Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Any Questions? No Questions! Вопросы есть? Вопросов нет!

(fine tuning your Russian)

Muireann Maguire posted this on her Facebook page

I was rather touched by this email between some of our second-year students on a Russian culture model, showing their determination to proceed with a seminar on the topic of "народ" [people] despite the strike (also showing a blissful innocence of the use of the genitive plural, but one can't have everything):

***Привет народ, [hi, people]
We'd like to ask everyone to still turn up to the seminar (BYOB) (preferably vodka) as Muireann may still be on strike at 09:30 on Tuesday for fun discussions on the readings attached about the народ and other related subjects. If you have any other interesting sources then please bring them along to discuss.
Есть вопросы?
Нет вопросы. До свидания 
X, Y, Z, and Putin***
(I've removed the students' names above, but I left their rather surprising celebrity guest, Putin; I suppose those Russian spybots get everywhere, even Exeter's VLE).

Thanks, Muireann!

There's more here than a slight confusion on the plural genitive. The famous phrase "Вопросы есть? Вопросов нет!" comes from "The White Sun of the Desert", a cult film of the 70-s. Ever since its release the phrase has been current in modern Russian.

So, people (народ), inverse your word order. Or else!

Here is the clip (full movie available on YouTube) -

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