловать в Америку!"

    For example, I need a correction on this: Я не говорю по-белорусски_, но я говорю немного по-русски_.

    - Are you hungry? Ты хочешь есть?
    - Are you hurt? Тебе больно?
    - Where does it hurt? Где болит?
    - What's wrong? Что-то не так? (depends on the context)
    - Do you need help? Тебе помочь?
    - Can I get you something? (For example, at dinner, "Could I get you more drink?") This one depends very much on the context

    Also, the child is not that much younger than me. Do I use (when first meeting him) the formal, semi-formal, or informal words? Would I say "Здравствуй" or "Здравствуйте?" Would I use Вы or ты? How long should we be around each other before it is acceptable to talk informally (e.g. greeting him with "Привет") rather than [semi-]formally.
    If he's about 10-13 years old, you can easily use ты with him and say привет. Вы and здравствуйте would be even strange.
    Anyway, the correct spelling is Здравствуй and Здравствуйте.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Спасибо, Оля. My messup with Здравствуй and Здравствуйте were typos, not misconceptions. Thanks anyway, though.

    I can't believe my carelessness in saying "горовю" when it so clearly says in the book [I'm using most]: говорю. Thanks for the correction.

    If it's not too much to ask, could you specify the context in Что-то не так? and also in "Can I get you something?"

    I appreciate the help.
    hopeless
    "Cogito ergo sum." -- Renee Descartes

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    What's wrong? Что-то не так?
    It's more subtle (but common) way of asking what's wrong. Literal translation is "Is anything wrong?" You're not asking directly what caused the possible discomfort, but you'll get the answer anyway.

    You may ask also "Что случилось?" (literally "What's happened?"). In the appropriate context (i.e. when there's actually a problem) you'll get the answer you need.

    - Can I get you something? (For example, at dinner, "Could I get you more drink?") This one depends very much on the context
    There's no equivalent of "to get" in Russian, thus in different circumstances you'll need different Russian verbs (to buy, to give, etc.). There's no "correct" and multipurpose translation.

    You can use more universal phrases instead:
    Ты что-нибудь хочешь? (Do you want anything?)
    Тебе что-нибудь нужно? (Do you need anything?)
    Тебе что-нибудь принести? (Can I get you something? - when you actually need to go away for it, for example, to go to the kitchen to bring him a drink)
    Тебе что-нибудь купить? (Can I buy you something?)

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    For example, at dinner, "Could I get you more drink?" could be: Ещё молока? Yes, without any verb. And the sentence is quite polite.
    Or: Налить (тебе) ещё молока?

    I thought it was you who should specify the context.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    For example, at dinner, "Could I get you more drink?" could be: Ещё молока? Yes, without any verb. And the sentence is quite polite.
    Or: Налить (тебе) ещё молока?
    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    What's wrong? Что-то не так?
    It's more subtle (but common) way of asking what's wrong. Literal translation is "Is anything wrong?" You're not asking directly what caused the possible discomfort, but you'll get the answer anyway.

    You may ask also "Что случилось?" (literally "What's happened?"). In the appropriate context (i.e. when there's actually a problem) you'll get the answer you need.

    [quote:17gg0qvx]- Can I get you something? (For example, at dinner, "Could I get you more drink?") This one depends very much on the context
    There's no equivalent of "to get" in Russian, thus in different circumstances you'll need different Russian verbs (to buy, to give, etc.). There's no "correct" and multipurpose translation.

    You can use more universal phrases instead:
    Ты что-нибудь хочешь? (Do you want anything?)
    Тебе что-нибудь нужно? (Do you need anything?)
    Тебе что-нибудь принести? (Can I get you something? - when you actually need to go away for it, for example, to go to the kitchen to bring him a drink)
    Тебе что-нибудь купить? (Can I buy you something?) [/quote:17gg0qvx]

    Thanks very much, gRomoZeka and Оля. This will help greatly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    I thought it was you who should specify the context.
    Well, I guess that would make sense to a sensible person, wouldn't it. Wish I were a sensible person!
    "Cogito ergo sum." -- Renee Descartes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    For example, at dinner, "Could I get you more drink?" could be: Ещё молока?
    I like the idea of this short sentence, however, only under extremely rare circumstances (that you're actually having milk) should you ever translate "drink" as "молоко."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    I like the idea of this short sentence, however, only under extremely rare circumstances (that you're actually having milk) should you ever translate "drink" as "молоко."
    OH MY GOD, I'm a blockhead!!

    Sorry, hopelesslinguist, it was too late, and my brain was too sleepy. Of course, "drink" doesn't mean "молоко" in Russian.
    Well, I'd translate "Could I get you more drink?" as:
    Хочешь ещё пить?
    Or maybe just:
    Хочешь ещё?
    Налить ещё?
    Налить тебе ещё?
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Оля
    OH MY GOD, I'm a blockhead!!
    You might probably subconsciously associated a kid who needs care with his drink with the kid who still would need milk. hopelesslinguist mentioned the kid would be 10-13 years old.. so the translation of "Could I get you more drink?" could probably be "Хочешь ещё пепси?"

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    Maybe it's only me, but Could I get you more drink? is automatically translated in my head as "Тебе ещё налить?" and I don't mean Pepsi
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Maybe it's only me, but Could I get you more drink? is automatically translated in my head as "Тебе ещё налить?" and I don't mean Pepsi
    Hey, you're right, but it's a kid we're talking about!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Maybe it's only me, but Could I get you more drink? is automatically translated in my head as "Тебе ещё налить?" and I don't mean Pepsi
    Hey, you're right, but it's a kid we're talking about!!!
    Do you call 13 y.o. guy a boy? o_O
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    Do you call 13 y.o. guy a boy?
    Well, we don't really know, maybe it's not a guy but a gal.

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    Re: Essential Russian for socialising with and aiding a chil

    Quote Originally Posted by hopelesslinguist
    Do I use (when first meeting him) the formal, semi-formal, or informal words?
    How long should we be around each other before it is acceptable to talk informally (e.g. greeting him with "Привет") rather than [semi-]formally.
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Thanks for the corrections on the drink stuff.

    To stop this gender confusion, I'll mention I only assumed "him" because I don't know the gender and most of my former language studies are in languages that default to male, such as Spanish. It is quite possible that the visitor is a girl.
    "Cogito ergo sum." -- Renee Descartes

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