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How to Say “I’m Sorry” in Russian: 20 Best Apologies

Have you ever tormented yourself about how to apologize and have your apology accepted? It’s hard even in your mother tongue. But when it comes to a foreign language, you need to be even more considerate and attentive. Just learning to say “sorry” in Russian culture isn’t enough; even your gestures and behavior matter when it comes to apologizing, in any language. So, let’s learn how to say “Please, forgive me” in Russian and be on top in any situation. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Russian Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

  1. Body Language for Apology
  2. The Main Words to Say “I am Sorry” in the Russian Language
  3. Formal Apologies
  4. Informal Apologies
  5. Peculiar Apologies
  6. How to Reply to an Apology in Russian
  7. Conclusion

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1. Body Language for Apology

Russian people don’t differ that much from European people when it comes to body language during an apology. So once you’ve found the best way to say “sorry” in Russian for your situation, you can apply the following body language tips to add sincerity and depth to your apology.

If the situation isn’t very formal or serious, you can look into the other person’s eyes. However, this may not be the best approach if you’re late for a job interview.

Looking down during the apology will make it deeper and more sincere.

Child Kneeling

2. The Main Words to Say “I am Sorry” in the Russian Language

3 Ways to Say Sorry

There are two commonly used verbs for an apology in the Russian language: Извинить (Izvinit’) and Простить (Prostit’). Please, note that here these apology verbs are in the infinitive form, and to ask for forgiveness you’ll need to change it according to the situation, whether formal or informal. We’ll learn more about this later on in the article. Both of these words can be used in both kinds of situations. You can choose either one for your apology. The difference is very vague, and not every Russian can define it.

  • Извинить (Izvinit’) comes from the noun Вина (Vina) which means “fault.” By adding the prefix из- (iz-) meaning “out” it’s like asking another person “to take you out of fault.” This word is typically used to apologize for a small fault or in formal situations. People often say it when they don’t feel any fault and apologize just to follow social etiquette. Use this word if you’re not sure if the person is offended or not.
  • Простить (Prostit’) is used when you’ve really offended someone and know that for sure. It means “I understand my fault, I shouldn’t have done that.” This word is used when your conscience is tormenting you and you sincerely want to change that situation.

Let’s try to feel the difference between these two words for the official phrase “Sorry to trouble you.” If you use the verb Извинить (Izvinit’) then the formal phrase will be: Извините за беспокойство (Izvinite za bespokoystvo). You can use it during a call when you formally apologize that you’re distracting another person from his work.

If you use the verb Простить (Prostit’) then the formal phrase will be: Простите за беспокойство (Prostite za bespokoystvo). It sounds more sincere, such as when you really understand that you’ve distracted the person from doing some important job and feel sorry for that.

3. Formal Apologies

Woman Refusing a Handshake

So, as said, Извинить (Izvinit’) and Простить (Prostit’) are the main apology words. This is how they’re transformed for an apology in a formal situation:

  • Извините (Izvinite)—“Excuse me, sorry.”
  • Простите (Prostite)—“Sorry.”
  • You can use these words just like that. But if you add the reason why you’re sorry, it’ll sound more polite and sincere.

    • …, что… (…, chto…) meaning “…, that…” Though it’s enough just so say that you’re sorry, in the Russian language it sounds more polite and sincere if you explain for what you are sorry. For example, “Sorry, I’m late” in Russian is Извините, что опоздал (Izvinite, chto opozdal).
    • … за… (…za…) meaning “…for…” That’s another way to add a reason. For example, Простите за беспокойство (Prostite za bespokoystvo) means “Sorry for troubling you.”

    Also, your apology will sound more polite if you add Пожалуйста (Pozhaluysta) or “Please” to it. For example, Извините, пожалуйста, что отвлекаю, но вас вызывает начальник (Izvinite, pozhaluysta, chto otvlekayu, no vas vyzyvayet nachal’nik) means “I’m sorry to interrupt, but the boss is calling for you.”

  • Прошу прощения (Proshu proshcheniya)—“I apologize”. This apology is very official and can be used in a public speech. Note that if you’re apologizing on behalf of a whole company, use Просим прощения (Prosim proshcheniya) meaning “We apologize.” Don’t forget to add …, что… (…, chto…) meaning “…, for…”. For example, Прошу прощения, что отвлекаю (Proshu proshcheniya, chto otvlekayu) means “Sorry for distracting you.”
    • Я бы хотел попросить прощения за… (Ya by khotel poprosit’ proshcheniya za…)—“I want to apologize for” (for a male). This is another apology phrase with the same meaning.
    • Я бы хотела попросить прощения за… (Ya by khotela poprosit’ proshcheniya za…)—“I want to apologize for” (for a female).
  • Я извиняюсь, что (Ya izvinyayus’, chto…)—“I apologize for…” This is another form of the formal apology. It’s usually used when you don’t expect an answer or reply to your apology and apologize just to keep social etiquette. For example, Я извиняюсь, что так получилось (Ya izvinyayus’, chto tak poluchilos’) meaning “I am sorry that it happened that way.” If you want to make a deep apology and say “I’m very sorry” in Russian, use the phrase Я сильно извиняюсь, что (Ya sil’no izvinyayus’, chto…).
    • Я бы хотел извиниться за… (Ya by khotel izvinit’sya za…)—“I want to apologize for” (for a male). Another form of the same apology. It’s a bit longer, so it feels more profound.
    • Я бы хотела извиниться за… (Ya by khotela izvinit’sya za…)—“I want to apologize for” (for a female).
  • Приносим свои извинения (Prinosim svoi izvineniya)—“We apologize.” The phrase is usually used for an official announcement from a company. The phrase Приносим свои извинения за доставленные неудобства (Prinosim svoi izvineniya za dostavlennyye neudobstva), meaning “We apologize for any inconvenience,” is often used for official announcements. For example, if one of the metro lines or metro stations is closed for reconstruction, the company in charge may make a similar announcement.
  • Мне очень жаль (Mne ochen’ zhal’)—“I feel so sorry.” This phrase emphasizes the regrets that you have about something. Note that it may be not only an apology, but also a way of showing compassion about some negative event. If you’re wondering how to say “I’m sorry for your loss,” or “I’m sorry to hear that,” in Russian, this is a good place to start. For example:
    • Мне очень жаль, что так получилось (Mne ochen’ zhal’, chto tak poluchilos’)—“I feel so sorry that it happened that way.”
    • Мне очень жаль, что так вышло (Mne ochen’ zhal’, chto tak vyshlo)—“I feel so sorry that it happened that way.”

4. Informal Apologies

Woman Apologizing

This is how the main apology words Извинить (Izvinit’) and Простить (Prostit’) look like in an informal situation:

  • Извини (Izvini)—“Sorry”
  • Прости (Prosti)—“Sorry”

So, “Sorry, comrade” in Russian translates to Прости, друг (Prosti, drug).

You can also add Пожалуйста (Pozhaluysta) meaning “Please,” or the reason, or even address the person. For example:

  • Прости, пожалуйста, что не позвонил раньше (Prosti, pozhaluysta, chto ne pozvonil ran’she)—“I’m sorry that I didn’t call earlier.”
  • Извини, что звоню так поздно (Izvini, chto zvonyu tak pozdno)—“I’m sorry that I’m calling so late at night.”

There’s an interesting informal apology when you refer to yourself in the third person. Though it’s rarely used nowadays, you can find it a lot in books, films, and series:

  • Прости дурака (Prosti duraka)—“Forgive me for being such a fool.”
  • Прости идиота (Prosti idiota)—“Forgive me for being such an idiot.”

You can add some phrases after the main apology to make it stronger:

  • Я не хотел тебя обидеть (Ya ne khotel tebya obidet’)—“I didn’t want to offend you.” For a male.
  • Я не хотела тебя обидеть (Ya ne khotela tebya obidet’)—“I didn’t want to offend you.” For a female.
  • Я больше так не буду (Ya bol’she tak ne budu)—“I won’t do it again.”

5. Peculiar Apologies

Say Sorry

Of course, some people get bored with the more popular apologies and find ways to sound more original when apologizing. Most of these should be used in informal situations:

  • Тысяча извинений (Tysyacha izvineniy)—“Thousands of my apologies to you.” This apology is used a lot in old books and stories. It gives a slight feeling of the time of knights and kings.
  • Пардон (Pardon)—“Pardon.” This apology comes from French and is often used in Russia. However, use it carefully as it gives off a feeling of insincerity. Also, a lot of Russian guys use it when they’re drunk. You can also use Пардоньте (Pardon’te) meaning “Pardon” when you ask someone for an apology in a casual way.
  • Виноват (Vinovat)—“I’m guilty.” This apology comes from the military world.
    • Виноват, исправлюсь (Vinovat, ispravlyus’)—“I’m guilty, I will not do that again.” This is another military apology. You show that you understand that you did something wrong and that you’re ready to make amends or behave better.
    • Виноват, каюсь (Vinovat, kayus’)—“I’m guilty, I confess that.” This apology is a bit on the religious side. You emphasize that you confess the sin you’ve committed. This apology is also used only in books now, or you can sometimes hear it used in casual situations.
  • Ну, извиняйте (Nu, izvinyayte)—“Sorry.” This is a very informal apology in front of friends. You accept that you did something wrong, but you arrogantly show that you’re higher than that.
  • Сорри (Sorri)—“Sorry.” This informal apology comes from English.
    • Сорян (Soryan)—“Sorry.” This one is even more informal than the previous one. It’s used among millennials.
    • Сорян, чё (Soryan, cho)—“Sorry.” This is another version of the previous one. By adding чё (cho) which is the informal abbreviation of что (chto) meaning “what,” it’s sort of like asking “So, what? So what can you do about that?”
  • Я сожалею, что… (Ya sozhaleyu, chto…)—“I feel sorry for…”. This is a formal but outdated apology. You’ll find it a lot in books, but rarely in real life. For example, Я сожалею, что заставил вас ждать (Ya sozhaleyu, chto zastavil vas zhdat’)—“I feel sorry for keeping you waiting.”

6. How to Reply to an Apology in Russian

1- General Answers

People Shaking Hands

  • Ничего страшного (Nichego strashnogo)—“Nothing bad happened.” This is a frequently used answer both in formal and informal situations. For example, if you’re late for a job interview and apologize, you’ll probably get this phrase as a reply.
  • Всё в порядке (Vsyo v poryadke)—“Everything is okay.” This is another answer to an apology in formal and informal situations. You can even combine both phrases: Ничего страшного, всё в порядке (Nichego strashnogo, vsyo v poryadke) meaning “Nothing bad happened, everything is okay,” to emphasize that the apology was accepted.

2- Informal Answers

Child Leaning on a Shoulder

  • Проехали (Proyekhali)—“Already forgotten.” The word Проехать (Proyekhat’) means to pass by on a car or some other vehicle. So, this answer means that you passed that uncomfortable situation quickly and it’s not worth even noticing.
  • Бывает (Byvayet)—“It happens.” You express to the person apologizing that it’s not that much of a fault. By using this phrase, you even support the person a little bit, so he won’t worry too much about what happened.
  • Ладно, забыли (Ladno, zabyli)—“It’s okay, let’s forget about it.” By using this phrase, you show that you’re not interested in listening to any further apologies. Be careful when using this phrase. It can mean that you still feel angry about what the other person did, but want to stop the conflict and swallow your grudge.
  • Ничего (Nichego)—“It’s nothing.” This is a really light and frequently used reply to an apology. It’s a short version of Ничего страшного (Nichego strashnogo) which means “Nothing bad happened.”
  • Ничего-ничего (Nichego-nichego)—“It’s okay.” This is another version of Ничего (Nichego) meaning “It’s nothing.” Use it when you want to quickly switch the topic to other things.

7. Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to say “I apologize” in Russian, but 90% of all apologies include either the word Извинить (Izvinit’) or the word Простить (Prostit’). Make sure to remember how these infinitives change in formal and informal apologies. For formal ones, use Извините (Izvinite)—“Sorry” and Простите (Prostite)—“Sorry.” For informal ones, use Извини (Izvini)—“Sorry” and Прости (Prosti)—“Sorry.” Once you feel comfortable using these common Russian “Sorry” words, choose some other apologies and learn them to expand your vocabulary and impress your Russian partners and friends.

The wide range of Russian apologies can be confusing at first, especially if you’ve just started to learn the language. Consider taking some lessons in our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners to get a great head start and save time by minimizing study efforts. With the help of our teachers, you’ll improve your Russian language skills in no time and start to sound like a real Russian very soon.

Увидимся! (Uvidimsya!)—“See you!”

