белка стала просить - Do Russians literally says "He became to ask" instead of "He began to ask"?

robertsheacole us United States

белка стала просить - Do Russians literally says "He became to ask" instead of "He began to ask"?

August 13 at 13:29
  • aronald us United States

    Стать can be ”to become“. Don’t get too caught up in Russian-English dictionary definitions. I would have interpreted this as “he began asking” but it depends on the context.

    btw I love the pic. Feynman was something else.

    August 13 at 14:42
  • khardy us United States

    While waiting for a native speaker to smack us down, I'll offer that I take "начинать" to emphasis the beginning, the process of starting, whereas "стать" in this context focuses more on the transition into the state of asking, if that makes sense.

    BTW, talking squirrels remind me of my son's favorite joke: Two muffins were baking in the oven, and first one says, "Boy, it sure is hot in here!" The other replies, "Holy cow! It's a talking muffin!!"

    August 13 at 14:52
    • aronald us United States

      That’s good point. Стать being a deeper meaning other than “to begin”, and signifies a transition into something new. I would be interested to hear from a native speaker about the slight difference in usage.

      Actually I just read a sentence “Я потихонечку стал слышать и чувствовать полутона и чистые звуки“. The larger context was that this person didn’t hear these sounds before and “began/started“ hearing them now. So “began” wasn’t the start of some simple activity but the beginning of a more meaningful event (becoming).

      August 13 at 15:33
    • MarkE us United States

      Haha omg! I love this joke im dying over here! That is so dumb and funny!

      August 18 at 21:20
  • robertsheacole us United States

    Thanks to everyone for your helpful comments!

    August 13 at 17:01