Which bit of England have you been to?

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by bonjouur, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. bonjouur New Member

    I'm doing a russian exchange later this year and I've been talking to my partner online.
    I asked her if she had been to England before and she replied "No, I have been in England".
    I wasn't really sure what she meant by this so I want to say to her "Which bit of England have you been to? Or have you never been here before?" (or something close enough to that).
    Any ideas? I though maybe "Где ты ходил в Англии?" for the first bit?
  2. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Где в Англии ты была? or, more formal, Где в Англии вы были?
  3. gvozd Senior Member

    Are you sure that you understood her correctly? Maybe she said 'No, I haven't been in England'?
  4. bonjouur New Member

    She replied in English :p

    Would this make sense "Где в Англии ты была? или это будет впервы?" ?
  5. gvozd Senior Member

    Где именно ты была в Англии? Или ты поедешь туда впервые?
  6. morzh

    morzh Banned

    Extremely popular mistake.
    In English the negative answer has to start from "No" and positive - from "Yes". However when thinking Russian, if the answer is positive but it negates the question ("have you not done....?" - " No, I have done" i/o "yes, I have done") it will likely starts from "No". the opposite is also true - a negative answer may start from "Yes".

    May be confusing for you to deal with. You may simply think that your partner misprinted and wanted to say "No I have NOT been to England before" and what she actually is trying to do is to say "Yes, I have been to England before".
  7. gvozd Senior Member

    In England - неправильно? К I have been всегда пристегивается to?
  8. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    A possible explanation: I wonder if you asked "Have you been to England before?" or "Haven't you been to England before?". If it was the latter, then a native Russian possibly would reply "no, I have been ... " (contradicting, not agreeing with, a negative statement or question).
    Вы не англичанин? Aren't you English?
    Нет, англичанин. Yes, I am. (Disagreeing with a negative).

    Вы не хотите посмотреть комнату? Don't you want to see/look at/check out the room?
    Нет, хочу. Yes, I do. (Disagreeing with a negative)
    Да, не хочу. No, I don't.

    (ps. morzh got there before me!)
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  9. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    да, неправильно.
    Another occasional mistake: мы приехали в Москву! We've arrived in Moscow! (not "to")
  10. bonjouur New Member

    thanks everyone :) you were right she did mean she's never been before :p
  11. morzh

    morzh Banned

    Я только ответил по поводу использования "Да/Нет" с утвердительньiми / отрицательньiми предложениями, а "in" исправил на "to" на автопилоте и потому не утрудился объяснением.

    Нет, не всегда.

    I've been in a meeting all day.
    I've been in love.

    I've been to your place. - Я бьiл у тебя.
    I've been in your place - я побьiвал в твоей шкуре.
  12. gvozd Senior Member

    Забавно разговоры носителей разных языков со стороны смотрятся.:) Как в анекдоте про двух глухих:
    - Привет! Ты в баню?
    - Да нет, я в баню.
    - А... А я думал, ты в баню...
  13. Sobakus Senior Member

    Actually you are not completely right. Your Russian questions can mean several things depending on the intonation, and you chose the wrong meaning in your translations.

    a) For example, "Вы не англичанин?" with the usual rising-falling tone on "англичанин" means "Aren't you an Englishman?", but the "true" answer can only start with Да, because the asker is right. Your answer is impossible.

    b) The context-dependant meaning with rising tone on "не" means "So you aren't an Englishman?" and requires an Englishman to answer with "Нет, англичанин", because the asker presumes wrong. If you indeed aren't one, you answer "Да, не англичанин".

    c) On the other hand, "Вы не хотите посмотреть комнату?" with the usual rising tone on "хотите", means "Do you want to see the room?", the positive answer being "Да, хочу", the negative - "Нет, не хочу". The asker doesn't presume anything, it's just a more polite version of "Вы хотите посмотреть комнату?".

    d) With rising-falling, surprsied intonation on "комнату" (add разве for best result) it means what you wrote: "Don't you <...>?" It presumes you don't, so you should express your willingness to see the room with "Нет, хочу". Your unwillingness can be expressed with either "Нет, не хочу" or "Да, не хочу".

    e) With rising-falling tone on "не" the sentence means "So you don't want to see the room?", so you can answer "Нет, не хочу" (the illogical, not really connected with the question option which baffles Russians themselves) or "Да, не хочу" (agreeing with the asker) to express that you don't, and only "Нет, хочу" works if you do.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  14. Sobakus Senior Member

    Hello, Explorer41 :) Would you mind pointing out which answers don't seem natural to you? But generally yes, if the question contains confusing не's (do we love those questions!), you'd be better off not using any particles at all and just saying the answer in plain Russian. I, for example, can't figure out the original meaning of c) variant myself.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  15. Sobakus Senior Member

    Yeah, it just came to me that if you use the a) stress but start the question with words "Так" or "Значит", the meaning and the correct answers become b). Sheesh!
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  16. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Thanks for your detailed explanations, Sobakus. I was trying to reduce the dialogue down to the barest minimum to keep the explanation of the basic principle of disagreeing with a negative, which occurs in Russian but doesn't in English, as simple as possible in case the original poster hadn't come across this yet. Probably none of the short phrases I quoted would be spoken in that basic "caveman" form out of context; and of course intonation, the use of particles, and the rest of the particular context in which the words are spoken all influence the meaning. It's not a topic that could be dealt with comprehensively in a post or even a whole thread in a written forum, where different permutations of intonation and the way they affect the meaning of phrases can't be illustrated effectively.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  17. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    I personally think that if the answer to a question like: Вы не англичанин? is No in Russian it usually means affirmation of the thing presupposed in the question, if the right intonation is used. No, would mean I am not English. You are right. I don't want to see the room, you are right.

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