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Advanced Russian Words to Help You Level Up

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Have you already mastered the basics of the Russian language? If so, this means you have put in the time and effort to gain an extensive vocabulary and that you can make simple statements with relative ease. Congratulations! 

But as they say, you can always do better. You should be proud of the Russian-language proficiency level that you have achieved up to this point, but remember that there is always room for improvement. To reach the advanced level, you’ll need to study more advanced Russian words and make continual progress by working to improve your skills on a daily basis. 

Thanks to the global spread of the internet, it has become more convenient than ever to learn Russian online. If you would like to improve your Russian skills even further and learn to use the language exactly like native speakers, then you’re in the right place. 

RussianPod101 has compiled this comprehensive list of advanced Russian vocabulary words you’ll need in order to level up. We have included words and example sentences that will definitely allow you to show off your knowledge: academic words, business terms, legal jargon, and alternative “high-end” words to use in place of their simpler counterparts.

A Man Is Sitting in Front of a Laptop

Online learning definitely reduces financial strain as it’s far more affordable compared to attending traditional universities or language classes.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Advanced Academic Words
  2. Advanced Business Words
  3. Advanced Medical Words
  4. Advanced Legal Words
  5. Alternative Words for Academic or Professional Writing
  6. Conclusion

1. Advanced Academic Words

The education systems of the USA, Canada, Australia, and Europe differ significantly from the education system in Russia. In this section of our advanced Russian words list, you’ll find words and phrases in Russian that will be useful to know while studying in Russian schools and universities (and, of course, when speaking with students in Russia). The topic of education is very broad, but the purpose of this list is to provide you with the most relevant words for Russian communication in academic settings.

  • Экзамен (Ekzamen) – “Assessment” [noun]
  • Сомнительный (Somnitel’nyy) – “Ambiguous” / “Doubtful” [adjective]
  • Дискуссия (Diskussiya) – “Discussion” [noun]
  • Сессия (Sessiya) – “Examinations” [noun]
  • Диплом (Diplom) – “Diploma” [noun]

Example Sentences:

Сомнительно, что она сдаст экзамен. 
Somnitel’no, chto ona sdast ekzamen.
“It is doubtful that she will pass the exam.”

После показа фильмов проводилась тематическая дискуссия. 
Posle pokaza fil’mov provodilas’ tematicheskaya diskussiya.
“Each showing of the documentary was followed by a panel discussion.”

После удачной сдачи сессии он получил диплом. 
Posle udachnoy sdachi sessii on poluchil diplom.
“After successfully passing the examinations, he received a diploma.”

A Graduate Cap Lying on Top of a Pile of Books

Over four million students were enrolled in Russian institutions of higher education in 2019.

  • Лекция (Lektsiya) – “Lecture” [noun]
  • Урок (Urok) – “Lesson” [noun]

На лекциях и уроках получают знания. 
Na lektsiyakh i urokakh poluchayut znaniya.
“We gain knowledge at lectures and lessons.”

  • Химический (Khimicheskiy) – “Chemical” [adjective]
  • Принципы (Printsipy) – “Foundations” / “Basis” [noun]

Принципы химических реакций
Printsipy khimicheskikh reaktsiy
“Foundations of chemical reactions”

  • Методическое пособие (Metodicheskoye posobiye) – “Guideline” [the word пособие is a noun and методическое is an adjective]
  • Обнаружить (Obnaruzhit’) – “To detect” [verb]
  • Случайно (Sluchayno) – “Randomly” / “Accidentally” [adverb]
  • Приложение (Prilozheniye) – “Appendix” [noun]

Он случайно обнаружил приложение к методическому пособию. 
On sluchayno obnaruzhil prilozheniye k metodicheskomu posobiyu.
“He accidentally discovered an appendix to the guideline.”

  • Таблица (Tablitsa) – “Chart” / “Table” [noun]

Таблица является полезным инструментом. 
Tablitsa yavlyayetsya poleznym instrumentom.
“The chart is a useful tool.”