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Celebrate Teachers’ Day in Russia

Celebrate Teachers' Day in Russia

Have you ever had a teacher who opened your eyes, inspired you, or just made school more bearable? A teacher who left an impression on your life for the better, or helped you through a rough patch?

If so, we don’t need to tell you about the power of teaching—or the art of being a truly exceptional teacher.

Teachers’ Day in Russia seeks to shed light on those teachers, and on the importance of teaching in general. While UNESCO officially established World Teachers’ Day in 1994, Russia was celebrating its own National Teachers’ Day long before that, as early as 1965. This should be no surprise, considering the pedestal Russians place education and knowledge on.

In this article, you’ll learn about how Russia celebrates Teachers’ Day, as well as more about the day’s origins.

At, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Teachers’ Day in Russia?

On Teachers’ Day, Russia celebrates and honors its teachers in recognition of the essential work they do for the country’s future. This UNESCO-recognized professional holiday holds great meaning to Russians in all stages and walks of life. This show of respect toward teachers reaches across the globe, and Teachers’ Day is celebrated in many countries around the world.

Teacher’s Day in Russian culture reflects values such as the necessity of education, the dedication present in the best of teachers, and the appreciation of students and families across the country.

2. When is Teachers’ Day?

October 7 is Teacher’s Day

Each year, Russians celebrate Teacher’s Day on October 5.

3. Teachers’ Day Celebrations & Traditions


On National Teachers’ Day, Russia celebrates its teachers through various events and ceremonies.

In particular, children enjoy playing games and participating in competitions on this day, and some students even prepare plays or dances to celebrate. On a more personal level, many students choose to write a thank-you letter to their current or former teachers for the role they played in their life.

Russia celebrates Teachers’ Day further through various events and activities. Some schools or institutions offer training to teachers, and in some regions, there are even awards for the most notable Russian teachers. For example, in Kazan, there’s an award for the Teacher of the Year: a crystal pelican!

4. Original Date of Teachers’ Day

Before the establishment of World Teachers’ Day by UNESCO, Russia originally celebrated its own Teachers’ Day on the first Sunday of October. This was considered the National Teachers’ Day from 1965 to 1994.

After UNESCO established an official World Teachers’ Day, though, Russia changed its date of celebration to coincide with this holiday.

5. Essential World Teachers’ Day Russian Vocabulary

Teacher in Front of Blackboard

Here’s the essential vocabulary to know for Teacher’s Day in Russia!

  • Учительница (uchitel’nitsa) — “teacher” [f]
  • Шоколад (shekalat) — “chocolate
  • Цветок (tsvetok) — “flower”
  • Подарок (podarok) — “present”
  • Премия (premiya) — “bonus”
  • Учитель (uchitel’) — “teacher” [m]
  • Плакат (plakat) — “poster”
  • День учителя (Den` uchitelya) — “Teacher’s Day”
  • Открытый урок (atkrytyy urok) — “open class”
  • Поздравление (pazdravleniye) — “congratulation”
  • Благодарность (blagodarnost’) — “gratitude”
  • День самоуправления (Den’ samaupravleniya) — “Be a Teacher Day”
  • профессиональный праздник (prafessianal’nyy praznik) — “Professional Day”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, alongside a relevant image, check out our Russian Teacher’s Day vocabulary list!

How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

What are your thoughts on World Teacher’s Day celebrations in Russia? How do you celebrate this holiday in your country? We’d love to hear from you!

To continue learning about Russian culture and the language, visit us at We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

  • Insightful blog posts on a variety of cultural and language-related topics
  • Free vocabulary lists covering a range of topics and themes
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If you’re interested in a more one-on-one learning approach, be sure to upgrade to Premium Plus. Doing so will give you access to your own Russian teacher who will help you develop a personal plan tailored to your needs and goals. Yes, really!

Russian can be a difficult language to learn, but know that your hard work and determination are going to pay off. In no time, you’ll be able to speak, write, and read Russian like a native. And RussianPod101 will be here for you with constant support and all the learning tools you could possibly need!

Best wishes, and Happy Teacher’s Day!

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День знаний: Russian Education System’s First Day of School

In Russian culture, education is put on a high pedestal, and the Russian education system reflects this each year on the country’s Day of Knowledge (or День знаний in Russian). To Russia, the first day of school ceremonies are an essential part of keeping children interested and excited for each new year at school—after all, kids won’t really learn anything if they’re not excited to, right?

This holiday is especially unique to Russia’s culture, considering the fact that there’s no International Day of Knowledge (though other countries do have similarly themed holidays).

In this article, you’ll learn about the history behind the Day of Knowledge in Russia, as well as gain insight into how Russia gets its kids excited for a new year of learning.

At, we hope to make this exploration into Russian culture both fun and informative!

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1. What is the Russian Day of Knowledge?

Simply put, the Day of Knowledge in Russia is the first day of school.

In the past, Russia’s school year started at different times of the year. But in 1935, September 1 was permanently made the date when the school year starts for all educational institutions in the Soviet Union.

On Knowledge Day, Russian students advance to the next grade, and university students advance to the next level. Since the creation of Russia’s National Day of Knowledge, every country of the CIS starts the new school year on this day.

2. When is Russia’s First Day of School Each Year?

Knowledge Day is on September 1

Each year, Russians observe Knowledge Day on September 1.

3. Day of Knowledge Traditions & Events

On this September 1 holiday, all schools hold a festive assembly-ceremony known as “First Bell,” during which the students line up in the schoolyard, ordered according to what grade they’re entering. Traditionally, an older student will pick up a new first-grader who is holding a bell in hand, and walk around the schoolyard while the first-grader rings the bell. This marks the first bell of the Russian school year.

Parents and relatives often attend this festive assembly, especially those of the first-grade students. Students who are graduating congratulate the new first-graders on their first school bell; this often includes giving them flowers and offering them parting words or words of encouragement. On Knowledge Day, even teachers get a day off; parents and students often gift them with flowers..

Very often, the festive “First Bell” ceremony has its own concert program, with songs and dances put on by gifted students from the school.

4. Russia’s First Professional School

Group of Children Studying

Do you know when Russia’s first professional state school was established?

It was during the reign of Peter I that Russia opened its first state professional schools. These were meant for twelve- to seventeen-year-old boys, and specifically taught mathematics and engineering. These boys were allowed a free education, and the state even went as far as to provide living and food allowances for the poorer children.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Knowledge Day in Russia

Human Brain

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Knowledge Day in Russia!

  • Школа (Shkola) — “School”
  • Учебник (Uchebnik) — “Texbook”
  • Цветок (Tsvetok) — “Flower”
  • День знаний (Den` znaniy) — “Day of Knowledge”
  • Торжественная линейка (Tarzhestvennaya lineyka) — “solemn ceremony”
  • Первое сентября (Pervaye sentyabrya) — “September 1″
  • Открытый урок (Atkrytyy urok) — “Open class”
  • Знание (Znaniye) — “Knowledge”
  • Первоклассник (Pervaklasnik) — “Freshman”
  • Первый класс (Pervyy klas) — “First grade”
  • Классный руководитель (Klassnyy rukavaditel’) — “Class teacher”
  • первый звонок (Pervyy zvanok) — “First bell”
  • Бант (Bant) — “Bowknot”

To hear each of these Day of Knowledge vocabulary words pronounced and accompanied by images, check out our relevant vocabulary list!

How RussianPod101 Can Help You Learn About Russian Culture

What do you think about the Day of Knowledge in Russia? Does your country have any events or celebrations to make children more excited about school? Tell us about it in the comments; we always look forward to hearing from you!

To continue delving into Russia’s unique culture and studying the language, explore We have an array of fun and effective learning tools for every type of learner, at every level:

  • Insightful blog posts like this one, about a range of cultural and language-related topics
  • Free vocabulary lists covering a variety of topics and themes
  • Podcasts to improve your listening and pronunciation skills
  • Mobile apps to help you learn Russian anywhere, on your own time
  • Much, much more!

We also have a special MyTeacher program for those with a Premium Plus account. With this feature, you have access to your own personal tutor who will help you develop a personalized language-learning structure based on your needs and goals. Yes, really!

At RussianPod101, we hope to make every aspect of learning Russian as enjoyable and simple as possible. We hope you’ll take us along for the ride as you continue mastering the language—with our tools and support, plus your hard work and determination, you really can get there!

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Russian Etiquette: Body Language and Gestures


Did you know that when a Bulgarian nods his head, that means “no,” and when a Russian nods his head, it means “yes?” The same thing goes for shaking one’s head from side to side. In Bulgaria that means “yes,” but in Russia that same gesture means “no.” That’s why it’s so important to put some time and effort into learning foreign body language. You need to be perfectly sure that you interpret every gesture the right way. That said, here’s our list of Russian body language and gestures that you should know. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Russian Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

Table of Contents

  1. Russian Greetings and Gestures
  2. Interesting Russian Nonverbal Gestures
  3. Counting
  4. Russian Business Etiquette Tips
  5. Conclusion

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1. Russian Greetings and Gestures

How do Russians greet each other? There are several different ways, and you need to understand in which situations certain Russian gestures and greetings are appropriate. Here’s a list of common Russian body gestures with an explanation of when to use each one.

  • Russian handshake etiquette. A handshake in Russia is usually a greeting between men. They greet each other with a handshake both in formal and informal situations. For women, the handshake is less common. It’s never used in informal situations. As for formal situations, such as business meetings, handshakes are becoming pretty popular.
  • Nodding or waving a hand. Though greeting a girl with a handshake in a business meeting is becoming more and more common nowadays—due to a spread of the American lifestyle in Russia—just smiling and nodding is more common for her. Waving one’s hand is usually used instead of a nod if the person is some distance from you and a nod won’t be well seen.
  • Waving: Woman Waving
  • Nod: Woman Nodding
  • Hug. When it comes to body gestures in Russian culture, hugging is very common in Russia. It’s used as a warm greeting, especially between family and friends.
  • Kiss. One kiss on the cheek is the typical way that Russian girls greet each other. There was a tradition to greet by three cheek kisses in old Russia, but nowadays it’s gone.

2. Interesting Russian Nonverbal Gestures

Russian Hand Gestures

Here’s a comprehensive list of some Russian nonverbal signals you may encounter or need to use while in Russia. Please, keep in mind to use these body gestures of Russian people only in informal situations.

1- Fig

Fig Gesture

How to do it. Put your thumb between your index finger and middle finger and form a fist. Stretch your hand forward with this fist and show it to the other person. You can twist it a little for more emphasis.

What it means. This hand gesture in Russia is very popular and is basically a rude way of saying “You get nothing.” It’s rarely used in real life—except by grannies and granddads—but you’ll see a lot of it in movies and television series. This gesture can go by a variety of names: кукиш (kukish), шиш (shish), фиг (fig), or дуля (dulya). These four words are synonyms. Nowadays the words кукиш (kukish), дуля (dulya), and шиш (shish) are rarely used in speech.

The word фиг (fig) is used a lot in informal situations, but sometimes it loses its actual meaning. Let’s see some examples of how this Russian gesture can be used.

  • Фиг тебе (Fig tebe)—“I won’t give it to you”.
  • This has a slightly rude meaning, though it’s often used between friends or others who are close and isn’t considered rude under those circumstances. Фиг (fig) replaces the name of the object that the person refuses to give. Instead, he gives fig (fig), which equates to nothing. This can also be shortened to Фиг те (Fig te), both in speaking and informal messaging. If you want to learn more about Russian text abbreviations, check out our article.

    • Миша, дай мне шоколадку. (Misha, day mne shokoladku.) “Misha, give me the chocolate.”
    • Фиг тебе. (Fig tebe.) “Nope.”

    This phrase is often used in a teasing sense before smiling and actually giving the object requested.

  • Фига себе (Figa sebe)—“Wow”
  • It’s usually used to express strong feelings about something that you’ve just experienced. You can use this phrase for both good and bad news. After that, you can add a noun or a sentence to go more into detail about what your strong feelings are about. For example:

    • Фига себе, погода. (Figa sebe, pogoda.)—“Wow, the weather.”
    • Фига себе, ты крутой. (Figa sebe, ty krutoy.)—“Wow, you are really cool.” Be aware that it can be said sarcastically.
    • Фига себе, как дорого! (Figa sebe, kak dorogo!)—“Wow, so expensive!”

