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Russian English: subtle mistakes in speech that betray immigrants

It's impossible to learn English perfectly. But Russians have “their own” mistakes, which will almost certainly make it clear to a foreigner that you are Russian-speaking. Moreover, the reason for these errors is quite simple - the habit of thinking in Russian. He told about 20 such mistakes and how to get rid of them. Life hacker.

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1. I feel myself

How to correctly say "I feel myself good"?

  • Wrong: I feel myself well.
  • Correctly: I feel well.

I feel myself sounds like the speaker is literally touching himself. Native speakers may perceive this as something indecent. Myself (himself, herself) needs to be omitted.

2. Brilliant

How to translate a phrase into English "Diamond ring"?

  • Wrong: brilliant ring.
  • Correctly: diamond ring.

Brilliant is an example of a "false friend", a word in English that looks like a word from Russian, but actually has a different meaning. A brilliant ring is not a "diamond" ring at all, as a Russian person might think, but a "wonderful ring".

3. Normal

How to answer a question "How are you?"

  • Wrong: I'm normal, thank you.
  • Correctly: I'm fine, thank you.

Very often Russians answer “normal”, because “normal” is “good”. However, normal in English is “normal” in the sense of “not weird”.

And the answer I'm normal, thank you translates as "Thank you, I'm normal."

4. Enough

Where to put the word in the sentence enough?

  • Wrong: Is he enough smart to understand this book? She spoke French enough well to pass the exam. He's enough earned today.
  • Correctly: Is he smart enough to understand this book? ("Is he smart enough to understand this book?") She spoke French well enough to pass the exam. (“She spoke French well enough to pass the exam.”) He's earned enough today. ("He earned enough today.")

In English, enough is placed before a noun, but after other parts of speech: an adjective (smart), an adverb (well), a verb (earned).

5. Please

What to answer Thank you?

  • Wrong: Please.
  • Correctly: You're welcome.

This error is due to the fact that in Russian one word is used in different contexts. "Please" as a request ("Please call me back") will be please, "please" as an answer to "thank you" - you're welcome.

On the subject: 20 subtleties of living English, which are not told in school

6. Learn

How will it be in english "She teaches higher mathematics at the university"?

  • Wrong: She learns Advanced Mathematics at university.
  • Correctly: She studies Advanced Mathematics at university.

The difference between the two "teach" can be difficult to understand. Study rather refers to academic learning, learn - to gain knowledge / skills in practice. Added to this is the confusion with the word teach, which also translates into Russian as "to teach." It must be remembered that teach refers only to the teacher's activities.

7. Freely

How to translate "We speak English fluently"?

  • Wrong: We speak English freely.
  • Correctly: We speak English fluently.

“Free”, when it comes to the level of language proficiency, is translated into English not as freely, but as fluently.

8. Down

How to say "Please make some coffee"?

  • Wrong: Do some coffee, please.
  • Correctly: Make some coffee, please.

Very often, Russian speakers do not know which of the two options to choose, because both do and make are translated as "to do". The point is in the shades of meaning: if do is “to do”, then make is more likely to “create”.

9. Say

How to translate "John told his parents about the job offer"?

  • Wrong: John said his parents about a job offer.
  • Correctly: John told his parents about a job offer.

The say verb is used to focus on the information, the tell verb is used on the person to whom the information is being transmitted, that is, the tell must be followed by a direct object (tell me / him / us). Exceptions: tell a story, tell the truth.

10. Possibility

How to translate “Don't miss the opportunity to study abroad”?

  • Wrong: Don't miss the possibility to study abroad.
  • Correctly: Don't miss the opportunity to study abroad.

“Opportunity” in the meaning “it can happen” or “it can be true” - possibility. "Opportunity" as a chance - opportunity.

11. Comfortable

How to say "Convenient time for a meeting"?

  • Wrong: comfortable time to meet.
  • Correctly: convenient time to meet.

In Russian, both words mean “comfortable” or “convenient”. But in English, comfortable is giving a physical or emotional feeling of comfort, while convenient is appropriate (a tool or a time, for example). Can't be comfortable time to meet, the time will always be convenient.

12. Useful

How will "healthy food" in English?

  • Wrong: useful food.
  • Correctly: healthy food.

In Russian, some kind of tool and food can be “useful”. In English, the food is only healthy.

13. Very

How to say "I really like you"?

  • Wrong: I very like you.
  • Correctly: I really like you.

You can also say I like you a lot or - option with very - I like you very much.

14. What

How to translate "I will give you everything you need"?

  • Wrong: I'll give you everything what you need.
  • Correctly: I'll give you everything that you need.

The Russian “what” is translated into English as both what and that, depending on the context. Hence the frequent mistakes in choosing the right word.

15. On the picture

How will "on the painting" in English?

  • Wrong: on the picture.
  • Correctly: in the picture.

The relationship between objects, people and concepts is not always expressed by the same preposition, as in the Russian language. So, "in the picture / tree" - in the picture / tree, but Russians often use the preposition on.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York.

16. Advices

How will advice in plural?

  • Wrong: advices.
  • Correctly: pieces of advice.

In Russian, the word "advice" is used as a countable noun, therefore it has a plural form - "advice". In English, it is uncountable, so you cannot say advices, you have to use the expression pieces of advice or words of advice. Russians experience similar difficulties with such uncountable nouns as knowledge, research, information, data.

17. Thanks god

How to translate a set expression "thank God"?

  • Wrong: thanks God.
  • Correctly: thank God.

For some reason, Russians often add s to thank, apparently understanding this expression as thanks, God ("thank you, Lord"). The s is not needed in the phrases no comment and no problem.

18. He / she

How to say "I couldn't fix my phone when it broke."?

  • Wrong: I couldn't repair my phone after he broke.
  • Correctly: I couldn't repair my phone after it broke.

In the Russian language, as you know, there are three kinds. Natives of English claim that Russians bother too much with childbirth (no wonder - they have to learn all this). For Russians, English it seems cold and soulless for any occasion in life. Therefore, Russians try to assign some gender to English nouns, which should not be done, unless we are talking about a person or an animal, the gender of which is obvious.

19. Girlfriend

How to translate "Maria went shopping with a friend"?

  • Wrong: Maria went shopping with her girlfriend.
  • Correctly: Maria shopping went with her friend.

In English, there is no direct way to indicate the gender of a friend: a friend of either gender will be a friend. Her girlfriend is not “her friend”, but “her girlfriend”. Russians often make this mistake, and it can be embarrassing.

20. City

How to say "I am from Moscow"?

  • Wrong: I'm from Moscow city.
  • Correctly: I'm from Moscow.

Russians abroad often say that they are from Moscow city (Rostov city, Irkutsk city). It's not a huge mistake, but native English speakers make fun of it. Enough Moscow or, if you really want to, the city of Moscow. Yes, there is Salt Lake City, sometimes city is added so as not to confuse the city and the state (Oklahoma City), but in other cases they don't say that. As London city or Paris city do not say.

To speak without mistakes, you should stop translating phrases in Russian into English. There are rules and exceptions that can be memorized with the help of the prompts “it’s the same in Russian” or “it’s the same in Russian”, but here the key word is “learn”. You still have to learn these rules and exceptions, and best of all - with a teacher.

Read also on ForumDaily:

Better than 'very good': how to expressively replace hackneyed English words

15 tricky English phrases that many people misunderstand

Snickers, siblings and the Alexander: 20+ secrets of English breaking language stereotypes

Enriching our speech: 45 English analogues of Russian proverbs

Easy and fun: seven sites to help you learn English

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