"I need beer."
Translation:Мне нужно пиво.
The difference is (in most of the cases):
Мне нужно + noun - i need something (i'm lacking something) - Мне нужно пиво (молоко, хлеб)
Мне надо + verb - I need to do something - Мне надо сходить (принести, выпить)
"Нужно" can substitute "надо" but usually not vice versa.
Does this sound strange in Russian as well? or would it be normal to walk into a store and say "Мне мне нужно пиво."? In English, if I said this in a store people would think I'm an alcoholic.
I think is sentence sounds fine, especially if you think of it as something to say to a friend. Certainly, as a college student, I've heard it often enough.
In English, if I said this in a store people would think I'm an alcoholic.
Same in Russian. It may be a normal phrase in the context though:
- "I need beer for the upcoming party"
- "Мне нужно пиво для предстоящей вечеринки"
In Russian there is no difference either you want a bottle or you have a permanent need for such a sentence. But maybe the creators meant an alcoholic? Who knows.