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Thread: Confusion about Russian

  1. #1
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    Confusion about Russian

    I notice that it is spelled "ПО-РУССКИ" и По Русский in other texts. Which one do I use and which one is correct in proper usage?

    I also have problems in Russian books with common phrases like I don't, just I don't standing on its own with nothing out there after it.

    I also have problems with I have this or She has this. Can you use У меня on its own like in English to say "I don't have this or that?"

    Oxford Dictionary seems to lack American phrases like "I got fired from my job."

    I have questions about the gerund part of Russian grammar. How is it used in a sentence? I have problems with Russian that I have been having for years, but could not tell anyone because there are few resources in my community for help with Russian and asking the right questions about the language in a sentence.

    How do you get past the brick wall with Russian language? I have hit a brick wall with Russian fairly recently with some things, such as having to use a clunky dictionary to translate words and watching Russian TV that sounds like a machine chattering to me with understanding a few words in a sentence, as opposed to the whole sentence and translating them really quickly in a snap manner, like I can English. I cannot seem to be able to translate quickly. I have been learning on and off for the last 9 years in Russian.

    I am self-taught in the Russian language. I am from Corry, Pennsylvania, USA, which is south of Erie.

    I look stupid with a Russian dictionary in my hand trying to translate someone speaking really really fast.

    There aren't as many resources for Russian, as there are for French for example.

    I struggle with it and have problems with the lack of help that I have for the language. I would help if I had a teacher, but I do pretty well on my own thank you.

    Can anyone please help me?

    Confusion about Russian.

    Can someone please fix the spelling please? Sorry for the misspelling.


    When do I use Я имеею as opposed to У меня?

  2. #2
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    По-русски по-русски - Wiktionary, this is the adverb, like, 'Russian style' 'in the Russian manner' 'Russian'etc. This is similar for other adjectives with 'ский' You generate adverb by prefixing по- and end with и. Another example: "по французски" French style, in French, French, etc. по-французски - Wiktionary

    This thread has things about у меня/тебя/неё/него etc..
    Quote Originally Posted by krwright13 View Post
    .

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Well, I don't know where you have seen по русский because it's hard to imagine it to be used properly as an adjective (which it is) with such a preposition in front of it.
    По-русски is an adverb, in other words its describes a verb.
    Я говорю по-русски, not по-русский because it's an adjective and not an adverb, and Russian never uses adjectives to describe verbs unlike English.

    She/he... has is conveyed with this construction - у меня/него/её/них есть + nominative noun Let's see how we form tenses with this construction:
    у меня есть - present tense
    у меня был/была/были/было (depends on the gender (были is for plurals) of the nominative noun) - past tense
    у меня будет/будут - future tense
    She/he.. doesn't have is formed the following way: у меня нет + genetive noun. E.G.
    у меня нет - present tense
    у меня не было - past tense
    у меня не будет - future tense

    Oxford Dictionary seems to lack American phrases like "I got fired from my job."
    Here you should come to terms with the fact that Russian doesn't have this construction English has. In substance, a verb + adjective to describe that a subject changes from one state to another. E.G. to fall asleep, to go stale, to get ready. All those things are conveyed with particular verbs, you just have to know and remember them. There is no other way, I'm gonna translate the bolded examples for you to see what I mean
    заснуть - to fall asleep
    зачерстветь - to go stale
    приготовиться - to get ready

    I have questions about the gerund part of Russian grammar
    Another time, Russian doesn't have gerund, it only has participles Although, you can make up some verbal nouns, and they would even convey almost the same thing Gerund does in English. In other words, a noun which implies an action, but this is rather a rare phenomenon in Russian and not many verbal nouns exist in Russian and sound naturally

    When do I use Я имею as opposed to У меня?
    We don't really use я имею to imply possession, of course, you would be understood if you say я имею instead of у меня есть, but that would sound unnatural and this would likely provoke others to taunt you about that phrase, because я имею creates an opportunity for others to make an "unpleasant" pun.
    So я имею is mostly used in set phrases such as иметь совесть (have a conscience), иметь дело (have a business), which you have to know and remember.

    How do you get past the brick wall with Russian language? I have hit a brick wall with Russian fairly recently with some things, such as having to use a clunky dictionary to translate words and watching Russian TV that sounds like a machine chattering to me with understanding a few words in a sentence, as opposed to the whole sentence and translating them really quickly in a snap manner, like I can English. I cannot seem to be able to translate quickly. I have been learning on and off for the last 9 years in Russian
    Well, it won't be suprise if I say the key is practising your skills. And when I say it I mean all skills: reading, speaking, writing, listening. You can practice writing skills here in our cozy chat, there are always some Russians there who are willing to answer your questions or just to chat.

