by Don  

The word зарплата is a conversational word, short for заработная плата, literally “employment pay.” Normally we translate it as wage, pay, income or paycheck. In the States we discuss income in terms of dollars per year before taxes; in Russia we usually discuss it in terms of monthly pay:

В США средний сварщик зарабатывает 41,000 долларов в год. (source of statistic, May 2010) In the USA the average welder earns 41,000 dollars a year.
Средняя зарплата сварщика 15-25 тыс. руб. в месяц, в зависимости от региона. (source) A welder's average salary [in Russia] is from 15 to 25 thousand rubles a month, depending on the location.
Сегодня я получил зарплату. Сейчас пойду куплю диван I got paid today. Now I'm going to buy a couch.
— Почему ты ещё встречаешься с Зиной? Она ведь не готовит и не убирает.
— Ну, понимаешь, она меня любит, несмотря на мою мизерную зарплату, и я сам умею и готовить и убирать.
“Why are you going out with Zina? After all, she can't cook or clean house.”
“Well, y'know, she loves despite my non-existent salary, and I myself know how to cook and clean.”


Comment from: Shady_arc [Visitor]

несмотря на мою незначительную зарплату –> you may use the adjective “мизерный". “Незначительный” is closer to “insignificant", “minor", “little". It is used to describe something that is small and most likely doesn’t affect [SOMETHING] much, like some “insignificant deviation". The word sounds bad when used with “salary", because the meaning of the combination is odd ("It is insignificant for what or in comparison with what exactly?")

Don responds: Agreed. Text has been updated.

06/05/10 @ 06:53
Comment from: J [Visitor]

Shouldn’t it be

Сейчас пойду купИТЬ диван
Сейчас куплю диван

Don responds: «Сейчас куплю диван» is perfect Russian. I don’t think any Russian will say «пойду купить диван» with the perfective infinitive, although «пойду покупать диван» with the imperfective works.

When you use a future perfective verb of motion starting with the prefix по- and wish to indicate the goal of the action, you very often have the purpose expressed in a perfective future verb as well. Thus «Пойду выпью кофе» “I’m going to grab a [quick] cup of coffee.” It is a conversational form, not something you would write formally. I liken it to the conversational English construction “I’m going to go and buy a couch.” The “and” in that context is not part of high-style literary English, but even educated native speakers often use it without thinking about it. You’ll occasionally find a similar construction with сходить: «схожу выпью кофе» “I’m going to grab a [quick] cup of coffee.”

For a brief description and examples, see pp. 10-11 of “Russian Motion Verbs for Intermediate Students” by William J. Mahota. For other examples and excercises see pp. 117-118 of “Verbs of Motion in Russian” by L. Muravyova (1995 paperback version).

06/01/10 @ 03:58

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