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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 RussianPod101.com.

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

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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 RussianPod101.com and apply for our MyTeacher program. Our teachers can help you improve your Russian language skills and prepare a great introduction!

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