  • Кругозор (Krugozor) – “Prospect” / “Horizons” [noun]

У него широкий кругозор. 
U nego shirokiy krugozor.
“He has broad horizons.”

  • Абзац (Abzats) – “Paragraph” [noun]

Абзац форматируется как заголовок. 
Abzats formatiruyetsya kak zagolovok.
“A paragraph is formatted as a heading.”

  • Решающий (Reshayushchiy) – “Crucial” [adjective]
  • Ядерный (Yаdernyy) – “Nuclear” [adjective]

Первым пунктом повестки дня должна стать ратификация улучшений решающего инструмента обеспечения ядерной безопасности. 
Pervym punktom povestki dnya dolzhna stat’ ratifikatsiya uluchsheniy reshayushchego instrumenta obespecheniya yadernoy bezopasnosti.
“At the top of the agenda should be the ratification of improvements to a crucial nuclear security instrument.”

  • Расписание (Raspisaniye) – “Schedule” / “Timetable” [noun]
  • Минимальный (Minimal’nyy) – “Minimum” [adjective]

Студенты получили ориентировочное расписание с минимальным количеством занятий. 
Studenty poluchili oriyentirovochnoye raspisaniye s minimal’nym kolichestvom zanyatiy.
“Students received an indicative timetable with a minimum number of classes.”

  • Ориентировочный (Oriyentirovochnyy) – “Preliminary” / “Approximate” [adjective]
  • Общежитие (Obshchezhitiye) – “Dormitory” [noun]

В общежитии был беспорядок. 
V obshchezhitii byl besporyadok.
“The dormitory was a mess.”

  • Формат (Format) – “Format” [noun]

Сдайте работу в формате pdf. 
Sdayte rabotu v formate pdf.
“Submit your work in PDF format.”

  • Среда (Sreda) – “Medium” [noun]

Питательная среда содержит лактопептон. 
Pitatel’naya sreda soderzhit laktopepton.
“The nutrition medium contains lactopeptine.”

  • Продолжительность (Prodolzhitel’nost’) – “Duration” [noun]

Продолжительность занятия — 30 минут. 
Prodolzhitel’nost’ zanyatiya — 30 minut.
“The duration of the lesson is 30 minutes.”

  • Убеждённый (Ubezhdyonnyy) – “Convinced” [adjective]

Убеждённый европеец, он рассматривал европейский идеал строго в рамках международного сотрудничества. 
Ubezhdyonnyy yevropeyets, on rassmatrival yevropeyskiy ideal strogo v ramkakh mezhdunarodnogo sotrudnichestva.
“A convinced European, he set the European ideal squarely in a framework of international cooperation.”

2. Advanced Business Words

Business vocabulary is not limited to business contexts; many of the advanced Russian words presented below are used in ordinary everyday conversations as well. While going through this list, keep in mind that each specialty requires a specific vocabulary set. Daily meetings with colleagues, negotiations with business partners, communication by phone and email—all these things require a special skill set and a specific set of vocabulary.

  • Стратегия (Strategiya) – “Strategy” [noun]
  • Встречное предложение (Vstrechnoye predlozheniye) – “Counteroffer” [noun]

Встречное предложение партнёра было частью запасной стратегии. 
Vstrechnoye predlozheniye partnyora bylo chast’yu zapasnoy strategii.
“The partner’s counteroffer was part of a fallback strategy.”

  • Фискальный (Fiskal’nyy) – “Fiscal” [adjective]

Бухгалтерский и налоговый учёт фискального накопителя
Bukhgalterskiy i nalogovyy uchyot fiskal’nogo nakopitelya
“Accounting and tax accounting of the fiscal driver”

  • Сотрудничество (Sotrudnichestvo) – “Collaboration” / “Cooperation” [noun]
  • Соглашение / Договор (Soglasheniye / Dogovor) – “Agreement” [noun]

Частью сотрудничества является подписание договора. 
Chast’yu sotrudnichestva yavlyayetsya podpisaniye dogovora.
“Part of cooperation is the signing of an agreement.”

