1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Откуда вы?"

"Откуда вы?"

Translation:Where are you from?

November 17, 2015

37 Comments


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

I've heard both "Откуда вы" and "Вы откуда." Are both word-orders correct? Is there any reason do use one vs. the other?


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

Actualy, both word-orders are correct. But using "Откуда вы?" is preferable. Because it is more polite.

(My native language is Russian, so I'm sorry if I make mistakes in English :) )


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GenericName15

Are there any general rules for manners in Russian?


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

I think this is a very large topic to disscus it here. ) There are many articles in the Internet where you can read about it. In this particular case using "Откуда вы?" is more preferable, because when you use a pronoun as first word in a question then it sounds more defiant for us.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malcolm770970

Rearranging the sentence above to "You, where do you come from!" - depending on intonation, can come across as rude or as a aggressive command


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Le-petit-loup

If this helps, "Whence?" is the exact semantic match in English, although the word is antiquated. English today uses the interrogative adverb "Where?" to cover location (where?), destination (whither?), and origin (whence?). These have indicative counterparts in there/here, thither (to that place)/hither (to this place), thence (from that place)/hence (from this place). Of course, these are not used in contemporary English, but I find them useful when thinking about languages that still have intact systems of motion adverbs.


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

Thank you for the great explanation. I had never thought about the way Russian still uses words that faded away in English. Fascinating. But it's nice that I am at least familiar with the old English words so that I can think of them as I'm translating in my head.


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

I'm English and your explanation is impeccable. I love thither. I really wish we still used these, although 'hence' is still pretty common, but more in the context of explaining a reason for an action or an outcome. Hence my writing this.


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

I put "Where do you come from" - this can only mean one thing...

WHERE DID YOU COME FROM WHERE DID YOU GO WHERE DID YOU COME FROM COTTON EYED JOE?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

That would be "Where did yee come from" or similar.


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

Could "где от ты?" also be correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iiVR2
  • 1881

No. It makes no sense.


[deactivated user]

    Why do you write "No.", with a period then a sentence? It sounds rude and sounds like you're trying talk down to someone. Why don't you use a comma, No, [etc]. Is this something Russians do, because I have seen it before. And then you go on to say It makes no sense. She is obviously learing the langauge and had a question.

    It sounds like the way an authority figure would talk to a subordinate. If I worked for you, and you addressed me like that, I would assert myself.

    That's a nice looking woman, do u always talk downward to nice looking women? In the US I am always a gentleman to nice looking women, and it gets me far in life.


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

    You are wrong, first of all we don't know if he is russian, if you have seen russians that made short sentences it's more likely because their english is not good or just bad luck with a serious guy, I have chatted with many russians and they have been very kind. Don't generalize.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nmart1
    • 2161

    Hello there! I just want to add a bit here. I can say as a russian person that there were no rudeness here. Our "language culture" differs from English, it's more direct. And (usually) when one sees a direct question ("is it correct?") one feels obliged to give short and direct answer (yes or no). And after that to extend it with additional info. There is no real difference to me between "No. It makes no sense" and "No, it makes no sense". The intonation is really matters here. + stiffness in no native language must be accounted also (so, I do apologize for my mistakes).


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

    Im always direct with direct questions, it's logical and it is what it is. I think political correctness is affecting American culture. How a period is rude? Lmao.


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

    I hear откуда ending in /a/ ot /o/ depending on whether i click on the word or the qhole sentence. It is not clear where the stress is on. Can a native help here?

    Is it otkuda or otkudo? Where is the stress?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

    I'm not a native Russian but I looked up the pronunciation of this word. The stress is on the у so roughly the pronunciation is uhtKUduh.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jamie1531

    When do I use откуда and not где?


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

    You use откуда if you are interested where are you from. You are not there at the moment. You use где in the meaning - what is the place where you (or something/somebody else) is at the moment.


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

    Why does this not translate to “Whence came you?”


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

    I don't see why it would be past tense but "Whence come you" is fine.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fred.sudak

    Hmmmm.....have you heard the phrase "whence came you" before? I have, but only in one specific context!


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

    I know that it is not exactly the question of this exercise, but what is the difference between от and из?


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

    I once answered the same question to the sentence "I am from the city" in this thread: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13845314


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

    Ok, thank you!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Randonneur3

    Of more relevance is: where are you going (!)


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

    The answer to this is: "я откуда мехико?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenYoung84

    That's: I am from where Mexico.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Szeged84

    Это будет "я ИЗ Миксики". Мексика - Mexico, и Мексики - Мексика в родительном падеже. Потому что - из Мексики, из Англии (не Англия), из Америки, и из Канады.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/john204

    I wrote 'You are from where?' and it was marked wrong. It seems a perfectly reasonable alternative translation (I am a native English speaker).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nishank366903

    I think When use the word is FROM then Из also come in this sentence Please tell me why из not used in this sentence


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Szeged84

    In short, question words are different to answer words. If you were you go "Ты из?" It sounds like an ungrammatical form of "From you?" (remember word order doesn't matter so much in Russian due to the extensive case system). I do recon that a native would understand this question if they knew that you were at a very limited Russian proficiency. But you will certainly NEVER hear someone use this to ask where you're from. The dialogue would be: "Откуда вы?" // "Я/Мы из откуда-то (Англии, Америки, России, Франции...)" // "Прекольно! Я из России!"


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

    Wouldn't this be more like "What are you doing here?"


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

    "Where did you come from?" should be an acceptable solution


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

    "Откуда вы" is present tense. The verb is omitted but present tense is implied. But "did" is past tense and that is probably why DL would mark it wrong.


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

    Where do you come from asks about the listener's place of origin, while where did you come from would refer to the process of arriving at the current location.

    Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.