Me too. As I understand it "дело" can mean business, affair, matter - a sense of doing perhaps from the root "дел" but also "thing" in that "дело в том что .." translates to "the thing is .." in colloquial English. Вещь however means thing in the sense that a tree or a car is a thing. Can we have confirmation on this from a native speaker.
However I wonder does "моя вещь" (I never heard the phrase in the USSR 40 years ago) stand as a literal import from modern colloquial English as being an interest/hobby eg. "my thing (or bag?) is ancient history" etc?
I'm not 100% sure, but I often hear Putin say "вещь" where it doesn't seem like the word is necessary.
For example, I heard him say "Это очевидная вещь." which means "This is an obvious thing." when talking about the plane that was shot down by Turkey. For me it seems strange, I would have expected him to say "Это очевидно" instead. But I think this is a common use of the word.
In any case, дело would not make any sense used in a sentence like this one.
Any material object that is small enough to be carried, especially a piece of clothes, can be called вещь. Different words are used for larger objects (e.g. предмет, строение, транспортное средство). The word вещь is also used in phrases очевидная вещь, странная вещь and важная вещь (also очевидные вещи, важные вещи, странные вещи) to mean 'thing' in the abstract sense. 'Thing' in "The thing is" is дело, and if it refers to a human being, it is either translated as 'штучка' or makes part of an idiom which is translated as one word, for example, 'poor thing' = бедняжка. Дело also means 'business', 'job' as in 'job done' (дело сделано), a case heard in court, a law suit, an affair as in 'public affairs' (but the Russian for "They are having an affair" is "У них роман"), and 'matter'.
1) Это моё дело. Дело – large or small business http://ura.ru/images/news/upload/news/199/852/1052199852/107168_Vizit_Orlova_v_Nizhniy_Tagil_orlov_aleksey_tetyuhin_vladislav_1422610756.jpg
2) Это моё дело. I'll do what I want.
What a mess!
2) In the slang of "Вещь" - "well done" a good movie, cell phone, music, etc.
It isn't only the matter of length. The posistion of the tip of your tongue in щ is very different from that in ш. To get щ just try to say 'cheese' without pressing the tip of your tongue hard against your upper gums and linger on 'ch' before moving on to 'ee'. As for ш, it doen't really exist in English. To get that sound right you are supposed to raise the tip of your tongue in your mouth to the position in which you put it to say 'r' in 'red' which is much deeper in the mouth that the upper gums. By comparison with 'r' your mouth should be more closed and the sides of your tongue - all but the very tip - should be pressed firmly to the upper teeth or gums. In other words, while trying to say ш , you should think of mixing 'sh' with 'h'. You can also think of the German word Schule (school) if it helps. Ш is never palatized: ши and ше are pronounced like шы and шэ, respectively
ш - is just "sh" like in the word "show". щ - is pronounced like this: First say "sh" like in word "show" and after say "ch" like in word "chocolate". Basicly say: "sh ch" It is probably most similar sound that can be easily described for english speakink peopple. Actually leter "ch" sounds here much more softer and it is not loud that much. Sometime almost lapses in some words.
Only Belorussians and Poles pronounce щ the way you describe it. In standard Russian pronunciation, though, there is no ch in щ. Щ is simply 'sh' sound doubled in length. For example, in the sentence "Is there any dish she can't cook?" one can hear the Russian word щи (cabbage soup). At the same time, the Russian ш differs a lot from sh. In the Russian sound the front part of the tongue is raised higher in the mouth, its sides touching the walls of the palate above the gums. The tip of tongue is pointed to a spot above the gums too, unlike the English 'sh' where the tip of the tongue is pointed towards the upper teeth.
Funny is that people from different language background hear the same sound completely different. And some people hear no difference in the sound of pronounced щ at the begining and at the end of it. So that's why you hear it just like long Ш. But I can hear the difference. Ofcourse that it is not the same as in English "sh" and "ch". It is just closest way to describe it without using the International Phonetic Alphabet that most people does not know. I argued for hours with some people from different countries about pronounciation of my own language. It is just natural that we hear sounds differently. :-) But it is funny. :-) I don't want to deal about it. Let's us all just do our best. ;-)
Does the property of a noun being countable contribute to the semantics here enough such that "stuff" is wholly unacceptable?
It seems like the exclusion of this translation is biased towards attempting to be literal (like pets being literally translated from "house animal").
In Russian, you also rarely hear «Это моя вещь». Usually people are more specific when they refer to a single item. So the translation of “This is my stuff” depends on what you mean. If it is a pile of things such as clothes, you would say, «Это мои вещи» or (derogatory) «Это моё барахло» or (neutral) «Это моё». If, however, it is an abstract concept such as a subject you like studying, then «Это моё» is your only option.
This is a rather old comment, but I'll answer in case someone else is wondering the same. In Wiktionary the difference is stated as follows: дело asia, homma, and вещь asia, esine. So the first one is more abstract while the second refers to more concrete things. There's some overlap though.
Also note that "это" when used in the same sense as "этот", is used for neuter nouns. Not masculine. So depending on "вещь" being masculine or feminine it could be "этот" or "эта", but not "это" (in this sense) because that is for neuter gender.
So, the previous consideration tells us that "это" is being used as "this is" in the sense shown by mightypotatoe, not simply "this". The only written ambiguity in this respect is when you have a neuter noun. Something like
Could stand both as "this is butter" (a statement) or "this butter" (though in this case it would rarely be a complete sentence, and most of the time it would be part of a larger sentence describing this butter).
Can only mean "this is a/the thing", as in a statement.
«Эта моя вещь» is not a sentence; it is a phrase meaning “that/this thing of mine”. Any of the words этот, эта, and это may corespondent to “this” or “that” (это is used when it is followed by a neuter gender noun), but это may also mean “this is”, “it is”, “these are”, “those are”, or simply “is” or “are” (when it occurs between the subject and the complement).
Это вещь. This is a thing. Это ложка. This is a spoon. It is a spoon. Это моя ложка. This is my spoon. It is my spoon.
эта вещь this thing Эта вещь моя. This thing is mine. Эта ложка моя. This spoon is mine.
This is the page of the site. This page is interesting.
You can say, «Игры - это моё» or «Игры - моя стихия», but «вещь», unlike “thing”, won’t fit in this context. «Я скажу тебе одну вещь» translates into “I’ll tell you something”. In other contexts, though, the word «вещь» in its singular form almost always refers to a material object. “Things” preceded by an adjective as in “I’ve heard so many nice things about you” translates into a Russian adjective in its neuter gender form, e.g. «Я слышал(а) о тебе много хорошего» where «хорошего» is the genitive of «хорошее» - the neuter gender of «хороший» (good, nice).
No. Вещь always denotes an object which you can, but, for some reason don’t want to identify. Most often it is a clothing item or a piece of writing, art or music. It can also refer to a thought expressed or a point in a discussion. Вещь and штука are interchangeable only when they refer to small personal belongings or abstract notions. Штука, but not вещь is used with the meaning ‘piece’ in counting or stating the number of pieces. Only вещи is used for belongings. When we cannot identify a thing, we may call it штука.
The Russian idioms for “do what you want” are «делай, что хочешь» / «делайте что хотите», «поступай, как знаешь» and «хозяин-барин» (the latter literally means “[you are] master and lord” and has no feminine form). «Это ваша вещь» will be inevitably understood as “This is your item”.