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Thread: Need some help please.

  1. #1
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    Need some help please.

    Hello,

    I just started learning Russian a few weeks ago through home study. The phrase I'm confused on: Это большой район. Is being translated as, "This is a big neighborhood."

    However, when I looked up the word "район", it is being translated as "area", and another word is being used as neighborhood. Is the above phrase mistranslated, or does район come to mean neighborhood when used this way, and if so, why?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Re: Need some help please.

    I'm not sure what has you confused. There's no complete correspondence between words in different languages.
    "Район" is often used in the meaning of "(urban) district" or "residential area" (i.e. neighborhood). It also can be translated as "region" (an administrative unit), "area", "spot", "vicinity", etc.

    Generally "район" is :
    a) some territory, that is limited by real or imaginary borders; the territory in the vicinity of something;
    Мы живем в одном районе = We live in the same neighborhood.
    В этом районе преобладают сосновые леса = In this area pine forests prevail.


    b) (when used figuratively) a sign of approximateness (is this a word? )
    For example:
    Ему в районе тридцати = He's about 30 (years old).
    Давай встретимся в районе трех часов = Let's meet around 3 p.m.


    PS. tipesh, welcome to MR!

  3. #3
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    Re: Need some help please.

    The confusion was because this word, "соседство" is being translated as meaning neighborhood when I looked it up. I was trying to understand why Район was used in the sentence rather than some version of соседство.

    For example: In American English, there are many words that have similar meanings with subtle differences. While many of those words can be interchanged, there are always instances when one is preferred over another. This is more or less what was being asked in the original question; Why Район, rather than соседство, in the sentence from the original post.

    I'm only a few weeks into the Russian language and I am not a particularly academic person. It helps more when I can understand the reason for a specific rule or usage of a word.

    Also, it is difficult to understand your answer as the some of letters you typed with look different than the ones I am learning.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Re: Need some help please.

    Sorry, it's because of the Italic font.
    Here it is again:
    Мы живем в одном районе = We live in the same neighborhood.
    В этом районе преобладают сосновые леса = In this area pine forests prevail.
    Ему в районе тридцати = He's about 30 (years old).
    Давай встретимся в районе трех часов = Let's meet around 3 p.m.


    "Соседство" means "close vicinity to something", it's not a territory per se, as "area" is, but an indication of being close in space (something like "closeness"). So you can't say "Это большое соседство", because "соседство" doesn't have a size and can't be small or big, it's an abstract thing.

    It's mostly used in the expressions "близкое соседство" ("close vicinity") or "по соседству", which means "in the neighbourhood" (i.e. close) or "in the vicinity of smth", but it can't be used as a stand-alone word for "neighbourhood" (as a conglomeration of houses).

    E.g. Я живу с ним по соседству. ~ I live close to him (~ I live in the same neighbourhood)

    I know it's confusing a bit, but I hope it helped a little.

  5. #5
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    Re: Need some help please.

    "Соседство" is rarely used on its own. You will normally find it in set phrases like "Жить по соседству" ("to live nearby/next door") or "магазин расположен по сосеству с нашим домом" ("the store is next door to our house"), and it is never used in the sense of "a district/area of a city." It simply doesn't have that meaning.
    Outside of the above phrases, it can be used to mean something like "nearness, proximity", or "state or condition of being a next-door neighbour".

    And on a more general note, don't trust bilingual dictionaries, especially smaller varieties. They usually give some possible translations of a word instead of explaining its meaning(s).

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