  • Бюджет (Byudzhet) – “Budget” [noun]

Бюджет академии увеличился на 11 процентов. 
Byudzhet akademii uvelichilsya na 11 protsentov.
“The budget for the academy was raised by 11 percent.”

Russian Rubles

Russia was the sixth-largest economy in the world in 2019, the World Bank estimates. In nominal terms, Russia ranks eleventh.

  • Бухгалтер (Bukhgalter) – “Accountant” [noun]
  • Отдел (Otdel) – “Department” [noun]
  • Визитка (Vizitka) – “Business card” [noun]

На визитке бухгалтера был указан его отдел. 
Na vizitke bukhgaltera byl ukazan yego otdel.
“The accountant’s business card indicated his department.”

  • Валюта (Valyuta) – “Currency” [noun]
  • Товар (Tovar) – “Commodity” [noun]
  • Покупатель (Pokupatel’) – “Customer” [noun]

Покупатель купил товар за валюту. 
Pokupatel’ kupil tovar za valyutu.
“The buyer bought the product with foreign currency.”

  • Эффективность (Effektivnost’) – “Efficiency” [noun]

Отдел повысил показатели эффективности. 
Otdel povysil pokazateli effektivnosti.
“The department has improved efficiency indicators.”

  • Упаковочный лист (Upakovochnyy list) – “Packing list” [the word лист is a noun and упаковочный is an adjective]
  • Срок (Srok) – “Deadline” / “Time” [noun]
  • Счёт (Schyot) – “Invoice” [noun]

Срок поставки по счёту и упаковочному листу — сегодня. 
Srok postavki po schyotu i upakovochnomu listu — segodnya.
“The invoice and packing list delivery time is today.”

  • Инвестиции (Investitsii) – “Investment” [noun]
  • Директор (Direktor) – “Managing director” [noun]
  • Переговоры (Peregovory) – “Negotiation” [noun]

Директор провёл переговоры, касающиеся инвестиций. 
Direktor provyol peregovory, kasayushchiyesya investitsiy.
“The managing director negotiated investments.”

  • Вакансия (Vakansiya) – “Opening” / “Vacancy” [noun]

Вакансия руководителя этого проекта заполнена. 
Vakansiya rukovoditelya etogo proekta zapolnena.
“The leadership vacancy on this project has been filled.”

  • Прибыльный (Pribyl’nyy) – “Profitable” [adjective]
  • Заказ (Zakaz) – “Purchase order” [noun]

Компания выполнила прибыльный заказ
Kompaniya vypolnila pribyl’nyy zakaz.
“The company has completed a profitable order.”

  • Резюме (Rezyume) – “Resumé” / “Curriculum vitae” [noun]

Я отправила моё резюме на вакантные места. 
Ya otpravila moyo rezyume na vakantnyye mesta.
“I sent my resumé for a few job openings.”

  • Подпись (Podpis’) – “Signature” [noun]

Подпись не нужна, только инициалы. 
Podpis’ ne nuzhna, tol’ko initsialy.
“You don’t have to sign it; just your initials.”

  • Поставка (Postavka) – “Supply” [noun]
  • Налог (Nalog) – “Tax” [noun]

Поставка не облагается налогом. 
Postavka ne oblagayetsya nalogom.
“The supply is tax-deductible.”

  • Сделка (Sdelka) – “Transaction” / “Deal” [noun]

Сделка была прибыльной. 
Sdelka byla pribyl’noy.
“The deal was profitable.”

3. Advanced Medical Words

Imagine that you’re in Russia when you start to feel unwell. To get the help you need, you’ll have to describe your symptoms and overall condition (knowing a little about the Russian health system would help, too). In this section, we’ll introduce you to the most useful advanced Russian words related to healthcare. 

  • Биопсия (Biopsiya) – “Biopsy” [noun]

Эндометриальная биопсия нужна, чтобы проверить эффективность прививки. 
Endometrial’naya biopsiya nuzhna, chtoby proverit’ effektivnost’ privivki.
“An endometrial biopsy is needed to test the vaccine efficacy.”

