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Thread: Russian word order...

  1. #1
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    Russian word order...

    Wow this is confusing! I am finding it really hard to get my head round this, and I am having to translate the words, but also the word order. Can someone please clarify the rules on this?

    For example, say I wished to say

    Ya gavareetye nimnoga pa-ruskee (I speak a little Russian) this would be correct right? But for example I wanted to say this:

    Ya gavareetye dolka nimnoga pa-ruskee (I speak only a little Russian) is this still correct?

    Does it matter how many words go before the russian bit? I dont know the russian but if I wanted to write this:

    I speak only a tiny little bit of russian, would the order still be the same? If someone could really help me clarify the rules that would be great.

    Andy
    My new website is http://www.computer-tutorials.org/New_site/

    If anyone could help with translations or audio recording please email me!

  2. #2
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    Re: Russian word order...

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewsco
    Ya gavareetye nimnoga pa-ruskee (I speak a little Russian)

    Ya gavareetye dolka nimnoga pa-ruskee (I speak only a little Russian)
    I think you are trying to say this.

    Я говорю немного по-русский. (Not говорите)

    Я говорю только немного по-русский.

    On the second one, I would say (and I could be wrong):
    Я только говорю немного по-русский.

    I would translate "немного" as "some" or "not much", but not necessarily "a little".
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  3. #3
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    Right - Yes I did mean говорю - I have a habit of writing the wrong things when I am writing them in a hurry.

    That kind of makes sense, I guess it just seems strange to me.

    Cheers
    Andy
    My new website is http://www.computer-tutorials.org/New_site/

    If anyone could help with translations or audio recording please email me!

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    Re: Russian word order...

    I could also be wrong, but:

    Quote Originally Posted by kwatts59
    Я говорю только немного по-русский.

    On the second one, I would say (and I could be wrong):
    Я только говорю немного по-русский.
    I think in the first sentence, by putting только before немного, you imply that you only speak a little russian (instead of speaking it fluently).

    In the second sentence, by putting только before говорю, you imply that you only speak it (and not write it or something like that).

    But then again, I'm no native speaker, so I could be wrong.
    Native: Nederlands; C2: Deutsch; C1: English
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    Re: Russian word order...

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewsco
    Wow this is confusing! I am finding it really hard to get my head round this, and I am having to translate the words, but also the word order. Can someone please clarify the rules on this?

    For example, say I wished to say

    Ya gavareetye nimnoga pa-ruskee (I speak a little Russian) this would be correct right? But for example I wanted to say this:

    Ya gavareetye dolka nimnoga pa-ruskee (I speak only a little Russian) is this still correct?

    Does it matter how many words go before the russian bit? I dont know the russian but if I wanted to write this:

    I speak only a tiny little bit of russian, would the order still be the same? If someone could really help me clarify the rules that would be great.

    Andy
    Я говорю немного по-русски - this is how it should be said correctly.
    Я говорю только немного по-русски - yes, it is still correct if you add немного to the sentence.
    "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read"
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    Re: Russian word order...

    Quote Originally Posted by ReDSanchous
    Я говорю немного по-русски - this is how it should be said correctly.
    Я говорю только немного по-русски - yes, it is still correct if you add немного to the sentence.
    Я немного говорю по-русски sounds a bit more natural to me. but the others are correct too. Я говорю только немного по-русски sounds a bit weird, a native speaker would not normally say something like that.

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    Nonetheless, I do say so and I'm a native Russian speaker.
    "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read"
    Mark Twain
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReDSanchous
    Nonetheless, I do say so and I'm a native Russian speaker.
    You mean that you recall yourself saying so?
    I agree that it is grammatically correct.
    I may even say something like that myself in a situation (a too common one for me, too) when I begin a sentence without any idea how it is going to end Or maybe if I'm drunk ) Nevertheless, it is not natural, imo.

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    Re: Russian word order...

    Quote Originally Posted by laxxy
    Quote Originally Posted by ReDSanchous
    Я говорю немного по-русски - this is how it should be said correctly.
    Я говорю только немного по-русски - yes, it is still correct if you add немного to the sentence.
    Я немного говорю по-русски sounds a bit more natural to me. but the others are correct too. Я говорю только немного по-русски sounds a bit weird, a native speaker would not normally say something like that.
    Really, maybe "Я совсем немного говорю по-русски" А "только" звучит очень искусственно. Хотя, с точки зрения грамматики фраза построена правильно.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Russian word order...

    Quote Originally Posted by Axystos
    In the second sentence, by putting только before говорю, you imply that you only speak it (and not write it or something like that).
    If you want to imply that you can only speak but not write, etc. you should say it like this:
    Я по-русски только немного говорю or better Я по-русски могу только немного говорить.
    while putting the intonation on the last word. On the second thought you could probably leave your original word order, but you would still have to raise your intonation on the word говорю... However, I think if a person who barely speaks Russian would say it either way, only the basic meaning, which lies on the surface will be communicated.

  11. #11
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    Re: Russian word order...

    I speak a little Russian. - Я немного говорю по-русски.
    I speak only a little Russian. - Я лишь немного говорю по-русски. or Я лишь чуть-чуть говорю по-русски.
    I can only speak Russian (but not write). - По-русски я умею (or могу) только (or лишь) говорить. or Я умею (or могу) только (or лишь) говорить по-русски.
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  12. #12
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    I've invented only one case of using "Только":

    - Сколько языков вы знаете?
    - Я говорю только немного по-русски...

    If "только" is used to imply that you speak only one language - it's ok, but it will be heard wierd if you try to explain this way the lack of your speaking skills...

    -Я говорю совсем немного по-русски. - Correct.

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