тарелка is the nominative form of plate тарелке is the PREPOSITIONAL form of plate.
Ex: Тарелка уже на столе. = The plate is already on (or literally "at") the table.<pre>
Хлеб уже на тарелке. =Bread is already on the plate.</pre>
In the first sentence, the plate is the subject of the sentence, the very first part of the sentence, we are talking about the plate, while in the second sentence, the plate is no longer the subject. The subject is now bread. Plate has a prepositional ending due to "на" before it (or any other Russian preposition before it). Since it has "на" before it, we have to say "on the plate" or "at the plate" (I can't think of a sentence which it is alright to use "at an object").
Forgive me for any mistakes in those sentences, I am learning Russian too. I hope this helped! ^_^
"dish" ≈ "блюдо" (sounds a bit like "blue dough" or "blue door" without the R sound :D). In Russian the word "блюдо" means both the food on the plate and big plate itself. "Тарелка" is more similar to "plate", it means only the plate itself, you cannot call the food "тарелка", but you can call it "блюдо".
— Что это за блюдо? (What is that dish?)
— Это крабовый салат. (That's crab salad.)
— Что это за блюдо? (What is that dish?)
— Наследство от бабушки. (Inheritance from [my] grandma.)
Granted the other explanations re plate vs. dish. However, if you are translating from Russian into English, I would think "dish" would work as well as "тарелка", since in English, "dish" can mean either the food itself or simply the container. That's why we "wash the dishes" without meaning we are also washing the food! And, since "тарелка" can apparently mean either plate or bowl (from another discussion), I would think "dish" would not only be acceptable, but also more precise when, as in this case, we don't know whether the bread is on a plate or in a bowl. IMO
«тарелке» and «тарелки» are pronounced the same (or almost the same, but making a clear difference here would be considered non-standard pronunciation). Which is not to say that the slow pronunciation of this word sounds perfect. The unstressed И or Е should not be that clear.
Тарелках. You can enter a word here to see all the forms: http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/morphque.cgi?flags=endnnnnp
At least, in the middle of the 20th century there was a disagreement amongst Soviet linguists whether these sounds are the same or different. You may make the unstressed Е slightly more open than unstressed И. It still sounds fairly natural. I feel that a word-final и is a bit more closed than a word final е.
One way or another, these sounds are very close and will not probably be clearly distinguished in normal speech (everyday conversation at normal speed, with a realistic amount of background noise).
Would you consider Enian's pronunciation of these two words on Forvo a clear representation of these sounds? https://forvo.com/word/%D1%82%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%BA%D0%B5/#ru https://forvo.com/word/%D1%82%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%BA%D0%B8/#ru Also would you please elucidate the italicised "may"? And lastly, is the difference between these two sounds clearer in some positions in the word than others? Благодарю вас.
Both sound good to me. I also uploaded my own pronunciations, so you may listen to them too.
Unstressed vowels that appear after the stressed syllable can be a little clearer in word-final position as opposed to somewhere in the middle. At least in some instances the vowel at the end of тарелки, люди and so on can be a more pronounced И than the vowel at the end of тарелке.
A professional voice talent may pronounce unstressed endings a bit differently if need be (e.g., to announce a station's name in a manner that leaves no doubt whether it is Летнее, Летние or Летняя)
Nevertheless, the realisations of the two unstressed vowels overlap a lot. I made about ten recordings for each word. They sounded the same over half of the time. Only a few times тарелки had a more closed и.
Yes and no. That's a good way of breaking it down, but you would still use "на" to mean "at" if you're talking about a show, concert, work, stadium, etc. Sometimes you'd use в or на for one word just depending on meaning (if you were at the championship it would be Я был на чемпионате, but if you participated - Я принимал участие в чемпионате.) Another example - transportation. We ездим на автобусе, but if you just want to say you were in the bus (no verb of motion) it becomes в автобусе.
Translating in/at/to/into from one language to another is probably one of the more irritating issues in the learning process, because each language has a huge variety of idiomatic ways of expressing these ideas, and they are not usually "user-friendly" - they're not obvious or logical, from the perspective of the native language of the student. It just takes lots of exposure and repetition and memorization.
Yes, it must be "THE bread", because the sentence is talking about the location of a certain object (the bread) that is already known to exist. If you wanted to introduce the existence of a bread, you would instead say "На тарелке (есть) хлеб." ("There's bread on the plate"). If you want context, here are two very short example dialogues:
A: "где хлеб?" B: "хлеб на тарелке."
A: "что на тарелке?" B: "на тарелке хлеб."
@Kana885706 - "Bread" is not a countable object, so it can never be "a" bread. You can have a loaf of bread, or a slice of bread, or a piece of bread, or a type of bread. But you can't have just one bread.
That being said, both "The bread is on the plate" and "The bread is on a plate" should be fine here.