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Thread: Анекдоты showing "Verbs of Motion" (or other points of Russian grammar)

  1. #1
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    Анекдоты showing "Verbs of Motion" (or other points of Russian grammar)

    I dug up an old Russian textbook and found a few simple jokes that beginners might enjoy; they all illustrate Verbs of Motion, and I've added some glossary-notes explaining some of the words so that you don't have to look all of them up in order to understand the humor, and have done my best to mark the syllable stress!

    This is basically just an experiment to see whether beginners find it useful. To start off the thread, here are a couple of анекдоты on the general theme of hunting.

    -- "Ваня", -- спрашивает из окна сосед -- "куда ты ведёшь свою собаку?"
    -- "Мы идём в лес, на охоту за утками!" -- отвечает Иван.
    -- "А если на охоту, то почему ты ружьё не несёшь?"
    -- "Зачем? Без ружья мне это стоит дешевле, а результат тот же!"


    лес -- "forest; woods"
    охота за... -- "a hunt for..." (with instrumental)
    утка -- "a duck"
    если... то... -- "if... then..."
    ружьё -- "firearm; shotgun; rifle" (bigger than a handgun, smaller than a cannon)
    зачем -- "what for?" (more future-oriented than почему, "why?")
    стоит (stressed on the "о") -- "it cOsts" or "it's wOrth" (but стоит, stressed on the "и", means "he/she/it is standing")
    дешевле -- "cheaper"
    тот же -- "the same"

    * * *

    -- "Вчера мне очень не повезло!" -- сказал Дима.
    -- "А в чём дело?" -- спросил Миша.
    -- "Представь себе, я пошёл на охоту за зайцами, и забыл взять с собой ружьё."
    -- "А когда ты об этом вспомнил?"
    -- "К сожалению, только тогда, когда я принёс жене зайца!"



    dative + повезло -- "(someone) had good luck" (a very idiomatic use of везти)
    в чём дело? -- "What's the matter? What happened?" -- compare with дело в том, что ("the thing is, that..." or "the fact of the matter is...")
    представь себе -- "Can you imagine!" or "Okay, it was like this..."
    заяц -- "a hare" (NB: unlike in Bugs Bunny cartoons, Russian makes a very clear distinction between зайцы, "hares," and кролики, "rabbits")
    вспомнить -- "to remember"
    к сожалению -- "unfortunately"
    тогда, когда -- "at that moment when"
    Lampada, fortheether and Soft sign like this.
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    In case you didn't get the second joke, here's another one playing on the same suspicion that a husband's поездка на охоту/рыбалку ("trip for hunting/fishing") is actually an excuse for some kind of misbehavior:

    -- "Наташа, неужели ты веришь твоему мужу, что он ездит ловить рыбу?"
    -- "Почему не верить?"
    -- "Потому что он ни разу не привёз домой ни одной рыбы!"
    -- "А вот почему я ему верю!"

    неужели -- "Really?" (expressing skepticism)
    верить -- "to believe" (with dat.)
    ловить -- "to catch"
    ни разу -- "not even once" (don't confuse with не раз, "many a time")
    ни одной (fem.), ни одного (masc./neut) -- "not a single one"

    * * *

    And one more for today:

    -- Катя, скажи, если не секрет, куда ты бежала позавчера вечером, когда мы прошли мимо друг друга во дворе? Я тебе позвал, а ты меня как будто игнорировала...
    -- Ой, Павел, извини! Дело в том, что я шла в театр, и боялась опоздать. Знаешь, мой новый парень успел достать для нас билеты на
    "La Traviata"!
    -- Опять "Traviata"? А я как-то думал, что ты уже ходила на эту оперу.
    -- Да, недели три назад. Но я ходила не в этом платье, и не с этим парнем...


