I translated this as "Where is a circus?" Is there no definite article "the" in Russian, or is it skipped often?
Is there any way to differentiate between a definite and indefinite subject then?
Sure, but still it doesn't mean that "where is a cicus" is wrong. Within certain context, it is correct. It's not our fault that Duolingo doesn't provide the context.
But since there's no real distinction, as long as you know the translation you're good. Context is super important in Russian because sentence structure can be so fluid.
One may say "Где этот цирк?" if she means some specific circus or if she was looking for if for a long time and was irritated by this. In Russian you can say "этот" not only about objects near you but about some specific/selected object even far star which you point at: "посмотри на эту звезду" (look at that/the star).
I don't see reason for confusion, you can skip most of articles in english as well, and no one would be confused what you are trying to say. As I did in first sentence. Problem is this app forces you to type it in english even tho it makes no sense.
You can't skip articles in English. The two sentences where you skipped them sound very wrong. In fact, they sound like they would be spoken by a Russian who hasn't yet mastered English.
clearly you don't live in 21st century then, internet is filled with skipped articles.
Whoever on the internet skips articles sounds like they don't speak English as a first language. That's the fact of the matter. Furthermore, stuff you happen to hear around the internet should be the opposite of a source on proper English.
If you can find any reputable real source that says that omitting articles is EVER acceptable in proper English, feel free to share it.
If you REALLY wanted to stress that it's A (noun) that you're talking about, you could use один/odin (one).
For example: I went with one/a friend to the mall.
I'm not a native speaker, though, so I can't say when exactly you should do or not do this.
That is correct! If you are telling about some people you know but your interlocutor doesn't know it you may just say "заходил вчера к одному другу" (Yesterday I visited a friend).
Do they ever use the number one for the indefinite substitute like in other languages?
You CAN do it, but I don't know exactly when a native would or wouldn't do this. Sorry I can't be of more help. :(
NO ARTICLES??? ARE YOU SERIOUS???? lol im going to loose my freaking mind!!!!
If you use an indefinite article in English, you are much more likely to say "where is there a circus".
Look for the thing that resembles a cafe. Apparently they're difficult to differentiate.
how do you pronounce the word meaning "where is"? The audio isn't very clear :(
As a korean I am happy to know that there are neither definite nor indefinite article in Russian♡♡♡ korean also doesn't have them
«в город» is used when you mean direction of movement ("Мы завтра едем в город").
i was confused about this myself and found this link that may be of some help: http://russianmentor.net/gram/mailbag/topics/article1.htm
Without an article, is there a way to stress that you want to know where any noun is as opposed to a specific one? Such as if the context isn't really obvious?
I am not sure, really—some speakers of English say that "Where is a bathroom?" or "Where is a circus?" sounds weird while some ask how would you say that in Russian (the question does not make much sense to me). Personally, if I was looking for any object of the kind, I'd use "Excuse me, I am looking for a ****" , only in Russian (Извините, я ищу ... ).
Maybe something like "Excuse me, is there a .... here?", which is less normal in English (Извините, а здесь есть ... ?).
"Is there a..." is a very common way of speaking in English. I actually suggested it to someone further up this thread! If there are any здесь есть sentences in this course, that would be the best translation.
Well, there are other ways to ask for that in English, like "Where do I find XXX?", which can be translated into Russian (Where do I find → Where to find → Где найти ...?), but this time round will not be idiomatic in Russian.
there is no the in the Russian language, so to say where is circus is correct, but they make you add the, making it incorrect and insisting that it is
I shouldn't get some of these wrong just bc I leave out an article. Especially when the language doesn't use them.
Duolingo can't be sure you understand the answer if you can't provide a grammatically correct answer. They're not going to add in nonsensical word-for-word translations, and they can't make many assumptions with an automated system.
So I mispelled цирк as сирк and I'm wondering what the difference between ц and с is?
How does one pronounce где? I tried to listen to various sources (youtube, google translate, duolingo) but I keep getting it wrong. Any tips?
They use the same phrase , it changes the modal when they ask question.
I only started learning from scratch yesterday evening and have no clue what a "modal" is?
Thanks, that was what I was listening for and I heard no change of tone, maybe it'll come with practice?
If the French Duo is any indication, it is not easy to learn subtle tones with Duo. Pair up troublesome words and place them in Google translate to hear them right beside each other.
There is the "где" (where) in the beginning which shows us that it is a question.
где сык? Circus in Russian (sound) Sirsk!! is a difficult one for this keyboard! lol.
Woooow, this IS too much??? "where is circus?" is not accepted?
Who create this is aware of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_grammar ("There are no definite or indefinite articles (such as the, a, an in English) in the Russian language. ") And my mother language is Serbian, QUITE SIMILAR to Russian, and also WITHOUT ARTICLES. So my context is already close to Russian: "NO ARTICLES" and now I fail because intermediary language has it, so I have to go out of a context of the language I am suppose to learn??? :D :D
Please, I will be glad to be let known that my English is not correct, but don't impose that I don't understand RUSSIAN because of not so great English! Thaaaaaaaaaanx!
If you want to subscribe to the "Russian course for English speakers", so you should comply with the English Grammar, otherwise you should look for a Russian course for Serbian speakers