Results 1 to 14 of 14
Like Tree15Likes
  • 1 Post By genuinefarmgirl
  • 2 Post By eisenherz
  • 1 Post By eisenherz
  • 1 Post By it-ogo
  • 2 Post By fortheether
  • 3 Post By Боб Уайтман
  • 2 Post By Боб Уайтман
  • 1 Post By Lampada
  • 1 Post By Боб Уайтман
  • 1 Post By Eledhwen

Thread: Laughing with Language Learning...

  1. #1
    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    The great Midwest in the great US
    Posts
    52
    Rep Power
    5

    Laughing with Language Learning...

    I've heard and read about saying funny things when you're learning a language and wondered just when it would happen to me...

    It happened when I wrote a letter to a Russian friend and I wrote "мы не лошади" when I was meaning to say "у нас нет лошадей". It turned out that the letter arrived during a birthday party at her house... and she couldn't help laughing. My letter was read to the group and she told me that they were laughing so hard. I could have been embarrassed but I couldn't help seeing the humor in it. She told me that they were really impressed with my letter, and just maybe they were...why it's true that we're not horses, isn't it?

    What's the funny thing you've said in your language learning??? I know for a fact, I'm not alone in this sort of thing!

  2. #2
    Почётный участник eisenherz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Namibia
    Posts
    117
    Rep Power
    9
    such things happen to me all the time....
    it is a 1000 times better to try and make some mistakes then not to try at all for fear of making them....

  3. #3
    Почётный участник eisenherz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Namibia
    Posts
    117
    Rep Power
    9
    oh ja, and у меня есть лошадей!!
    genuinefarmgirl likes this.

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ukraine
    Posts
    3,049
    Rep Power
    26
    Maybe it was even more funny taking into account widely known quotation from a poem by Mayakovsky:

    Деточка,
    все мы немножко лошади,
    каждый из нас по-своему лошадь

    Baby,
    we all are horses,
    each in their own manner

    The poem is about a horse that fell down at the street and people were making fun of it. The horse was embarrassed for a while but then just stood up and walk away perfectly happy about herself.

    Recursive fun, huh?

    People often produce fun unwillingly whether they learn any foreign language or not. And your kind of fun was not really embarrassing IMHO.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  5. #5
    Властелин
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    The peoples state of New Jersey
    Posts
    1,137
    Rep Power
    17
    Looking at a picture of a lake, I said to my teacher:

    "Там я катался на коньках когда я был учебник".

    Scott

  6. #6
    Старший оракул
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    865
    Rep Power
    26
    A classic example of "Runglish" is an attempt to translate the Russian phrase "Я плохо себя чувствую" (I am unwell, I feel sick) into English literally.

    Some Russian guy, an employee of a foreign company, called his English-speaking boss in the morning:

    - I will not come to the office today. I feel myself badly.

  7. #7
    Старший оракул
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    865
    Rep Power
    26
    And another funny example of this sort:
    a Russian who just started learning English and cannot speak and write well, introduces himself:

    My name Sergei. I am live in Moscow. I teach English.

    (meaning to say "I learn English" since the same Russian verb "учить" can be translated both as "to learn" and "to teach").

  8. #8
    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    The great Midwest in the great US
    Posts
    52
    Rep Power
    5
    oh ja, and у меня есть лошадей!!
    eisenherz - I can see that! I wish we did, too.

    "Там я катался на коньках когда я был учебник".
    Scott, now, that was really funny!

    - I will not come to the office today. I feel myself badly.
    I'd suppose you'd feel yourself pretty badly if you were sick...


    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    And another funny example of this sort:
    a Russian who just started learning English and cannot speak and write well, introduces himself:

    My name Sergei. I am live in Moscow. I teach English.

    (meaning to say "I learn English" since the same Russian verb "учить" can be translated both as "to learn" and "to teach").
    lol! So, there are Russian words that have kinda opposite meanings, too. Sort of like 'dusting' can be the act of putting on 'dust' or the removal of 'dust'!

  9. #9
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    СССР -> США
    Posts
    17,632
    Rep Power
    31
    eisenherz likes this.