    позавчера -- "the day before yesterday"
    двор -- here, "courtyard of a building" (elsewhere, "a royal court")
    как будто -- "seemingly"
    бояться + inf. -- "to be afraid (of doing something)"
    опоздать -- "to arrive late"
    парень -- "a guy", here implying "boyfriend"
    успеть + inf. -- "to manage (to do something)"
    достать -- "to get; to obtain"
    недели три назад -- "roughly three weeks ago" (number after noun = approximation)
    fortheether and Soft sign like this.
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    заец -- "a hare"
    Заяц.

    It’s a rare word where я is беглая (how to say it in English? disappearing?). Historically, it used to be a normal я in all the cases, but due to an analogy with words ending with -ец, it became disappearing.
    In 1960s, an orthography reform was proposed by linguists where заяц was suggested to be spelled as заец (alongside some other things that make the spelling more predictable). The proposition was widely discussed in media and was taken with indignation by public and writers. People interpreted this subtle regularization of spelling as an encroachment on their «великий и могучий» language. So the reform has been never implemented.
    Throbert McGee likes this.
    Please correct my English

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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    Я тебе позвал…
    Я тебя позвал… (accusative).
    Please correct my English

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    Властелин maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Думаю, там должно быть "я тебя звал".
    Чтобы было согласованно по аспекту с "игнорировала".

    I've added some glossary-notes
    I like them very much, because they work in opposite direction, too
    Throbert McGee likes this.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Новичок Ursa Major's Avatar
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    Throbert McGee, Hi! How would you like this one? It's some kind of philological joke.
    Вопрос: Как узнать - кто у вас на руках: кот или кошка?
    Ответ: Бросьте животное на землю и посмотрите: если побежал - значит кот, а если побежала - значит кошка.
    Did you get it?)
    Throbert McGee likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ursa Major View Post
    Throbert McGee, Hi! How would you like this one? It's some kind of philological joke.
    Вопрос: Как узнать - кто у вас на руках: кот или кошка?
    Ответ: Бросьте животное на землю и посмотрите: если побежал - значит кот, а если побежала - значит кошка.
    Did you get it?)
    I got it, and it was also a good reminder for me that кот/кошка take the pronoun "кто" (not "что"), because they are одушевлённые ("animate")!
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Thanks for the positive feedback and corrections! Here's another one -- I think I originally found it in the MR "Fun Stuff" section, but I've added my own annotations:

    This joke has two prefixed Verbs of Motion, plus the transitive verb вешать/повесить ("to PUT in a hanging position", not to be confused with висеть, "to BE in a hanging position"). Also, bear in mind that once you've learned the conjugation forms of пить ("to drink"), you'll have an easy time with other important basic verbs such as лить ("to pour"), бить ("to beat"), вить ("to twist"), and шить ("to sew) -- they all follow the same pattern.

    Звонок в Скорую Помощь
    -- Аллё-о-о, мы... тут... пьём...
    Дежурный вешает трубку.
    Опять звонок:
    -- Аллё-о-о, почему вы повесили?! Слушайте, здесь у нас в квартире все пьют... мы уже выпили... а Федя, он не пьёт...
    Тут дежурный не настолько вешает, как бросает телефон.
    Опять звонок:
    -- Алло, трубку не вешайте!!! Мы тут пьём... Мы сказали Феде "Пей до дна!"... А теперь Федя не пьёт, и к тому же, он не дышит. Он штопор проглотил...
    -- Он проглотил штопор?! Так что же вы СРАЗУ не сказали?! Щас, выезжаем!! А вы какие-нибудь меры приняли?
    -- Да! Мы вытаскиваем пробки из бутылок ВИЛКОЙ!


    звонок -- "a phone call"
    Скорая Помощь -- "ambulance service; paramedics"
    дежурный -- "person on duty" (from French du jour)
    вешать/повесить -- here, "to hang up (the phone)"; generally, "to hang" in the transitive sense
    трубка -- here, "receiver of a telephone"; (literally, "a small tube/pipe")
    бросать -- "to throw" or in some contexts "to throw away" or "to quit (a habit)"
    пей до дна! -- "Chug! Chug! Chug!" (literally "Drink to the bottom!")
    дышать -- "to be breathing"
    штопор -- "a corkscrew" (note: it sounds a bit like "stopper," but means the opposite!)
    щас -- mashed-up, shortened form of сейчас, "right now, even as we speak" (compare with English "gonna" = "going to")
    принять меры -- here, "to take appropriate measures," i.e., "to give first aid"
    пробка -- "a cork"
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Властелин maxmixiv's Avatar
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    "бросает телефон" should be "бросает трубку" (otherwise - see what can come to Russian mind Ученые рекомендуют бросать телефон в унитаз ).
    To make it sound even stronger, use "швыряет" instead.

