29.11.2006


Olga's BlogAt the time of this project, Olga Dmitraschenko was a sixteen-year-old native Muscovite and incoming freshman to Moscow State University, one of Russia's most respected educational institutions. She served an internship with SRAS during the summer of 2006 as a research assistant on issues of popular culture. She stayed on afterwards with SRAS as the primary author of Olga's Blog, a series of language lessons based on modern Russian life and written in the language of Moscow's young, well-educated college students. The native Russian text has been glossed by the School of Russian and Asian Studies for vocabulary, cultural implications, grammar, and some youth slang.

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Olga's Blog: Вступительные экзамены
Lesson 1, Part 5

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Note that all bold words and phrases have annotation below. Red words and phrases indicate the subject of this blog entry's grammer lesson. Asterisks indicate slang.

  5545889511_2e5b165589
Moscow State University at dusk.

Английский язык проходил легче и спокойнее. Нам выдали задание, которое состояло из трех частей:

  1. перевести политический текст с английского на русский язык;
  2. задать к тексту пять вопросов (общий, альтернативный, специальный, разделительный и вопрос к подлежащему);
  3. написать мини-сочинение на указанную тему (мне выпала тема «Why did you choose to enter our faculty?»)

На второй экзамен нам тоже отвели четыре часа. Результаты каждого экзамена говорили сразу через два дня. Я получила пятерку!

Следующий экзамен был самым страшным, он наводил ужас* даже на самых непоколебимых и стойких – история России устно. Перед экзаменом нас разделили на семь групп по десять-двенадцать человек. Каждую группу поместили в отдельную комнату с двумя экзаменаторами. По очереди мы вытянули билеты. Всего их было семьдесят два. Мне повезло – я вытянула первый билет, который я хорошо знала (they put on the table all 72 tasks, and you take just one, but you don't know which do you take, so I took one and it was first, so I was very happy as I knew it very well). На подготовку отвели 45 минут времени. А потом стали вызывать.

Я отвечала первой. Было очень страшно, но через десять минут все закончилось, и мне поставили пятерку. Я радостная и счастливая выбежала из второго гуманитарного корпуса МГУ, даже не задумываясь о том, что через два с половиной месяца мне предстоит пройти через все это снова. Ведь олимпиада, как я уже говорила, проводилась на платные места, а я хотела поступать на бюджет. Если на олимпиаде ученик набирает четырнадцать баллов, он все равно поступает на платное отделение, потому, что это олимпиада, а не экзамен. Поэтому, набрав четырнадцать баллов, я очень жалела, что это всего лишь олимпиада, ведь идти на платный мне не хотелось. Многие мои друзья с курсов, набрав тринадцать баллов, поступили. Я им немного завидовала – ведь у них все уже закончилось, а у меня все было только впереди.

Два месяца пролетели незаметно, и пришло время сдавать экзамены во второй раз. Мне было уже не так страшно, ведь я уже знала какого это. Написанное мной сочинение  содержало несколько небольших ошибок но было оценено хорошо. Все прошло отлично, и после последнего экзамена  в моем экзаменационном листе стояли вот такие оценки:

Сочинение – 4
Английский язык – 5
История России – 5

Я набрала столько же баллов, сколько и на олимпиаде – четырнадцать! А это означало, что я поступила на бюджет. Несколько дней я ходила такая счастливая, что не могла поверить в то, что поступила. Друзья и знакомые звонили и поздравляли меня. Вот и вся моя история поступления в университет. В следующий раз мы поговорим про мой первый месяц в МГУ, а пока – удачи! Самое главное – желание учиться, стремление к цели и, конечно же, поддержка семьи и друзей.

Твоя Ольга

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Vocabulary and Cultural Annotations

