Nonetheless, It's still not going to help if you don't tell someone that. What you say is true -- for a working translation. However, for a learner, literal translation will help a lot more in the long-run. That's how my high-school Spanish teacher taught, and it worked out well. My mother speaks Spanish and tried to teach me once, but failed miserably as she was trying to teach by general expression.
You are both correct. But english is an idiomatic language. So if i said "eat 3 square meals a day" translating that to any language is weird in the literal sense. But if you knew what the shape is. Then you can understand its a phrase and understand other words around it and get cultural understanding.
In most cases yes, but not when it comes to phrases. Those should never be translated literally, because they will likely make even less sense that way. It could cause more problems in communication if one did this. Perhaps it would be better however that one would learn what sepparate words mean on their own first and only then go on to learning phrases.
What case is "спокойной ночи" in, and why? I think it's in the genitive, but I'm not sure of the reason.
Edit: I think I've found the answer to this now. In the notes for Phrases 1, it says: "For example, «Споко́йной но́чи» probably replaces the longer «Я жела́ю вам споко́йной но́чи!» (I wish you a peaceful night). Needless to say, the full version is never used."
So presumably "спокойной ночи" is dative case, as it's the indirect object in the full phrase.
It’s one oddity of Russian (to us learners) that it uses genitive in places where it wouldn’t be expected. For instance, желать goes with the genitive, period.
By the way, it wouldn’t be dative either way: in “I wish you a good night”, the indirect object is “you” and “a good night” is the direct object.
I've heard that this is a use of the partitive genitive because if you wish someone something entirely, there's a chance the devil might spite your presumptuousness and give nothing. My Russian linguistics professor always said that was the deep Christian-superstitious reason behing желать+genitive, buried under centuries of habitual use. I don't know whether that's true or not, but she always said that.
I asked a native speaker also and he said споконйой without ночи is a greeting that can used any time of the day. I know this is off topic but I think it means calm. Can it be used with день and вечер. I may not have understood him correctly since he's learning English. Is it used by itself?
Yes, you don't understood him correctly enough. My native language is russian. Sorry, my English is not great, but I try to help.
"Спокойной ночи" - it usually used for wishing someone calm sleeping only. Not for day, only for a night.
The word "спокойный" (mascul) mean calm. For example, calm man, calm water.
For the greeting during a day we usually use "добрый день".
Sorry, you're incorrect. I 'm a native Russian. We use доброго as a short informal greeting in any part of a day. Sometimes we use a form Доброго времени [суток] - good time of the day. It fits anytime. Спокойной is a short form for goodnight. We use спокойной ночи only when we are going to sleep, it can't be used as a greeting. If we want to greet at night we speak доброй ночи.
There is another feature. If a person is going to sleep in the afternoon, we can tell him Спокойной ночи. If he opens his eyes late at night we can tell доброе утро.
I try to resurrect my passive Russian knowledge, so I'm already able to read and write in Russian. Of course, it's better to use Cyrillic alphabet on Duolingo, but I'm really bad at typing with a Russian keyboard, therefore I use tranliteration. Maybe I'm the only one who is curious about it, but I didn't find anything about the romanization system used here and sometimes it annoys me, that I do something correctly, but it shouldn't accepted, because of the tranliteration. For example 'неё' can be only romanizated as 'nee' here, which isn't good as the form 'neyo', and I have no idea why Duolingo uses a less phonetically correct romanization.
Duolingo ignores "ё" probably because it is still usually replaced by "е" in Russian. When you type in Cyrillic you can use both "е" and "ё" when you have word with "ё". But when the word is transliterated the authors probably have decided to use only "е" option. Maybe that is due to some limitation or it was hard to add all the options. So you can just use "e" for both "е" and "ё" or use Cyrillic which will help you in understanding language better as there is no optimial romanization system. Some systems have ambiguity in backward translation, some are phonetically incorrect, some even use diacritic symbols. There is no good way to translate letters Ь and Ъ.
I would think not for several reasons. 1) ночь is night, but the Russian idea of "night" tends to mean midnight to sunrise. So unless you greet someone you meet at 1 AM with "Goodnight," I think it's as strange as it would be in English in the same context. 2) the phrase is in the genitive. The full sentence is (Я желаю вам/тебе) спокойной ночи. Желать takes the genitive for historical reasons. You are literally saying that you wish the person a peaceful, restful (ie. "Good") night. It's not really a greeting when you say, "I wish you a good night" in English, and I don't think it's any more a greeting in Russia. As an aside, you will see other things in the genitive with nothing else in the sentence. These are also omissions of Я желаю вам/тебе. Things like счастливого пути or even just счастливого fall into this category.
ночь (nočʹ): night: From Old East Slavic ночь (nočĭ), from Proto-Slavic noťь, from Proto-Indo-European nókʷts. Doublet of нощь (noščʹ, “night (archaic)”), borrowed from Old Church Slavonic. Cognates include English night, German Nacht (“night”), Latin nox (“night”), Greek νύχτα (nýchta, “night”), Russian ночь (nočʹ, “night”), Sanskrit नक्ति (nákti, “night”). The declined form here, но́чи (nóči), sounds really similar to Spanish "noche".
a good explanation of why спокойной ночи is in the genitive case: https://ca.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080414213500AAuzrZa
I have tried to go to translit.net but the computer I'm using now is a school computer and blocks certain websites. Most of the time I can manage to use English characters, but not on this one. It marks "Spokoynoy nochi" as incorrect. Does anyone know what an English way could be? Thanks.