    In connection to just introduced "вешать" verb, I have recalled an another joke. Nothing interesting (everything is in imperfect) but nevertheless:
    Мальчик пишет письмо родителям из пионерского лагеря:
    "Дорогие папа и мама! У меня всё хорошо. Вчера нас утром вешали, а вечером снимали!"
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Александр Шибаев

    ИДЁТ! — О ТОМ И РЕЧЬ ИДЁТ...


    Он мне сказал: «В кино? Идёт
    Он не спросил: «А что идёт?» —
    Мол, это к делу не идёт.
    Дают билет — и он идёт.
    (Ах, как костюм ему идёт!)
    Вдаль наша улица идёт.
    Трамвай по улице идёт.
    И дождь на улице идёт.
    А он пешком себе идёт .
    Упорно к цели он идёт.
    Идёт! — о том и речь идёт...
    Throbert McGee likes this.
    Семь бед, один Reset

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    вешает… повесили… вешайте
    ве́шает… пове́сили… ве́шайте

    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    Тут дежурный не настолько вешает, как бросает телефон.
    Sounds unnaturally.
    I’d say:
    Тут дежу́рный не про́сто ве́шает, а броса́ет тру́бку.
    Throbert McGee likes this.
    Please correct my English

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxmixiv View Post
    In connection to just introduced "вешать" verb, I have recalled an another joke. Nothing interesting (everything is in imperfect) but nevertheless:
    I wouldn't agree that there's "nothing interesting" in this joke! Of course, the points of interest are more lexical than grammatical. In particular, it illustrates there are TWO completely different imperfective, transitive verbs that are both spelled вешать, and also that the one verb снимать has multiple senses:

    Мальчик пишет письмо родителям из пионерского лагеря:
    "Дорогие папа и мама! У меня всё хорошо. Вчера нас утром вешали, а вечером снимали!"

    пионеры -- loosely speaking, "the Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts program of the USSR"
    лагерь -- here, "summer camp" (i.e., for the recreation/education of schoolchildren)
    вешать (perfective взвесить) -- "to measure the weight of someone/something" -- NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH...
    вешать (perfective повесить) -- "to hang an object up" or "to execute a person by hanging"
    снимать/снять -- many idiomatic meanings, including: "to photograph someone". But the most direct meaning is "to remove", as in, "remove the hanged bodies from the ropes" -- here and 2. "to 'take out' or 'pick off' someone with a bullet, as a sniper does" (at least, I think that's the intended wordplay here -- I might be misunderstanding it, because this verb has such a large number of figurative/idiomatic senses)

    Also, learners should note that when imperfective вешать means "to weigh" in the transitive sense, the imperfective взешивать can also be used. On the other hand, "to weigh" in the intransitive sense of "to have a certain weight" is весить -- not to be confused with висеть, "to hang" intransitively!

    In summary:

    весить -- "to be of a certain weight"
    вешать/взвешивать/взвесить -- "to measure the weight of"
    висеть -- "to be hanging"
    вешать/повесить -- "to make something hang" (or, in some contexts, "to execute with a noose")
    вешаться/повеситься -- "to commit suicide by hanging oneself"
    Soft sign likes this.
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    "Они вешаются от жары" ~ The heat is making them really mad

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    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    снимать/снять -- many idiomatic meanings, here including: 1. "to photograph someone" and 2. "to 'take out' or 'pick off' someone with a bullet, as a sniper does" (at least, I think that's the intended wordplay here -- I might be misunderstanding it, because this verb has such a large number of figurative/idiomatic senses)
    There’s nothing to do with snipers in the joke.
    The boy had in mind the meaning ‘to take a picture’ of course. His parents could understand that as ‘to take hanged men out from the gallows’.
    Throbert McGee likes this.
    Please correct my English

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    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    There’s an episode in the movie Nothing to Lose when one of the protagonists has got a spider on his head. “Get it off!,” he screams, and the other guy starts recording it with a camera.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOUvUV69PzA
    Do I understand right that “Get it off!” has no connection with filming / taking pictures in English?