  10. #10
    Старший оракул
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    865
    Rep Power
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by genuinefarmgirl View Post
    lol! So, there are Russian words that have kinda opposite meanings, too. Sort of like 'dusting' can be the act of putting on 'dust' or the removal of 'dust'!
    Not exactly! I see what you mean, I am aware of the example with "dusting" in English. They are so-called "self-antonyms". In Russian the true self-antonyms are very rare. Two well-known examples are "прослушать" and "просмотреть".

    "Прослушать" means "to listen something from beginning to end, to listen the whole piece of speech, or broadcast, or lecture etc."
    The other meaning of "прослушать" is "to miss hearing of something": someone told something but you failed to hear etc.
    So, when a radio announcer says after a proadcasting program is finished: "вы прослушали передачу ..." it can be understood ambiguously. Actually, he means "you have listened (the entire) program...", but another possible meaning is "you missed the program..." (imagine, you have just turned the radio on when the program is finished)

    The same is with "просмотреть" - 1) to watch from beginning to end (a whole movie, or a whole TV program etc.); 2) to miss watching something (when they showed but you failed to notice etc.). So, "вы просмотрели фильм" can mean 1) you finished seeing the whole movie; 2) you missed seeing the movie.

    Those self-antonyms exist due to the fact that the Russian verb prefix "про-" has multiple meanings. One of them is "to have something done from beginning to end", another one is "to skip, to miss, to pass something".

    But I cannot think of any other self-antonyms in Russian. Maybe there are some more, but nothing else comes to my mind now.

    However, the case with "учить" has nothing to do with this thing. We will never confuse its meanings due to different cases and different syntax.
    When "учить" means "to learn something", then the learner is in Nominative, and the subject he learns is in Accusative (quite straightforward, similar to English): Я учу английский язык = I learn English, я учу физику = I learn physics etc.
    But when "учить" means "to teach something to someone", then the teacher is in Nominative, the student is in Accusative, and the subject is in Dative:
    Я учу детей английскому языку = I teach English to children, я учу студентов физике = I teach physics to students.

    Even if the student is omitted, there is still the difference (due to different cases). So, "Я учу английский язык" is always understood as "I learn English", but "Я учу английскому языку" is always understood as "I teach English (to someone, not mentioned)".

    But Russians do not usually think of those nuances, they just understand them intuitively, Thus, "учить" is the same verb for a Russian who is a total beginner in English, and he might not understand the difference between "to learn" and "to teach" due to the lack of cases in English.
    Soft sign likes this.

  11. #11
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Siberia, the Earth
    Posts
    1,176
    Rep Power
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    Not exactly! I see what you mean, I am aware of the example with "dusting" in English. They are so-called "self-antonyms". In Russian the true self-antonyms are very rare. Two well-known examples are "прослушать" and "просмотреть".

    "Прослушать" means "to listen something from beginning to end, to listen the whole piece of speech, or broadcast, or lecture etc."
    The other meaning of "прослушать" is "to miss hearing of something": someone told something but you failed to hear etc.
    So, when a radio announcer says after a proadcasting program is finished: "вы прослушали передачу ..." it can be understood ambiguously. Actually, he means "you have listened (the entire) program...", but another possible meaning is "you missed the program..." (imagine, you have just turned the radio on when the program is finished)

    The same is with "просмотреть" - 1) to watch from beginning to end (a whole movie, or a whole TV program etc.); 2) to miss watching something (when they showed but you failed to notice etc.). So, "вы просмотрели фильм" can mean 1) you finished seeing the whole movie; 2) you missed seeing the movie.

    Those self-antonyms exist due to the fact that the Russian verb prefix "про-" has multiple meanings. One of them is "to have something done from beginning to end", another one is "to skip, to miss, to pass something".

    But I cannot think of any other self-antonyms in Russian. Maybe there are some more, but nothing else comes to my mind now.

    However, the case with "учить" has nothing to do with this thing. We will never confuse its meanings due to different cases and different syntax.
    When "учить" means "to learn something", then the learner is in Nominative, and the subject he learns is in Accusative (quite straightforward, similar to English): Я учу английский язык = I learn English, я учу физику = I learn physics etc.
    But when "учить" means "to teach something to someone", then the teacher is in Nominative, the student is in Accusative, and the subject is in Dative:
    Я учу детей английскому языку = I teach English to children, я учу студентов физике = I teach physics to students.

