Wednesday, June 10, 2009

летняя работа!

The best way to expand your vocabulary is to read and listen to "real texts", paying attention to words that you recognize and learning to figure things out from the context. I picked this item because it has so many interesting borrowings from English.

Фонд Гейтса потерял миллиарды

Listen to the video, first without looking at the transcript, then while reading along. Then, read the transcript (without watching the video) a couple of times, picking out familiar words. Finally, listen to the video without looking at the transcript, trying to pick out the familiar words.


Самый богатый благотворительный фонд (1) в мире похудел (2) из-за кризиса на 11 с половиной миллиардов долларов. Речь идет (3) о Фонде Билла и Мелинды Гейтс.(4)

Еще в январе 2008 года чета (5) филантропов имела в своем распоряжении (6) 39 миллиардов долларов — теперь только 27,5, сообщает НТВ (the network). При этом в прошлом году на гранты — в основном в области здравоохранения (7) — Гейтсы пожертвовали (8) почти три миллиарда и обещают (9) в этом году не сокращать выплаты (10).

  1. благо="good, welfare" творить=create, make... so what does благотворительный фонд mean?
  2. худой="skinny", so what would the verb похудеть mean? Why did the фонд похудел? How much did фонд похудел?
  3. Речь идет means literally "speech goes." What does this idiom mean?
  4. Notice the error-- whose фонд? Genitive would be Гейтса. Or maybe this is how they've decided to handle the genitive plural of Гейтс.
  5. Чета is just an Russian version of пара, pair.
  6. распоряжении="disposal", so the phrase means "at their disposal." Порядок, order, is the root here.
  7. здравохранение comes from two words, здрав- or здоровье, health + хранить, preserve, keep. So, what does the word mean?
  8. пожертвовать comes from the word жертва, victim, sacrifice, offering. The verb has come to mean donate or sacrifice.
  9. обещать="promise." Note that this is one of those words that always takes a person as the object and therefore the object of the verb goes into the dative case--like помогать, отвечать, звонить. You can also say даю слово, I give my word.
  10. Сокращать has as its root the word краткий, short. So, what would the verb mean in this context? Выплаты--the prefix вы- (like выйти, to exit) plus the word плата, like платить, to pay. What does выплаты mean? What do the Gateses promise NOT to do?

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