Translation:This is mom.
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If it were "this mom (does whatever)", then yes it would need to be the feminine form. But for "this is mom", "this" is not an adjective, it's a ... Oh, I forget the official term; but it's a standalone word, so takes the default form. If it helps, you can think of it as "this (object) is mom"
https://www.duolingo.com/comment/11536858 A Guide to Using Это The slow version reads each word separately. The normal version allows for the difference with the stresses in the word and the combination of words in normal conversation. The first syllable is stressed so the second syllable will have a schwa sound in normal conversation, according to others. Scroll up to the top on this page.
I write my translations to russian with Cyrillic letters, so I don't know what duolingo considers unacceptable when writing with Latin letters.
Anyway, at least in windows: È=ALT+0200 É=ALT+0201 è=ALT+0232 é=ALT+0233 (You press ALT, not getting your finger off of it, and then you write the numbers. And then you get the accented letter (: ).
I appreciate the help, but this does not make it any easier. This is supposed to be for English speakers who are learning Russian. If someone already knows the cyrillic alphabet, they are most likely not a native English speaker who is just beginning to learn Russian. Having to memorize complex keyboard shortcuts, install a third party virtual keyboard, switch keyboard settings, or use 2 physical keyboards is unacceptable. In Duolingo's Spanish for English speakers, a small virtual keyboard is made available where needed. This is the obvious solution. Until this happens, I cannot recommend this to my students.
with all due respect geoot made it sound more complicated than it actually is. To type in Russian letters you only have to install a (preferably phonetic) Russian keyboard -> http://www.stanwardine.com/russification.htm. Once you've done that then all you need to do to switch to Russian is press alt+shift. Doesn't sound complicated to me. of course you need to know the keyboard layout, but if your keyboard is phonetic then most letters should come naturally (like to get D in Russian you press d and you get 'D' in Russian д)
Learning the Cyrillic alphabet is, strictly speaking, not a part of learning Russian. Note how, for example, two alphabets are in use for the Serbian language. Since Duolingo teaches the language, and text input is the responsibility of your operating system, I find the current system satisfactory.
We only spell words with accents for learners' conveniece, so that they know where the stress is. Expect to see them in our Tips \& Notes and in image exercises (unless the word has only one syllable or Ё somewhere).
Duolingo generally does not support optional accents, so we do not use them in our sentences (for the exact reason you would be marked wrong, unless you place accents exactly where we did).
It is the usual spelling.
Accent marks are not considered part of the word's spelling. It is like asking if мама or мама is the more correct spelling. Sure, we usually do not italicize everything we print (which does not mean мама is incorrect).
With the obvious difference that we usually mark accents in dictionaries and books intended for those who are yet to memorize all the correct stresses in thousand of words. Not much anywhere else. I would rather put stresses in all our sentences but Duolingo decided not to.
Also, marking accents usually works one-way, i.e. you see it in your reading material but you do not put them yourself. After all, if your teacher at school does not know where the stresses are, you should probably ask your principal for a replacement. :)
Thanks, I am more used to Italian, Portuguese or French, where the accents are a requirement and part of the correct spelling for a word, - and not just an optional suggestion for the 'stress/pronounciation', so it's a little confusing. Given that Duolingo teaches so many languages (and people study multiple languages with Duo) it would be really helpful if the Russian introductory notes clarified that some accents are for introductory pronounation purposes only, as this doesn't seemed to been explained. Thanks so much for all your help :-)
It is "hard" (non-palatalized).
You should understand that unlike English Russian words do not, as a rule, have a zero-ending in singular. In мама the final а is the ending. From here, you can deduce the word is hard-stemmed. In other forms you remove the Nominative ending (i.e. the ending the word has in the dictionary) and attach the ending appropriate for the case you need to form.
A whole class of masuline nouns indeed has a zero ending, i.e. there is no sound after the stem. So the noun is inevitably hard-stemmed provided there isn't any indicator of softness:
- if a soft sign is at the end the word is soft-stemmed: контроль, день.
- if the final consonant is Й, consider the word soft-stemmed: плутоний, буй.
- if the final consonant is Ж, Ш or Ц, it is "hard" (нож, отец) but consult the spelling rules to learn the correct endings for other forms
- if the final consonant is Ч or Щ, it is "soft" (луч, овощ, борщ) but consult the spelling rules to learn the correct endings for other forms
- if the final consonant is Г, К or Х it is "hard" (итог, лук, горох) but consult the spelling rules to learn the correct endings for other forms.
While I've now at least managed to 'learn' the Cyrillic alphabet, I'm lost as to how to proceed from here on. Do I learn the 'words' separately in English before tryna 'spell' them out in russian, or do I directly try to wire my brain to 'learn russian'? To Cyrllic or not to Cyrllic? If anyone out there can shed some light, I'll be indebted as currently, I believe I can identify with an alien that's crash-landed on a foreign land and the only way to make sense of anything lies in this app. (For the sake of which, I assume English in the app = native alien language) I don't intend to spam, but I'm gonna keep posting this comment in these threads till some saint fixes my (malfunctioning) translator or at least tells me how on [insert native planet] I can 'learn' Russian without resorting to violence or flat-out rote-learning. (Could never grasp that particular skill either in school) That is all. I'll be waiting in my smoking, broken space craft, possibly stringing together Cyrllic syllables and consonants to form (most definitely) pure nonsense. At least there's no Russian-speaker nearby to offend. Joy.
I strongly recommend that you rewire your brain to accept Cyrillic input. I actually find it easier to simply learn "this letter sounds like this" for a whole new set of symbols, than it is to cope with a language like Polish or Gaelic, where there are letters that LOOK like English, but are pronounced completely differently.
