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  5. "Тим, в чём проблема?"

"Тим, в чём проблема?"

Translation:Tim, what's the problem?

November 7, 2015

83 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matt92HUN

What does this mean word by word? In what problem?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paulie-Waulie

But does it mean something more like, "in what [thing] [is there] a problem".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marcosmacedo26

I guess a good translation would also be "what's wrong?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gulpepper

Thats what it looks like


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kittysdream

I guess it is never too late to answer :) This sentence comes from в чём заключается проблема. Something like "what is this problem about". But you can omit заключается and here we have this half-sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Matthew-215401

Thank you very much for this.
I always appreciate having some additional context to help make more sense of phrases like this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miami_14

Thank you and у меня тоже есть кошка))


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnCatDubh

I’m starting to think Tim is to the Russian course what Pól is to the Irish course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/holderwd93

Did you know that Tim is a dog?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MountedDragoon

Тим - моя любимая собака.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davidmapura

More than a dog, he is the favourite one.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fyetka

Or Adamo to the Esperanto course


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deborah615522

Adamo and Sofia were the inventor of Esperanto's kids.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guidoz.

it's amazing how one is here to learn something about Russian and ends up learning something about Esperanto :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/finndj

Or the bear in the Danish course...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/R_Andersson

Or Hans in the German course and Alex (and sometimes Selcen) are to the Turkish course. ☺


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Naymeo

Or Krotmag in the Klingon course.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/L-Rell

Torg and Mara actually. lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cherub721

So this would literally be asking "the problem is in [what]?" Would there be another way to ask this, like "Что это проблема?" or "О чём проблема?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Azechka

No, these are wrong, sorry. You can ask for example "Что за проблема?" ('за' isn't 'behind' here), will be ok.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BaconChomper

What is the purpose of the в?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Azechka

It's idiomatic, just a construction. Here are examples: "В чём разница?" (= What's the difference?) ; "В чём смысл?" (= What's the point?). And also there's is an idiom "В чём соль?" ('соль' - salt), which means ''What's the meaning? What's the main part of it?" (You can use it when you want to talk about some big question as religion or you just don't understand a joke, it can me used very widely)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheEnglishAugust

In greek we say "What is the juice ?" for this idiom "What is the salt ?" Very interesting. Thank you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guidoz.

in italy we say "what is the kernel?" :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/agriffin95

This Russia, not Greece.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ganymede_10

Is there a fixed set of questions that usually begin with "В чём"?

Question 2: Is it ok to ask "Что это за проблема?" Any difference in meaning?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Azechka

"Что это за проблема?" doesn't sound commonly, but you can ask "Что у тебя за проблема?" ("What a problem do you have?"). The difference is not significant, but if you want to say it roughly, ask "В чём проблема?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Azechka

You can't use any word in questions like this so it's closer to a "fixed" set.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexis-Mario96

Thank you for the idioms, I liked them and I'll learn them :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ganymede_10

I think it's idiomatic and worthy of memorizing. Correct me if I'm wrong, please :).

"О чём вы говорите?" - What (subject of conversation) are you talking about?

"В чём проблема?" - What's the problem?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/finnplek

This feels similar to the Dutch "waar zit het probleem in?" ("in what [aspect] is the problem located", something along those lines).

If that interpretation is right, it's actually only the latest in an odd number of parallels between Russian and Dutch so far, actually. (native English & Dutch speaker here).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/feyMorgaina

Dat is interessant. :-)

I hope you keep a list of the parallels. I'm sure it would be interesting for anyone else (like me) who's learning both Dutch and Russian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/finnplek

Thanks :) It's only incidental, and most probably also apply to German, but I noticed things like the habit of saying that things lie/stand/hang in locations, rather than "being" there, plus the loan words stoel/стул, rugzak/рюкзак, jaarmarkt/ярмарка, doerak/дурак..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MrDinkleberg

There are quite some ship-related words as well, probably due to The Netherland's dominating influences throughout the sea in the past.

For example (as Gwenci stated - only in a nautical context): норд/noord, ост/oost, зюйд/zuid, вест/west, матрос/matroos, флагшток/vlaggenstok, рейс/reis (and many more).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gwenci

To warn future readers, норд, ост, зюйд and вест are only used as nautical terms. The usual words are се́вер (north), восто́к (east), юг (south) and за́пад (west).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/draquila

Well, they are distantly related.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DazelGuudFoxah

https://culturedarm.com/peter-the-great-at-the-hermitage-amsterdam-and-netherlands-russia-year/

Russian Peter The Great has been in the Netherlands. He learned new Dutch words there. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GoWiP

As a native Dutch speaker I must say that that sounds kinda off, slightly. It can be used for sure, but it's very specific. It's more for probing deeper. Lots of emphasis on the fact you want to narrow it down. I wouldn't use it often at all.