    I have another tip for you. Don't learn a language on and off. That doesn't work. Try to fit in at least 15 minutes for the disired language. That's not so long and more than that it keeps your language in shape, so that it wouldn't just fade away from your brain or in the most lucky case would get rusty.

    As for speaking skills it's obvious that the most efficient way to train them is to speak with native speakers. There are plenty language exchange sites out there, you just need to find google them. Also, you can contact me for language exchanging If you're interested, send me a private message and we will work something out. Anyway, good luck on your learning journey
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    Quote Originally Posted by iCake View Post
    Well, I don't know where you have seen по русский because it's hard to imagine it to be used properly as an adjective (which it is) with such a preposition in front of it.
    По-русски is an adverb, in other words its describes a verb.
    Я говорю по-русски, not по-русский because it's an adjective and not an adverb, and Russian never uses adjectives to describe verbs unlike English.

    She/he... has is conveyed with this construction - у меня/него/её/них есть + nominative noun Let's see how we form tenses with this construction:
    у меня есть - present tense
    у меня был/была/были/было (depends on the gender (были is for plurals) of the nominative noun) - past tense
    у меня будет/будут - future tense
    She/he.. doesn't have is formed the following way: у меня нет + genetive noun. E.G.
    у меня нет - present tense
    у меня не было - past tense
    у меня не будет - future tense



    Here you should come to terms with the fact that Russian doesn't have this construction English has. In substance, a verb + adjective to describe that a subject changes from one state to another. E.G. to fall asleep, to go stale, to get ready. All those things are conveyed with particular verbs, you just have to know and remember them. There is no other way, I'm gonna translate the bolded examples for you to see what I mean
    заснуть - to fall asleep
    зачерстветь - to go stale
    приготовиться - to get ready


    Another time, Russian doesn't have gerund, it only has participles Although, you can make up some verbal nouns, and they would even convey almost the same thing Gerund does in English. In other words, a noun which implies an action, but this is rather a rare phenomenon in Russian and not many verbal nouns exist in Russian and sound naturally



    We don't really use я имею to imply possession, of course, you would be understood if you say я имею instead of у меня есть, but that would sound unnatural and this would likely provoke others to taunt you about that phrase, because я имею creates an opportunity for others to make an "unpleasant" pun.
    So я имею is mostly used in set phrases such as иметь совесть (have a conscience), иметь дело (have a business), which you have to know and remember.



    Well, it won't be suprise if I say the key is practising your skills. And when I say it I mean all skills: reading, speaking, writing, listening. You can practice writing skills here in our cozy chat, there are always some Russians there who are willing to ask your questions or just to chat.

    I have another tip for you. Don't learn a language on and off. That doesn't work. Try to fit in at least 15 minutes for the disired language. That's not so long and more than that it keeps your language in shape, so that it wouldn't just fade away from your brain or in the most lucky case would get rusty.

    As for speaking skills it's obvious that the most efficient way to train them is to speak with native speakers. There are plenty language exchange sites out there, you just need to find google them. Also, you can contact me for language exchanging If you're interested, send me a private message and we will work something out. Anyway, good luck on your learning journey

    I am also having confusion about Российский and Русский. They both refer to Russian and being of Russia, but I do not know which one to use in the correct context, Российский or Русский in which context. Which one do I use? Which one is more proper? I've seen Русский be used in place of Российский. What does Российский mean? Which context do you use Русский, as opposed to Российский? Where do you use Российский in a sentence, as opposed to Русский? Which one is more correct? I have confusion about both Русский and Российский when used in a sentence? I am confused and this is highly confusing to use.

    Российский and Русский. I assume that Русский refers to the language and Российский refers to Russia itself? Is this correct?

  5. #5
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    русский refers to Russians as an ethnic group, ethnic Russian culture, customs, language etc.
    For example:
    русский человек (an ethnic Russian)


    российский refers to Russia as a country, it's a more general term, for example:
    российский флаг, российский паспорт

    I hope that helps
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchman123 View Post
    I am also having confusion about Российский and Русский. They both refer to Russian and being of Russia, but I do not know which one to use in the correct context, Российский or Русский in which context. Which one do I use? Which one is more proper? I've seen Русский be used in place of Российский. What does Российский mean? Which context do you use Русский, as opposed to Российский? Where do you use Российский in a sentence, as opposed to Русский? Which one is more correct? I have confusion about both Русский and Российский when used in a sentence? I am confused and this is highly confusing to use.