As to HOW to learn the new alphabet? I recommend finding a list of capital cities in Russian - or anything where the meaning of the word is the same - and practice on translating them. As soon as you have spelt out the word, say it out loud. Try writing your name, and those of people you know, in the Cyrillic alphabet. Get used to using unfamiliar letters for familiar words, before trying to read unfamiliar words spoken with them.
As a corollary to my earlier comment, I would add that trying to learn a Latinized (i.e. written in the Latin alphbet) version of Russian words just adds a whole level of unnecessary headache. Not all letters in the Russian alphabet map directly onto English letters (they have more vowels than we do, for example), and vice versa.
As a non-native Russian speaker, I find it far harder to read Russian that has been written phonetically in the Latin alphabet than it is to read the Cyrillic version, because you have to first try and work out what word that spelling is supposed to mean, before you can concentrate on whether you recognise the word!
Personally, I think that having to add the keyboard for this is annoying. I would rather have the on-screen Cyrillic keyboard. I understand that technically "learning the alphabet" isn't part of learning Russian, but I already know the alphabet but don't have the keyboard memorized. There has to be an easier way to make this work without resorting to transliteration
It is the other way round (usually). And the main difference is the palatalization of the consonant that comes before Е and the lack thereof for Э.
- or the presence of Y-sound at the beginning of Е, which is the case when it does not follow a consonant
- Е stands for Э in many words of foreign origin (e.g., кафе, терияки, компьютер). It usually affects fronted consonants (т,д, partially с, ф) and depends on how long the word has been in Russian. Older words tend to switch to "normal" pronunciation.
@Zeitschleifer: in a audio exercise? By context - their will have no verb between it and the noun, there must have a verb betwwen it and the noun.
But Это - мама and эта мама both make sense in Russian - one cannot hear the punctuation!
[I am not saying that the written forms should be treated as equivalent!]
I have to agree that this is a tricky example. But I think that the distinction can be made by intonation (if I am not imagining it). In the sentence "Эта мама." the word "эта" would be stressed as it is the key one. In an example like this: "- Какая/которая мама? - Эта мама." I don't think I hear it in the example above (I hope I am not biased by reading before listening).
The word doesn't really mean "the" per se. It's closer to "this" and a literal translation would be "this mom." They don't have the equivalent to "the", so when translating you do it by context instead. In this case saying "This is mom" is pretty much the same as saying "She is mom" even if it's not a direct translation.
Duo will sort of "show" you the alphabet while you do the exercises in that first section. I think, like much of Duo, there is an expectation that it will sink in as you go. There is a rundown of it in the notes section available in the browser, and there is a thread as well regarding keyboards, etc. I finally used a Memrise course called "the Russian Alphabet" to really drill the Cyrillic. I'm still working very hard on sounding out words. I find that tons of repetition is necessary, esp for proper spelling. I just did the first section repeatedly for a while.
"Это" is in fact pronounced as "Эта" because the stress in this word is on the first syllable "Э". Whenever the stress is not on "O" it is pronounced as "A". It can be tricky sometimes and even native Russian speakers can make mistakes with it, but in their own way - some of them can write "A" where the correct spelling is "O".
I bet it has already been explained somewhere, but anyway...
Those aren't colloquialisms. Mum and Rubbish are British English words. The site really only focuses on American English. It would be a lot of work to teach different dialects though, since it really isn't just American versus British English. There's also Scottish, Irish, Canadian, Newfoundland, Southern, and so on. You can use the report button to make a suggestion on any topic.
Let me ask you something. As a Brazilian, my native language is Portuguese, but IMO, my English is very good too. Duolingo do not offers this Russian course to Portuguese speakers, so I'm taking it in English. My question is: Should I "double translate" for a learning purpose? I mean, when taking notes, get what the course gives me in English and translate it to Portuguese, or would it be better if I just keep thinking in English? I guess Russian is more closer to English than it is to Portuguese so for now I'm just taking notes in English.
I truly don't know what's best. If your English is good you'd be much faster thinking in English whenever you need translations or explanations. Every course comes to an end; the Russian course here is no exception. When it happens you will no longer be bound by the source language you had to select.
On the other hand, English and Russian do not map perfectly. A very vivid example is the verb заниматься that does not translate very well. Some words or concepts may have a closer match in Portuguese, some in English. If you are making a set of flashcards to memorize verb conjugation, "читаете" would simply be "ledes" in Portuguese but "(you (plural)) read" in English. Guess what is shorter and easier.
- then again, Russian past tense forms comes from participles, so they do not conjugate but rather agree in gender and number.
Thank you Shady. I guess I'll just keep thinking in English for this course. I understand that both languages might not map exactly but even in "sisters" languages, like Portuguese and Spanish, it doesn't as well. But as far as I could see, the majority of words in Russian that are similar to Portuguese words, are also similar in English (like radio and metro). But I'm not sure about phrases structure. I guess this is not so similar to English nor Portuguese.
On a desktop (laptop), try looking through region / languages settings; you can add additional keyboards there, switchable manually or using hotkeys (e.g., Shift+Alt on Windows).
- you can even add different keyboards as "English", and use a different shortcut to switch these.
On a tablet or phone, just use "Keyboards" / "Language" and/or "input" settings and add whichever layouts you please. Russians typically use Russian (Russia) layout, with ЙЦУКЕН in the top row.
TIP for mobile/app users: Most skills in this course have a TIPS section, which you can read by using duolingo.com in your browser's desktop mode or at https://duome.eu/tips/en/ru (unofficial) if you are on a mobile device. I highly recommend you read them before starting a new skill.