Here we are in the middle of the school week and I realize I haven't talked about school at all. This is the Language Lesson for the week.
This is a real conversation that BilIie Jo and I had on the Metro a few days ago:
ME: How do you say "A Little"?
JO: What do you mean? - In What Context?
ME: Well - If somebody asks me "Do you want some Vodka?", How do I say "A little"
JO: (dead serious) Russian's Don't Say That.
Of course, I thought she meant when Russian's drink Vodka they only drink a lot of Vodka. The veracity of that statement is for a different discussion.
But what she was telling me is that there is no specific phrase to mean "a Little".
For some expressions they only have one phrase and insert a negative in front of the word or phrase.
The word for a Lot is MNOGA - easy for me to remember - The Vikings used to have a Defensive Lineman who had the last Name NOGA - and he was BIG or A Lot as in MNOGA. If I can relate something to sports or numbers there is a chance I can remember it.
The Russian word for No is of course NYET and they have NE for Not. To say a Little one would say NE MNOGA. The words run together and the NE has a short i to finish -> The phrase comes out sounding like NiM-NOGA.