    Российский and Русский. I assume that Русский refers to the language and Российский refers to Russia itself? Is this correct?
    "российский" is used when you are talking about country ("Россия" --> "Российский"). "Русский" is used when you are talking about language or ethnicity. Russian language is widely spoken not only in Russia, but also in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazkhstan and Latvia. By the way, the latter has a good reason: there is a huge (~25%) minority of ethnic Russians ("русские") in Latvia. Obviously, being citizens of Latvia they are not Russian citizens ("россияне" or "российские граждане/граждане России"), and some were born there and have never been anywhere else. The difference is more obvious if you speak language which is native to many speakers in different countries. For example, you may speak English, but still be Australian or Canadian, and maybe you've never even been to England. Or you may consider yourself Frenchman even if you have been living in China for, like, ten years and mostly speak Chinese or English in your everyday life. If you speak French, it is still French as a language. Not in the sence that it belongs to France (remember, you are in China, and still speak it)

    P.S. In Russian adjectives do not have their first letter capitalised, even if it is derived from a proper nouns, which starts with a capital letter. So it is "русский" and "российский" Unless the adjective is acting as a proper noun itself (i.e. a name of a station, a street and so on: "Meet me at the Sunny street" is capitalized in Russian and in English for the same reason: "Sunny" is a name of a street, and does not refer to weather). The same goes for nouns which represent people of different countries and ethnicities: there is only one Japan (Япония), but many Japanese (японцы), so no need to capitalize it.

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    The difference is the same as that between adjectives English and British. For an ignorant foreigner (like me) English is a synonym for British. A British politician would never make such a mistake. Most of the time you can use русский instead of российский but it's considered politically incorrect and can insult some people. The adjective российский refers to the Russian Federation as a whole.
    Налево пойдёшь - коня потеряешь, направо пойдёшь - сам голову сложишь.
    Прямой путь не предлагать!

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    And there are also two nouns related to the adjectives you are asking about.

    русский (adj) Russian -> русский (noun) (a Russian) - note: this noun has the same form as the adjective.
    российский (adj) Russian -> россиянин (noun) (a citizen of Russia) - it is a less common word, though. Some people believe it appeared after the dissolution of the USSR (it was very popular in Yeltsin's public speeches), and they do not like this word due to this reason. But in fact it existed much earlier, even in times of tsarist Russia.

    Россияне (plural form) may include: русские (plural form), татары, чуваши, мордва, якуты, буряты, калмыки, ... and nearly 100 other ethnic groups (with their own languages).

    I will also provide some examples:

    Ivan Petrov lives in Novgorod, Russia. He is both русский and россиянин.
    John Smith lives in Denver, Colorado. He is neither русский nor россиянин. He is американец.

    Vladimir Popov moved to Denver, Colorado, long time ago, and he obtained the US citizenship. He is not a Russian citizen any longer. He is not россиянин. But he IS русский (his first language is Russian, his parents were Russians, he follows Russian traditions, he considers himself being ethnically Russian).
    Ben Forest moved to Novgorod, Russia, long time ago. He obtained the RF citizenship. He is россиянин. But he is not русский unless he insists he is. His first language is English (although he speaks Russian fluently with a slight accent), his parents were Americans, he follows American traditions, he feels related to the American culture etc.
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    Just wanted to point out that adjectives formed from a name of a country are not capitalized in Russian language (unlike in English)
    in English
    Russia->Russian
    in Russian
    Россия->русский, российский

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    What's the difference between для and за, anyway? They both mean for something. Where do you use для and use за in a sentence? My language books never seem to be able to answer that.

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    zxc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchman123 View Post
    What's the difference between для and за, anyway? They both mean for something. Where do you use для and use за in a sentence? My language books never seem to be able to answer that.
    The prepositions на and под can also mean 'for'.

    See the following resources for a fairly comprehensive guide to 'for' in Russian:
    Saying 'for' in Russian

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchman123 View Post
    What's the difference between для and за, anyway? They both mean for something. Where do you use для and use за in a sentence? My language books never seem to be able to answer that.
    They don't mean the same. I know that they are both translated as for but for has a lor of meanings, doesn't it?

