Listen to Russia 38, a 21-year-old man from Moscow, Russia. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 31/07/2001
PLACE OF BIRTH: Moscow
ETHNICITY: Russian (no specific ethnicity indicated)
EDUCATION: BsC in pure mathematics
AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
The subject has not lived outside Russia. (He lived in Moscow for 18 consecutive years and then in Novosibirsk for three years.)
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:
The subject says, “I find ‘posh’ accents rather curious, and I try to sound as an upper-class speaker. Also, I adore BBC Radio 4 dramas. My favorite one is The Letter of Last Resort by D. Greig.
RECORDED BY: subject
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 15/05/2023
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
Hello, dear listeners. My name is Denis, and I’m going to tell you a bit about myself. Currently, as a future mathematician, I’m working on my bachelor degree diploma related to minimal surfaces in Euclidean four-space. My parents, including my father and grandmother, support me, so I can buy many goods such as books or something for fancy work.
My grandfather who died in 2015 originated in the town called Vyazma, which is in a rather western part of Russia, and other relatives are Muscovites, genuine Muscovites.
Personally, I enjoy riding a bicycle, watching and listening to, um, British broadcast, rambling around the Novosibirsk region, and, uhm, that’s it. Thank you.[Subject speaks in Russian]: Здравствуйте ещё раз, уважаемые слушатели. Меня зовут Денис Баврин, и это то, как я говорю по-русски, то есть как я говорю на своём родном языке. Я увлекаюсь велоспортом, но последнее время нет, поскольку я подвернул ногу не так давно. И в целом я увлекаюсь созданием массюрреалистических коллажей, а также снимаю микрометражки — микрометражные фильмы, которые длятся от минуты до пяти. Сам я вырос в Москве, в столице России, но затем перебрался учиться в Новосибирск: здесь я постигаю азы, основы математики. Спасибо всем ещё раз за прослушивание моей речи по-английски и по-русски. Надеюсь, ещё увидимся. До свидания. Спасибо. [Transliteration: Zdravstvuyte yescho raz, uvazhaemye slushateli. Menya zovit Denis Bavrin, i eto to, kak ya govoryu po-russki, to yest’ kak ya govoryu na svoyom rodnom yazyke. Ya uvlekayus’ velosportom, no posledneye vremya net, poskol’ku ya podvernul nogu me tak davno, i v tselom uvlekayus’ sozdaniyem massyureallisticheskikh kollazhey, a takzhe snimayu mikrometrazhki, mikrometrazhniye fil’my, kotoriye dlyatsya ot minuty do pyati. Sam ya vyros v Moskve, v stolitse Rossii, no zatem perebralsya uchitsya v Novosibirsk: zdes’ ya postigayu azy, osnovy matematiki. Spasibo vsem yesche raz za proslushivaniye moyey rechi po-angliyski i po-russki. Nadeyus’, yesche uvidimsya. Do svidaniya. Spasibo.
English translation: Hello again, dear listeners. My name is Denis Bavrin, and this is how I speak Russian, I mean how I talk in my mother tongue. I’m keen on cycling sports, not recently, though, because I’ve turned my ankle, and, generally speaking, I also enjoy creating massurealistic collages and short films, which last from one to five minutes. I’ve grown up in Moscow, in the capital of Russia, but later I’ve moved to Novosibirsk to study. Here I perceive the basics of mathematics. Thanks to everyone for listening of both my Russian and English speeches. Hope to see you soon. Goodbye. Thanks.]
TRANSCRIBED BY: subject
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 15/05/2023
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
The style this speaker has adopted for his everyday English could not be further from a stereotypical Russian accent, nor more different from the accent I teach in my A Russian Accent. But it is fascinating to hear those differences. He has all but mastered the phonology, prosody, and rhythm of English, betraying himself as non-native only occasionally. His first lapse is at 0:26 when he fails to aspirate the /p/ in “superb.” But in “private” and “practice” he gets that sound right (though early 20th-century R.P. speakers often used less aspiration too).
At 40:80, on “porridge,” we notice the same issue. He uses cardinal vowel #6 instead of the #13 I would have expected in his treatment of the vowel in porridge. (See my Interactive IPA charts.) Then at 0:47, his vowel in PUT is overly rounded, which does conform to the list of signature sounds when I teach an “off-the-shelf” Russian accent. He mispronounces fleece as [fliːz] at 0:49.
Listen at 1:05 to his pronunciation of “foot-and-mouth disease” for a cluster of errors. There are other lapses, but there are many chunks that, if heard in isolation, would pass for native British English, though of a conservative R.P. rarely heard now except in vintage recordings and very old speakers. Notice his use of the flapped/tapped /r/ and his old-fashioned vowel in GOAT words.
This recording represents a remarkable achievement for someone largely self-taught and never having lived in Britain, as far as we know. It provides an actor with a good model for a very special kind of Russian character, perhaps a linguist or someone educated in a British boarding school in the early 20th century, or a diplomat of that period whose command of English would be of considerable professional benefit.
COMMENTARY BY: Paul Meier
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 21/05/2023
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