    This phrase can be shortened to Фига (Figa). If the person you’re talking to tells you that he/she did something unexpected, you can also react to that by adding ты (ty) meaning “you” after фига (figa), making it Фига ты (Figa ty). After Фига (Figa) and Фига ты (Figa ty) you can also add extra information about why you’re surprised:

    • На сколько поедешь в Берлин? (Na skol’ko poyedesh’ v Berlin?) “For how long are you going to Berlin?”
    • На месяц. (Na mesyats.) “For a month.”
    • Фига ты надолго! На работе нормально дали отпуск? (Figa ty nadolgo! Na rabote normal’no dali otpusk?) “Wow, so long! Did you get a job vacation without any difficulties?”
    • Да. (Da.) “Yes”.

  • Ни фига (Ni figa)—“No”
  • This can be used when you’re speaking about a situation with an unexpected outcome. Compared to the usual Нет (Net) meaning “No,” this phrase expresses more emotion.

    • Алё*. Уже купил? (Alyo. Uzhe kupil?) “Hello. Have you already bought (it)?”
    • Ни фига. Тут огромная очередь. Стою, жду. (Ni figa. Tut ogromnaya ochered’. Stoyu, zhdu.) “Nope. There is a huge queue. Standing and waiting.”

    *Note that Алё (Alyo) meaning “Hello” is a form of greeting used on the phone. If you want to learn more Russian greetings, please check out our article.

  • До фига (Do figa)—“A lot”
  • For example, У неё до фига денег (U neyo dо figa deneg) meaning “She has a looot of money.” It’s used to highlight the emotions the speaker feels about the subject.

  • Фиг знает (Fig znayet)—“I have no idea”
  • For example:

    • Во сколько обычно закрывается аптека? (Vo skol’ko obychno zakryvayetsya apteka?) “What time does the pharmacy usually close?”
    • Фиг знает. (Fig znayet.) “I have no idea.”

  • Фиг с ним (Fig s nim)—“Forget about him/it” or Фиг с ней (Fig s ney)—“Forget about her/it”
  • An additional meaning is “I don’t care about it” or “It doesn’t matter to me.” For example:

    • Ты доделал работу? (Ty dodelal rabotu?) “Have you finished your work?”
    • А, фиг с ней. Завтра доделаю. (A, fig s ney.) “Well, it doesn’t matter. I’ll finish it tomorrow.”

2- A Flick on the Neck

Neck Flick

How to do it. Bend your neck to the side a little bit and flick it with your fingers.

What it means. This gesture is generally used to replace the phrases выпить (vypit’) meaning “to drink” and пьяный (p’yanyy) meaning “to be drunk” in a dialogue. For example, you can use this gesture instead of underlined words here:

  • Пойдем выпьем. (Poydyom vyp’yem.)—“Let’s go for a drink.”
  • Давай выпьем. (Davay vyp’yem.)—“Let’s have a drink.”
  • Да он уже пьян. (Da on uzhe p’yan.)—“Well, he is already drunk.”

3- Crazy Person

Crazy Person Gesture

How to do it. Twist your finger near your temple several times.

What it means. This gesture means that someone you’re talking about is crazy. By doing this gesture, you indicate that something is wrong with this person’s head and brain. The meaning could be both literal and figurative.

You can use it by itself or with phrases like these:

  • Ты что, псих? (Ty chto, psikh?)—“Are you a psycho?”
  • Он совсем рехнулся. (On sovsem rekhnulsya.)—“He has gone completely crazy.”
  • Ты с ума сошёл? (Ty s uma soshyol?)—“Are you crazy?”

4- Giving a Tooth

Giving a Tooth Gesture

How to do it. Raise your upper lip a little bit and pretend that you’re pulling out one of your front teeth.

What it means. This gesture is a way of swearing. Essentially, it’s like promising that you’re ready to give a tooth if something you say will happen doesn’t happen. This shows that you’re 100% sure that it’s going to happen.

This gesture is usually used after the words Зуб даю (Zub dayu) meaning “I’m giving you a tooth.” Less often, you can see it after the words Правду говорю (Pravdu govoryu) meaning “I’m telling the truth.”

For example, you believe that this time you’ll pass your exams for sure. Then talking to your friend about it, you can say Зуб даю, что сдам экзамен (Zub dayu, chto sdam ekzamen) meaning “I’m absolutely sure that I will pass the exam.”

5- “I’m fed up with it”

Fed Up Gesture

How to do it. Put your hand, palm down, near your neck and tap your neck several times.

What it means. This gesture means that you’re fed up with something. It literally shows the expression Сыт по горло (Syt po gorlo) which translates to “Fed up till the throat.” It can be used without any words, but don’t forget to make a meaningful expression of irritation or anger on your face.

You can also add some phrases to make this gesture more expressive:

  • У меня здесь уже это все. (U menya zdes’ uzhe eto vsyo.)—“For me, everything is already here.” Show the gesture on the word здесь (zdes’)—“here.”
  • Как меня уже это достало. (Kak menya uzhe eto dostalo.)—“How I’m already fed up of that.”

6- Hitting Your Chest with a Fist Two Times

Chest Beating

How to do it. Make a fist, turn it to yourself from the side with your thumb and index finger, and tap your chest—on the furthest side from the arm—two times.

What it means. By using this gesture, Russians express loyalty or vouch that they’re telling the truth. This gesture is mostly used in street gangs, so it has a slightly aggressive and criminal “aura.” A lot of men love this gesture and use it pretty often in informal situations.

7- Russian Shrug

Woman shrugging

How to do it. Spread your hands sideways with your palms up and shrug.

What it means. By meaning, this gesture is equal to an international shrug. It’s used when you need to stress that you don’t understand or know anything. Compared to the usual shrug, this gesture means that you’re experiencing a lot of emotion and want others to know this.

8- A Confused Head Scratch

Woman Scratching Her Head

How to do it. Loop your arm around your head from the top and scratch your head.

What it means. Though Russians can just scratch their head when they’re confused—like people do everywhere in the world—they tend to make it more emphatic by looping their arm over their head and scratching the other side of the head. The thing is that it takes more time to make this gesture than the usual head scratch, so Russians get more time to think. Pretty smart, huh?

9- “Now I Get it!”

How to do it. Slap your forehead with an open palm.

What it means. Russians use this gesture when they suddenly or eventually understand something.

10- Throwing a Hat on the Ground

Throwing a Hat Gesture

How to do it. Raise your right arm, and with a strong breath out, throw it down and to the left.

What it means. This gesture comes from the old times when people really threw their hats on the ground. Right now, the gesture only implies that. This gesture expresses that a person has made a desperate decision.

3. Counting

Popular hand gestures in Russia are those used for counting. When Russians count, they start with an open palm and bend every finger starting from Один (Odin) meaning “One” or Раз (Raz) which also means “One.” Most people start by bending their little finger, but some people start with bending the thumb. No matter which finger you bend first, you’ll be understood.

The exerсise. First, let’s learn the Russian numbers from one to five.

  • Один (Odin)—“One”
  • Два (Dva)—“Two”
  • Три (Tri)—“Three”
  • Четыре (Chetyre)—“Four”
  • Пять (Pyat`)—“Five”

Now guess the number by the picture and choose the right answer.

Hand Three

  • Один
  • Два
  • Три
  • Четыре
  • Пять

The answer: Два

Hand Four

  • Один
  • Два
  • Три
  • Четыре
  • Пять

The answer: Один

Hand Five

  • Один
  • Два
  • Три
  • Четыре
  • Пять

The answer: Пять

Hand Two

  • Один
  • Два
  • Три
  • Четыре
  • Пять

The answer: Три

Hand One

  • Один
  • Два
  • Три
  • Четыре
  • Пять

The answer: Четыре

4. Russian Business Etiquette Tips

Russian body language is something that you need to know, especially before business meetings with Russian partners or clients. Though Russian business culture is similar to that in American, it has some significant differences in terms of proper etiquette. Here are some examples of proper Russian body language etiquette:

  • Don’t keep your hands in your pockets in formal situations. Though European and American people feel more or less okay with keeping their hands in their pockets, in Russia this posture is considered careless. If you want to avoid this impression, don’t do that.
  • Don’t whistle. Though whistling is fun, in Russia it’s considered rude to whistle inside the house or office. Basically, it comes from the Russian superstition that if you whistle inside, you’ll soon lose all your money.
  • Take your shoes off when you enter someone’s home. Russians keep their floors at home clean. There’s usually a shelf or a place to put your street shoes near the entrance door in every flat or house. Usually, a Russian host will offer you slippers to wear or you can find them near the entrance and put them on yourself. As Russian floors are usually not heated and the winters are cold, wearing slippers inside is very reasonable.

5. Conclusion

To sum it up, there are several different gestures that are used in Russia. In this article, we highlighted the most unique and popular ones. But you can feel at ease with gestures that are used worldwide such as thumbs-up, facepalm, etc. People from countries all over the world are connected through the Internet, so people everywhere are slowly starting to understand gestures from other regions.

Learning gestures is an important part of language study, but keep in mind that you’ll feel more confident using them if your verbal skills are also at their best. We have the MyTeacher program for Russian learners, which is sure to help you out here. With the help of our teachers, you’ll improve your Russian language skills and start to sound and use your body language like a real Russian. Be careful though, on high language levels you might get a cold-weather resistance. :)

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Russian Internet Slang: How to Text Like a Modern Russian


Did you know that Russian people have their own way of forming emoticons in text? They amputate the eyes and the nose of :-) leaving just a bracket-mouth. The more brackets you use, the more positive the emotions you express are.

While one bracket means just a light smile or an expression of friendliness, using three or more brackets represents laughter. Sometimes if a person doesn’t put at least one bracket in his message, it seems as though he’s being very serious.

Let’s dig deeper into the Russian text lingo and learn how to speak exactly like a Russian on the internet.

  1. About Russian Texting Slang
  2. Russian Texting Abbreviation Dictionary
  3. Russian Internet Slang Words
  4. Fun Exercise: Rewrite the Sentences Using Russian Texting Slang
  5. Bonus: Great Websites to Practice Your Russian Texting Slang Skills
  6. Conclusion
  7. Answer Key

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1. About Russian Texting Slang

Computer words

Russian text language is very rich with various abbreviations, misspellings, and slang words. We’ve prepared a guide for you, so there’s no need to use a Russian texting translator. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to understand and use all of the most important Russian slang words and expressions yourself.

Many Russian texting abbreviations come from the English — ЛОЛ (“LOL”), ИМХО (“IMHO”), and ОМГ (“OMG”). But most of the slang abbreviations are native Russian.

Don’t use these slang words in official text messages or emails because they may be offensive. But feel free to use them while chatting with your Russian friends; they’ll appreciate your effort and feel more comfortable texting with you.

Below, we’ve gathered abbreviations that are widely used now—2018—or getting there. Texting with Russian abbreviations may seem hard at first, but once you catch the logic, it’ll be hard to stop using them. Let’s get started!

2. Russian Texting Abbreviation Dictionary

Computer sentences

1- Smiles and Russian Text Faces

  • ))) means “LOL.” That’s the first thing that you should know about Russian text messaging. Typically, instead of “normal” emoticons, Russians use brackets.
  • Here’s a common example of how a text conversation will typically start, using these brackets, or parentheses:

- Привет) (Privet) “Hi!”

- Привет)) Как дела?) (Privet. Kak dela?) “Hi! How are you?”

- Норм. Как у тебя? (Norm. Kak u tebya?) “Good. How are you?”

- Да тоже ничего.) (Da tozhe nichego.) “Also good.”

Additional information:

Some expressions may be confusing, so let’s study them.

  • Норм (norm) is an abbreviation of Нормально (normal`no) and means “Okay.”
  • Да тоже ничего (Da tozhe nichego) is a widely used expression that basically means “I am also good.” If you wanna say just “I am good,” use Да ничего так (Da nichego tak).
  • Да (da) here doesn’t mean “Yes.” It has no definite meaning and serves as a sentence opener in spoken language (E.g. Да ты поправился! (Da ty popravilsya!) “You gained some weight!”).
  • Ничего (nichego) is translated as “nothing” and basically means “nothing specific is going on in my life, everything is like usual.”
  • The opening bracket ((( represents sadness or crying.
  • Гы [gy] (Гыы, Гыыы). Some time ago, this meant “LOL.” It was used by less-educated people, so it still gives the slight impression of dumbness. However, in the modern Russian text lingo, it shows the delight of the speaker. For example:
    • Да ты просто молодец!) (Da ty prosto molodets!) “Well done!”
    • Гыыыы)) (Gyyy) *Expressing delight from appreciation of the effort*
    • Note! Да (Da) here is also a sentence opener.
  • Лол (Lol) means “LOL.” In gamer conversations, this is short for “League of Legends.”
  • Ггг [Ggg] (гг, гггг) expresses understanding of a joke, but not necessarily a laugh. For example:
    • Хватит дома сидеть, пойдём гулять. (Khvatit doma sidet`, poydyom gulyat`.) “Stop sitting at home, let’s go for a walk.”
    • Чо, время такое, зима близко :) (Cho, vremya takoe, zima blizko.) “Well, that’s not me, that’s the time. The winter is coming.”
    • Дешёвые отмазки) (Deshyovye otmazki.) “Poor excuse.”
    • гг)) раскусила)) (Gg raskusila.) “LOL. You got me.”
  • Хах (hah), ахаха (ahaha), хаха (haha), and хахаха (hahaha) mean “LOL” and can be replaced with two or more brackets.
  • Кек (Kek) ultimately comes from Korean ㅋㅋ (kk) and means “LOL.” This is less used than the other ones, but may be appreciated by younger Russians who enjoy fresh ways of expressing laughter in texting.
  • Ыыы (Yyy) means “LOL.” It expresses the crying sound you make after laughing for too long, and has the same meaning and impression as Гыыы (Gyyy).