  • Деменция (Dementsiya) – “Dementia” [noun]

Совет фонда считает, что у меня деменция. 
Sovet fonda schitayet, chto u menya dementsiya.
“The foundation board thinks I have dementia.”

  • Ординатура (Ordinatura) – “Residency” [noun]

Мне так сильно понравилась ординатура, что я прошёл её дважды.
Mne tak sil’no ponravilas’ ordinatura, chto ya proshyol yeyo dvazhdy.
“I liked residency so much that I did it twice.”

  • Заболевание (Zabolevaniye) – “Disease” / “Illness” [noun]

Заболевание является серьёзным тормозом для развития. 
Zabolevanie yavlyayetsya ser’yoznym tormozom dlya razvitiya.
“The disease is a major problem for development.”

  • Рецепт (Retsept) – “Prescription” [noun]

Врач выписал мне рецепт. 
Vrach vypisal mne retsept.
“The doctor wrote me a prescription.”

A Doctor Is Consulting with a Patient

Health is one of the crucial things in life that money can’t buy. Please, stay healthy!

  • Астма (Astma) – “Asthma” [noun]

Ну, у её дочери астма. 
Nu, u yeyo docheri astma.
“Well, her daughter has asthma.”

  • Зависимость (Zavisimost’) – “Addiction” [noun]

Ричардс лечился от алкогольной зависимости в 2006 году. 
Richards lechilsya ot alkogol’noy zavisimosti v 2006 godu.
“Richards was in rehab for alcohol addiction in 2006.”

  • Поликлиника (Poliklinika) – “Outpatient department” [noun]

Поликлиника была создана для диагностики. 
Poliklinika byla sozdana dlya diagnostiki.
“The outpatient department was set up to provide diagnostic care.”

  • Медицинский центр (Meditsinskiy tsentr) – “Health care center” [the word центр is a noun and медицинский is an adjective]
  • Cтоматологический (Stomatologicheskiy) – “Dental” [adjective]

Стоматологические клиники и медицинские центры в России могут быть частными. 
Stomatologicheskiye kliniki i meditsinskiye tsentry v Rossii mogut byt’ chastnymi.
“Dental clinics and medical centers in Russia can be private.”

  • Медицинский полис (Meditsinskiy polis) – “Health insurance certificate” [the word полис is a noun and медицинский is an adjective]

Медицинский полис будет только через месяц. 
Meditsinskiy polis budet tol’ko cherez mesyats.
“The health insurance certificate will be ready in a month.”

  • Приёмный покой (Priyomnyy pokoy) – “Emergency room” [the word покой is a noun and приёмный is an adjective]
  • Больничная палата (Bol’nichnaya palata) – “Hospital ward” [the word палата is a noun and больничная is an adjective]

В приёмном покое много больничных палат. 
V priyomnom pokoye mnogo bol’nichnykh palat.
“There are many hospital wards in the emergency room.”

  • Операционная (Operatsionnaya) – “Operating room” [noun]
  • Реанимация (Reanimatsiya) – “Intensive care unit” [noun]
  • Пациент, больной (Patsiyent, bol’noy) – “Patient” [noun]

Из операционной пациента перевели в реанимацию. 
Iz operatsionnoy patsiyenta pereveli v reanimatsiyu.
“The patient was transferred from the operating room to the intensive care unit.”

  • Стационарный больной (Statsionarnyy bol’noy) – “Inpatient” [the word больной is a noun and стационарный is an adjective] Please note that the word больной can also be used as an adjective, just as “patient” can be a noun or an adjective in English.  
  • Амбулаторный больной (Ambulatornyy bol’noy) – “Outpatient” [the word больной is a noun and амбулаторный is an adjective]
  • Медсестра (Medsestra) – “Nurse” [noun]
  • Терапевт (Terapevt) – “Physician” [noun]
  • Отоларинголог (Otolaringolog) – “ORT specialist” [noun]

Медицинское обслуживание стационарных и амбулаторных больных осуществляется разными группами докторов и медсестёр, в том числе терапевтами и отоларингологами. 
Meditsinskoye obsluzhivaniye statsionarnykh i ambulatornykh bol’nykh osushchestvlyayetsya raznymi gruppami doktorov i medsestyor, v tom chisle terapevtami i otolaringologami.
“Medical services for inpatient and outpatient care are provided by various groups of doctors and nurses, including physicians and ORT specialists.”