  1.  
    Selected Programs Abroad:
      RSL-Side-Bar1
      translation_sidebar2
      All-Programs-Buttone
    Задать к тексту пять вопросов: Ask five questions of the text. The questions were meant to be posed as part of the test and not answered. English has specific methods of asking questions which can be difficult for Russians to grasp – primarily because of the required placements of auxiliary verbs. In Russian, auxiliary verbs are not used and word placement is not as strictly defined as in English. Thus, each question type (some of which Olga lists) must be studied individually. Very often, however, Russians who do speak English will know far more about English grammar and language theory than most Americans.
  2. Общий вопрос: Yes/No Question. A question meant to be answered with a "yes" or "no" answer. In English: Are you tired? In Russian: Ты устала? Note that in English the placement of the auxiliary verb is essential while in Russian the only thing that changes is the punctuation and inflection. 
  3. Альтернативный вопрос: Alternative question. A question in which the listener is given a series of choices to chose from. Would you like to go to the theatre or the movies? Хотите пойти в театр или в кино?
  4. Специальный вопрос: W-H question. A question using one of the 8 "question words:" who, what, where, when, how, why, which, and whose. English: Who is that man? Why is he standing there? Russian: Кто этот человек? Зачем он там стоит? Note that in Russian there are ten question words: Кто, Что, Где, Куда, Когда, Как, Почему, Зачем, Какой, Чей with two unique variants each for "where" and "why."
  5. Разделительный вопрос: Tag question. A question composed of a statement followed by a question tag. English: You're an accountant, aren't you? Russian: Ты бухгалтер, ни так ли? Note that in English this structure is much more commonly used than in Russian. "Неправда лы" is also used in Russian tag questions.
  6. Вопрос к подлежащему: Subject question. A question which seeks more information about the subject. English: Who is that man? Russian: Кто этот человек? This is as opposed to a question which seeks more information about the object or action of the subject. English: Which book is that? Russian: Какая эта книга? Note that in English, there is a different placement of the auxiliary verb with each type of question. In Russian, the structure is identical.
  7. Отвести/отводить: To set or assign. The verb is also used to mean "to lead," "to take away," "to deflect," and sometimes "to reject" (a candidate for a job, a potential juror).
  8. Навести/наводить ужас: Slang Russian term meaning "to terrify." The term would literally translate "to cover/coat with horror." Standard phrasings to use include "ужасать," "вселять ужас," or "внушать ужас." Навести/наводить most often translates as "to direct" or "to aim."
  9. История России устно: The history of Russia from memory (by heart). Russian school children are generally expected to memorize important dates, events, and names and be able to recall them at any time during their education – many educated adults can still recite exact dates and names from memory. 
  10. Всего их было семьдесят два: In total they were seventy-two. Note there were also seventy two students participating in the Olympiada. Each student thus received an individual question, ensuring that each would have to prepare an individual answer. It also shows the depth to which Russians are expected to learn their history.
  11. Второго гуманитарного корпуса МГУ: The Second Humanitarian Building of MGU. MGU has two main buildings devoted to teaching humanitarian subjects. The Second Humanitarian Building is also where most of SRAS's language courses are based.
  12. Мне предстоит: It is in store for me / I will have to.
  13. У меня все было только впереди: It was all still ahead of me. This structure is quite common in modern Russia when talking about projects in the future.
  14. Означать: To mean or signify. Often the word обозначить/обозначать is also used, which can have the additional meaning of "to label" or "to designate."
  15. Твоя Ольга: Your (Yours,) Olga. This is a common and affectionate way of ending letters. This affectionate construction is also often used with the word "наш" (our). For example: Наша Ольга успешно сдала все экзамены (Our Olga successfully passed all her exams).

 


 

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Grammar Focus
Past Passive Participles
(Note: in all examples, the participle is in bold,
the word it refers to is underlined)

Verbs in Russian, like those in English, have forms that may be used as adjectives. These forms, known as participles, are often used as a simple way to provide variety and flexibility to sentence structures.

Past passive participles create constructions in which what would ordinarily be the object of the sentence becomes the subject. In English, past passive participles are most often formed by adding –ed to the base form of the verb (though they are very often irregular). In the example, "the lecture delivered by the professor held the interest of all those who listened," "delivered" is a past passive participle which modifies "lecture." The structure is remarkably similar in Russian: "лекция, прочитанная профессором, заинтересовала всех слушателей." In both cases, "lecture" ("лекция") is the object acted upon by the professor.

Today's "Olga's Blog" also presents an example of this: "написанное мной сочинение содержало несколько небольших ошибок," "написанное" is a passive past participle referring to "сочинение." This example would roughly translate as: "The essay written by me contained a few small mistakes." The essay is the object acted on by Olga, but here is the subject of the sentence thanks to the passive participle construction.

Past passive participles can be formed only from perfective, transitive verbs.

