Here’s the phrase and its word-for-word translation:
What happened to the word is? Very simple: Russian doesn’t use the verb “to be” in the present tense.
Here’s what some sentences would look like if translated word-for-word from Russian:
|I am a student.||I — student.|
|She is a doctor.||She — doctor.|
|The book is big.||Book — big.|
You’ll also notice that Russian doesn’t use words for a and the, either. To speakers of English, this sounds like dialogue from a really bad Tarzan movie, and they are tempted to think of Russian as primitive. It’s not; Russian is just very economical in its use of words.