    Even if the student is omitted, there is still the difference (due to different cases). So, "Я учу английский язык" is always understood as "I learn English", but "Я учу английскому языку" is always understood as "I teach English (to someone, not mentioned)".

    But Russians do not usually think of those nuances, they just understand them intuitively, Thus, "учить" is the same verb for a Russian who is a total beginner in English, and he might not understand the difference between "to learn" and "to teach" due to the lack of cases in English.
    One small detail is missed here, we can say:

    Я учусь английскому языку - and this would mean I learn English
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

  12. #12
    Старший оракул
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Russia
    Posts
    865
    Rep Power
    26
    Quote Originally Posted by iCake View Post
    One small detail is missed here, we can say:

    Я учусь английскому языку - and this would mean I learn English
    Yes, but I missed it deliberately in order not to overcomplicate the things for a beginner. I limited myself by only considering "учить", not "учиться" - they are different verbs though.

  13. #13
    Увлечённый спикер genuinefarmgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    The great Midwest in the great US
    Posts
    52
    Rep Power
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Боб Уайтман View Post
    Not exactly! I see what you mean, I am aware of the example with "dusting" in English. They are so-called "self-antonyms". In Russian the true self-antonyms are very rare. Two well-known examples are "прослушать" and "просмотреть".

    "Прослушать" means "to listen something from beginning to end, to listen the whole piece of speech, or broadcast, or lecture etc."
    The other meaning of "прослушать" is "to miss hearing of something": someone told something but you failed to hear etc.
    So, when a radio announcer says after a proadcasting program is finished: "вы прослушали передачу ..." it can be understood ambiguously. Actually, he means "you have listened (the entire) program...", but another possible meaning is "you missed the program..." (imagine, you have just turned the radio on when the program is finished)

    The same is with "просмотреть" - 1) to watch from beginning to end (a whole movie, or a whole TV program etc.); 2) to miss watching something (when they showed but you failed to notice etc.). So, "вы просмотрели фильм" can mean 1) you finished seeing the whole movie; 2) you missed seeing the movie.

    Those self-antonyms exist due to the fact that the Russian verb prefix "про-" has multiple meanings. One of them is "to have something done from beginning to end", another one is "to skip, to miss, to pass something".

    But I cannot think of any other self-antonyms in Russian. Maybe there are some more, but nothing else comes to my mind now.

    However, the case with "учить" has nothing to do with this thing. We will never confuse its meanings due to different cases and different syntax.
    When "учить" means "to learn something", then the learner is in Nominative, and the subject he learns is in Accusative (quite straightforward, similar to English): Я учу английский язык = I learn English, я учу физику = I learn physics etc.
    But when "учить" means "to teach something to someone", then the teacher is in Nominative, the student is in Accusative, and the subject is in Dative:
    Я учу детей английскому языку = I teach English to children, я учу студентов физике = I teach physics to students.

    Even if the student is omitted, there is still the difference (due to different cases). So, "Я учу английский язык" is always understood as "I learn English", but "Я учу английскому языку" is always understood as "I teach English (to someone, not mentioned)".

    But Russians do not usually think of those nuances, they just understand them intuitively, Thus, "учить" is the same verb for a Russian who is a total beginner in English, and he might not understand the difference between "to learn" and "to teach" due to the lack of cases in English.
    Very informative, thanks! I see what you're saying. I love grammar and I was reading about cases recently. I have a ways to go to understanding it yet.

  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Russia, Ekaterinburg
    Posts
    268
    Rep Power
    0
    Моделирую корабли в 3D. Недавно закончил линкор «Марат». Следующая по заданию — плавучая платформа «Не тронь меня».
    Долго хохотал над названием, учитывая, то, что оно было сначала мной неправильно понято. )))
    Soft sign likes this.

Similar Threads

  1. Laughing Again... Do you play Patty Cat in Russia?
    By rockzmom in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: December 4th, 2010, 07:52 AM
  2. To all language learning experts: I need your help!
    By Koroden in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: December 30th, 2009, 01:58 AM
  3. Learning a new language
    By Siriusly in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: October 1st, 2006, 09:39 PM
  4. Learning more than one language?
    By Joel in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: June 19th, 2005, 08:59 PM
  5. learning a new language
    By dimple67 in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 22nd, 2004, 01:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Russian Lessons                           

Russian Tests and Quizzes            

Russian Vocabulary