This is probably another of those regional things that's different all over the world, and therefore will never have complete agreement from all parties involved. :) Since I never heard of anyone doing that anywhere except Russia, I would use Russian "glass of tea", and in English I would probably continue to use "cup of tea", except in cases of iced tea.
@Chloemarie128 That's fine with me, but I think I personally would do better using "glass", as that is the literal translation, and sometimes is the only good one. But that's just me, and others can do it differently, as far as I'm concerned. If it works for you, and Duo doesn't mind, go ahead and do it. :)
English speakers expect tea to come in a cup. When possible it is served in a comparatively delicate cup to reflect the delicate nature of tea. Coffee is usually served in a larger, sturdier cup.
Serving tea in what is considered to be a coffee cup when tea cups are actually available is regarded as being informal to the point of being at least inelegant.
Apparently Russians expect tea to be served in a glass, albeit accompanied by an ornamental holder with a handle for comfort and convenience.
Duo has adopted the practice of insisting Duo users recognize the different behavior patterns by insisting on a faithful translation of the Russian word for glass into the English word for glass. .
I imagine there is a Russian student taking an English course somewhere expressing his frustration by saying.....but Russians always drink tea in a glass so why can't I translate English cup of tea into Russian glass of tea since that is the way everybody I know drinks it. Who cares what those crazy Anglos do?........
I am pretty sure I said we normally use cups or coffee cups. This is a long thread, though. It is completely understandable if someone did not actually read it (which, naturally, would be advisable to discuss its contents in any detail).
As to different drinking vessels in Russian, here are ча́шка, кру́жка, стака́н, рю́мка, бока́л, фуже́р, and сто́пка.
In theory, a person may pour some tea, milk, or juice into any of the above (I just checked: it works!) However, using anything except 1,2, and 3 would be a fairly odd thing to do, since the whole bottom row is for alcohol. Mostly we use "cups"(1) and "mugs"(2), both of which are cups in English and might be чашка in Russian (кружка is often called чашка IRL). I use a Soviet glass (3) at home, which is not as common but would not raise any eyebrows.
When speaking in English, if I am offered a "cup of tea", I would expect it to arrive in a cup. (A mug is never a cup in British English.) To offer someone a "mug of tea" is rarer, but does happen. But "would you like some tea?" is also common. "Some tea" or "a tea" (i.e. a single serving of tea) is what I would ask for if I don't care what it arrives in.
Does Russian also have this neutral option, for not specifying the receptacle?
Caveat: It's true that the English vernacular "a cuppa" always refers to tea, and is independent of actual receptacle, but that is similar to "let's go for a drink" implying alcohol not water. It's a special case, not indicative of the general meaning.
If you want some tea, you just ask for it ("Можно чай?"/"Можно чая(чаю)?", for example), without specifying the receptacle.
This makes sense because restaurants have their designated containers which they would use anyway (do you often ask to serve pasta in a bowl or a frying pan, not on a plate? do they comply?)—and when at someone's house you rarely care about the exact vessel.
The only confusion is that the words do not map one to one. A glass-shaped vessel made of plastic becomes a plastic cup in English, even though it is still стакан in Russian; to be more precise, «пластиковый стаканчик» is what you would usually hear in speech (but a large plastic cup for beer is стакан). In English, a teacup made of glass is still a cup, though. A beer mug made of glass is 100% кружка in Russian—I am not sure if you can call it a "glass" in English.
A measuring cup used in cooking by oh so unprofessional cooks is "стакан" in Russian but a "cup" in English. In this sense, стакан чая is indeed equivalent to "a cup of tea", especially if said tea is not liquid (i.e. a standard cup full of tea leaves).
A large glass for alcoholic beverages is бокал but a smaller one shaped similarly to a wineglass is рюмка. Then, you have a huge "cup" no one drinks from—a sports reward. This is кубок, and, just like in English, is associated with large medieval cups ("cup", "goblet", "chalice") that are not in use today.
UPDATE: Oh...as for a glass holder (подстаканник)—that thing screams retro to me. I am sure many native speakers saw them (at least, on pictures), I even used one on a train myself. I guess if a train uses glasses to serve tea, a glass holder will also be there. Me, I do not drink boiling water anyway, so it never even occured to me that I need something to hold my glass.
@Shady_arc: A beer mug in British English is made of glass and has a handle (also glass).
Beer is also served in a glass (more often, nowadays) which does not have a handle.
Both a "mug of beer" or a "glass of beer" are possible, but they will arrive in different receptacles.
The only time I have been served a drink in a подстаканник was to drink punch at a formal occasion - and I was offered "a glass of punch".
That's what I thought. I don't get why this whole thread is making out that we are so different that "a cup of tea" = стакан чая..
Вы пьёте чай; we drink tea.
У Вас есть чашка чая; I have a cup of.tea.
Sometimes you may also have a glass of tea; here we generally don't.
It's as simple as that, isn't it?
"When speaking in English, if I am offered a "cup of tea", I would expect it to arrive in a cup. (A mug is never a cup in British English.)"
No, nowadays it really depends on the setting:
More formal (whether in someone's home or formal restaurant) = expect a cup and saucer.
Less formal (visiting friends or family, or casual restaurant/diner) = expect a mug.
Some pub or diner-style eateries will still go for cup and saucer, especially if they actually bring a teapot to the table. But they're very likely to be very thick, heavy cups, built primarily for durability (basically cup-shaped mugs) -- not traditional, delicate teacups.