    The Russian translation however features an unexpected wordplay:
    — У тебя́ на голове́ пау́к.
    — Сними́ его́, сними́! (can be understood either as ‘get it off!’ or as ‘film it!’)
    The guy starts filming the spider, as he is asked
    Please correct my English

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soft sign View Post
    There’s nothing to do with snipers in the joke.
    The boy had in mind the meaning ‘to take a picture’ of course. His parents could understand that as ‘to take hanged men out from the gallows’.
    Thanks very much, Soft sign! I've corrected my glossary for the post.

    By the way, after thinking about it: the pun with вешать simply doesn't work in English, but one could make an analogous joke: "Dear Mom and Dad, yesterday I learned how to use a digital camera, and today I shot all my friends while they were eating dinner."

    Also, as some of you may know: TRADITIONALLY, the verb "to hang" was irregular (hang, hung, have hung) in contexts like "вешать цветочный горшок с потолка", but was regular (hang, hanged, have hanged) when it means казнить кого-н. повешением.

    And in slang, if you say "He is hung," it's understood to mean "His thing hangs low" -- in other words, "У него член висит до пола". But nowadays, there is a tendency to ignore this distinction, and to use the IRREGULAR past/passive "hung" in all contexts. (More often, there's a tendency for the irregular forms to disappear in favor of regular forms -- for instance, "dreamed" is now much more common than "dreamt." But in this case, the regular "hanged" is disappearing, except in well-educated speech.)

    Which leads to the following classic joke from the movie Blazing Saddles, in which the black hero is sentenced to be hanged (after he hits a white racist cowboy with a shovel), but then receives a pardon at the last moment, and is reunited with his friends:

    "Bart! Oh, Bart, man, you's alive! Nigga, they told us you was HUNG!"
    "Well, I don't like to brag, but they're right..."
    Alex80 likes this.
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Почтенный гражданин Soft sign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    "вешать цветочный горшок с потолка"
    Вешать с чего-л. sounds wrong.
    «Подве́шивать цвето́чный горшо́к к потолку́»
    Please correct my English

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soft sign View Post
    Do I understand right that “Get it off!” has no connection with filming / taking pictures in English?
    You're right, there's no pun at all in English. There are ways you could make a pun in this situation -- for example, the passenger in the car is a prostitute; the driver says "Take it off!" (meaning, "Сними паука!"); the prostitute interprets this to mean "Раздевайся!", and she says "You have to PAY me first..."

    There are other possible puns (e.g., "shoot the spider with a camera" versus "shoot the spider with a gun," as I already mentioned). But no pun HERE, in the movie. Kudos to the Russian translators for improving the scene!
    Говорит Бегемот: "Dear citizens of MR -- please correct my Russian mistakes!"

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    Новичок Ursa Major's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    I got it, and it was also a good reminder for me that кот/кошка take the pronoun "кто" (not "что"), because they are одушевлённые ("animate")!
    It's good then, cause some friends of mine which are Russian native speakers didn't get it till I explained it to them).

    Как Вам этот анекдот?)
    На филфаке идет лекция по языкознанию. Преподаватель самозабвенно вещает:

    – Есть языки, в которых два утверждения подряд означают отрицание. Есть языки, в которых отрицание и утверждение, поставленные рядом, означают отрицание, а есть языки, в которых та же самая комбинация означает утверждение. Но нет такого языка, в котором двойное утверждение обозначало бы отрицание!

    Голос студента с задней парты:

    – Ну да, конечно!

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