2- Expressing Opinion or Emotions in Russian Text Slang

  • Имхо (imho) means “IMHO.” This is hardly used by millennials, but is still well-known and used by an older generation. Just keep this Russian slang abbreviation in mind.
  • Хз (kheze) is short for хрен знает (khren znaet), хуй знает (khui znaet) and means “I don’t know.” Without a smiling bracket it sounds too harsh, so it’s better to put ( or ) after that—or more brackets, if you want to express strong emotions.
  • Мб (mb) is short for может быть (mozhet byt`) and means “Maybe.”
  • OMГ (OMG) simply means “OMG.”
  • Ппц (Ppts) is short for пипец (pipets) and also means “OMG.” The word is a softer version of the obsolete verb пиздец (pizdets). This word originates from пизда (pizda) which means “c*nt.” Ппц (ppts) or пипец (pipets) has almost lost the obsolete meaning and is quite commonly used in Russian SMS slang.

3- Russian Shorthands for Texting Nouns

  • МЧ (Emche) is short for молодой человек (“boyfriend”).
  • Выхи (Vykhi) is short for выходные (“weekend”).
  • Вел (Vel); велик (velik) is short for велосипед (“bike”).
  • Зп (Zepe) is short for заработная плата (“salary”).
  • Нг (Enge) is short for новый год (“New Year holiday”).
  • Тыща (Tyshcha) is short for тысяча (“thousand”).
  • Лям (lyam) is short for миллион (“million”).
  • Комп (Komp) is short for компьютер (“computer”).
  • Инет (Inet) is short for интернет (“Internet”).
  • Ноут (Nout) is short for ноутбук (“laptop”).
  • Анон (Anon) is short for аноним (“anonymous”).
  • Чел (Chel) is short for человек (“person”).

4- Other Russian Texting Abbreviations

There are two ways to shorten the words. The first one is to write the word the way it sounds in a spoken language (e.g. «щас»). The second one is to leave in only the first letters or syllables of the word.

  • Ща (Shcha); щас (shchas) is short for сейчас (“now”).
  • Норм (Norm) is short for нормально (“ok; good”).
  • Ток (Tok); тока (toka) is short for только (“only”).
  • Те (Te); тя (tya) is short for тебе; тебя (“you”). It’s mostly used when imitating a childlike or cute speech.
  • Се (Se); ся (sya) is short for себе; себя (“me; to me”). It’s mostly used when imitating a childlike or cute speech.
  • Ваще (Vashche); аще (ashche) is short for вообще (“in general; at all”).
  • Эт (Et) is short for это (“this”).
  • Чо (Cho); че (chyo); чё (chyo) is short for что (“what”).
  • Чот (Chot) is short for что-то (“rather; a bit; quiet”).
  • Кто-нить (Kto-nit`) is short for кто-нибудь (“anybody; somebody”). The particle -нибудь in other words can also be shortened to -нить. It can be used with or without a hyphen.
  • Пасиб (Pasib); пасиба (pasiba); пасибоу (pasibou) is short for спасибо (“thanks”).
  • Пжст (Pzhst); пжлст (pzhlst) is short for пожалуйста (“please”).
  • Здрасте (Zdraste) is short for здравствуйте; здравствуй (“hello”), and is very common.
  • Дратути (Dratuti) is short for здравствуйте; здравствуй (“hello”). It’s used mainly for texting gamers or schoolchildren. The abbreviation comes from internet memes.

Useful fact! To memorize words better, input the word in Russian + мем (mem) in Google search, and you will see different memes with this word.

  • Прост (Prost) is short for просто (“just; easy”).
  • Чтоль (Chtol`) is short for что ли (“perhaps”).
  • Наверн (Navern) is short for наверно; наверное (“probably”).
  • Канеш (Kanesh); канешн (kaneshn) is short for конечно (“of course”).
  • Скок (Skok); скока (skoka) is short for сколько (“how much; how many”).
  • Сток (Stok); стока (stoka) is short for столько (“so much; so many”).
  • Седня (Syodnya); сёдня (syodnya) is short for сегодня (“today”).
  • Низя (Nizya) is short for нельзя (“must not”). It’s mostly used when imitating a childlike or cute speech.
  • Спс (Sps) is short for спасибо (“thanks”).
  • Хорош (Horosh) is short for хорошо (“good; okay”). In slang, хорош (horosh) means “stop it.”

5- Shortened Verbs and Expressions

Verbs that end with -тся (-tsya) or -ться (-t`sya) are sometimes written with a -ца (-tsa) ending.

Particles such as б (b) and ж (zh) used next to я (ya), ты (ty), and other pronouns in text slang are often typed without spacing: яж (yazh); тыб (tyb).

6- Obsolete Russian Abbreviations

  • Нах (Nah) is short for нахуй (nahuy) and translates as “to dick,” meaning “f*ck this.”
  • Пох (Poh) is short for похуй (pohuy) and translates as “till dick,” meaning “I don’t care.”

3. Russian Internet Slang Words

Text slang

These are words that come from the internet or internet memes. Most of them appeared over the last two or three years and aren’t familiar to older generations or people who don’t use the internet a lot.

  • Баян (Bayan) is a Russian accordion, and basically means an old joke.
  • Котэ (Kote) translates as “cat.” This is just an internet version of the common Russian word кот (kot) “cat.”
  • Ламповый (lampovyy) is an adjective and is translated as “with a lamp.” Essentially, this means something mellow, heartfelt, or sincere.
  • Ору (Oru) means “I’m laughing like crazy.”
  • Печалька (Pechal`ka); печаль (pechal`) means “sad” or “too bad,” and could also mean “not the result I wanted.”
  • Тролль (Troll`) is translated as “troll,” meaning a provocative person.
  • Фейспалм (Facepalm) is a well-known word from English.
  • Холивар (Kholivar) comes from the English “holy war” and basically means a quarrel.

4. Fun Exercise: Rewrite the Sentences Using Russian Texting Slang

1. Rewrite the dialogue with internet slang and abbreviations. You can find the answers at the end of this article. No need to rewrite the text on the picture.

Man Lying on Mines with Text

(On the picture:)
КОГДА СМОТРИШЬ ИГРУ ПРЕСТОЛОВ (Kogda smotrish’ igru prestolov)
Я: МНЕ ТАК НРАВИТСЯ ЭТОТ ПЕРСОНАЖ, (Ya: mne tak nravitsya etot personazh)
НАДЕЮСЬ, ОН НЕ УМРЕТ… (nadeyus` on ne umryot…)
ПЕРСОНАЖ: (personazh)


“When you are watching ‘Game of Thrones’
Me: I love this character so much, I hope he won’t die…
Character: )”

2. And now decipher the dialogue. Change slang words and abbreviations in usual words.

Аня (Anya): [Sends the image above]
Олег (Oleg): Смешно. Но старая шутка же.
Аня (Anya): Ну не знаю. Только увидела.
Олег (Oleg): Смешно. Что на выходных делаешь?
Аня (Anya): Вообще не знаю.
Олег (Oleg): Пойдем на велосипедах кататься?
Аня (Anya): Пойдем!

Лена (Lena): За компом?
Даша (Dasha): Ага
Лена (Lena): Посмотри скок сегодня градусов на улице пжст)
Даша (Dasha): А че мне за это будет?))
Лена (Lena): Даша!!! Хорош, прекрати
Даша (Dasha): ыыы) +18
Лена (Lena): о, норм, тепло. спс
Даша (Dasha): ;)

5. Bonus: Great Websites to Practice Your Russian Texting Slang Skills

1. Interpals
For beginners and higher levels. This is a great place to find language exchange partners. Many Russians use this website and will be happy to help you with your Russian texting skills.

2. VK
For middle and higher levels. If you’re learning Russian, you most likely already have an account on VK. If not, stop reading and register there immediately. It’s a Russian version of Facebook which is used by nearly every Russian. It has a great base of easily accessible user-generated content useful for Russian-language learners—video, audio, and books (even more than you can find on YouTube). There are also several different groups and communities that you can join. It’ll be a great opportunity to practice and meet new Russian friends who will be more than happy to explain and show you how to text in Russian. Here’s a community that publishes funny notes and has open comments: Practice!

3. 2ch
For upper-intermediate and advanced levels. This is a trending Russian chat consisting mostly of schoolchildren and students. Though the website UI is quite complicated, you can find and practice the newest and most trending Russian slang words and abbreviations with real Russians. Be aware, though, that schoolchildren might be rude.

6. Conclusion

One last piece of advice—don’t abbreviate ALL words in your texts; only abbreviate one or two. Otherwise, the message will look kind of dumb.

So, you’ve mastered texting with Russian abbreviations and slang words. An endless space of Russian internet and Russian chats has opened its gates so you can practice the freshly received knowledge and make new Russian friends.

Keep reading RussianPod101 and learn interesting Russian words and expressions that you can start using right away.

7. Answer Key

Please note that there may be different versions of the right answer.

1. Олег (Oleg): ))) Баян же)
Аня (Anya): Ну хз. Ток увидела.
Олег (Oleg): Кек. Че на выхах делаешь?
Аня (Anya): Ваще хз.
Олег (Oleg): Пойдем на велах кататься?
Аня (Anya): Пойдем!)

2. Лена (Lena): За компьютером?
Даша (Dasha): Ага.
Лена (Lena): Посмотри, сколько сегодня градусов на улице, пожалуйста.
Даша (Dasha): А что мне за это будет?
Лена (Lena): Даша! Прекрати.
Даша (Dasha): :-) +18
Лена (Lena): о, нормально, тепло. Спасибо!
Даша (Dasha): ;-)

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List of Untranslatable Russian Words: Top 10 Idioms 2019

What’s Russia well-known for? Right, drinking. The rich history of Russian alcohol gave birth to a lot of related words that can’t be translated directly into other languages and require explanation. The same goes for words that appeared during the First and Second World Wars and throughout Russia’s history.

In order to understand the Russian language fully and to know more about Russian culture, it’s essential to learn the most-used untranslatable Russian words. That’s why we here at have prepared for you a list of the top-ten modern untranslatable Russian idioms that you can easily study and start using. Please, go ahead!

Table of Contents

  1. Опохмелиться (Opokhmelit’sya)
  2. Запой (Zapoy)
  3. Сушняк (Sushnyak)
  4. Халява (Khalyava)
  5. Хамить (Khamit’)
  6. Брезговать (Brezgovat’)
  7. Подвиг (Podvig)
  8. Однолюб (Odnolyub)
  9. Воля (Volya)
  10. Тоска (Toska)
  11. Conclusion

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1. Опохмелиться (Opokhmelit’sya)

Man Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Literal Translation: “Drink some more alcohol.”

Meaning: To drink more alcohol in order to remove the negative effects of a hangover.

Example Situation: It’s possible that after a wild night with Russian friends in a cottage outside of the city, that in the morning someone will recommend that you drink some more alcohol to overcome a hangover.

Usage in a Sentence:

Пора опохмелиться.
Pora opokhmelit’sya.
“It’s time to drink some more alcohol for hangover.”

Interesting Fact:

This is one of the more fascinating untranslatable words in the Russian language. In Russia, it’s considered a folk remedy for a hangover. However, modern medicine has proved that it works only for alcoholics who experience addiction to the ethanol.

2. Запой (Zapoy)

Literal Translation: “Several days drinking.”

Meaning: This word means drinking alcohol for several days or even weeks in a row, not letting the body remove the alcohol from your blood.

Example Situation: If you’ve ever gone out for a weekend vacation and drank alcohol for two or more days in a row, congrats! You’ve experienced one of the most common Russian untranslatable words, запой (zapoy).

