"Где цирк?"

Translation:Where is the circus?

November 5, 2015

This discussion is locked.


I translated this as "Where is a circus?" Is there no definite article "the" in Russian, or is it skipped often?


There are neither definite nor indefinite articles in Russian.


Is there any way to differentiate between a definite and indefinite subject then?


Context. It's rarely asked "Where is a circus?", but "Where is the circus?" Makes much more sense here.


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.


What does it mean that the sentence structure is fluid? Words order can change?


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).


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).


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.


I think the point of Ellablun wasn't that skipping articles is grammatically correct, but that you often don't even need articles in English to understand what a person wants to say. Because some people were stating that the content of Russian sentences is harder to comprehend because of the lack of articles. I would agree that it's rather a matter of habit than actual lack of context. Perhaps not in every case but generally speaking.



That is because many manuals are written by non native English speakers. The editors of the manual are often concerned about brevity more than elegant looking explanations.


I know it's been two years but I just wanted to point out that articles are often omitted in user manuals. So that's one semi-official case where it happens.


People probably would still understand you when the article is left out but in English, it is grammatically incorrect


Yes and no. We sometimes omit/don't require an article, like eg "I love nature" but in French there would be an article. In other languages too. I know what you meant, but you mustn't mislead people into thinking that English always requires the article.


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. :(


If you use an indefinite article in English, you are much more likely to say "where is there a circus".


Yes, where is a circus/where is there a circus... I never realized that but it's true... Is there a written rule somewhere explaining that? Or is it just common use?

Because it's a little bit redundant. The "there" is not really needed.

But it looks the same in my language.

Où est LE cirque? Where's THE circus ?

Où il y a-t-il un cirque ? Where is there a circus? (où est un cirque cannot be said, while Where is a circus seems legit, according to what it's said here.)

So, it's the same structure in both language. Some linguist could explain why?


how do you pronounce the word meaning "where is"? The audio isn't very clear :(


I had this same question when learning Serbian. I learned to speak it first, and the writing didn't make sense. It is the same word. It's like "Gid'yeh" but really soften the i and y (they really aren't there, but it helps mentally). Pronounce the г entirely, your brain wants to cut it short because there's not a vowel following. Then do the same with the д - your brain wants to stop, but pronounce all of it. You almost pronounce the "eh" twice - once to "end" the д and once for the е itself.


G-diè. G-diay. With long G.


As a korean I am happy to know that there are neither definite nor indefinite article in Russian♡♡♡ korean also doesn't have them


Yes and most Asian languages it seems to me (Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, etc...) is there one of the languages of this world area that has definite/indefinite articles? Could someone share the knowledge?


Do the Russians like circus, or is this just random?


It's random... Only here to teach us letters. Don't search too much meaning in Duo's sentences or you'll have a hell of a disillusionment. Lol.

But the topic is interesting to learn about Russian culture, and I've found that:
"Although some observers credited the popularity of circus in the Soviet Union to its ability to serve, sometimes simultaneously, as both propaganda and escape from Soviet philosophy, circus was enormously popular before the Revolution and continues to be enormously popular in Russia today. " (source:" Rosgoscirk: 95 years of Russian circus". www.circustalk.com/news/fr/rosgoscirk-95-years-of-russian-circus


How the HECK do you pronounce цирк?! I said it how the lady does and I guess I said it wrong all 3 tries???


You could use: это or один... If you desperarely want to use something resembling the or a\an. But, Russian language doesnt use the and a/an just as you can see clearly a lack of 'is' in the sentences.


I don't understand the fuss about articles. Be happy there are no articles in Russian! :) I am for sure! :D

French has articles literally everywhere and they always need to be changed according to the genus (same as adjectives, some are even irregular). If you think Russian's lack of articles is confusing you, try French. ;) German is similar, though a tiny bit less extreme. It just makes it much more difficult to learn a language. English is a lucky exception where articles aren't gendered, it's just a/an/the.

However, translating a sentence grammatically correct, not exactly word by word is very usual when learning a language, also in school. Just because "where is circus" is grammatically correct in Russian, "where is the/a circus" remains the only correct sentence and therefore translation in English. When you translate "pomme de terre" from French to English, you would also say "potato", not "apple of the earth".


When you say "genus", you mean "gender"?


Yes, so to speak. But only the grammatical one referring to all objects, not only persons. I assumed the latin word "genus" for grammatical gender is also used in English.


I have never heard "genus" used in the sense of "gender". And "gender" was a grammatical term long before it was appropriated as a politically correct term for sex as conditioned by society.

