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Thread: У него было много работы - is it "работа"?

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    У него было много работы - is it "работа"?

    Just a quick follow-on from my earlier question in the Audio lounge:

    Two people helped me to prounounce this sentence and both say "работа", not "работы".Was the word misspelled, or what is going on? Their pronounciation simply is not with an "ы".....

    Thanks again both of you who helped me with the pronounciations!

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    Re: У него было много работы - is it "работа"?

    It’s an unstressed vowel, no wonder if to an untrained ear it may sound like “a”, but rest assured it’s “ы” all right.

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: У него было много работы - is it "работа"?

    It's Ы
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  4. #4
    SAn
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    Re: У него было много работы - is it "работа"?

    I always compare the differences in pronunciation of non-stressed «а», «о», «ы» with differences of pronunciation of English words «this», «these», and «be», «bee». These pairs sound completely equal for «untrained ear».

    If some russian will say «у него было много работа» to another russian, the latter will immediately recognize an error in spite of similar sounding. It is nearly impossible for native russian to select incorrect grammatical case in such a simple case. The russian children can form and recognize grammatical cases of all words before they even hear these words. They can make mistake in forming of grammatical case of concrete word (for ex. say «у шкафы» instead of «у шкафа»), but never in selecting which case to use. Cases and prepositions conect words in a sentence together, into a single idea/message. So, for russians cases are so important, that they always hear which case do you use.

    --------

    I have a theory that cases and prepositions are direct representation of our brain logical structure. The concepts in our brain are connected into network with links of different types. The type of link is translated into grammatical case and/or preposition when you speak. When some elements (nodes and links) of the network are activated (for ex., «окно <= мыть <- мама», where arrows of different types represent links of different types) the brain trying to find the order of concepts which will follow all the links in «natural» order (the most natural order is temporal order), forming a sentence. That is why all languages have sentences, and most languages have grammatical cases.

    Sometimes the concepts subnetwork you want to forward to your interlocutor's brain is complicated, so it can be expressed in different ways and in different number of sentences:
    Code:
            что делает>          кого/что>
      МАМА------------- >МЫТЬ===================>ВАЗА
       |    <кто делает  |||  <что с этим делают  /\
       |                 |||                      ||
       |                 |||затем                 ||
       |                \|||/                     ||
       | что делает>     \|/        кого/что>     ||
        ------------->РАЗБИВАТЬ====================
         <кто делает     |||    <что с этим делают
                         |||
                        \|||/затем
                         \|/
                       [СЕЙЧАС]
    (So, you see that «кого/что» is a type of link which directly translated into accusative case).

    • Мама вазу мыла, затем её разбила.[/*:m:3vmfwapk]
    • Мама разбила вазу, а перед этим её мыла.[/*:m:3vmfwapk]
    • Вчера было такое! Представь, мама моет вазу, а потом её разбивает![/*:m:3vmfwapk]
    • Мама вымыла вазу перед тем, как её разбить.[/*:m:3vmfwapk]
    • Вначале мама мыла вазу. Затем она её разбила. Ну а потом уже мы с тобой встретились, и вот я тебе рассказываю это.[/*:m:3vmfwapk]
    • Ваза была тщательно вымыта мамой, а затем ею же разбита.[/*:m:3vmfwapk]


    In English the word order is used instead of grammatical cases. So, it is easy for foreign speaker to make a mistake. The foreigners are commonly paradised in our films in the way they using wrong cases. So, even 4-years-old child can laugh at them.

  5. #5
    Hanna
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    Re: У него было много работы - is it "работа"?

    Thanks for all the good explanations about this!

    Interesting post by SAN -- I have heard it said that Russian has a bit in common with programming languages because it's so precise in what is needed (syntax) and governed by subject (parameters)... But the word order is freer, same as in programming to some extent... I know this is a cheesy comparison, but there is a grain of truth in it, isn't there?

    Some of the best programmers (sharpest) I have met have been Eastern European (Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian) -- speakers of Slavic languages for what it's worth... Really, statistically the best programmers I have met ought to be English speaking people, since I work in England and since programming languages are based on English.

    Quote Originally Posted by SAn
    In English the word order is used instead of grammatical cases. So, it is easy for foreign speaker to make a mistake. The foreigners are commonly paradised in our films in the way they using wrong cases. So, even 4-years-old child can laugh at them.
    Can you recall any particular instance of this and post a link? Would be fun to see!

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    Почтенный гражданин bitpicker's Avatar
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    Re: У него было много работы - is it "работа"?

    I suppose if Russian is used in US movies, cases will often be off as well, inadvertently. I know they usually are when they portray German. Actually I am amazed how in the age of the internet authors of novels and screenplays fail to ask anyone in the know whether the two words of German they are using are, in fact, grammatically correct.

    An example: in one of the Die Hard movies one of the bad guys calls out 'Schießt dem Fenster!' - shoot the window. Trouble is, this is dative case, and it should be 'auf das Fenster', preposition plus accusative case.

    Robin
    Спасибо за исправления!

    Вам нравится этот форум, и вы изучаете немецкий язык? Вот похожий форум о немецком языке.

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    Re: У него было много работы - is it "работа"?

    They use non-American actors all right, but not necessarily from the relevant country. Lots of Swedish actors have made a career by playing precisely Germans and Russians... They know that this is silly, but it's the only roles that are offered to them, because they cannot pass themselves off as native English speakers.

    But it is VERY hard to understand why Hollywood doesn't make sure they use actors of the relevant nationality instead!

    I have also noticed that Polish people are also often playing Russians or Germans in Hollywood films.

    It's particularly irritating when the film is SUPPOSED to take place somewhere in continental Europe, but everyone speaks fake broken English instead of their alleged mother tongue.....

  8. #8
    SAn
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    Re: У него было много работы - is it "работа"?

    Yes. And it is really fun to watch american movies where they portray Russians. For unknown reason these Russians drink vodka, wear earflapped fur hat, and femails wear kokoshniks. The actors can't say any Russian word correctly!

    We have special term for this phenomenon: Клюква.

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