  • Записаться на приём (Zapisat’sya na priyom) – “To make an appointment” [verb]

Записаться на приём было очень сложно. 
Zapisat’sya na priyom bylo ochen’ slozhno.
“It was very difficult to make an appointment with a doctor.”

According to statistics, more than half of Russians trust alternative and complementary medicine. Previously, only old ladies knew and shared amongst themselves all the recipes of alternative medicine; now, these recipes can be found on TV and the internet. Healing properties are attributed to herbal tinctures, the steam of boiled potatoes, and other methods of alternative medicine. Here are some advanced Russian words related to complementary medicine:

  • Народная медицина (Narodnaya meditsina) – “Alternative medicine” / “Complementary medicine” [the word медицина is a noun and народная is an adjective]
  • Грелка (Grelka) – “Hot water bottle” [noun]
  • Горчичник (Gorchichnik) – “Mustard plaster” [noun]
  • Отвар (Otvar) – “Brew” [noun]
  • Целебные травы (Tselebnyye travy) – “Medicinal herbs” [the word травы is a noun (plural of трава – “herb”) and целебные is an adjective]

Отвар из целебных трав, горчичники и грелка являются популярными средствами в народной медицине. 
Otvar iz tselebnykh trav, gorchichniki i grelka yavlyayutsya populyarnymi sredstvami v narodnoy meditsine.
“Medicinal herb brews, mustard plasters, and a hot water bottle are popular remedies in alternative medicine.”

4. Advanced Legal Words

While these legal words and phrases may be long, difficult to remember, and even harder to spell, they’re sure to prove useful in a number of contexts. Memorize these advanced Russian words to get a leg up in the business world and to enrich your personal life (these are words you might find used on news stations and in the paper). 

  • Гражданин (Grazhdanin) – “Passport holder” / “Resident” [noun]
  • Закон (Zakon) – “Law” [noun]
  • Нарушать закон (Narushat’ zakon) – “To break the law” [verb]

Граждане не должны нарушать закон. 
Grazhdane ne dolzhny narushat’ zakon.
“Residents must not break the law.”

  • Тяжба (Tyazhba) – “Lawsuit” [noun]
  • Юрисконсульт (Yuriskonsul’t) – “Legal adviser” [noun]
  • Законный представитель (Zakonnyy predstavitel’) – “Legal representative” [the word представитель is a noun and законный is an adjective]

Законный представитель и юрисконсульт помогут с судебными тяжбами. 
Zakonnyy predstavitel’ i yuriskonsul’t pomogut s sudebnymi tyazhbami.
“A legal representative and a legal adviser will help with filing a lawsuit.”

  • Нотариус (Notarius) – “Notary public” [noun]

Нотариус проверяет чистоту сделки и следит за тем, чтобы недвижимость продавалась свободной от долгов. 
Notarius proveryayet chistotu sdelki i sledit za tem, chtoby nedvizhimost’ prodavalas’ svobodnoy ot dolgov.
“A notary public verifies the purity of a deal and ensures that property is sold free of debts.”

  • Бездействие (Bezdeystviye) – “Omission” / “Nonfeasance” [noun]

Такие нарушения могут иметь место в силу действия или бездействия государства.
Takiye narusheniya mogut imet’ mesto v silu deystviya ili bezdeystviya gosudarstva.
“Such violations can occur by state action or omission.”

  • Юрист (Yurist) – “Lawyer” [noun]
  • Суд (Sud) – “Court” [noun]
  • Спорить (Sporit’) – “To dispute” [verb]

Юрист оспорил это решение в суде. 
Yurist osporil eto resheniye v sude.
“The lawyer disputed this decision in court.”

