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Thread: Short sentence translation English -> Russian

  1. #1
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    Short sentence translation English -> Russian

    Hi everyone

    I'm studying Russian (though I'm not a speaker) for a project. I was wondering if someone could help me translate this question and answer pair so I can compare the word order in English and Russian:

    Q: Where did Ivan put what?
    A: Ivan put the apple on the table and the cushion on the chair.

    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    loumy

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    So far I have:

    класть стоь яблоко

    for the declarative, but I'm not sure about the cases of the nouns or the word order.

    Would the question be:

    Gde cto Ivan класть?

    (Sorry about the mixture of orthography)

  3. #3
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    Re: Short sentence translation English -> Russian

    Hi loumy!

    Q: Where did Ivan put what?
    - "Куда Иван что положил?" or "Что куда положил Иван?" or "Куда что положил Иван?" Some other variants with different word order are also possible. You could also say: Куда Иван положил каждый предмет (literally it's "where did Ivan put each object?") - I think this version is more "official" while the others are colloquial.
    A: Ivan put the apple on the table and the cushion on the chair. - Иван положил яблоко на стол, а подушку на стул.
    "Happy new year, happy new year
    May we all have a vision now and then
    Of a world where every neighbour is a friend"

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    Thanks!

    Friendy,

    Thanks so much for your reply. It told me everything I wanted to know and more.

    RE the different word orders possible for the question - is there really no difference in meaning between them? Are they used in different contexts? Is there a difference in how the question words are stressed when the word order is different? I think it's a really interesting subject.

  5. #5
    Старший оракул
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    Each variant pretty much means the same thing. But is this sentence "Where did Ivan put what"? correct in English?
    Vrei să pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei
    Nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei
    Chipul tau si dragostea din tei
    Mi-amintesc de ochii tai

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    No - the situation is just as Friendy described for Russian.
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

  7. #7
    DDT
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    I think she just wants to know now if ......."Where did Ivan put what"?..... is in understandable English. Which it is. If Ivan had just told you where something was but you did not hear him very well, this sentence would be perfect for your reply.
    Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself. - Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

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    You're probably right. But I'm sure you see what I meant, too
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

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    Thanks for all your interesting replies. (I'm studying linguistics, which is why my questions may seem a little left field.)

    The English question is fine in two contexts:
    As DDT says, it can be a 'reprise' (or echo) question uttered in surprise or because the speaker missed part of the original sentence.
    It can also be a regular question though, and when it is the expected answer is a 'pair-list' of objects and places. The same goes for a more straightforward question like 'Who ate what?' As a regular question, you'd expect this to be answered with pairs like: 'John ate a salad, Tom ate a burger, and Lizzie ate some fries.' It could also be used as a reprise though.

    The order of question words in the English example sound fine to me switched around: 'What did Ivan put where?' But 'What did who eat?' for example would only really be acceptable as a reprise question.

    If 'what' can be placed before 'who' in a Russian question equivalent to 'Who ate what?' and it is not a reprise question, then the Russian question behaves differently somehow.

    I read a paper that says putting Кто and что next to each other is a bad combination though because the two words sound similar. I don't know if native Russian speakers agree with this.

  10. #10
    N
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    Who ate what?

    - Кто что ест?
    - Петя ест апельсин, Вова - банан, а Вася - яблоко.

    I think "Что кто ест?" is possible variant but worse than "Кто что ест?"
    In this case answer would be:

    - Что кто ест?
    - Апельсин ест Петя, банан - Вова, а яблоко - Вася.

    Кто and Что don't sound similar.
    To put them together is normal thing.

    Ну, рассказывайте: Кто что сделал?

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    Thanks, N. I have to admit I was suspicious of that explanation about them sounding similar - it didn't make sense to me, and I know hardly any Russian. You have reinforced an important point for me: Don't believe everything you read!

    What is your opinion of "Что кто ест?"? Why is it worse than the reverse order?

  12. #12
    N
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    Quote Originally Posted by loumy
    What is your opinion of "Что кто ест?"? Why is it worse than the reverse order?
    Honestly speaking, I cannot explain. Just feel that it's not natural or at least could be used for a very specific case.

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