"I see you cannot finish your task. What exactly is the problem?" "Ik zie dat je je taak niet afkrijgt. Waar zit het probleem in?"

For just regular "What's the problem?" I'd translate it as: "Wat is het probleem?" "Wat is er aan de hand?"

Btw, I think it's really interesting how similar languages are, and how they relate. For example I am learning both Hindi and Russian at the moment and I notice quite some similarities between the two that definitely do not exist between either one of those and English, French, German or Dutch.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sara_scout

I keep translating this as "Tim, what's your problem?" on impulse, darn it. But I know that it has to be "the problem" because there are no pronouns there...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robrob1961

This is one of those idioms which cannot be translated directly. But using them in speech is a sign of fluency. I wish there was a list of such things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emononen

Is the literal translation "Tim, in what is the problem"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrookeLorren

Does this sentence mean the same thing as "Tim, what is the matter?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ganymede_10

Pretty much, I think. Same as in English. "What's the matter?": "в чем дело?"; versus "what's the problem?": "в чем проблема?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miami_14

Why do they have to ad a preposition and therefore make it prepositional case? Wouldn't be easier что это проблема?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
Mod
  • 1822

"Что это проблема?" is simply not quite Russian. "Что (это) за проблема?" is grammatically correct, but not idiomatic.
The reason why your version is wrong is because Russian "Что" is more restrictive than English "What is...?" - by itself it cannot be used to ask for a description of something, only about identifying the object: Что это? = What is it? The answer should be the name of the thing, not its description.


[deactivated user]

    When do you use Что and when do you use в чём?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaurenceFreeman

    See the notes. Что is nominative and чём is prepositional.


    [deactivated user]

      That I understood. I mean, why would you use в чём instead of Что? Why is Тим, Что проблема wrong?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/freaky_zoid

      It does not work that way, you cannot just say 'что проблема'. Literally this example here means 'in what is the problem'. Despite being a native speaker I am not sure if I can tell you why we think that the problen is not a certain object or action, but inside some situation, it's more like 'where' or 'what does it consist of' than just 'what' -- you just have to keep that in mind. The answer may be: Проблема в том, что ты дурак (the problem is [in the fact] that you are a fool); Проблема в тебе (the problem is [in] you)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thinkpolish

      This is exactly how I translated it (as 'where is the problem?') though the system didn't accept it :) I guess I just ignored the fact that чём really denotes a thing and not a place.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeVinDuRosier

      why is чём prepositional and проблема nominative?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jonafown

      What case is чём? Sorry I forgot, so many cases to remember :/


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasonsudana

      Correct me if I am wrong, does it literally mean "where is the problem at?"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
      Mod
      • 1822

      Not quite. If you want to be literal, it's more like "What contains the problem?" ("At" is definitely a wrong preposition here.)


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AJy01V

      Что проблема - betekent dat 'Wat betekent het woord probleem'?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Biglev

      "Tim, what is happening". Чем не вариант?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.C.D.

      why isn't it 'where's the problem'? or do you just say that in German?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giang102237

      why "is there a problem here" not accepted?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianLionel113

      Would it be right to say "какая это проблема?" ? Or that doesn't make sense at all?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hud214

      It also accepts "What's the problem, Tim?" But it doesn't like it when you when reverse the order on "aunt and uncle".


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yasmine_y

      The reason is quite obvious, if you think about it...


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/reeseedg63

      why did they use «чём» in the propositional case (according to the chart in the notes)? shouldn’t it be genitive because of в?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julian710976

      What is the problem about?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zirkul
      Mod
      • 1822

      That would only make sense in some classroom context. "What is the problem about/on?" is a question about what subject/topic does a particular problem address. That would correspond to "О чём задача?" in Russian.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WilliamCBooher

      What does чём translate to?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/L-Rell

      It is the prepositional case of Что (what) because it follows в.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiuliaOr12

      Спасибо большое!


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rebekah182117

      Tim lost his tooth. That's the problem.JK.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QurtQurt

      Tim, what's wrong with you?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/QurtQurt

      Tim,. what's the matter? -- Accepted.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thiscatexist

      I accidentql clicked on drink instead of the


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ashcat4

      Does it sounds like the pronunciation of 'Тим' has changed in this one? I had difficulty with this one, played it over and over, it sounded like чьм so that's what I put.... thought it was a new word I hadn't been taught yet...

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