The past participle is formed from the stem of the past tense:

Прочитать (to read) – прочитал (he read) – прочитанный (read)
Увидеть (to see) – увидел (he saw) – увиденный (seen)
Сделать (to make) – cделал (he did) – сделанный (made)
Изучить (to study) – изучил (he studied) – изученный (studied)
Принести (to bring) – принес (he brought) – принесенный (brought)

Note: while the basic idea of past passive participle construction can be grasped from the above, not that the rules for the construction are actually quite subtle (note the necessary change of "и" to "е" in " изученный." For a fuller explanation of the rules (and other forms), see this page from Alphadictionary.com.

Important!  Participles must be declined as adjectives for gender, number, and case!  Simply change the –ый ending to suit. For example:

Nominative Case: изученный (m.); изученная (f.); изученное (n.); изученные (p.)
Genitive Case: изученного (m.); изученной (f.); изученного (n.); изученных (p.)
More about declination: www.cromwell-intl.com/russian 

Examples from Literature and the Press:

Все больше становилось книг на полке, красиво сделанной Павлу товарищем-столяром М. Горький

Ни ужаса от только что увиденного, ни каких-либо иных чувств он не испытывал. С. Михайлов

Ему вспоминалась история падшей женщины, прочитанная им когда-то, и он находил теперь, что этот человеческий образ с виноватой улыбкой не имеет ничего общего с тем, что он теперь видит. А. Чехов

Я перебирал сотни вариантов всевозможных значений увиденных мною комбинаций знаков. И. Росоховатский

К тому же, к слову сказать, я воспитанный, скромный и честный малый. А. Чехов
(In this example, it is not clear who is the person who has acted on speaker, but it can be understood to be his parents and community.)

Important! In Russian, all adjectives have a long and short form and passive past participles often take the short form. Today's "Olga's Blog" also gives an example of the short form if we look at the full compound sentence of the original example: Написанное мной сочинение содержало несколько небольших ошибок но было оценено хорошо." "Оценено" is a short-form passive past participle which also refers to "сочинение." This entire phrase could be translated as "The essay written by me contained a few small mistakes but was appraised (graded) well."

Оценить (to appraise) – оценил (he appraised) – осененный (appraised)

The short form is constructed from the long form. For example:

Оцененный – оценен (m.) оценена (f.); оценено (n.); оценены (p.)
Изученный – изучен (m.); изучена (f.); изучено (n.); изучены (p.)
Cделанный – сделан (m.); сделана  (f.); сделано (n.); сделаны (p.)

Important! Short form past passive participles exist only in the nominative case! Long form and short form past passive participles are also, therefore, used differently. Long forms can be used to modify any noun. The short form, because it only exists in the nominative case, can only modify the subject of the sentence and usually tell us what he/she/it is doing.

Generally, short-form participles follow a form of the verb "to be" -- whether implied (as in nearly all instances of the present tense of "be" in Russian) or stated ("bylo," "budet").Compare:

Short-form:
Лучшее сочинение было (будет) написано Ольгой. (The best composition was [will be] written by Olga.)

Long-form:
NOM. Сочинение, написанное Ольгой, очень понравилось экзаменаторам. (The composition. written by Olga pleased the examiners very much.)
ACC. Экзаменаторы читали написанное Ольгой сочинение с интересом. (The examiners read the compostion written by Olga with interest.)
GEN. У меня нет копии сочинения, написанного Ольгой. (I don't have a copy of the comp. written by Olga.)
PREP. В написанном Ольгой сочинении было несколько ошибок. (In the comp. written by Olga there were a few errors.)

Also, the long form is usually placed before the noun it modifies, while the short form is placed after (though not always). For example: Написанное письмо but письмо написано; прочитанная книга but книга прочитана.

Lastly, short form and long form adjectives may also be used without a referent, as was discussed in previous issues of "Olga's Blog," (such as 1.2). In this case, the adjective will be in neuter form: "там написано что нельзя курить," which can be translated as "it was (has been) written there that it was (is) forbidden to smoke." In the case of passive past participles, the implied referent can be discerned from the context.

Examples from Literature and the Press:

Так написано... - Написано, написано, - успокоил я. - Там много чего написано. В. Покровский

Нет уж, никак нельзя сказать, что грибы изучены основательно. В. Солоухин

Сделано в Руссии. (Borsch, many raw hydrocarbons, and a surpising number of the world's other valuable resources!)

 


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