A Russian Courtroom

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation is the highest judicial body of constitutional supervision in the Russian Federation.

  • Мошенничество (Moshennichestvo) – “Fraud” [noun]
  • Прокурор (Prokuror) – “Prosecutor” [noun]

Прокурор предъявил обвинение в мошенничестве. 
Prokuror pred’yavil obvineniye v moshennichestve.
“The prosecutor indicted for fraud.”

  • Обжалование (Obzhalovaniye) – “Appeal” [noun]
  • Виновный (Vinovnyy) – “Liable” / “Guilty” [adjective]
  • Обвинительное заключение (Obvinitel’noye zaklyucheniye) – “Indictment” [the word заключение is a noun and обвинительное is an adjective]

Виновный обжаловал обвинительное заключение. 
Vinovnyy obzhaloval obvinitel’noye zaklyucheniye.
“The person found guilty appealed against the indictment.”

  • Судебное постановление (Sudebnoye postanovleniye) – “Injunction” [the word постановление is a noun and судебное is an adjective]

Это судебное постановление у нас в кармане. 
Eto sudebnoye postanovleniye u nas v karmane.
“This injunction is in the bag.”

  • Правосудие (Pravosudiye) – “Justice” / “Justice systems” [noun]
  • Приговор (Prigovor) – “Verdict” / “Sentence” [noun]

В то же время женщины теряют доверие к системе правосудия, если приговоры минимальны и не обеспечивают им какую-либо защиту. 
V to zhe vremya zhenshchiny teryayut doveriye k sisteme pravosudiya, yesli prigovory minimal’ny i ne obespechivayut im kakuyu-libo zashchitu.
“At the same time, women lose faith in justice systems where sentences are minimal and fail to offer them any protection.”

  • Свидетель (Svidetel’) – “Witness” [noun]

Свидетель видел золотой рисунок. 
Svidetel’ videl zolotoy risunok.
“The witness saw a gold stripe.”

  • Правоотношение (Pravootnosheniye) – “Legal arrangement” / “Legal relation” [noun]

Ссылка на конкретное правоотношение может не вполне подходить для некоторых правовых систем. 
Ssylka na konkretnoye pravootnosheniye mozhet ne vpolne podkhodit’ dlya nekotorykh pravovykh sistem.
“The reference to a defined legal relationship might not easily be accommodated in certain legal systems.”

  • Права человека (Prava cheloveka) – “Human rights” [noun]

Права человека также являются основой внешней политики. 
Prava cheloveka takzhe yavlyayutsya osnovoy vneshney politiki.
“Human rights also constitute one of the key pillars of foreign policy.”

5. Alternative Words for Academic or Professional Writing 

To write a really good essay, you need to have a sufficient vocabulary of advanced Russian words. Developing the necessary language skills for writing a persuasive argument is crucial. In this section, we’ll equip you with the words and phrases you’ll need to write a great essay or to compose other forms of academic/professional writing. We have also included a number of advanced Russian words that are hard to pronounce, long, or hyphenated. 

Alternative Words

In the first column, you’ll find a simple Russian word; in the second column, you’ll find a more advanced or nuanced replacement you could use instead. 

поэтому (poetomu) – “so”
Conjunction
таким образом (takim obrazom) – “therefore”
Conjunction
Таким образом, курс рубля повысился. 
Takim obrazom, kurs rublya povysilsya. 
“Therefore, the ruble has been appreciated.”

большой (bol’shoy) – “big”
Adjective
огромный (ogromnyy) – “huge” / “enormous”
Adjective
Это огромный успех. 
Eto ogromnyy uspekh. 
“This is a huge success.”

любить (lyubit’) – “to love”
Verb
обожать (obozhat’) – “to adore”
Verb
Я обожаю этот сериал. 
Ya obozhayu etot serial. 
“I adore this show.”

