I understand that рабочий and работник represents two different kinds of employees. But 1: it occurs to me that I once heard that работник was particularly used for workers in the Soviet Union. Is there any such political or class nuance with the word or is it just the blue vs white collar worker as explained. 2: рабочий does look like an adverb to me. Is there any (etymological?) explanation for this? Right now I can't think of any other nouns ending in -ий although there are sure to be many.
Yes, in Slavic languages you can name a person using the adjective (not adverb) that describes them. This one inflects like an adjective and etymologically is so. Same as, for instance, "sick" in English, e.g.: "the sick were waiting for the nurse to tend to them".
Just Slavic languages? The words that immediately come to mind are American, European, German etc. Btw, for some strange reasons English is not one of them - you can say "As an American, I ..." but not "As an English ..." - it would have to be "an Englishman/English woman"
No, not just Slavic languages, but in Slavic in general it works the same way as in Russian… for the biggest part. The thing is that Slavic has a very strong separation of parts of speech contrary to French, German or English -- we distinguish them mainly through suffixation, but there hardly ever is any doubt what pos a word belongs to. Such adj → noun transposition happens, but on different terms than in Western-European languages.
What you brough up still works as a rule for English, but there other rules that might contribute to what you can actually say. Your example is a counterexample as well, because "the English" is very much a noun -- yet an uncountable one. So it's the countability here that's the problem here -- same as with my example of "sick", where you can't say "a sick went to a doctor" :)
But you can still brush with a brush, supina with a supina or do sth quick real(ly) quick. And in Slavic you can't :)
i'm just confused because you guys speak better english than most of the people i know in america. lol
You mean an adjective perhaps? As far as I know typical adverbs end in о or е.
Continuing with this idea, perhaps it's just a shortened version of "working person", or рабочий человек? Pure speculation
Рабочий - worker, more specifically, a blue-collar worker;
Работник - employee (no collar colour is implied)
It sounds like Рабочий more directly translates as "laborer".
I don't think I'd ever use "a worker" as a general job description in English. Certainly not in a question like this. "Construction worker" and so on are used, and I would use "the workers" to refer to people doing a specific (construction or similar) job. But if someone asked me "Are you a worker?" I would think they were asking if I was employed, and I would think that English was not their native language.
You would use "работник" and specify the field/industry. E.g., финансовый работник - somebody working in finance.
As a cultural aside, does anyone use the terms "пролетариат" and "буржуазия" anymore? I personally hear them often in English, but that is only because I work in a university. I don't think they are widely used in the average person's conversations.
Certainly not in everyday life. Perhaps in some academic discourse - but I have a feeling that even in that context these words became too associated with the Soviet propaganda, so I doubt a normal person would use them on his/her own volition. You should ask a sociologist or an economist though.
Love it...but I wonder what the advantage is over a toolbox/belt other than the "cute" factor - ?
I don't find it particularly rude, but it's hard for me to imagine a real life context in which I would ask something like that. But in general, I guess that directly questioning someone else's socio-economic class/status could be a delicate topic.
Are you a laborer? Are you tired of being oppressed by the ruling classes? Try MARXISM now! Get a free trial, and the rest is also free! And now you're free!
In the absence of a more specific context, that would simply mean "Are you employed?"
As I have already mentioned, рабочий is a blue-collar worker.
Please read other posts before posting duplicate questions. You question has already been answered.
For the same reason why "Do you have sex" and "Are you sex" aren't, I guess.
I am not sure I understand your comment. "Are you sex?" is a meaningless question. "Do you work?" is a legitimate question, it just means something different and is not a translation of "Ты рабочий?".
Trying to point out that "Are you a [NOUN]?" and "Do you [VERB]?" are essentially different questions and, despite arguable semantic equivalency, are not a good thing for a beginner to swap :)
Could this sentence, in any way, be interpreted as: "what is your profession?"
Not really. It's a yes/no question. You can definitely answer "Нет", followed by the description of your actual profession, but the question does not explicitly ask for such information.