Usage in a Sentence:

Уйти в запой.
Uyti v zapoy.
“To start the several-days drinking session.”

Паша сдал проект и ушел в запой.
Pasha sdal proekt i ushol v zapoy.
“Pasha has finished the project and started zapoy.”

Interesting Fact:

It’s fun to know that several centuries ago, Russian merchants were allowed to take a vacation for a zapoy period. It was stated in the statute of the merchant guild, signed by the emperor Alexander I in 1807. Every Russian merchant could have the annual vacation for болезнь души (bolezn’ dushi)—“the sickness of the soul.” That was what zapoy was called back then. Merchants could go for a small zapoy—for two weeks—or for a big one lasting a month.

3. Сушняк (Sushnyak)

Someone Pouring a Glass of Water

Literal Translation: “Dry mouth.”

Meaning: The feeling of a dry mouth during a hangover.

Example Situation: You may hear this word in an explanation when somebody asks you to bring him some water in the morning. Or if you’re experiencing a hangover and drink a lot of water, your Russian colleague or a friend will ask empathetically if you’re having sushnyak.

If that’s the case, he’ll probably recommend folk treatments against it. No, this won’t be as radical as опохмелиться (opokhmelit’sya)—”to drink more alcohol.” But rather something like кефир (kefir)—“kefir, cultured buttermilk” or рассол (rassol)—“pickle brine.”

Usage in a Sentence:

У меня сушняк, принеси, пожалуйста, водички.
U menya sushnyak, prinesi, pozhaluysta, vodichki.
“I’m having sushnyak, please, bring me some water.”

Что, сушняк замучил?
Chto, sushnyak zamuchil?
“Well, torturing from sushnyak?”

4. Халява (Khalyava)

Literal Translation: “Freebie.”

Meaning: The word applies to different kinds of situations when you get something so easy that it’s unfair.

Example Situation: If you get some valuable things from the company you work for as a present—and you didn’t do anything to deserve it—then you получил это на халяву (poluchil eto na khalyavu) or got it as khalyava. Or, if you suddenly got really good grades at school but didn’t do anything to deserve them, then that’s khalyava as well.

Usage in a Sentence:

Начальник получил повышение и сегодня проставляется. Сходим, выпьем на халяву?
Nachal’nik poluchil povysheniye i segodnya prostavlyayetsya. Skhodim, vyp’yem na khalyavu?
“The boss got promoted and will buy everyone a drink today. Let’s go for a free drink.”

Interesting Fact:

This is actually one of the really funny untranslatable Russian words. There’s a university tradition for students at midnight before an exam to open a gradebook on the page for a future exam, hold it out the window, and shout three times Халява, приди! (Khalyava, pridi!)—”Khalyava, come!” By doing that, students believe that they’ll get lucky on the exam.

5. Хамить (Khamit’)

Literal Translation: “To behave in a rude way.”

Meaning: Rude, impudent, and insolent way of behavior with impunity.

Example Situation: Usually, this word characterizes the way Russians can act to unknown people on the street when someone wants to show their superiority and higher social status by being confident of impunity. Usually, people use this word to point out this bad behavior and stop it.

Related Words:

Хам (kham)—“The male who is behaving in a rude way.”
Хамка (khamka)—“The female who is behaving in a rude way.”

Usage in a Sentence:

Прекратите хамить.
Prekratite khamit’.
“Stop being rude.”

Interesting Fact:

In a very popular Russian novel “The Twelve Chairs” written by Ilf and Petrov, there’s a famous character named Ellochka whose spoken vocabulary consisted of only 30 words. One of these words was Хамите (Khamite)—“You are being rude.”

6. Брезговать (Brezgovat’)

Literal Translation: “To feel disgusted by something.”

Meaning: The word “disgusted” doesn’t show the full meaning of the word брезговать (brezgovat’). It also means that the person treats something or someone with disdain, or feels a bit superior.

Example Situation: The word isn’t used in spoken language that much. But you can hear it in context of talking about someone. For example, when one person achieved a success and feels ashamed to talk to his less successful friends, you can say that he брезгует (brezguyet’).

Related Words:

Брезгливо (brezglivo)—“with disgust”
Брезгливый (brezglivyy)—“fastidious/disgust”

Usage in a Sentence:

Маша выбилась в люди и теперь брезгует общаться с нами.
Masha vybilas’ v lyudi i teper’ brezguyet obshchat’sya s nami.
“Masha became successful and now feels ashamed to talk to us.”

7. Подвиг (Podvig)

One Person Carrying Another

Literal Translation: “Brave and heroic feat.”

Meaning: A really significant and meaningful heroic act. This act is usually made in very difficult and dangerous circumstances. The person who’s doing this act usually does it selflessly.

Example Situation: All brave and heroic acts that were selflessly made during the wars are called подвиг (podvig). But of course, now this word can be applied even to civilian matters; for example, when a person does an impossible amount of valuable work in the office in a short time, people can say that he made трудовой подвиг (trudovoy podvig)—“labor podvig.”

Usage in a Sentence:

Совершить подвиг.
Sovershit’ podvig.
“To make podvig.”

За героические подвиги во Второй мировой войне звания Героя Советского Союза были удостоены более 11 000 человек, из которых многие - посмертно.
Za geroicheskiye podvigi vo Vtoroy mirovoy voyne zvaniya Geroya Sovetskogo soyuza byli udostoyeny boleye odinnadtsati tysyach chelovek, iz kotorykh mnogiye - posmertno.
“For heroic acts during the Second World War more than 11,000 people were given honorary distinction as The Hero of the Soviet Union. Some of them were given it posthumously.”

Additional Notes:
If you want to understand Russian подвиг (podvig) better, check out the military film В бой идут одни старики (V boy idut odni stariki) that we recommend in our article “Top 10 Russian Movies: With Links and Famous Quotes (2018 Update).”

8. Однолюб (Odnolyub)

Couple Hugging Each Other

Literal Translation: “A person who loves only one person.”

Meaning: This is one of the most beautiful untranslatable Russian words. It means a person who can love only one person in a lifetime. The word comes from combining two parts. The first one is одно- (odno-)—the form of the word один (odin)—”one.” The second one is -люб (-lyub)—the abbreviation of the word любить (lyubit’)—”to love.”

Example Situation: This word sounds a bit old-school, so it doesn’t come up in conversations often. Though, if the topic allows, using it regarding a really devoted person will be great. For example, if a guy marries and lives with his first love till his death he can be called однолюб (odnolyub).

Usage in a Sentence:

Её мужчина - однолюб, ей с ним очень повезло.
Yeyo muzhchina - odnolyub, yey s nim ochen’ povezlo.
“Her man is odnolyub, she is so lucky.”

9. Воля (Volya)

Literal Translation: “Freedom.”

Meaning: This word has plenty of meanings. The most used meanings are 1.) self-control, 2.) desire, and 3.) freedom. The most controversial is the third one as it doesn’t mean something positive, but means the absence of неволя (nevolya)—“captivity.” It has the global meaning of freedom, meaning no authority or obligations.

As the famous Russian poet Bulat Okudzhava said about the Russian: “What usual Russian person tends to do in his spare time? Who knows. To think, to talk, to drink alcohol. Alcohol not as the goal itself, but as the mean of communication, fun, forgetfulness. To volya - the Russian doesn’t care about freedom, he loves volya. It means - to be without restrictions. And when he is told that here is your freedom, he doesn’t understand that.”

Example Situation: This word isn’t used in spoken language often—of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t hear it during philosophical conversations at night in the kitchen with alcohol that Russians love so much. But you’ll meet a lot of this word in books, newspapers, news, films, series, etc. For example, when a person goes out of prison, you can hear in the news Он вышел на волю. (On vyshel na volyu.) meaning, “He came out of prison.”

Related Words:

Вольный (vol’nyy)—“Free.”

Usage in a Sentence:

Сила воли.
Sila voli.

Вадим начал развивать силу воли, принимая контрастный душ каждое утро.
Vadim nachal razvivat’ silu voli, prinimaya kontrastnyy dush kazhdoye utro.
“Vadim has started to develop his willpower by taking contrast showers every morning.”

10. Тоска (Toska)

Literal Translation: “Feeling of boredom and depression.”

Meaning: Strong soul languor; soul anxiety combined with sadness and boredom; painful gloom.

Example Situation: You’re studying abroad. It’s raining. You’re sitting all alone in your room near the window and watching the gray and depressing scenery. You miss your home a little bit, sad from the weather and loneliness, and feel a little bit of self-pity and boredom. Here we are. You’re feeling Russian тоска (toska).

Another example is when your colleague visits a conference and you ask him how it went. He can say Тоска (Toska), meaning that it was really boring and depressing.

Related words:

Тосковать (toskovat`)—“to feel toska.”
Тоскливо (tosklivo)—“with toska.”

Usage in a Sentence:

- Ты что такая унылая сидишь? (Ty chto takaya unylaya sidish’?)
- Да тоскливо как-то. (Da tosklivo kak-to).

- “Why are you looking so gloomy (while sitting)?”
- “Well, I feel soul anxiety.”

Эта книга - полная тоска.
(Eta kniga - polnaya toska).
“This book is super boring and depressing.”

11. Conclusion

Now you know the top ten untranslatable words Russian people use really often. Write them down and try to use them while talking with your Russian friends or colleagues. It’ll be a great conversation opener, but remember that Russian people really enjoy getting philosophical.

So, you’ll probably hear a lot more explanations to the Russian words with no English equivalent than we studied above. And some of these explanations will be true only to that one person you’re talking to. :) That’s fine. Try asking what love is to several different people and you’ll get different answers.

So, don’t be afraid. Go. Communicate. Improve your language skills and get to know the mysterious Russian soul.

Of course, knowing just ten Russian words with no English translation might be less than enough to speak Russian freely. There are plenty of Russian words with no translation; some words appear only in the spoken language and some idioms get old and remain only in books. This makes it especially important to understand untranslatable words to learn Russian.

Consider taking some lessons in our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners to learn the untranslatable terms in Russian that will help you to reach your language goal. Our professional teachers will not only expand your active vocabulary, but will help you sound like a real Russian pretty soon. is here to guide you through every step of your language-learning journey!

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Holiday for John the Baptist: Ivan Kupala Day in Russia

One of the most ancient and important Slavic holidays in Russia is the holiday of Ivan Kupala, celebrated since the twelfth century. Essentially, this day is held in commemoration of St. John the Baptist, though Russians also celebrate through more pagan events.

In learning about the Ivan Kupala Day holiday in Russia, you’re opening yourself up to some unique facets of Russian culture. And as any successful language-learner can tell you, knowing a country’s culture is vital in mastering its language.

At, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative! So let’s get started and delve into Ivan Kupala Night, and the following Ivan Kupala Day, in Russia!

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1. What is Ivan Kupala’s Day?

In ancient times, people observed the holiday of Ivan Kupala on the day of the summer solstice (June 20-22). Once Russia adopted Christianity, people linked the celebration to John the Baptist’s birthday on June 24 (old style) or July 7 (new style).

Nobody really knows where the holiday got its name. Some connect it to the Pagan god Kupala, while others say it comes from the Slavic version of St. John the Baptist’s name.

2. When is Ivan Kupala Day?

Ivan Kupala's Day is in July

Each year, Ivan Kupala’s Day is celebrated on July 7 in Russia, beginning on the evening of July 6.

3. Reading Practice: How is Ivan Kupala Day Celebrated?

How do the Russians celebrate Kupala Night and Ivan Kupala Day? Read the Russian text below to learn about Ivan Kupala festival traditions, old and current. You can find the English translation directly below it.

Русский народ ассоциирует три главных символа с Днем Ивана Купалы- - огонь, вода и трава. Таким образом, многие традиции и верования относительно этого праздника имеют отношение к этим трем вещам.

Одной из таких традиций является традиция костра. Русский народ будет строить большой костер и прыгать через него, так как это, как полагают, лечебные силы в эту ночь. Кроме того, в старые времена люди сжигали одежду больных людей в надежде, что они выздоровеют быстрее. Для того, чтобы это сработало, люди думали, что огонь должен быть сделан путем потирания вместе сухих палочек.

В День Ивана Купалы девицы плели венки из цветов с поля и отпускали их вечером, чтобы поплавать на озере или поверхности реки. Затем они наблюдали венок. Если венок застрял вдоль берега, его владелец не женится в этом году; если он скорее затонул, это считалось плохим предзнаменованием. Чем дальше венок плыл с берега, и чем дольше он фактически оставался на плаву, тем счастливее судьба девицы в конечном итоге.

