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Thread: "Я вас не понимаю, когда вы говорите по-украинскиЙ.."

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    "Я вас не понимаю, когда вы говорите по-украинскиЙ.."

    Hi everyone!
    I have two questions about this simple sentence...

    "Я вас не понимаю когда вы говорите по-украинский."
    English: I do not understand you when you speak in Ukrainian

    1) I don't understand why there is a "Й" at the end of "по-украинский"?

    2) Also, I know that "по" should be used in addition to the actual name of the language... But what does it mean and how can I find out more about when to use "по".. ?

    Big thanks to everyone who can help! It's so nice to always be able to come here and get an explanation! I don't know how I'd manage my studies on my own, without this forum...

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай
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    Re: "Я вас не понимаю когда вы говорите по-украинскиЙ.."

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna
    "Я вас не понимаю, когда вы говорите по-украински[s18pn4f8]й[/s18pn4f8]."
    English: I do not understand you when you speak in Ukrainian

    1) I don't understand why there is a "Й" at the end of "по-украинский"?
    I don't either, because there is no "й" in "по-украински".

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna
    2) Also, I know that "по" should be used in addition to the actual name of the language...

    But what does it mean and how can I find out more about when to use "по".. ?
    Adverbs formed from the prefix "по" and special forms of adjectives or possessive pronouns generally mean "in the specified manner," "a la..." etc. In adverbs of that type, the prefix is connected to the rest of the word with a hyphen. "По-русски" literally means "in the Russian manner", "the Russian way", "according to Russian customs", etc. Mind you, such adverbs do not always end in "-ски"; it all depends on which suffix was used to form the adjective from which the adverb was formed. If the adjective has the "-ск-" suffix, then the adverb will end in "-ски". In most other cases, the adverb will end in "-ому" or "ему": "Котлета по-домашнему" (A home-style cutlet/burger).

    When "по" is as a preposition, that is when it is a standalone word, it can have so many different meanings and different uses that the list of them can easily fill up a dictionary page.

  3. #3
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    Re: "Я вас не понимаю когда вы говорите по-украинскиЙ.."

    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna
    Hi everyone!
    I have two questions about this simple sentence...

    "Я вас не понимаю когда вы говорите по-украинский."
    English: I do not understand you when you speak in Ukrainian

    1) I don't understand why there is a "Й" at the end of "по-украинский"?

    2) Also, I know that "по" should be used in addition to the actual name of the language... But what does it mean and how can I find out more about when to use "по".. ?

    Big thanks to everyone who can help! It's so nice to always be able to come here and get an explanation! I don't know how I'd manage my studies on my own, without this forum...
    1. There shouldn't be
    Ukrainian (language) = украинский (язык) = adjective
    in Ukrainian = по-украински = adverb; this can also mean " in Ukrainian manner"

    2.
    You shouldn't just add the actual name of the language. Rather, the noun becomes an adverb. i.e. what translationsnmru said

    Talking about languages
    по-русски
    If I was kiddin' you, I'd be wearin' a fez and no pants. (Lennie Briscoe)

  4. #4
    Hanna
    Guest

    Re: "Я вас не понимаю, когда вы говорите по-украинскиЙ.."

    Oh thank goodness that "ij" was a mistake, it made no sense to me..! It never occurred to me that it could be a typo or a mistake.

    Thanks translationsnmru for the clear explanation about "po". I understand it much better now.

    It's quite linguistically elegant really... It's just that it is quite different to all Western European languages and therefore so much harder to learn/understand...

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