хорошо (khorosho) – “good”
Adjective
прекрасно / замечательно (prekrasno / zamechatel’no) – “beautiful” / “wonderful”
Adjective
Это прекрасно, просто замечательно. 
Eto prekrasno, prosto zamechatel’no. 
“It’s wonderful, just beautiful.”

Complex Linking Words

  • Для того чтобы (Dlya togo chtoby) – “For the purpose of” / “In order to” 

This linking word can be used to introduce an explanation.

Example:

Нужно прийти домой пораньше, для того чтобы успеть сделать уроки.
Nuzhno priyti domoy poran’she, dlya togo chtoby uspet’ sdelat’ uroki.
“You need to come home early in order to have time to do your homework.”

  • Другими словами / Иными словами (Drugimi slovami / Inymi slovami) – “In other words” 

Use the linking word другими словами or иными словами when you want to express something more simply so that it’s easier to understand, or to emphasize or expand upon a point of view.

Example:

Иными словами, он переживает кризис.
Inymi slovami, on perezhivayet krizis.
“In other words, he is in a state of crisis.”

Complicated Words for Russian Learners

Are you up for a challenge? Then try memorizing a few of these more complicated Russian words for advanced learners! 

  • Подбираться, подкрадываться (Podbirat’sya, podkradyvat’sya) – “To sneak up” / “To creep up” [verb]

Он подобрался незаметно. 
On podobralsya nezametno.
“He crept up unnoticed.”

  • Растеряться (Rasteryat’sya) – “To become confused” [verb]
  • Вдобавок (Vdobavok) – “In addition” [adverb]

Я растерялась и вдобавок забыла, что хотела сказать.
Ya rasteryalas’ i vdobavok zabyla, chto khotela skazat’.
“I was confused and, in addition, forgot what I wanted to say.”

  • Неудовлетворённость (Neudovletvoryonnost’) – “Discontent” [noun]

Они вечно показывали неудовлетворённость работой. 
Oni vechno pokazyvali neudovletvoryonnost’ rabotoy.
“They were forever discontent with work.”

  • Правописание (Pravopisaniye) – “Spelling” [noun]

Одно ясно — его правописание оставляет желать лучшего. 
Odno yasno — yego pravopisaniye ostavlyayet zhelat’ luchshego.
“One thing is certain—his spelling leaves much to be desired.”

  • Самообладание (Samoobladaniye) – “Self-control” [noun]

Самообладание очень важно в любом обществе. 
Samoobladaniye ochen’ vazhno v lyubom obshchestve.
“Self-control is crucial to any society.”

  • Приспосабливаться (Prisposablivat’sya) – “To adapt” [verb]

Эти голограммы способны учиться и приспосабливаться. 
Eti gologrammy sposobny uchit’sya i prisposablivat’sya.
“These holograms have the ability to learn and adapt.”

  • Орудовать (Orudovat’) – “To work by tool” / “To wield” [verb]

Я даже не знаю, как орудовать ножом. 
Ya dazhe ne znayu, kak orudovat’ nozhom.
“I wouldn’t even know how to wield a knife.”

  • Махнуть рукой (Makhnut’ rukoy) – “To give up” / “A lost cause” [verb]

А ты, на тебя можно махнуть рукой. 
A ty, na tebya mozhno makhnut’ rukoy.
“You, however—you’re a lost cause.”

  • Истолковывать (Istolkovyvat’) – “To interpret” / “To translate” [verb]
  • Ненадлежащий (Nenadlezhashchiy) – “Improper” [adjective]

Ненадлежащее поведение и поступки можно оценивать и истолковывать по-разному. 
Nenadlezhashcheye povedeniye i postupki mozhno otsenivat’ i istolkovyvat’ po-raznomu.
“Improper behavior and conduct can be appraised and interpreted in different ways.”

  • Несподручно (Nespodruchno) – “Awkwardly” / “Inconveniently” / “Uncomfortably” [colloquialism] [adverb]

В смысле… для меня это, как бы, несподручно. 
V smysle… dlya menya eto, kak by, nespodruchno.
“I mean, I’m not comfortable with that.”

