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Интересный род занятий она себе выбрала.

Given that "занятий" is in Genitive and only "род" takes the accusative case for the verb "выбрала", I assume the sentence should be interpreted as:

She has chosen an interesting kind (of all possible jobs).

Q1. Strictly speaking, in Russian, is it a kind/sort that she has chosen, rather than a job in Genitive?

Q2. Is it odd to use the genitive singular "занятия" and say:

Интересный род занятия она себе выбрала.


In stark contrast, in English, you say "an interesting kind of job" {both in singular}, not "an interesting kind of jobs". She has chosen a job rather than a kind.

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Q1. From a speaker's perspective it's more practical to see род занятий as a single entity. Thus you can compare it with 'She chose this activity (domain, job, area, field, etc.)'. Strictly speaking, grammatically strict, she chose a род (which is important for a learner to see), but as soon as you understand the grammatical structure it makes sense to look at the whole sentence and it's implication, which suggests thinking of the phrase род занятий as one whole. And in that sense she chose an activity, area or job (depending on your context).

Example: Какой у неё род занятий? - Она музыкант. Compare: What does she do? - She is a musician.

Q2. Googling род занятия results in Google automatically yielding "род занятий". This must be an ablsolutely stable collocation. On the other hand you have a similar phrase род деятельности - singl. (usually implies 'job').

To research for род I used paper copy of Большой толковый словарь РЯ (Кузнецов) Here is the way to online link (entry 4 is of interest).

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Q1. Strictly speaking, in Russian, is it a kind/sort that she has chosen, rather than a job in Genitive?

I'd say it's both. It doesn't imply that she first had had some occupation and then chose its kind. Род занятий (type of occupation) is a stable collocation in Russian.

One might as well say

Интересное занятие она себе выбрала

Here the meaning is not very much different from the original phrase, but it sounds poor and skimpy in comparison with the original.

Q2. Is it odd to use the genitive singular "занятия"

Yes it is, mainly because it's a deviation from the stable collocation. But as a rule such words as род/вид/тип/категория/класс call for plural form of the word they refer to (perhaps because they themselves encompass a host of objects, being umbrella terms). To quote another example from an answer to another question

Вы можете торговать более, чем 60-ю видами криптовалют

For anglophone mindset one may rationalize it as of all (types of)jobsshe's chosen this type.

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  • I'd disagree with your answer for Q1. Grammatically, she definitely chose a sort. It perfectly fits the pattern выбирать + acc. And actually, you can choose род занятий before you choose a specific job, e.g. when you join university.
    – AlexVB
    Feb 5 '18 at 16:40
  • well in my understanding (without being given a context) the statement is about the actual job of a certain kind a person already got engaged in, not a theoretical choice they made, and i think выбрала here is an oblique way of saying занялась just as the word решил often means not just decision but the act itself, Выпал снег и я решил покататься на лыжах can mean that i not only decided but actually started acting upon my decision, but only context can dot the i's Feb 5 '18 at 16:53
  • That may be true, but my point was mainly not about it. I think, logical approach will cause less confusion with learners. Logically род is in accusative because it is the word the transitive verb governs and занятий is in genitive because it is one of the genitive roles to show relation: род is a property of занятия.
    – AlexVB
    Feb 5 '18 at 19:15
  • i was speaking from the perspective of the meaning rather than grammar and gave an example of a sentence without род which essentially didn't change the import of the phrase, in my view anyway... in my opinion the collocations род занятий, вид/род деятельности are so inseparable in the language that род and вид in them aren't really perceived as self-sustaining entities, these are rather appendages which are there to make the speech richer Feb 5 '18 at 19:53
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Q1. Yes, here she has chosen the род of jobs. One way to translate this is:

"It's an interesting line of work she has chosen for herself." She chose the line (род) of work (занятий)

Q2. The singular form sounds wrong specifically because of the word род. It's not exactly "kind", literal translation is family/genus.

Maybe like in English you'd say a breed of dogs rather than a breed of a dog.

Other words are more accepting of the singular, such as вид or тип.

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