Learn Russian Pronunciation Podcast Ep. 15

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Welcome to episode 15. Today we’ll be learning the chorus of a song called Май. The chorus is only three lines long, so let’s start with the first half of the first line.

А за окном май

That’s four words: A…за…окном…май

…which translates literally as: Beyond the window, it’s May. In simpler language: It’s May outside.

Say the line again: А за окном май

In Episode 13 we briefly learned the word for “life”…Do you recall it? It starts with a “zh” sound.

жизнь And although it doesn’t end with an ‘ah’ sound, it’s nevertheless secretly a feminine noun.

Which is why, to say “my life” we need the feminine version of “my.” Do you recall that word from the last lesson? моя

So say: My life…Моя жизнь

And what were the first four words of the chorus? А за окном май

Say it one more time? And now say: My life…. Excellent.

With that out of the way, now let’s listen to a minute or so of the song, and we’ll stop after the chorus. See if you can catch the word that comes after “моя жизнь”

( song clip )

What did you hear after “моя жизнь”? The word was рай which translates as paradise.

So she’s saying: Beyond the window it’s May, my life is paradise. Listen to her sing just that part.

Now you say it…or sing it…: А за окном май, моя жизнь – рай.

I found the lyrics for this song on like ten different sites, and the words were always identical, which tells me they’re all copying from whatever site posted them first. And though I’m not a native speaker, I think they’re missing one word. The online lyrics give four words for the next line:

Шепчет на ухо – обнимай.

…but I hear the word ‘Он’ before that. Он шепчет на ухо – обнимай.

Their version translates obscurely. Literally it would be: Whispers in the ear – hug.

Who whispers in the ear, you know? But if you add ‘он’ it makes more sense: He whispers in my ear…hug (me). But it’s not just that it makes more sense. I hear it. So, the heck with online lyrics, let’s try it my way: Он шепчет на ухо – обнимай.

That 2nd word is шеп — чет….(shep…chet)…whispers

That last word обнимай is a command ending with our Short E from the last lesson.

Let’s review what we have. Can you say the first line? It starts with А за…

And the second line? It starts with Он шепчет

Let’s listen to that part again, then try to echo it… (clip)

I have to do a real quick, random review because this is how memory works. So…What’s the Russian word for husband?


And for wife?


Meat cooked on a skewer is called…?


And a hot herbal drink is called…


In Russian, the fifth month of the year is called Май

Let’s get back to the song. This time I’ll give the English translation as a prompt.

Beyond the window it’s May

My life is paradise

He whispers in the ear (meaning my ear)

hug (me)

Let me play the song from a few lines prior to the chorus, and see if you can recite it or sing it along with her… (clip)

Alright, and now the last line of the chorus.

А я с ума….That’s four words: А я с ума

The next word, схожу is a hard one to crank out. You have an “s” sound, and then X.

That phrase “я с ума схожу” translates as “I’m going crazy.” Literally: I’m going out of my mind.

Because he’s whispering in her ear, asking for a hug. And so she says…А я с ума схожу ай-я-яй.

Let’s try that third line again: А я с ума схожу, ай-я-яй.

The whole chorus and I’ll prompt you with the first two words of each line. Ready?

А за…

Он шепчет….

А я…

Again, for memory’s sake, I need to test you on older material. How would you say:

I like tea.

Мне нравится чай.

I like yogurt.

Мне нравится йогурт.

Where is Starbucks located?

Где находится Старбакс?

Where is the cashier located?

Где находится касса?

My husband.

Мой муж.

My wife.

Моя жена.

Last one: Main tourist sites.


Ok, back to the song. Again, let me give you the English translation as a prompt.

Beyond the window it’s May

My life is paradise

He whispers in the ear (meaning my ear)

hug (me)

I’m going out of my mind…ai-ya-yai

Here’s the song. Try the chorus with her…

If you join my Russian Accelerator course, this would be a great first recording to send in to your Success Coach. When you join the course, we assign you one of our coaches who reaches out via email within the first few days. And when she does, send her this, Just record yourself reciting the chorus—you don’t have to sing it—and then send her the file. Our coaches are used to working with total beginners, so if you send them this, I’m sure she’ll be blown away.

Anyway, keep working on it, and I’ll see you in the next episode.