русская книга = книга на русском языке ?

reer

Senior Member
Chinese
Наташа дала мне русскую книгу. (Natasha gave me a Russian book.)

Я читаю книгу на русском языке. (I am reading a book in Russian language)

Q: What is the difference between "русская книга" and "книга на русском языке"?
 
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  • Loafer

    Member
    Russian
    The expression русские книги sounds somewhat odd to me. I can't think of a situation when I would use it. I'd rather say книги русских авторов. As for книги на русском языке, those could be both original versions and translations into Russian.
     

    reer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    "Русская книга" may also mean a book of the Russian writer, so beyond the context it is ambiguous.
    No, there is no more context. I had learnt "Им нравится книга на французском языке." before I came upon Наташа дала мне русскую книгу in the textbook. So there popped up the question as titled.
    The same difference as between "an English book" and "a book in English"
    I am terribly sorry. There is a typo. Corrected.
    To me, "an English book" is as ambiguous as "русская книга".
    The expression русские книги sounds somewhat odd to me. I can't think of a situation when I would use it. I'd rather say книги русских авторов. As for книги на русском языке, those could be both original versions and translations into Russian.
    Наташа дала мне русскую книгу.
    This sentence is quoted from a textbook published by Assimil. I can not nail down its actual meaning.

    So it needs more specific contexts before one can make sure of what it refers to?
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Наташа дала мне русскую книгу.
    So it needs more specific contexts before one can make sure of what it refers to?
    Exactly.
    But, for example, русский роман, американская новелла, исландская сага, японское стихотворение, китайская сказка clearly refer to the language of the original (maybe except for very specific context).
     
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    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Exactly.
    But, for example, русский роман, американская новелла, исландская сага, японское стихотворение, китайская сказка clearly mean the language of the original (maybe except for very specific context).
    Since when is американский a language?
     

    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    To me, "an English book" is as ambiguous as "русская книга".
    :thumbsup:
    I would only say русская книга if the context makes it clear. E.g.
    Наташа приехала из России 10 лет назад. У неё в доме много русских книг.
    I.e. books in Russian and by Russian authors
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I thought it was clear enough what language was presumed. But to avoid ambiguity, I edited my post.
    My point was that the fact that you used that example proves that it's not only about language. For example, "украинский роман" could easily refer to a novel written in Russian, "исландская сага" could have been written in Old Norse, etc.
     

    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    My point was that the fact that you used that example proves that it's not only about language. For example, "украинский роман" could easily refer to a novel written in Russian, "исландская сага" could have been written in Old Norse, etc.
    Right. As repeatedly said above, русская книга is just as ambiguous as English book, Irish book etc, so context defines what it really means in a particular case
     
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    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    My point was that the fact that you used that example proves that it's not only about language. For example, "украинский роман" could easily refer to a novel written in Russian, "исландская сага" could have been written in Old Norse, etc.
    Maybe it's my personal bug, but I'd hardly think a novel is in Russian if someone calls it украинский роман. And hardly anybody will think I read it in any other language, than my native, if I say I read an Icelandic saga.
    Anyway, with книга it's really ambiguous, as already agreed.
     

    reer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    From all your responses, I got the impression that I should take more care to use русская книга and other similar phrases in future. I gave up coming up with any proper translation in my mother tongue for it, as it needs so many crutches to stand alone. Thanks again.
     

    Kirill V.

    Senior Member
    Russian
    From all your responses, I got the impression that I should take more care to use русская книга and other similar phrases in future. I gave up coming up with any proper translation in my mother tongue for it, as it needs so many crutches to stand alone. Thanks again.
    In 99% of contexts Наташа дала мне русскую книгу. = Наташа дала мне книгу русского автора на русском языке.
    If it helps for your translation;)
     

    reer

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    In 99% of contexts Наташа дала мне русскую книгу. = Наташа дала мне книгу русского автора на русском языке.
    If it helps for your translation;)
    Nice one! 99% :)
     
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    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    However, we can easily say: "В библиотеке/магазине было много русских книг," if the library/bookshop is abroad, and this is clearly understood as "... books printed/published in Russian" (of any kind.)

    Ex.: (...)
    1. Харбин. Здесь любят русский язык...
    Mar 19, 2015 - В библиотеке было много русских книг, изданных в Китае: произведения Л.Н. Толстого, А.П. Чехова, ...

    Also, you may want to consider the following:

    2. РУССКАЯ КНИГА (издательство)
    dic.academic.ru ›
    «РУССКАЯ КНИГА», издательство, Москва. Основано в 1992 на базе издательства «Советская Россия»

    3. Издательство «Русская книга — XXI век» — новые поступления книги издательства «Русская книга — XXI век» ...

    Although "русская книга" is misused in your textbook, it can be used properly otherwise.
     
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    Loafer

    Member
    Russian
    Исландская сага, американский роман, японское стихотворение - those word-combinations are all built on the pattern "nationality + genre of literature". Русская книга is different: книга is not a genre. So what is it: a book published in Russia? a book in Russian? a book by a Russian author? a book that arrived from Russia? Maybe I'm losing the sense of the language but it does sound odd to me.
     

    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Исландская сага, американский роман, японское стихотворение - those word-combinations are all built on the pattern "nationality + genre of literature". Русская книга is different: книга is not a genre. So what is it: a book published in Russia? a book in Russian? a book by a Russian author? a book that arrived from Russia? Maybe I'm losing the sense of the language but it does sound odd to me.
    When used in an appropriate context as shown above, it's about any book printed in Russian.
     

    Loafer

    Member
    Russian
    When used in an appropriate context as shown above, it's about any book printed in Russian.
    Well, Rosett, I don't know what you mean by 'appropriate context', but the phase Наташа дала мне русскую книгу does have a foreign flavor. At least, this is the way I feel it. By the way, in English, I think it would be quite natural to say 'Natasha gave me a Russian book'. Well, again, many men, many minds. :)
     

    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Well, Rosett, I don't know what you mean by 'appropriate context', but the phase Наташа дала мне русскую книгу does have a foreign flavor. At least, this is the way I feel it. By the way, in English, I think it would be quite natural to say 'Natasha gave me a Russian book'. Well, again, many men, many minds. :)
    Three unambiguous examples of appropriate contexts (maybe, not all possible ones) are shown above.
     
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