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comment by blackbootz
blackbootz  ·  1438 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Writing With Refugee: Day 3

Russians have two words, or sensibilities, for the verb "to want." I want -- where I is the subject, is written Я хочу... (pronounced YA HAchoo). I want this thing, whatever it is, and it is the object of my wanting.

Мне хочется (pronounced menYE HOchetsa), although a verb with a similar root, has a different subject and object. Now me is the object, and the subject is this thing, whatever it is. The difference is the assignment of responsibility. The latter verb could almost be translated as This thing causes great likeness in me. It's subtly different. But whereas I was the agent in the former scenario, in the latter, this thing was so irresistible that I'm not even to blame. Which is truer?

Today, instead of loving my job, I imagined a job I loved, and thought about sentence structure.





raisin  ·  1438 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Switch хочетса to хочется, and you've got it. Although I would have never thought about the distinction myself, it just comes out naturally.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  1438 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Мне хочется = I'd like or It would be nice to.

blackbootz  ·  1438 days ago  ·  link  ·  

True. Learning the language again as an adult after having forgotten it as a child was an interesting experience. It was much more academic than conversational. And so I have a scholarly, almost legalistic, understanding of words and the shades of difference in meaning between them. I was struck by the switch in agency between Ya hochy and Mne hochetsa.