August 6th, 2011

[ANON POST] When an American speaks broken Russian, what does it sound like to Russian ears?

I have a sci-fi story in which a Russian boy, who has had no exposure to any other language, time travels a short way into the future. He's found by a group of English-speaking soldiers.

One of the soldiers, an American, has been studying Russian for about 2 years. Because of this he gets tasked with babysitting/translating for the boy, but he is NOT fluent. This American knows enough Russian that he can communicate the very basic gist of what he needs to say, but his vocabulary is poor and his grammar/pronunciation are riddled with errors.

I'm not aiming to replicate this American character's accent in another language with 100%, word-for-word accuracy. Mainly, I want to get a flavor of what he would sound like to the Russian child's ears.

I've read through the Russian language tag here. I've also Googled "Americans speaking Russian", "common errors in Russian," "mistakes to avoid in Russian," and other things. I've gotten a lot of results claiming Americans sound "soft" when speaking Russian, which is useful, but I haven't had much luck getting a sense of common grammatical errors or weird sentence structures Americans might be more likely to use. A lot of those results end up in Cyrillic, which I can't read (sorry).

Thank you for any help you can give!

Going into labor after an emotional shock

I'm working on a scene in a story set in late summer 2001, in a fictional city in California. My protagonist is a healthy college-age woman. She's just over eight months pregnant, about three weeks short of her due date. Now, after a moderately stressful and active day, she receives a shocking and very upsetting piece of news. My questions are:

Can an emotional upset like this bring on the start of labor within minutes?

If so, what might the immediate symptoms be like?

What I want is some sort of fainting spell followed by painful cramps, bad enough for friends to panic and rush her to the hospital, if that's realistic. At that point in a so-far uneventful pregnancy I expect the baby wouldn't be in any danger, but I'd appreciate information on that too.

Googled using "going into labor after an emotional shock", "going into labor after stress", "labor caused by shock", "childbirth caused by shock", "labor brought on by emotional trauma" and various combinations; and got some info on pregnancy and accidents, and lots of info about shock caused by labor and childbirth, but not what I'm looking for.

Thanks!
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