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Thread: "ты" vs. "вы" and "sh" vs. "ch"

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    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    "ты" vs. "вы" and "sh" vs. "ch"

    When do you use "ты" verses "вы" ? They both translate as "you". Is one used as formal? Does it depend on the other endings in the sentence or who you are addressing?

    When put together, they translate "you're" (ты вы or even вы ты)...is that right? Does is not matter which one comes first?

    I have a hard time pronouncing " что". Keeping the "ч" and the "т" together without an "ы" sneaking in between has been really tough and I don't notice it like my Russian friends do...which makes it harder for me to correct it. One told me that I can pronounce it with a "sh" sound instead of a "ch" sound, but when I look up "што"...it is the word "into". Now, on one of the sites I found for pronunciation, the question "Что это" was pronounced with the "sh" sound...can you help me sort this out? Should it be "sh-to" or "ch-to"??

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post
    When do you use "ты" verses "вы" ? They both translate as "you". Is one used as formal? Does it depend on the other endings in the sentence or who you are addressing?

    When put together, they translate "you're" (ты вы or even вы ты)...is that right? Does is not matter which one comes first?

    I have a hard time pronouncing " что". Keeping the "ч" and the "т" together without an "ы" sneaking in between has been really tough and I don't notice it like my Russian friends do...which makes it harder for me to correct it. One told me that I can pronounce it with a "sh" sound instead of a "ch" sound, but when I look up "што"...it is the word "into". Now, on one of the sites I found for pronunciation, the question "Что это" was pronounced with the "sh" sound...can you help me sort this out? Should it be "sh-to" or "ch-to"??
    Ты is a singular you
    Вы is a plural you or a POLITE singular you, not used in colloquial convesation like that, only to mean plural you

    Что is pronounced as што not что.
    The most similar English sound to Russian "Ш" is English "Sh". They're not completely the same though. English "SH" sounds more like "ШЬ" than "Ш". If you want to make a good Russian "Ш" I'd suggest you try to pronounce the sustained "R" sound and remember the tongue position for that. Then you do the same but pronounce "SH" with that "R-tongue position" and lips should move the same way you move them for the "SH"

    Also, in coloquial conversation Что as an object is pronounced like "ЧЁ (CHYO)". You can't pronounce "ЧТО" as "ЧЁ" if "ЧТО" is a conjuction. In this case it would be "ШТО"
    Antonio1986 likes this.
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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Friendly Russian "Ты" и "Вы"

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    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post
    When put together, they translate "you're" (ты вы or even вы ты)...is that right? Does is not matter which one comes first?
    No! Where did you learn it? Neither "ты вы" nor "вы ты" combination is possible. They make absolutely no sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post
    Keeping the "ч" and the "т" together without an "ы" sneaking in between has been really tough and I don't notice it like my Russian friends do...which makes it harder for me to correct it.
    As other people noted, this word has an irregular pronunciation, so "ш" instead of "ч" is pronounced (although it is spelt "что"). However, it does not mean pronouncing "что" is impossible. We do have some other words with "чт" combination, where "ч" is "ч" and "т" is "т": чтить (verb, to honour, to revere), я чту (I honour), ты чтишь (you honour), он/она чтит (he/she honours), мы чтим (we honour), вы чтите (you honour), они чтут (they honour). Also "почта" (post, post-office, mail), "мачта" (mast, tower), "почти" (almost), "мечта" (dream) and many others.

    BTW, what is your native language? I doubt if you can really pronounce "ы" between "ч" and "т" Quite a few languages have anything similar to our "ы".

    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post
    but when I look up "што"...it is the word "into"
    I do not understand this logic. How did you come to this conclusion? There is absolutely no relation to the English "into".

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    Based on the OP's whereabouts, here's the way I would try to make it clear:

    вы/Вы = you (polite form); you (multiple people)
    It's akin to the German word for Sie/Ihr;
    The Turkish way of "siz"(ler)

    How are you doing, sir? (you're talking to an official...or someone who's not your close friend) => ВЫ
    Did you guys go to the cinema? (go figure...you guys...a multitude of ppl) => ВЫ
    Did you clean your room? (talking to your roommates, kids, or whoever is being told in this case - the person is close to you) => ТЫ
    You're walking down the street and see your parents => ВЫ (multitude). You talk to one of them => ТЫ
    You're walking down the street and see two board members of your company. => ВЫ (multitude). You talk to one of them => ВЫ (unless that person is a good friend of yours).

    I agree on what others have said about ЧТО. Also, based on what my Russian prof. used to do (or rather warn): Do not try to mix it up with СТО.
    (in case you speak another Slavic language...)

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    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    I really appreciate the info!
    The "ты вы" and "вы ты" came from the translation site I was using...I guess this one isn't accurate, either. I long ago left Google translate, but haven't been able to find anything that is much better. Is there a website you'd recommend that has accurate translations?
    My native language is English. I really have been working hard on learning Russian, but have had questions like this...and am really glad I finally found a place where I can get some answers!
    The "што"...again, same translation site. I'm a little scared now, that I was trusting it...

    Is there a book or language course that you'd recommend? I can't really afford getting Rosetta Stone right now, and tried the free Pimsleur (first course), but didn't like it very well. I want to become fluent in Russian, not just learn the "tourist" vocabulary that seems to be taught in so many books etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post
    I really appreciate the info!
    Is there a book or language course that you'd recommend? I can't really afford getting Rosetta Stone right now, and tried the free Pimsleur (first course), but didn't like it very well. I want to become fluent in Russian, not just learn the "tourist" vocabulary that seems to be taught in so many books etc.
    If you wanna get fluent with any language, the first step would be to learn how the language "works".
    Start with grammar and vocabulary. Learn how to deal with verbs, nouns, adjectives. Try to work with both offline and online sources (including these forums). There're plenty of useful sources for Russian and Engl. on the web.

    I would try to use translators for words and phrases only. Translating a whole sentence can be a questionable experience (since they fail to be accurate...).

    In other words : Try to start with a structure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post
    The "ты вы" and "вы ты" came from the translation site I was using...
    The "што"...again, same translation site. I'm a little scared now, that I was trusting it...
    I agree it is not a good idea to learn a language using translation sites. You may need a good dictionary. And there are some good on-line ones. But not a phrase translator.

    However, I did check the link you provided. And I could not reproduce the case. Probably, you misunderstood something.

    If I select "Russian" to "English" and then put "ты вы" or "вы ты" to the input box, the translation shows "? ?". The same thing happens if I try putting "што" there (because the right spelling is "что").

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    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    If I select "Russian" to "English" and then put "ты вы" or "вы ты" to the input box, the translation shows "? ?". The same thing happens if I try putting "што" there (because the right spelling is "что").
    How strange! I tried it again this morning, and it still did the same thing. I typed in the Russian word "што" and it translated INTO. I tried the others, too... same way, same results. I just know not to use that one again. I thank you for taking the time to check into it.

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