I grew up calling it a "backpack", but I think I'm going to start calling it a "rucksack" since that seems to be the common word in Europe. ;-) -_^
The word "rucksack" is originally German in origin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backpack), though I suppose "backpack" is a decent translation of "rucksack".
Thank you for this link! I'd wondered about the relationship between "rucksack/рюкзак" and "backpack" but hadn't been quite curious enough to look it up until I read your comment. It's fun to learn that "backpack" is indeed partly derived/partly translated from "rucksack!"
Quoted from that wiki page: "The word rucksack is a German loanword mainly used in the UK, US and in other Western military forces. In German, Rücken means "back" and Sack means "bag". The name rucksack is cognate with the Danish rygsæk, Norwegian ryggsekk, Dutch rugzak, Afrikaans rugsak, Swedish ryggsäck, and Russian рюкзак (rjukzak)."
I think what you may be hearing is a result of how р is pronounced. Unlike in English, it is rather sharp and sounds like you are rolling it. However, it is only rolled a single time. Here is a good pronunciation. http://forvo.com/search/%D1%80%D1%8E%D0%BA%D0%B7%D0%B0%D0%BA/
Yeah! Thanks, I never knew the name, but that is the sound required. When I first started learning Polish (which also has these) words that started with an (r) were especially confusing during listening comprehension, since it sounds as though they're preceded by (a) or (o) to the untrained ear.
A good question, actually. When a foreign noun enters the Russian language, it can fit some feminine pattern (текстура, ярмарка, кнопка, фотография, панель) or a masculine one (компьютер, шкаф, рынок, контроль).
With "neuters" it does not work that way: nouns that look neuter OR don't look like anything become indeclinable nouns, i.e. all their forms are the same.
Naturally, it also happens to nouns that have to be feminine or masculine (because of their umbrella term or because they are people's names) but their endings do not let them, er, blend in seamlessly :) For example, some girl's names Tatars use end in a hard consonants and are indeclinable (e.g., Марьям, Ляйсан or Гульназ).
I'm a native speaker. Here "Рюкзак" doesn't sound very clear but it sounds pretty natural.
It depends on the ending. Words that end in о, е are neuter, words that end in а, я are feminine, words that end in ы, и are typically plural, and everything else including й is masculine. There are lots of exceptions based on conjugation and you can look up how Russian conjugation works for the full breakdown but that's the basics. So, btw, in this case, рюкзак is masculine, so the my needs to match. Мой рюкзак. If it were apple, it would be моё яблоко.
I know that мой is masculine and моя is feminine and моё is neuter, but is there some trick to knowing whether a noun is m/f/n? The only ones I'm guessing correctly are plurals
For instance, some languages you can hear the gender of the word in the ending or the way the word is pronounced. Is there such a shortcut in Russian?
Normally, modern Russian uses a zero-form of its "to be" when the sentence is in the present tense, unless there is a statement of existence (someting IS vs. it does not exist). The past and future forms, however, are not empty:
- Мой рюкзак был в метро. = My backpack was (has been) in the subway.
- Мой рюкзак будет в метро. = My backpack will be in the subway.
The verb быть has the same origin as the English "be", coming from the same Indo-European root.
(or "on the subway" if being in motion is expressed)
Right. мой, твой and наш, ваш act like adjectives modifying the noun (it also works for свой, which means something like oneself's—English does not have it). Their form only depends on the gender/number and the case of the noun. With a few complications for numerals, admittedly.
You might find его(his), её(her), их (their) rather odd because they do not change at all, being produced from Genitive forms of the corresponding he/she/they-pronouns.
If you left your backpack in a subway you'll find yourself in a big trouble. Russians laws are very strict about this. They will close the whole station and the train where you left your backpack will proceed to the end of the line without any stops on full speed. The passengers won't be very happy. Obviously, they'll be asked to leave the train and wait for another. Thankfully, trains arrive very often with the interval of 2-5 minutes. However, the station will remain closed until the police guarantee it safeness.