What does 'Да вот' mean? Here's the context: Да вот

What does ‘Да вот’ mean?

Here’s the context:
Да вот купил себе в кредит новую машину, старая совсем не равотала, ломалась каждый месяц.

My understanding is the translation is:
Well, I bought myself a new car on credit, old, completely doesn’t work, and it broke down every month.

Correct? Спасибо большое, друзья.

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Not bad. Maybe a bit better: Well, I’ve bought a new car on credit (for me), the old one didn’t work properly, it broke down every morning.
Russian “себе” is better to translate ‘for me’ or just omit, I have never heard: I bought myself…

I bought myself a car = I bought a car for myself

It’s quite a natural way to express the idea.

Я думал что месяц значит ‘months’?

‘а мощность двигателя какая’

How would I decipher this and understand this syntax? I’m trying to not to use English logic, but my problem is that I’ve never seen a sentence phrased with the relative pronoun (какая) at the end.

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Russian has no сertain word order like English or German.
Such an order is rather colloquial, but it’s possible say in different ways:
А какая мощность двигателя?
А мощность какая у двигателя?
А мощность двигателя какая?
Какая у двигателя мощность?
У двигателя мощность какая?
У двигателя какая мощность?

Hi, Jake! =))

You’ll be surprised, but the syntax of this sentence very much resembles that of Chinese! :wink: Literally, it’s like, “And the power of this engine, is what (value)?” I do know, it sounds very clumsy for normal English, instead of the conventional, “And what’s the power of this engine?” :wink:

Hi, Jake! =))

As for the Russian parenthesis “да вот, купил себе машину…” it is literally translated as, “Now then, bought myself a car…” ! :wink: Just that simple! =))

“Да вот”- смысловой нагрузки не несет, показывает эмоциональность. Подобно например “so” у англичан (в некоторых случаях).

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I can suggest you to think like yoda in that cases, when you can’t figure out something with normal logic. I usually find my self constructing phrases that may be strange even for native speaker.
Here some real example from my skype discussion:
а всё разобрался, надо последние 4 сообщения игнорить, тогда норм)
But infact - it must be:
Я разобрался и теперь всё нормально. Мне надо было игнорировать последние четыре сообщения.
Try to visually compare these two sentences. Normal one is much longer and in the second sentence, I used past tense - and I think it is slightly harder (very-very slightly) to understand effortlessly. The guy, who I talked to, will get meaning of the first sentence faster. (or he should, some times he don’t :slight_smile: )

Now lets return to your case. In “normal” russian your phrase must be:
А какая мощность у двигателя?
а мощность двигателя какая?
We, native speakers - can hear the intonation of the words in sentences. Example:

  • а мощность двигателя какая?
  • хорошая
    -хорошая? Да у этого автомобиля лучший мотор!
    Do u see the difference? we can pronounce word “хорошая” as the question and as statement.
    So If in a dialog I will say:
    а мощность двигателя?
    Every one will understand me, everyone will know that I want to ask, and what I want to ask.
    Now lets look at normal version and my version:
    А какая мощность у двигателя?

а мощность двигателя?

Do you see, that I saved a lot of time? I do, if I would pronounce all that king of unnecessary words - I would spend half of my life on it.

But still there is a question - if I want to pronounce “какая” how to do it effectively.
Lets consider normal version:
А какая мощность у двигателя?
Now try to imagine that you “hear” it. Each word after another.

  1. А какая …
    What can you tell on this step? My partner want to ask me
  2. мощность двигателя
    What can you tell on this step? Now I know what partner wants to ask me.

Now try to imagine that you “hear” my phrase (а мощность двигателя?):

  1. а мощность
    What can you tell on this step? Please recall what I said, we change stress pattern, intonation when we ask (it means " а мощность маленькая" and “а мощность …двигателя какая?” will be stressed in different ways). So, I hope you got it - what can you tell on this step:
    you know that partner asks you AND you know about what your partner asks you.
    Now you can start to think about an answer already on first step, - horay- optimization, we saved time.
    We even can do not spell the word “двигателя” if you sure that your partner will understand it, because not alot of things have property “мощность”

Now try to imagine that you “hear” your original phrase (“а мощность двигателя какая”):

  1. а мощность двигателя
    What can you tell on this step? You know the answer on this question: you know that partner asks you AND you know about what your partner asks you

  2. какая?
    Why I want to spell it? There is an answer, even two:

  3. The first. It might not be polite to say it. For example if your friend or collegue ask you in that manner - I will consider it as ok, but if I got to the shop and retailer will ask me in that manner - I will think he is a bit rude with me and even maybe call his manager. Example:
    -Здравствуйте, я хочу купить пылесос.
    -Здравствуйте, а мощность?
    He should asked me: Здравствуйте, уточните пожалуйста мощность пылесоса. OR Здравствуйте, а какая мощность пылесоса вас интересует? - these will be considered by me as polite.