Еще одно интересное убеждение, связанное с этим праздником в древние времена? Люди верили, что накануне Ивана Купалы оживают деревья и растения, разговариваются друг с другом и даже перемещаются по лесу.

The Russian people associate three main symbols with Ivan Kupala Day: fire, water, and grass. Thus, many traditions and beliefs regarding this holiday have to do with these three things.

One such tradition is that of the bonfire. The Russian people will build a large bonfire and jump over it, as this is thought to have curative powers on this night. Further, in the old times, people burned the clothing of sick people in hopes that they would recover faster. In order for this to work, people thought that the fire must be made by rubbing together dry sticks.

On Ivan Kupala Day, maidens wove wreaths made of flowers from a field, and let them go in the evening to float on a lake or river’s surface. They then observed the wreath. If the wreath got stuck along the shore, its owner would not get married that year; if it rather sunk, this was considered a bad omen. The further the wreath floated from the shore, and the longer it actually stayed afloat, the happier the maiden girl’s fate would end up being.

Another interesting belief associated with this holiday in ancient times? People believed that on the eve of Ivan Kupala, trees and plants came to life, talked with each other, and even moved around the forest.

4. The Symbolic Plant of Ivan Kupala’s Day

Jumping Over a Bonfire

Do you know which plant is the symbol of Ivan Kupala Day?

Since ancient times, the symbol of Ivan Kupala Day is the fern. There’s a legend associated with fern flower, which blooms only one time during the year: Ivan Kupala Night. Whoever finds this fern flower will be gifted with many useful and interesting abilities:

  • Understanding bird and animal language
  • Seeing into the future
  • Becoming invisible
  • Finding buried treasure easily

Who wouldn’t want at least one of these abilities?!

5. Vocabulary You Should Know for Ivan Kupala Day

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Ivan Kupala’s Day in Russia!

  • Вода (voda) — “water”
  • Июль (iyul‘) — “July”
  • Плавание (plavaniye) — “swimming”
  • Растение (rasteniye) — “plant”
  • Огонь (agon`) — “fire”
  • Папоротник (paporotnik) — “fern”
  • День Ивана Купалы (Den’ Ivana Kupaly) — “Ivan Kupala’s Day”
  • Гадание (gadaniye) — “divination”
  • плетение венков (pleteniye venkof) — “weave wreaths
  • командная игра (kamandnaya igra) — “team game”
  • прыгать через костёр (prygat’ cheres kastyor) — “jump over the bonfire”
  • 7 июля (7 iyulya) — “July 7th”
  • Иоан Креститель (Ioan Krestitel’) — “John the Baptist”
  • Костер (kastyor) — “bonfire”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Ivan Kupala’s Day vocabulary list.


What do you think of the Kupala Night Russia observes each year? Which of the beliefs associated with it do you find most interesting? Let us know in the comments!

To continue learning about Russian culture and the language, keep exploring! We provide fun and practical learning tools for every learner, including free Russian vocabulary lists and more insightful blog posts like this one! We also have an online forum where you can talk with fellow Russian learners or reach out for help!

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Know that your hard work will pay off, and you’ll be speaking, reading, and writing Russian like a native before you know it! And will be here with you on each step of your journey to language mastery.

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How to Introduce Yourself in Russian: Words and Expressions

Ready to face real Russians? Then you need to be fully prepared to answer all sorts of questions about your name, age, hobbies, nationality, job. All of that—in Russian. That may sound challenging, but you’ll find everything you need in this article to successfully defeat the beast of the first conversation (and the next ones for sure) and learn how to introduce yourself in the Russian language.

So… Ready, steady, go! Let’s learn some phrases to introduce yourself here at

Table of Contents

  1. How to Start
  2. Identifying Yourself
  3. Placing Yourself in Society
  4. Sharing Personal Details
  5. Exercise: An Essay about Myself in Russian
  6. Conclusion


1. How to Start

Start the introduction by saying “Hello” in Russian. In an informal situation, use Привет (Privet) meaning “Hi.” In a more formal situation, use Здравствуйте (Zdravstvuyte) meaning “Hello.” You can learn other Russian greetings from this article.

Further, it’s important that you start to recognize the request for self-introduction. For example, let’s learn the phrase “Tell me about yourself” in Russian. This is Расскажите о себе (Rasskazhite o sebe) in formal style and Расскажи о себе (Raskazhi o sebe) in less-formal style.

2. Identifying Yourself

1- Name

There’s really no way to get around talking about your name in Russian. This is the most common phrase to introduce yourself in Russian and it’ll fit any situation. Instead of dots, you can put your full name, short name, nickname, it’s up to you:

  • Меня зовут… (Menya zovut…)—“My name is…”

If you want people to call you by your short name, follow the previous phrase with this one:

  • Можно просто… (Mozhno prosto…)—“You can just call me…”

If you wanna ask “What’s your name?” in Russian, then use this question:

  • Как тебя зовут? (Kak tebya zovut?)—“What is your name?” (informal).
  • Как вас зовут? (Kak vas zovut?)—“What is your name?” (formal).

If you don’t know how to write your name in Russian, ask our teachers on this page. You can also learn more about Russian names and surnames there!

2- Age

Talking about your age in Russian is another common topic at first introduction. But it’s not as important in Russia as it is in, say, Korean culture. For instance, in Russia, it’s often considered rude to ask a girl about her age. Usually, Russian girls joke around this tricky question. Russian women love to seem younger than they really are and don’t want to reveal their real age. Though they’re more likely to not talk about their age, they’ll definitely be super curious about yours. So, go ahead!

  • Мне… лет (Mne… let)—“I am…years old.”

3- Nationality

People will definitely wonder what country you’re from.

  • Я из… (Ya iz…)—“I am from…”
  • Я … (Ya…)—“I am…”
    • Я американец (Ya amerikanets)—“I am American.”
    • Я китаец (Ya kitayets)—“I am Chinese.”
    • Я японец (Ya yaponets)—“I am Japanese.”
    • Я кореец (Ya koreyets)—“I am Korean.”
    • Я немец (Ya nemets)—“I am German.”
    • Я француз (Ya frantsuz)—“I am French.”
    • Я испанец (Ya ispanets)—“I am Spanish.”

4- Hometown

If you meet someone who’s visited your homeland, they’ll definitely wonder which city you’re from. So, let’s learn how to talk about that.

  • Я родился в… (Ya rodilsya v…)—“I was born in…” for a male.
  • Я родилась в… (Ya rodilas’ v…)—“I was born in…” for a female.
  • Мой родной город - … (Moy rodnoy gorod…)—“My hometown is…”

But what if you spent a significant part of your life in another city? Let’s learn how to tell them about that.

  • Но потом я переехал в… и жил там… лет (No potom ya pereyekhal v… i zhil tam… let)—“But later I moved to…and lived there for…years,” for a male.
  • Но потом я переехала в… и жила там… лет (No potom ya pereyekhala v… i zhila tam… let)—“But later I moved to…and lived there for…years,” for a female.

Many people in Russia move to another city in order to study. Here’s what you can say to explain this about yourself.

  • Потом я поступил в университет и переехал в… (Potom ya postupil v universitet i pereyekhal v…)—“Later I entered the university and moved to…” for a male.
  • Потом я поступила в университет и переехала в… (Potom ya postupila v universitet i pereyekhala v…)—“Later I entered the university and moved to…” for a male.

Lived in another city before?

  • Также я жил в… …лет (Takzhe ya zhil v… … let)—“Also I lived in…for…years,” for a male.
  • Также я жила в… …лет (Takzhe ya zhila v… … let)—“Also I lived in…for…years,” for a male.

5- Reasons to Learn Russian

Russian people will definitely be curious why you’re learning the Russian language. Here are some examples of how you can answer:

  • Я хочу поступить в университет в России (Ya khochu postupit’ v universitet v Rossii)—“I want to enter the university in Russia.”
  • Я хочу учиться в России (Ya khochu uchit’sya v Rossii)—“I want to study in Russia.”
  • Я хочу работать в России (Ya khochu rabotat’ v Rossii)—“I want to work in Russia.” By the way: If that’s the case, read our useful article about How to Get a Job in Russia.
  • Я хочу жить в России (Ya khochu zhit’ v Rossii)—“I wanna live in Russia.”
  • Я хочу путешествовать по России (Ya khochu puteshestvovat` po Rossii)—“I wanna travel around Russia.”
  • Мне нравится русская культура (Mne nravitsya russkaya kul’tura)—“I like Russian culture.”
  • Я люблю русские сериалы (Ya lyublyu russkiye serialy)—“I love Russian series.”
  • Я хочу жениться на русской девушке (Ya khochu zhenit’sya na russkoy devushke)—“I want to marry a Russian girl.”
  • Мне нравятся русские девушки (Mne nravyatsya russkie devushki)—“I like Russian girls.”
  • Мне нравятся русские мужчины (Mne nravyatsya russkie muzhchiny)—“I like Russian guys.”

3. Placing Yourself in Society

1- Major and/or Profession

This piece of information is really important. When people get to know about what you’re doing or what you are going to do for a living, they also start to understand you better.

  • Я студент (Ya student)—“I am a student.”
  • Я учусь на… (Ya uchus’ na…)—“I am studying to be a…”
    • Я учусь на переводчика (Ya uchus’ na perevodchika )—“I am studying to be a translator.”
    • Я учусь на юриста (Ya uchus’ na yurista)—“I am studying to be a lawyer.”
    • Я учусь на переводчика (Ya uchus’ na pirivotchika)—“I am studying to be a translator.”
  • По специальности я…, но работаю… (Po spetsial’nosti ya…, no rabotayu… )—“According to my major I am…, but I work as a…”
    • По специальности я экономист, но работаю фотографом (Po spetsial’nosti ya ekonomist, no rabotayu fotografom)—“According to my major I am an economist, but I work as a photographer.”
    • По специальности я бизнес-аналитик, но работаю архитектором (Po spetsial’nosti ya biznes-analitik, no rabotayu arkhitektorom)—“According to my major I am a business-analytic, but I work as an architect.”
    • По специальности я учитель, но работаю журналистом (Po spetsial’nosti ya uchitel’, no rabotayu zhurnalistom)—“According to my major I am a teacher, but I work as a journalist.”
  • Я работаю… (Ya rabotayu…)—“I work as a…”
    • Я работаю программистом (Ya rabotayu programmistom)—“I work as a programmer.”
    • Я работаю инженером (Ya rabotayu inzhenerom)—“I work as an engineer.”
    • Я работаю актёром (Ya rabotayu aktyorom)—“I work as an actor.”
  • Я… (Ya…)—“I am a…”
    • Я музыкант (Ya muzykant)—“I am a musician.”
    • Я повар (Ya povar)—“I am a chief.”
    • Я менеджер (Ya menedzher)—“I am a manager.”

2- Family

In Russia, family isn’t something you can judge a person by—of course, if your father isn’t a president. :) Usually people don’t mention what their parents do for a living because it’s private family information. But you can tell about your family—if you really want. That said, here are some phrases for talking about your family in Russian.

  • У меня есть сестра (U menya yest’ sestra)—“I have a sister.”
  • У меня есть брат (U menya yest’ brat)—“I have a brother.”
  • Ему… лет (Yemu… let)—“He is…years old.”
  • Ей… лет (Yey… let)—“She is…years old.”
  • Мой отец… (Moy otets…)—“My father is a…”. Instead of dots, put your father’s job title.
  • Моя мама… (Moya mama…)—“My mom is a…”. Instead of dots, put your mother’s job title.
  • Я их всех очень люблю (Ya ikh vsekh ochen’ lyublyu)—“I love all of them very much.”
  • Я по ним очень скучаю (Ya po nim ochen’ skuchayu)—“I miss them a lot.”

4. Sharing Personal Details

1- Hobbies

Talking about your hobbies in Russian allows you to better express who you are and what you’re interested in. When you’re talking about hobbies, remember to use these basic phrases:

  • Мне нравится… (Mne nravitsa…)—“I like…”. Put singular noun or verb after that.
  • Мне нравятся… (Mne nravyatsa…)—“I like…”. Put plural noun after that.
  • Я люблю… (Ya lyublyu…)—“I love… ”.
  • Я обожаю… (Ya obozhayu…)—“I LOOOVE…”. Expresses the strongest emotion.