    для is for in its basic sense, to be more clear:

    1) used to say who is intended to get or use something, or where something is intended to be used:

    I’ve got a present for you - У меня для тебя подарок

    2) used to say what the purpose of an object, action etc is

    a knife for cutting bread - нож для резки хлеба

    За

    1) used to say that one thing is intended to be exchanged for the other.

    money for a new house - деньги за новый дом - money is intended to be exchanged for the house

    Я дам тебе ручку за карандаш - I will give you the pen for a pencil - I will give you the pen if you give me a pencil

    2) used to say that a thing or a person does something instead of the other thing or person for a particular purporse. It's usually used when one person does something instead of another person:

    He came down with flue so I had to deliver a speech for (instead of) him at the congress - Он простудился, поэтому мне пришлось выступить за него на конгрессе.

    Also I'll give you one more hint about that. Sometimes за in this sense could imply that you don't actually do something instead of someone or something but do it as good as them. Look at this:

    Я работаю за троих - It can mean both that you work intead of three people and that you work as good as three people do. In other words you manage to pull off the same amount of work as three people will manage.

    Я пью за десятерых - I can drink as much booze as ten people would manage to drink

    3) This is a unique meaning of за and it's a locative meaning. In this case it means behind.

    She stood behind me - Она стояла за мной
    There was a lot of dust behind the bed - За кроватью было очень много пыли

    I hope it will help to cast away your confusion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchman123 View Post
    What's the difference between для and за, anyway? They both mean for something. Where do you use для and use за in a sentence? My language books never seem to be able to answer that.
    See also this thread please "На" против "Для"

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    I have yet more confusion with the language.
    How do you say "I don't?" as in oh, let's say someone says to me, "Do you wanna go to the store?" I reply, "I DO NOT!" or take for instance I wanna say something about expressing disbelief when somebody does something like for example, somebody leaves without asking to the store and he spills something and in shock, I say "YOU DIDN'T!" Or another thing how do you say "I did not!" as in
    How do you say these shorthand phrases in Russian? Like "I ain't got nothing." stuff that the writers of the language books HATE because they rely on GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT ENGLISH, aka Oxford Russian materials to write their materials. How do you translate "ain't" into Russian? How do you translate "No, I did not?" How do you translate "did you?" when asking a question? How do you translate when you exclaim "I DID IT!" I cannot translate the street slang like "Sup Homie!" into Russian or "What up?" My language books lack certain everyday phrases like "You don't" How do you answer "You don't!" when asking a question? How do you say "No you may not?"

    Things like that.

    "How do you say, "You just had to do that?!!"

    How do you say "It wasn't." as in oh, I say that the phone line was secure, someone replies "It wasn't." How do you say "It wasn't?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchman123 View Post
    I have yet more confusion with the language.
    How do you say "I don't?" as in oh, let's say someone says to me, "Do you wanna go to the store?" I reply, "I DO NOT!" or take for instance I wanna say something about expressing disbelief when somebody does something like for example, somebody leaves without asking to the store and he spills something and in shock, I say "YOU DIDN'T!" Or another thing how do you say "I did not!" as in
    How do you say these shorthand phrases in Russian? Like "I ain't got nothing." stuff that the writers of the language books HATE because they rely on GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT ENGLISH, aka Oxford Russian materials to write their materials. How do you translate "ain't" into Russian? How do you translate "No, I did not?" How do you translate "did you?" when asking a question? How do you translate when you exclaim "I DID IT!" I cannot translate the street slang like "Sup Homie!" into Russian or "What up?" My language books lack certain everyday phrases like "You don't" How do you answer "You don't!" when asking a question? How do you say "No you may not?"

    Things like that.

    "How do you say, "You just had to do that?!!"

    How do you say "It wasn't." as in oh, I say that the phone line was secure, someone replies "It wasn't." How do you say "It wasn't?"
    The messiest post I've ever seen, man.

    Let me give you one tip. You have to stop looking at Russian through your English glasses. That's the crucial thing to understand for any language learner. You're not gonna speak a foreign language properly, fluently, authentically if you didn't stop treating it like your native language. In fact it would be best to temporarily forget your native language when dealing with another one. Easier said than done you might say and would be right, but it's just something you have to do if you want to speak a foreign language decently.

