There are two common ways of forming sentences corresponding to English passive sentences: (1) the pseudo-passive, in which the subject of the sentence is placed at the end of the sentence, and (2) the third-plural passive, which makes use of the third person plural form of the verb. Neither of these is a true passive construction in Russian:
(1) Јту статьє написђл Пётр Ильќч. This article was written by Peter Ilyich.
(2) Јту статьє ужљ перевелќ. This article has already been translated.
The true passive in Russian is formed by using the short form of the past passive participle. This grammatical construction is very much like the English one with the suffixes -en and -ed. Here are alternative ways of expressing the same meanings as the above sentences have (note that 'by' is expressed by the Instrumental case):
(1') Јта статьї былђ напќсана Петрћм Ильичћм. This article was written by Peter Ilyich.
(2') Јта статьї ужљ переведенђ. This article has already been translated.
The difference between the 3rd plural passive and the past passive participle is that the 3rd plural implies that some human agency is responsible for the action, whereas the past passive participle has no such implication.
In the conversation about a broken tape recorder, below, it would be odd to say Магнитофћн сломђли, because it would imply that someone deliberately broke it (like English 'They broke the tape recorder', though if the lab had been vandalized, that would be a perfectly normal thing to say).
"Јтот магнитофћн слћман, и мІ ещё не успљли егћ починќть. Пересїдьте покђ за сосљдний стћл." "This tape recorder is broken, and we haven't had time to fix it. Move to the next booth for the time being."
Past passive participles are derived from Perfective verbs and are listed in dictionaries under the infinitive form of the verb. Thus, to find the meaning of переведенђ in a dictionary you must look under перевестќ.
To form the past passive participle of a particular verb, look up the verb in the Russian Dictionary Tree or in 5000 Russian Words and you will see the long form listed as the very last item in the display, followed by the letter S, E, or M, which stands for the stress pattern of the short form. Thus, under перевестќ you will find переведённый E, which represents the following short forms (note the single -н-):
переведён, переведенђ, переведенћ, переведенІ
The complete rules for the formation of the past passive participle are given in the Appendix to 5000 Russian Words. Most of them have a suffix containing -н- (like слћман 'broken', while others have the suffix -т- (like открІт 'open, opened').
Here are some examples of past passive participles from some common verbs. Note that you can use the past and future of бІть with these participles, just as you can with other short adjectives (like Онђ былђ/бџдет больнђ):
Скђзано — сдљлано! No sooner said than done! (a saying)
Магазќн закрІт на ремћнт. Store closed for renovations. (a sign)
Всљ приглашенІ. Everybody has been invited.
Всё бІло сдљлано вћвремя. Everything was done on time.