After these phrases, you can add either the noun or the verb regarding your hobby. Here are some examples:

  • …читать книги (…chitat’ knigi)—“to read books”
  • …смотреть фильмы (…smotret’ fil’my)—“to watch films”
  • …смотреть сериалы (…smotret’ serialy)—“to watch series/drama”
  • …ходить по магазинам (…khodit’ po magazinam)—“to go shopping”
  • …гулять с друзьями (…gulyat’ s druz’yami)—“to have fun with friends”
  • … путешествовать (…puteshestvovat’)—“to travel”
  • …слушать музыку (…slushat’ musyku)—“to listen to music”
  • …заниматься спортом (…zanimat’sya sportom)—“to do sports”
  • …рисовать (…risovat’)—“to draw”
  • …играть в компьютерные игры (…igrat’ v komp’yuternyye igry)—“to play computer games”

2- Pets

Talking about your pets in Russian can be a great way to add some flair and personality to your self-introduction. You should know that pets in Russia are divided into male and female categories. If the animal is genderless—e.g. Snake—check to see if the noun itself is feminine, masculine, or neutral. Based on that, use она (ona) meaning “she,” он (on) meaning “he,” or оно (ono) meaning “it.”

Now, let’s learn some words and phrases to help you talk about your little friend.

  • Кот (kot)—“cat” for a male cat.
  • Кошка (koshka)—“cat” for a female cat.
  • Собака (sobaka)—“dog” both for male and female dogs, though the noun is feminine.
  • Пёс (pyos)—“dog” for a male dog.
  • Змея (zmeya)—“snake”
  • Хомяк (khomyak)—“hamster”
  • Морская свинка (morskaya svinka)—“guinea pig”
  • Рыбка (rybka)—“fish”
  • Черепаха (cherepakha)—“tortoise”
  • Крыса (krysa)—“rat”
  • Мышь (mysh)—“mouse”
  • Попугай (popugay)—“parrot”

And use the words above with the sentences below.

  • У меня есть… (U menya yest’…)—“I have a…”
  • Его зовут… (Yego zovut…)—“His name is…”
  • Ее зовут… (Yeyo zovut…)—“Her name is…”
  • Он очень красивый (On ochen’ krasivyy)—“He is very beautiful.”
  • Она очень красивая (Ona ochen’ krasivaya)—“She is very beautiful.”

5. Exercise: An Essay about Myself in Russian

So you can better see how to introduce yourself in the Russian language, here’s an example of a self-introduction made by a native Russian:

Меня зовут Дарья Дмитриевна Иванова. Мне 21 год. Я родилась в России. Мой родной город - Тверь. Он находится между Москвой и Санкт-Петербургом. В 17 лет я поступила в московский университет и переехала в Москву. Сейчас я студентка. Учусь на менеджера. Хочу поступать в магистратуру в Лондоне. В свободное от учёбы время я люблю гулять, читать книги и смотреть сериалы.

Menya zovut Dar’ya Dmitriyevna Ivanova. Mne dvadsat’ odin god. Ya rodilas’ v Rossii. Moy rodnoy gorod - Tver’. On nakhoditsya mezhdu Moskvoy i Sankt-Peterburgom. V semnadsat’ let ya postupila v moskovskiy universitet i pereyekhala v Moskvu. Seychas ya studentka. Uchus’ na menedzhera. Khochu postupat’ v magistraturu v Londone. V svobodnoye ot ucheby vremya lyublyu gulyat’, chitat’ knigi i smotryet’ serialy.

“My name is Daria Dmitrievna Ivanova. I am 21 years old. I was born in Russia. My native town is Tver. It is between Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. When I was 17 I entered Moscow university and moved to Moscow. Now I am a student. I am studying to become a manager. I want to get a master degree in London. In my free time, I enjoy walking, reading books, and watching the series.”

Now write a short self-introduction about yourself based on the above example.

6. Conclusion

In this article, you’ve learned how to introduce yourself in Russian. Of course, you can dig deeper and prepare a more colorful and brilliant self-introduction. Don’t hesitate to contact us here at and apply for our MyTeacher program. Our teachers can help you improve your Russian language skills and prepare a great introduction!


How to Celebrate the Day of the Russian Language

UN Russian Language Day

Russian Language Day, established in 2010, is a holiday in United Nations dedicated to honoring Russian literature. In particular, people commemorate the work and life of the famous (and often controversial) writer Alexander Pushkin. In fact, this day used to be named after Pushkin!

In learning about UN Russian Language Day, you’re allowing yourself a glimpse into Russian culture, particularly that which revolves around the famous Russian writers and Russian literature. Any successful language-learner will tell you that comprehension of a country’s culture is a vital tool in mastering the language.

And at, we hope to make your Russian-learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Day of the Russian Language?

A relatively new holiday, established in 2010, the Day of the Russian Language is a holiday in the United Nations to celebrate the evolution of literature in Russia. Moreover, this holiday commemorates the work and life of Alexander Pushkin, who’s birthday coincides with Russian Language Day.

To learn more about Alexander Pushkin, read the Russian text below and find the English translation directly below it.

Александр Сергеевич Пушкин – великий русский поэт и писатель, признанный гений эпохи романтизма. Пушкин считается создателем новой русской литературы и основателем норм современного русского языка. Его творчество оказало большое влияние на развитие языка и культуры в России.

Пушкин родился 6 июня 1799 года в Москве в аристократической семье. Своей экзотической внешностью он обязан прадеду по материнской линии – Абраму Ганнибалу, уроженцу Эфиопии.

Воспитывался Пушкин частными учителями, обладал прекрасным знанием французского языка и литературы XVIII века. В 12 лет он поступил в лицей, где серьёзно занялся поэзией, и уже в 15 лет опубликовал своё первое стихотворение. Уже в лицее, а также впоследствии, Пушкин был членом различных литературных обществ, был связан тесными узами с “бунтарями” – декабристами, а в 1824 году был отправлен в двухлетнюю ссылку за атеистические идеи.

В 1831 году Пушкин обвенчался с восемнадцатилетней московской красавицей Натальей Гончаровой и переселился в Петербург.

Творческое наследие Пушкина огромно и состоит из произведений различных жанров, форм, стилей и тематик. В основном – это поэзия. Именно в стихах Пушкин отразил свои настроения, мысли, переживания, творческие порывы и поиски. Смелые вольнодумные стихи сменялись разочарованиями и потерей идеалов, вплоть до депрессивности.

В 1837 году, защищая честь своей жены, Пушкин вызвал на дуэль её предполагаемого любовника, поручика Дантеса. Пушкин получил смертельное ранение в живот

и десятого февраля скончался. Жизнь поэта трагически оборвалась, а творчество его осталось. Благодаря Пушкину, русская литература была признана одной из величайших литератур мира. Язык Пушкина прост и понятен, но в этой простоте и ясности заключается удивительная глубина мысли и великой мудрости.

Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin was a great Russian poet and writer, and a recognized genius of the Romantic era. Pushkin is considered to be the creator of a new Russian literature and founder of the norms of the modern Russian language. His works had big influence on the development of the language and culture in Russia.

Pushkin was born on June 6, 1799, in Moscow to an aristocratic family. He owed his exotic looks to his great-grandfather on his mother’s side—Ethiopian-born Abram Gannibal.

Pushkin was educated by private teachers, receiving excellent knowledge of the French language and eighteenth-century literature. At twelve years old, he entered a lyceum (or academy) where he seriously dedicated himself to poetry, and at age fifteen, he had already published his first poem. While in lyceum and after it, Pushkin was a member of different literature societies and was tightly tied with “the rebels”—Decemberists, and was sentenced to a two-year exile for his atheist ideas in 1824.

In 1831, Pushkin married an eighteen-year-old Moscow beauty, Natalia Goncharova, and relocated to St. Petersburg.

Pushkin’s literary legacy is huge and consists of works of different genres, forms, styles, and themes. Mostly it’s poetry. It’s poetry where Pushkin reflected his moods, thoughts, worries, creative urges, and searches. Bold, freethinking poems alternated with disappointments and the loss of ideals up to depressiveness in his writings.

In 1937, defending the honor of his wife, Pushkin challenged for a duel with her alleged lover, Lieutenant Dantes. On February 10, Pushkin died of a lethal wound into his stomach.

The poet’s life ended tragically, but his works remain alive. Owing to Pushkin, Russian literature was recognized as one of the greatest in the world. Pushkin’s language is simple and easy to understand, but this simplicity and clarity contains amazing depth of thought and great wisdom.

2. When is Russian Language Day?

Russian Books of Literature

Russians celebrate Day of the Russian Language each year on June 6, the date of Alexander Pushkin’s birth.

3. How to Celebrate Russian Language Day

Woman Reading Poetry

There are no concrete celebrations or traditions for Day of the Russian Language, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find any ways to celebrate. Why not start by reading some of Pushkin’s work to discover for yourself his style and great mind? Not only can you discover the inner world of one of the great Russian writers, but you can increase your knowledge of Russian culture and improve your reading skills.

While you’re at it, there’s plenty of impressive and meaningful Russian literature out there for you to check out! In reading Russian literature classics, you may just discover something that intrigues you by famous Russian writers!

4. Pushkin’s Greatest Works

I don’t know about you, but I find great joy in literary language, and this is something Alexander Pushkin was known for.

One of the most loved masterpieces is his novel in verse “Eugene Onegin.” Other big Alexander Pushkin poems, such as “Prisoner of the Caucasus,” “The Gypsies,” “The Misery Knight,” “Boris Godunov,” and “Ruslan and Lyudmila” take special places in literature.

Pushkin’s prose is represented by such remarkable works as “Peter the Great’s Negro,” “The Tales of the Late Iven Petrovich Belkin,” “Dubrovsky,” “The Queen of Spades,” and “The Captain’s Daughter.”

5. Useful Vocabulary for Day of the Russian Language

Handwritten Page

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Day of the Russian language!

  • Концерт (kantsert) — “concert
  • Александр Пушкин (Aleksandr Pushkin) — “Alexander Pushkin”
  • Организация Объединённых Наций (Organizatsiya Ob”edinyonnykh Natsiy) — “United Nations”
  • Генеральная Ассамблея ООН (General’naya Assambleya OON) — “United Nations General Assembly”
  • Писатель (pisatel’) — “writer”
  • русская литература (russkaya literatura) — “Russian literature”
  • литературный язык (literaturnyi yazyk) — “literary language”
  • читать стихи (chitat’ stihi) — “read poetry”
  • постсоветское пространство (postsavetskaye prastranstvo) — “post-Soviet states”
  • славянская народная музыка (slavyanskaya narodnaya muzyka) — “slavic folk music”
  • русская культура (russkaya kul’tura) — “Russian culture”
  • Выставка (vystavka) — “exhibition”
  • Мероприятиe (merapriyatiye) — “activity”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Day of the Russian Language vocabulary list. Here, each word is accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.


What are your thoughts on Russia’s Language Day and Alexander Pushkin? Does your country observe a special language day, too? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the culture in Russia and the Russian language, visit us at! We aim to make the Russian learning experience both fun and informative, and we offer an array of practical learning tools for every student. This includes free Russian vocabulary lists, more insightful blog posts like this one, and an online community forum. By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin taking advantage of our MyTeacher service, which allows you to learn Russian one-on-one with your own personal teacher.

We hope that you enjoyed learning about Day of the Russian Language with us, and that you’ll keep coming back for more information on everything Russian! Know that your hard work will pay off, and will be here for every step of your language-learning journey!

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Top 10 Russian Movies: With Links and Quotes

Without knowing and recognizing quotes from the best Russian movies, you’ll probably get lost because Russians do use a lot of them. Like A LOT OF THEM. Especially the ones from Soviet movies. As you probably know, the USSR was a really closed country, so the only movies that Russian people got were basically Russian. And they were really good and kind, and contained strong ideas about love, friendship, courage, truth, and loyalty. So, Soviet people rewatched them millions of times and learned all the lines by heart.

Of course, nowadays Soviet movies aren’t that well-known, but quotes organically grew into the Russian language, so it’ll be really useful for language learners to watch them. Of course, not only useful but exciting too. You’ll find that watching movies in Russian will really bring your language skills to the next level! Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in Russian.

Ways to improve pronunciation

Table of Contents

  1. How to Learn Russian Using Movies
  2. The Best USSR Movies
  3. The Best Russian Movies
  4. Where to Watch
  5. Conclusion

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1. How to Learn Russian Using Movies

Movie genres

Learning Russian might become a bit challenging and exhausting, considering how complicated the language is. To get some rest from digging into new grammar and memorizing new words, watch Russian movies—that’s a great solution. They’ll keep you entertained while you practice your listening skills and try to catch familiar words as they’re said. Here are some tips to boost your learning process.

