Technically, Russian has 2 words: этот and тот. They are usually translated 'this' and 'that' respectively, but «тот» is used much less than the English 'that'. When there's no contrast between этот and тот, we often use этот to mean 'that'.
I'm not sure if 'that reader' should be accepted as the translation for «этот читатель». Without context, it's hard to say if it's a good translation or not.
But the audio here says чита́тель, just like it should. At least to my ear (I’m a native speaker).
Maybe your language marks stress differently? E.g. I keep hearing stress on the wrong syllable in Welsh.
Hmm... I meant the same (I don't know how to type accent marks in Cyrillic, that's why I bolded it).
Can you elaborate a bit (on your "just like it should")? To me, this one sounds almost like 'читэтиль' with strong vocal emphasis on the first syllable, which seems unusual (sort of the equivalent of "this READER!"). Russian doesn't normally flow quite like that, does it?
If it sounds correct to a native speaker, I won't argue :) I have studied the pronunciation by listening to recordings of native speakers, so so far I have usually been able to tell when and how the synth is wrong/weird. The speech recognition here also understands my accent, I wish there was a way to do more speaking exercises :/ It's fun.
I can’t tell much because I’m not great at phonetics, sorry! All I can tell is that (a) I hear э́тот чита́тель, (b) stress is complex. :)
To me, it sounds э́тот чита́тель. It’s not 100% correct, it does sound robotic, but the problem is not with the stress placement.
Stress is a complex beast. Stress can be marked by a combination of features:
- vowel length,
- vowel quality.
None of these features is an ON/OFF switch. E.g. the pitch is not binary, it goes up and down. If two syllables have high pitch, which would you hear as stressed: the first or the second one? Different languages have different answers to this (some, like Welsh, even have lower pitch on the stressed syllable!), and the way stress works in your native language might make it harder to hear stress in Russian.
Maybe the robot got some of the features right, and some not-so-right, and those features are enough for me to hear the syllable as stressed, and not enough for you.
What I meant about the "flow" was that (I think) spoken Russian is relatively monotonous. The "stress" is detected mostly from the phoneme shifts (e.g. 'o' is only pronounced 'o' when stressed, otherwise it's an 'a' sound etc.), and I'm under the impression that a stressed vowel is supposed to be longer.
I can not for the life of me hear an 'a' sound in this 'читатель' (it's a very distinct 'e' instead). The dictionary says it's pronounced /t͡ɕɪˈtatʲɪlʲ/ so it should be there.
Not at all. Читатель is mostly someone who reads to himself because he enjoys reading (if we know it is a female, we usually say читательница). Someone who reads out loud or recites to an audience - usually a good actor - is called чтец. For some reason, the female counterpart "чтица" sounds funny and is hardly ever used (probably because of its similarity with птица). If you read to your children, neither читатель, nor чтец or any other specific noun will apply to you. In the preface to a book, the author may address his or her audience, "Дорогой читатель!" or "Дорогие читатели!". Interestingly, pronunciation rules are more often called правила чтения, then правила произношения.
In most cases, there is no way to tell. However, all nouns with -тель suffix, derived from verbs in -ть (e.g. читатель from читать, учитель from учить, сеятель from сеять etc.) are masculine. Note, however, that метель which is derived from мести as well as постель, канитель and обитель are feminine. The names of all months are masculine too. The -арь suffix found in the names of trades such as токарь, слесарь, пекарь, библиотекарь, лекарь, аптекарь, звонарь and a few other words indicates the masculine gender. All nouns ending in -жь, -шь, -чь, or -щь are feminine. Abstract and collective nouns ending in -ь are feminine too. In general, though, you have to memorize the gender of most words ending in -ь. Making up phrases in which they are used in the instrumental case can help.
Это читатель = This is a reader. Это and читатель are not the same thing in this sentence. There is an object (это, this) and you/someone don't/doesn't yet know if that object is a reader (читатель). That's why you say This (object) is a reader.
Этот читатель = This reader. Этот is a demonstrative pronoun, not a different object like это. You know that this object = a reader (and its gender - masculine). You could use this phrase with something like This reader ... is nice.
The confusion comes from the fact that Это яйцо can mean both This egg (with a neutral demonstrative pronoun) and This is an egg (where This = another entity than the egg.).
You’re right, but technically it’s possible that «этот» refers to a word not mentioned ('этот человек', 'этот парень', etc.), and 'Этот — читатель' can be translated 'This [man] is a reader'. However, this would be usually written with a dash in place of the omitted word.
Yeah. I think 'this one' is a good translation for 'этот' or 'эта' when they don’t have a noun near them (but, unlike 'this one', Russian has different words for two genders).
No, I don't think so. Это can be a demonstrative pronoun or it can mean "this is, that is, it is, these are, those are." этот, эта, and эти are just demonstrative pronouns and are not used in the sense of "this is." The only time there can be confusion is if you have a phrase like "это здание" which could mean "this building" or "this is a building." Это is used as a demonstrative pronoun with nominative neuter nouns.
The silent final letter ь indicates the feminine gender of a noun only after ж, ш, ч, щ. Thus, the nouns рожь, вошь, ночь and вещь are feminine, whereas нож, карандаш, мяч and плащ are masculine. The suffixes -арь and -тель are indicators of the masculine gender (пахарь, лекарь, учитель, читатель are all masculine nouns); however, there are a few feminine nouns ending in -арь or -тель in where those letter combinations are not suffixes, e.g. тварь, утварь, метель, постель, артель, канитель. Generally speaking, the final ь does not allow you to tell the gender.