  • 950

Not everyone taking the course is a native speaker of English OR knows grammar terms in English. Jenny243542 probably did not have a lot of experience talking about grammatical gender in English (similarly, native speakers of Russian rarely know verbs of motion, and their knowledge of productive verb paradigms and verb conjugation barely scratches the surface).


May I ask you, Jenny, what your main language is?


The alphabet is definetely different, but the sounds are so similar to Polish.


In town. в город?

  • 950

В городе.

«в город» is used when you mean direction of movement ("Мы завтра едем в город").


Где? В городе. Куда? В город.


https://youtu.be/ncQR4b6Icko this is a good video for the pronunciation of гле


Im saying it correctly but its saying its wrong and i cant move on



Forget about using Duo to learn to speak a foreign language. It isn't designed to do that so the little bit of attention given to it is feeble. There are programs that involve a lot of speaking which is essential to learning to speak the language. Dou isn't one of them.

Duo uses translation exercises to expose you some vocab, grammar and word order. It is all about reading and some writing. You will never, ever learn to speak a language using Duo. They don't try to teach you to do that.

The point of the vocal exercises provided by Duo is to warn you not to practice mispronouncing words in your head. The more accurate your efforts to say the word the better you will be able to read and spell it which is what they are teaching. But Duo devotes little time, money and effort into making the vocal part work well. It is not even a secondary consideration for them.

There are other programs on the internet that offer assistance with learning to speak foreign languages. Just know that if you are not in an immersion situation you will have to spend a couple of hours a day for years to develop any real speaking skills. Of course if all you want is touristy survival skill level that is much easier to achieve. ...Where is the post office, how much does that cost, where is the bus stop, where am I, help, My name is, Your documents?.... Get used to hearing and having to respond to that last one

Focus on learning to read and write the language and then when you are in a situation you consider practical to learn to speak it, you will already have done more than half the effort needed.

Turn off the mike and you can move on right away.


I'm having a really hard time pronouncing "Цирк". Does anyone have any tips for it?


(It's going from ц to р that's the hard part for me)


It's the first syllable of circus (plus the second c): circ, but pronounced more like tsirk


How do you pronounce цирк


I wish it was possible to slow the recording down. I'm still getting used to how Russian sounds and how to pronounce it, and so early on in the course i think it would be beneficial to be able to slow them down


Most examples do have that feature. However, some of the really, really simple ones like this one do not receive the extra programming needed to include the slow version. You will hear Gde many times in this course. Most of those examples will have the slow version available. Cirk is pretty easy to say for English speakers if you can pronounce the first letter correctly. You will hear that sound over and over in both fast and slow versions throughout the course.

So don't worry about the one example that is so basic it is pretty easy to get without enhancement.


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?

  • 950

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.

  • 950

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.


"where is circus" it cannot be true , and why ?


Because the sentence is not grammatically correct in English, unless "Circus" is the name of a person, of course.


Not necissarily a person. "Circus" just has to be a proper noun (the name of a person, place, animal, or thing)


How does one pronounce где? I tried to listen to various sources (youtube, google translate, duolingo) but I keep getting it wrong. Any tips?


"Gid'yeh" but the i and the y are very soft. Your mind wants to stop pronouncing the G before it is finished, because it is followed by a consonant instead of a vowel. Same with the D sound. It might help to practice "кидя" (kid yeah) then "к(и)дуе" (could ya?) then "кде" (kiddah) then "где" HTH


It frustrates me that I have to write the articles in English because for me it's easier to just live without articles (because mynative language doesn't use them neither). It's hard to put articles to where there are none!


Out of interest, bobylob, is yours a slavic language? I'm curious to know what other language has no articles. I'm learning Arabic, and it only has ONE article, the definite article. That's really complicated!


I'm having problems pronouncing the word "Где" from the phrase "Где цирк?" Any advice?


Its says where is circus and no the


But "where is circus" is not an acceptable sentence in English. We require the "the". If you hear someone say, "where is circus?" he is likely to be Russian.


You should put a way to say the word or a pronounciation of the word if someone doesn't understand it. Instead of just repeating it over and over; just a thought.



Someone did exactly that. It shows up immediately below your comment at the time you posted yours. It has been there for a year.

There are hundreds if not thousands of ways on the internet to find out how to pronounce Russian words. A very large number of them are free.


I cant roll my Rs :[


Look it up on You Tube. There are lots of sites that show you different ways of acquiring the ability. It only takes a few minutes of practice to acquire the skill if done correctly. Of course, throwing it into the middle of conversation on demand takes a lot of practice.



Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.