  1. Write down unknown words with their translations, especially if you understand that the word is used often in the Russian film. The first 3-4 times, you’ll Google the translation every time—and write it down, we hope. The next 2-3 times, you’ll think that the word sounds familiar, and still Google it. Don’t hesitate to write it down again. Only after that, this word will get into your memory and stay there long-term.
  2. Practice speaking skills by pausing the movie and repeating the sentence. Try to follow the accent, gestures, and speed. Replay it to check yourself.
  3. Don’t get too scrupulous and try to translate everything one-hundred percent; try to get the main idea. Though you should translate any jokes with details, as this will help you feel the language better.
  4. If you’re a beginner, start with English subtitles but switch to Russian ones as soon as you feel confident enough. If you’re an intermediate learner or higher, start with Russian subtitles right away. Yes, it will be hard, but much more effective.

Here are the most common Russian vocabulary that you may find in the movies.

Top verbs

2. The Best USSR Movies

The best films to learn Russian would be USSR movies. We have chosen the most popular ones that got a lot of international awards and are well-known by every Russian.

1- Иван Васильевич меняет профессию (Ivan Vasil`evich menyaet professiyu) — “Ivan Vasil`yevich Changes Professions”

Ivan changes professions poster

What about: Engineer-inventor Timofeev creates a time-machine that leads to the XVI century right from his flat. Moreover, the door between times is in the palace of a real Russian tsar Ivan Groznyy. Everything goes wrong when the tsar gets into the modern world and Timofeev`s neighbor Ivan Bunsha walks into the palace. Due to a weird coincidence, the tsar and Ivan look almost the same…

Russian level: Intermediate.

Phrases and quotes:

Замуровали… замуровали, демоны. (Zamurovali… zamurovali, demony.)


  • Замуровать (zamurovat`)—“immure”
  • Демон (demon)—“demon”

Where to use: When you suddenly get stuck in some closed space and wanna lighten the mood of other people who may be with you.


“Immured… Immured. Demons!”

2- Операция “Ы” и другие приключения Шурика (Operatsyya “Y” i drugie priklyucheniya Shurika) — “Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures”

Operation Y poster

What about: The film covers three stories about a young guy Shurik who gets into incredible situations—fights with hooligan Verzila, preparation for the university exam, and preventing a real robbery.

Russian level: Intermediate.

Phrases and quotes:

Ну, граждане алкоголики, хулиганы, тунеядцы… Кто хочет сегодня поработать? А?! (Nu, grazhdane alkogoliki, khuligany, tuneyadtsy… Kto khochet segodnya porabotat`? A?!)


  • Гражданин (grazhdanin)—“citizen”
  • Алкоголик (alkogolik)—“alcoholic”
  • Хулиган (khuligan)—“hooligan”
  • Тунеядец (tuneyadets)—“useless mouth; lazy fellow; parasite”
  • Кто (kto)—“who”
  • Хотеть (khotet`)—“to want”
  • Сегодня (segodnya)—“today”
  • Поработать (porabotat`)—“to work a bit”

Where to use: A bossy and fun way to start a working day with your team.


“Well, dear alcoholics, hooligans, parasites… Who wants to work today?”

3- Бриллиантовая рука (Brilliantovaya ruka) — “The Diamond Arm”

Diamond Arm poster

What about: A band of criminals plans to transfer the diamonds in a hand cast. Everything goes wrong when instead of the “right” man, Semen Semenych—a usual traveler—falls in a stipulated place and the cast with valuable cargo is put on him.

Russian level: Intermediate.

Phrases and quotes:

Я не трус… но я боюсь. (Ya ne trus… no ya boyus`.)


  • Трус (trus)—“coward”
  • Бояться (boyat`sya)—“to be afraid”

Where to use: A smart way to let other people know that something you need or expected to do is scary. With this phrase, you motivate people to look into the situation and see the dangers that they might not have taken seriously.


“I am not a coward… But I am scared.”

4- В бой идут одни старики (V boy idut odni stariki) — “Only Old Men are Going to Battle”

Only old men poster

What about: The film tells us about the life of pilot fighters in World War II. The veteran soldiers teach new recruits about life and death, courage and love. The movie became an iconic film about the war, and it got a lot of rewards in international festivals.

Russian level: Intermediate.

Phrases and quotes:

Хочешь жить—умей вертеться! (Khochesh zhit`—umey vertet’sya.)


  • Хотеть (khotet`)—“to want”
  • Жить (zhit`)—“to live”
  • Уметь (umet`)—“to be able to”
  • Вертеться (vertet’sya)—“to spin; to move”

Where to use: When commenting on someone’s laziness or lack of action that leads to an undesirable result.


“If you want to live learn how to spin.”

Start now: Watch it by following this link:

5- Ирония судьбы, или С легким паром (Ironiya sud`by, ili s l`okhkim parom) — “The Irony of Fate or Enjoy Your Bath”

The irony of fate poster

What about: This is a traditional movie for all Russians to watch on New Year’s Eve while making salads for a holiday dinner. The story follows the adventures of a Moscow doctor who goes to the Russian banya (sauna) with his friends before the New Year, drinks a lot, and by mistake ends up on a plane to Saint Petersburg instead of his friend. He wakes up when he lands. Still drunk, he orders the taxi by his Moscow address, arrives there, and opens the flat with his Moscow key that suddenly fits perfectly. Then, still unaware that this isn’t his home, he falls asleep…

Russian level: Intermediate.

Phrases and quotes:

Какая гадость эта ваша заливная рыба… (Kakaya gadost’ eta vasha zalivnaya ryba.)


  • Гадость (gadost`)—“disgusting thing”
  • Заливная рыба (zalivnaya ryba)—“fish in aspic”

Where to use: When somebody is eating something that you never eat due to personal preferences. Or you can use it when somebody’s asking you how the dish was—you can pretend to not like it and say the quote while putting some more on your plate—obviously enjoying it a lot.


“How disgusting is your fish in aspic…”

3. The Best Russian Movies

If you want to practice slang words or to watch movies with modern plots, then this list will help you. Choose by genre and topic to broaden your vocabulary and learn some slang words and expressions.

1- Книга мастеров (Kniga masterov) — “The Book of Masters”

What about: This is the first and the only—so far—Russian Disney movie. You’ll get to explore the world of Russian fairy tales about Baba Yaga, The Mermaid, Koschei the Immortal, and more. The main hero Ivan will have to start a journey to rescue his beloved Katya and save the world from evil Kamennaya Knyazhna.

Russian level: For beginners.

Phrases and quotes:

  • Отвечай… Любишь ли ты Катерину? (Otvechay… Lyubish’ li ty Katerinu?)
  • Люблю… Больше жизни люблю. (Lyublyu… Bol`she zhizni lyublyu.)
  • Не надо преувеличивать. Достаточно просто «Люблю»! (Ne nado preuvelichivat`. Dostatochno prosto “Lyublyu”!)


  • Отвечать (otvechat`)—“to answer”
  • Любить (lyubit`)—“to love”
  • Жизнь (zhizn`)—“life”
  • Преувеличивать (preuvelichivat`)—“exaggerate”
  • Достаточно (dostatochno)—“enough”
  • Просто (prosto)—“just”


  • “Answer me… Do you love Katerina?”
  • “I do… More than my life.”
  • “Don’t exaggerate. Just ‘I love her’ is enough.”

2- Брат (Brat) — “Brother”

Brother poster

What about: This Russian action movie tells us the story of Danila Bagrov who returns from the army and moves to Saint Petersburg and his brother. This is when he finds out that his brother works as a hired killer.

Russian level: For beginners.

Phrases and quotes:

  • А в чём сила, брат? (A v chyom sila, brat?)
  • А вот в чём! В деньгах вся сила, брат! Деньги правят миром, и тот сильней, у кого их больше.
  • (A vot v chyom! V den`gakh vsya sila, brat! Den`gi pravyat mirom, i tot sil`ney, u kogo ikh bol`she.)


  • Сила (sila)—“strength”
  • Брат (brat)—“brother; bro”
  • Деньги (den`gi)—“money”
  • Править (pravit`)—“to rule”
  • Мир (mir)—“world”
  • Сильный (sil`nyy)—“strong; powerful”
  • Больше (bol`she)—“more”


  • “And what brings the strength, bro?”
  • “That’s what! The money is the source, bro. The money rules the world. And the more you have the stronger you are.”

Start now: Watch it by following this link:

3- Стиляги (Stilyagi) — “Hipsters”

Hipsters poster

What about: Moscow in the 1950s is a suffocating place—prohibited sex, identical clothes with faded colors, a predefined life course. A group of young people starts to fight for their right to be different, listen to different music, wear different clothes, and love with passion.

Russian level: For beginners.

Phrases and quotes:

  • Я не хочу быть другой. Я не считаю, что я лучше остальных. (Ya ne khochu byt` drugoy. Ya ne shchitayu, chto ya luchshe ostal`nykh.)
  • Ты не лучше и не хуже, ты просто другая. (Ty ne luchshe i ne khuzhe, ty prosto drugaya.)


  • Хотеть (khotet`)—“to want”
  • Другой (drugoy)—“different”
  • Считать (shchitat`)—“to think; to consider; to find”
  • Лучше (pravit`)—“better”
  • Остальные (ostal`nye)—“others”
  • Хуже (khuzhe)—“worse”
  • Просто (prosto)—“just”


  • “I don’t want to be different. I don’t think that I am better than the others.”
  • “You are not better or worse, you are just different.”

Start now: Watch it by following this link:

4- Остров (Ostrov) — “The Island”

The island poster

What about: “The Island” is a Russian movie which won the Golden Eagle Award and the Nika Award, becoming the best Russian film of 2006. It follows the story of a man who avoids inevitable death during the Second World War and becomes a monk with the gifts of healing and prophecy.

Russian level: For beginners.

Phrases and quotes:

Я вижу, когда ты врешь, в такие моменты ты улыбаешься, а глаза грустные. (Ya vizhu, kogda ty vryosh’, v takie momenty ty ulybaesh’sya, a glaza grustnye.)


  • Видеть (videt`)—“to see”
  • Врать (vrat`)—“to lie”
  • Момент (moment)—“moment”
  • Улыбаться (ulybat`sya)—“smile”
  • Глаз (glaz)—“eye”
  • Грустный (grustnyy)—“sad”


“I see when you are lying. Then when you smile, your eyes are sad.”

Start now: Watch it by following this link:

5- Питер FM (Piter FM) — “Saint-Petersburg FM”

Saint petersburg FM poster

What about: The second biggest city in Russia is Saint-Petersburg. You can also call it Peterburg, Pit`er, Spb. Russians consider it the cultural capital of Russia as the city still keeps its historical spirit. The romantic story of this film happens right here. Masha is a DJ on a local radio station and Maxim is a young architect. Both of them have plans for the future, but experience serious doubts about them. The course of their lives changes when Masha loses her phone and Maxim finds it…

Russian level: For beginners.

Phrases and quotes:

1. Все будет хорошо, я узнавала… (Vsyo budet khorosho, ya uznavala…)
2. Жизнь вообще штука непредсказуемая. Это только в кино всё по сценарию. (Zhizn` voobshche shtuka nepredskazuemaya. Eto tol`ko v kino vsyo po stsenariyu.)


  • Хорошо (khorosho)—“good”
  • Узнавать (uznavat`)—“to find out; to learn; to inquire”
  • Жизнь (zhizn`)—“life”
  • Вообще (voobshche)—“generally”
  • Штука (shtuka)—“thing; piece”
  • Непредсказуемый (nepredskazuemyy)—“unpredictable”
  • Только (tol`ko)—“only”
  • Кино (kino)—“movie”
  • Сценарий (stsenariy)—“script”


1. “Everything will be okay, I’ve inquired.”
2. “A life is an unpredictable thing. Only movies follow the script.”

4. Where to Watch

Here’s a list of the best sources to find Russian movies:

  • You can find Russian movies on Amazon Prime.
  • A lot of films—even with subtitles—are on YouTube. Search for Russian movies on YouTube by their English-spelled name plus “with English subtitles” if you’re a beginner. If you don’t see the subtitles right away, don’t worry—they are usually hidden under the button “Subtitles” on the bottom-right corner of the video. If you click on “Settings” to the right of this button, you can find subtitles in other languages (if they were created for this video).
  • Vkontakte—a Russian social network—is a great source for all kinds of shows. You’ll find a huge list of Russian TV shows here.
  • Also, you can find some of the most popular Russian movies on Netflix. The list of Russian films on Netflix is pretty lengthy, so you’ll definitely find something great to watch.

5. Conclusion

Russian films are full of deep philosophy and humor. They’ll help you to deepen your language knowledge and have some fun during the process. If you get hungry for Russian movies, use the special website to see the ratings. Russian people usually use Kinopoisk. Here you’ll find the list of USSR movies and here, a list of Russian movies. Enjoy!

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