    You could now be wondering why I just told you some obvious things, which you think you know already. But no one who stopped looking at a foreign language through their native one would ever ask questions like these:

    How do you translate "ain't" into Russian? How do you translate "No, I did not?" How do you translate "did you?"
    What makes you think that we even have anything like "ain't" in Russian? Because English has? Doesn't seem like a solid reason to me.

    Anyway, what you asked in your post is just a matter of "questions and negations", also here about tag questions

    One more time, stop treating Russian like your native language, this approach will lead you to nothing but confusion and distortion. Think about how you brain processes your native language:

    a word - understanding.

    Now if you keep up learning Russian as you do:

    a Russian word - translating it into English - English word - understanding
    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.

  16. #16
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    I remember a guy who started studying Russian and once asked me: "how do you make a plural noun?"
    Finally, I found out that he wanted to say something like "dog's name".

    This discussion reminds me that case.

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    Patchman123
    Answers to most of your questions would be "Нет", pronounced with a proper intonation.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Quote Originally Posted by iCake View Post
    The messiest post I've ever seen, man.

    Let me give you one tip. You have to stop looking at Russian through your English glasses. That's the crucial thing to understand for any language learner. You're not gonna speak a foreign language properly, fluently, authentically if you didn't stop treating it like your native language. In fact it would be best to temporarily forget your native language when dealing with another one. Easier said than done you might say and would be right, but it's just something you have to do if you want to speak a foreign language decently.

    You could now be wondering why I just told you some obvious things, which you think you know already. But no one who stopped looking at a foreign language through their native one would ever ask questions like these:



    What makes you think that we even have anything like "ain't" in Russian? Because English has? Doesn't seem like a solid reason to me.

    Anyway, what you asked in your post is just a matter of "questions and negations", also here about tag questions

    One more time, stop treating Russian like your native language, this approach will lead you to nothing but confusion and distortion. Think about how you brain processes your native language:

    a word - understanding.

    Now if you keep up learning Russian as you do:

    a Russian word - translating it into English - English word - understanding


    So what do you want me to do, exactly? Stop processing as if it's your native language? How am I not gonna be able to do that? I need to learn somehow otherwise I can't learn at all. What exactly do you mean by don't learn it as if it's your native language?

    It helps to treat it as a native language for me anyway, because I am better able to understand it that way.

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    kib
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchman123 View Post
    So what do you want me to do, exactly? Stop processing as if it's your native language? How am I not gonna be able to do that? I need to learn somehow otherwise I can't learn at all. What exactly do you mean by don't learn it as if it's your native language?

    It helps to treat it as a native language for me anyway, because I am better able to understand it that way.
    s

    Yes, iCake, I think you've been too severe. On an early stage of learning, you just can't help comparing the rules or features of your native language with those of the language one you're learning. Only when you've had enough expirience you'll be able not only to undedrstand those rules better, but also to live or think on them.

    Patchman123, I think you should understand iCake's words as this. Try to see the rules that the Russian language is based on. You mustn't draw your general attention to to the rules of your native language.
    Я изучаю английский язык и поэтому делаю много ошибок. Но я не прошу Вас исправлять их, Вы можете просто ткнуть меня носом в них, или, точнее, пихнуть их мне в глаза. I'm studying English, and that's why I make a lot of mistakes. But I do not ask you to correct them, you may just stick my nose into them or more exactly stick them into my eyes.
    Всё, что не делается, не всегда делается к лучшему
    Но так же не всегда всё, что не делается, не делается не к худшему. : D

  20. #20
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kib
    Yes, iCake, I think you've been too severe. On an early stage of learning, you just can't help comparing the rules or features of your native language with those of the language one you're learning.
    Quote Originally Posted by patchman123
    I have problems with Russian that I have been having for years
    I think there is nothing to dispute now? Don't you see the source of the problems now?

    Quote Originally Posted by kib
    I think you've been too severe
    I think I haven't. I was just a bit unclear.


    Patchman, look back at your studies, you've been learning Russian for years and still ask questions that clearly show that you still compare Russian with English, and this is the source of all your problems. Stop doing that. Otherwise nothing good is coming out of that.

    Percieve Russian as a completely new thing to comprehend. Don't draw any analogies between languages. Even between words. You have to know a word's meaning, not its translation! Try to picture a word's meaning for a start, then you'll find that you don't need to do that nor do you need to translate the word, you'll know what it means, the moment you hear it.

    The next step will be to start forming Russian sentences while actually thinking in Russian, not thinking in English and translating the thought into Russian as you go along, but this will come naturally if you do the first step
    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.

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