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Russian Language/For Russians, the main problem is endings, not stress.

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Hi Maria

Please, how can I translate this into Russian?
“For Russians, the main problem is endings, not stress.”

At least, this is what I was led to believe by someone I met in Moscow. By stress I mean accent, very important in Russian: сто́ит and стои́т, and also ча́йка and чайка́, for example, are different words.

Best wishes, and many thanks,

Simon

Answer
Hello, Simon

Для русских большой проблемой являются окончания, а не ударения.

You are trying to compare incomparable things. Endings show relationships between words in a phrase, while stress may be used for the same purpose in some cases, and for distinguishing between homographs (words that have the same graphical representation, but their meanings are different). How can you say that stress is more or less important. It is an essential part of the language, just like endings. What is more important, nouns or verbs? Cases or conjugation types?
However, if we have to determine the aspect most crucial for understanding, then surely it is endings. In written speech we define stress by understanding the context in which the words are used. And we cannot understand the context if we cannot see how the words are interrelated within this context.

I can't say that endings are a problem for Russians. I believe it's more of a problem for those who are learning Russian :)

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Maria Kuruskina

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