  4. The second. If, even in a dialogue with my friend I will pronounce word “какая” what we will gain? I won’t gain nothing, I will obviously lose my time, BUT my partner will have time to THINK what should he answer. And in this case not everybody can recall the engine power immediately, but if I give him a time while I spell this word - our dialogue is fluent, he will may start answer even when I’m not fully spell word “какая?”.

There is a logic, but it’s usually hidden, unobvious or in depth of history

I’m an ordinary native speaker, not a tutor

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You are right, but in same time you are wrong just a bit.
U can’t start dialogue with words “Да вот”, otherwise you will be sound very strange, like you was in a dialogue with someone. And I did not hear nobody to use “Да вот…” to start a dialogue. I believe, It can only be used in such situation:
А чего это ты на какой-то другой машине приехал?
Да вот, …
When you get asked, and you was not initiator of a dialogue with somebody.
But if you want to say somebody, you want your collegues to mention your new car - I would say
“А я вот машину себе купил, - новую, - а то старая совсем часто ломалась”
Also - you can’t say it don’t work about a car
BAD: “старая совсем не работала”
GOOD: “старая совсем не перестала (нормально) ездить”

Also pay attention - new car - may be an old car, but new for you or new, nobody drove it before. There is a difference in price between them. to mention that I pay alot to buy really new car, that no one drove before I would say:
А я вот машину себе купил, - но-о-вую (I tried to show you how you must exaggerate. I would exaggerate a bit letter o, but really a bit don’t overdo it) and then, like an excuse - “а то старая что-то часто начала ломаться”.

But you did a great job, really, if I heard it and it was not as a start of a dialogue, I won’t be surprised, or think this is not your native language. Keep it up!

I’m an ordinary native speaker not a tutor

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Hi ! =)))

The opposite is right, though! :wink: Yes, you can start a dialog with the parenthesis like, “Now there, … bought me a new auto…”, unless Russian is NOT your mother tongue! :wink:

Hi! =))

Just as I already said, it’s a parenthesis, roughly rendered as, “Now there, bought me an auto…” :wink:

Hi ! =)))

Ellipsis is NOT smth peculiar of the Russian language only! :wink: If you’d known much more languages, you’d notice that elipsis is used in EVERY language on Earth! :wink: Russian being no exception! :wink: Hence, your sample example sentence from Skype exchange would be rendered just as, "Ah, figured out now! Just got to disregard the last 4 messages; then OK) Besides, your punctuation in Russian, it’s smth worse than awful, tell you the truth! :wink:

And, yes, instead of giving smbdy an advice to start thinking like Yoda sensei, why not just start learning Japanese? :wink: Much more rewarding, I tell you! :wink: And Yoda’s logic immediately becomes just crystal clear for you! :wink:

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To be honest, I did not claim, or did not want to claim that ellipsis is russian-only feature, the main goal of this long text was to give the intuition how I see it works, and how I explain it to myself. Moreover, I’m not a linguist and I do not know the “correct” version of explanation (if it might possibly be).
And I do believe if a native speaker think that it works like that, - it absolutely correct, its absolutely true or this is atleast one side of truth.

And about Japanese - I, personally, don’t think advice “go and learn Japanese” to somebody that into russian will help. Moreover nobody will probably learn language just to understand something in other language. And I do believe that if u can accept the way Yoda speaks, then you can accept the way russian people do this.


Besides, your punctuation in Russian, it’s smth worse than awful, tell you the truth!
I’m ok with what I have.

Yes, Pauler, I need to add a disclaimer, to my messages that I’m an ordinary native speaker not a tutor. Thats a good idea, I did not mention that topicstarted asked a tutor help.

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Ah, yeah, you surely are right, true that, teaching a language to the foreigners, even more so such a heavily grammar-based one as Russian does require sort of completely different skills than an ordinary native speaker has, no doubt! =))) I already know this from my own experience both as the one who sometimes teaches Russian to English natives, and as the one who studies Korean and Chinese! :wink: And sometimes, Japanese, especially, when there is both the reason and the opportunity in the form of a native speaker of Japanese; the same native speaker is my opportunity for Korean and Chinese as well ! :wink: And he studies … Russian! =)))

it does

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