"а" and "и" can be used interchangeable as "and" and "but," from my experience studying Russian and traveling in the former Soviet Union. Generally, I've found that the word "а" straddles the difference of "and" and "but" in English to the degree that either word can be used, with a difference in intonation. In this particular sentence, I think "but" should also be accepted.
I have several questions that I would like to clarify. I would greatly appreciate the insight from native Russian speakers. When I started learning the Cyrillic letters, I learned about the hard and soft vowels. The hard vowels are: а (ah), э (e), ы (ih), о (aw), and у(u). The soft vowels are: я (ya), е (yeh), и (eeh), ё (yo), and ю (you).
1) When do you have to use "Э" and not "е"? When is "e" pronounced as "ye" and not as a regular e?
2)In one of the lessons, I saw actor written as актёр and not as актор. Wouldn't that be pronounced then as act(yo)r if it's written as актёр?
3) I saw accents above the letter "o" as "ó". Are those letters interchangeable?
4)When should you use a hard sign "ъ" and a soft sign "ь"?
5)When is "ы" used and when is "и" used?
I will definitely have more questions later on. But this is what I have for now. Спасибо!!
just to be sure, the sound э, sounds like both "e" in elephant. not like the sound of the first "e" in "eraser". this is always the case.
1) to my knowledge, there's no rule that indicates when to use soft or hard e, just learn how to spell words. But don't confuse, in russian the letter э, always sounds the same, unlike english, that letters can have different pronunciations.
2) yes, it would be pronunced act(yo)r, and that is the way to say it in russian. and yes it is spelled correctly актёр
3) these accents are meant to help people learning russian, they don't really use them in Russia. sometimes inside a russian word we can find more than just one letter o. Just one of them can be pronounced with the sound o as in horse. the rest will be pronounced a as in car. the one with the accent is to be pronounced o as in horse.
4)You will seldomly use hard sign, and it is used only in words from ancient russian. But to be sure you have to learn the spelling of each word. you could learn the ones that use hard sign, because there are nor much of them.
5) i'm starting to think that you are trying to translate words and you are not sure as to when to use a hard or a soft sound. again, to my knowledge there are no rules for that. learn how to spell the words
hope this helps
Thank you for your reply.
When I was going through the lesson, I didn't quite hear the "yo" in актёр. Maybe it's just me and I also understand that sometimes the pronunciation is not exactly how a native speaker would say it.
Unlike in [American] English, where more times than not, words are pronounced with defined emphasis in the beginning rather than in the middle or latter part of the word, do Russian words show more emphasis in the middle?
E.g., Instead of saying the word "internet" as "in-ter-net", we just say it as "iner-net."
I'm not really trying to translate words as I barely know any Russian word apart from what I've learned so far. The main reason I'm asking is to find out whether there are rules that outline if a particular letter can or cannot be the first letter of the word or right next to a vowel or consonant.
An example I can think of would be the: "I" before "E" except after "C" or when sounded like "ey" as in "neighbor" or "weigh." Unless, either a feisty or foreign protein plans a weird heist of your height.
Both would be translated to "and", but I think that и denotes two things are related, joining two sentences. While a denotes two unrelated things.
I'm french, and I'm may be wrong but can a comma in english have the same value as an "and" : This a radio, not a motor.
Also why not use the more widespread "engine" instead of motor? You should not use a word in another language because it is similar to another word in your language.
For those of you who may be confused by the Russian alphabet, I have found this resource to be very helpful... http://www.russianforeveryone.com/RufeA/Lessons/Introduction/Alphabet/Alphabet.htm
I have trouble with these types of sentences the first time around because I translate them to sound right in English. The correct translation of this sentence, for example, would be "This is (a) radio, and not (a) motor." This sounds strange, so I have the desire to normalize it and say "This is a radio, not a motor." because that's the way it would actually be said... Why is the "and/but" necessary here?
The course needed some way of introducing the alphabet. It works best with words that sound similar in Russian and English (e.g., диск, кафе etc.). Words with к, о, м, т, а are particularly good. These letters look AND sound the same between the alphabets (е is close enough, too).
Russian has acquired a lot of foreign words but rest assured not THAT many, not in the most common vocabulary. Most common words of foreign origin are деньги, телефон, школа, купить, проблема and машина—all used elsewhere in the course.
I've lost count of the number of times I have had to say this to people in English. Finally, I can say it in Russian too! With a little tweak, swapping a couple of words around, I'll also be able to explain to those people who spend all day listening to the engine of their Lada and wondering why they never play The Smiths.
This is for those people.
You can install a keyboard layout for a language you work with (as well as delete at as soon as you've had enough). On Windows, it is Control Panel (Settings) → Time and Language → Region and Language
If you are working from a desktop a phonetic layout works just fine. It is the layout that tries to match as many letters as possible to their latin transliterations (i.e. F=ф, A=а, E=е, P= п, R = р and so on).
Then you switch them using Shift+Alt (on Windows) or a different combination you specify
Actually, it is easier for tablets and phones. Settings are usually more transparent on devices—and you can install any layout without it being unintuitive.
In the future use Dr. google - your question bothered me too