But, honestly, most times you're offered "a cup of tea" in the UK are when visiting people's homes. And in those cases, unless you're visiting someone of an older generation who still appreciates the full formality and tradition of teapot + cups + saucers, I'd always, always expect to get a mug despite the offer of "a cup".
The distinction between 1, 2, and 3 is important. Thanks for posting this. I was getting the impression that "стака́н" was used for all 3 and the same word.
It would be helpful if they used "ча́шка" for tea to help make the distinction that they aren't the same word for the different vessels...even if, culturally, Russians use glasses more for their tea. That or maybe an accompanying image to show that it is, in fact, a glass and not cup or mug.
I think you'll find it's an issue of different senses of the word. "Стакан чая" refers to what you are drinking the tea out of - A glass. This doesn't change between languages. I think the "стакан риса" you mentioned refers to the amount of rice, but in English we don't have "glass" as a unit of measurement, we have "cups" so that is the word used to translate that sense of the word "стакан".
In the case of "cup" as a unit of measurement, this makes sense; but in the case of "cup" as a drinking vessel, one can consume tea from a cup or a glass. I think I understand the subtlety that Duo is attempting to enforce; but a brief mention of it in the lesson notes would be welcomed.
This is a perfect storm of miscommunication. In English a cup is a vessel and unit of measurement and in Russian стакан is a vessel and a unit of measurement. But a glass is not formally a unit and neither is чашка. The two units/words are switched! And the only reason tea is in this lesson is because it's perfect for Partitive. Too good.
In English ask for a "cup of tea," even if the vessel is made of glass, or doesn't have a handle, and in Russian don't ask for a "чашка чая" when you want 250ml of tea.
(I think the other piece of confusion comes from English's third meaning for cup - any small drinking container. The glasses shown in the pictures of Russian tea are also cups in English. If it fits in your one hand you can call it a cup, with or without a handle. Grammatically a "glass of tea" does work and there might be a situation when you need to use it, but it would be super rare. However, without this glass/cup miscommunication I wouldn't have found out about the cultural difference and it's way, that's the most important lesson.)
It's known as the Partitive case. It is sometimes used with a limited set of nouns (typically food or drinks) and carries the meaning of "some". If the noun has a special partitive form, it will be identical to Dative, otherwise you would use Genitive. The whole thing can be viewed as a special case of Genitive or as a yet another case in addition to the "normal" six you know (if you want). If you look it up on Wiktionary, you'll see that it gives «чаю» below the standard declension paradigm.
I should also note, that in five+ years of living in Russia (Moscow, Urals, and Siberia), and countless чай питие, I've never heard стакан or чашка mentioned like that. "Будешь чай" or "Можно чай". Sometimes "какой чашка хошешь" if they've got a variety of mugs, but I'm pretty sure I've never heard "xyz OF tea / … чая". Take it for what it's worth.
i'm just a bit confused because correct me if i'm wrong but they said "стакан риса" = a cup of rice, so i thought "a cup of tea" would be a correct translation to this, especially since it's used more often than "a glass of tea". no?
Just a couple notes: The definition of Partitive: "(of a grammatical construction or case) referring to only a part of a whole, for example a slice of bacon, a series of accidents, some of the children."
From Duo's Tips and Notes: Чаю is an optional form of Чая for the partitive
"Partitive" apparently is the same a genitive, in the case of expressing a quantity of something, like a glass of tea. Genitive/Partitive is also used to express an unspecified amount of something instead of using Accusative (for a direct object), e.g., "Я хочу воды = I want (some) water."
"A cup of tea" should be accepted as a valid answer. If I go to Russia and read стакан чая and my brain pictures a cup of tea, the meaning has been communicated. I'm finding these sort of nit picky, illogical mistakes much more frequently here in the Russian course than I did in the Spanish course.
I think there is a question of common meaning here. If I wanted to drink tea, and didn't care much in what container it came, I would ask for a cup of tea, and I wouldn't be upset if it came in a glass.
The question is, if I wanted some tea in Russian, what would I ask for. If the answer is стакан чай, then I think that means a cup of tea is an acceptable translation. If the answer is чашки чай, then it seems that a cup of tea is incorrect after all. Of course, if the answer is something different, then I would also say that a cup of tea is incorrect.
You would ask for tea. If you try asking for a стакан чая, you'd be presented with a cylindrical / truncated cone shaped vessel without handles (usually made of glass). If you ask for a bucket of tea (ведро чая), you'll also get you tea in a vessel shaped as a truncated cone, only it will be much larger, it will have a bail handle (the material is likely to be metal or plastic this time). Кувшин (jug) is also a thing. All that assumes that people actually care enough to provide the requested liquid in a specific vessel you asked for.
The line between чашка (cup) and кружка (mug) is rather blurry: although they are formally distinguished, it is not a crime to use the "wrong" word—even less so these days, when a lot of people use cylindrical "mugs" to drink their tea or coffee).
Sometimes words mean just what it says on the tin.
В некоторых языках слово стакан произносится как истакан (у Даргинцев к пр.). Например в азербайджанском оно пишется как stəkan но читается как istəkan. Это похоже на слово iskola в венгерском языке означающий школа. Присутствие двух согласных в начале слова делает произношение трудным. Поэтому добавляется гласный звук "и". По крайней мере так это объясняют некоторые лингвисты. Есть ли что то похожее в русском языке?