Hyphenated Words

In the Russian language, compound words are often hyphenated. These words include compound nouns, compound names, the names of compass points, shades of color, and so on. Here are some examples:

  • Северо-восточный (Severo-vostochnyy) – “Northeast” [adjective]

Подул северо-восточный ветер. 
Podul severo-vostochnyy veter.
“The northeast wind blew.”

  • Фруктово-ягодный (Fruktovo-yagodnyy) – “With/made from fruits and berries” [adjective]
  • Изумрудно-зелёный (Izumrudno-zelyonyy) – “Emerald-green” [adjective]

Это был фруктово-ягодный изумрудно-зелёный джем.
Eto byl fruktovo-yagodnyy izumrudno-zelyonyy dzhem.
“It was a fruit and berry emerald-green jam.”

  • Диван-кровать (Divan-krovat’) – “Convertible sofa bed” [noun]
  • Купля-продажа (Kuplya-prodazha) – “Buy/sell” / “Sale and purchase” [noun]

Фирма занималась куплей-продажей диванов-кроватей. 
Firma zanimalas’ kupley-prodazhey divanov-krovatey.
“The company was engaged in the sale and purchase of sofa beds.”

  • Мало-помалу (Malo-pomalu) – “Little by little” [adverb]

Мало-помалу каждая часть головоломки становится на своё место. 
Malo-pomalu kazhdaya chast’ golovolomki stanovitsya na svoyo mesto.
“Little by little, every piece of the jigsaw is falling into place.”

  • Перекати-поле (Perekati-pole) – “Rolling stone” [noun]

Потому что ты и я, мы — перекати-поле. 
Potomu chto ty i ya, my — perekati-pole.
“Cause you and I, we’re rolling stones.”

6. Conclusion

In this article, you have learned more than 100 new advanced Russian words and phrases that will help you improve and enrich your Russian vocabulary

RussianPod101.com has plenty of resources designed to help you reach your Russian learning goals, no matter your current proficiency level. If you’re feeling confident, we recommend creating your free lifetime account today and checking out our advanced Russian course

In case you found this topic a bit difficult to grasp on your own, you can upgrade to Premium PLUS in order to use our MyTeacher service. A personal tutor will gladly help you memorize and use new Russian words and phrases, provide you with personalized assignments, and more! 

Before you go: Which of the above words and phrases do you find most useful? Please, let us know in the comments.

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Our Preparation Guide for the TORFL Russian Language Exam

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At some point in your Russian-learning journey, you’ll probably want to test your mettle and see how far you’ve come. After all, few things are as motivating as tangible progress! 

To establish your proficiency in Russian, you have to pass the international TORFL test. If you don’t know much about this examination, read our article to learn the basics. If you’ve already decided to take the main Russian test for foreigners, you should stick around too, because we’ll help you prepare for the big day!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Russian Table of Contents
  1. General Info on the TORFL Russian Language Test
  2. Who Needs to Take the TORFL Russian Exam?
  3. What’s Inside the TORFL?
  4. How to Pass the TORFL Russian Language Test
  5. Where to Take the TORFL Practice Test
  6. What is the Minimum Score to Get the TORFL Certificate?
  7. What if I Fail the Test?
  8. Conclusion

1. General Info on the TORFL Russian Language Test

TORFL, created in 1998, stands for “Test of Russian as a Foreign Language.” The TORFL is the most authoritative test for foreigners studying Russian.

The main goal of this famous language examination is to determine a person’s level of language proficiency. We’ll talk about each of the possible levels in the following sections.

Elementary Level / A1

Achieving a good score on the Elementary Level of the TORFL shows that a student has a basic competence in Russian. It clearly demonstrates that this student is able to satisfy the elementary needs of communication in a restricted number of daily situations. In addition, successfully passing the TORFL A1 means that a foreigner can:

  • Use a minimal set of linguistic resources
  • Read very short and easy texts
  • Understand slow and simple speech with long pauses

Basic Level / A2

A person who has successfully passed the Basic Level test can satisfy his elementary communication needs without any problems. If you’ve performed well on this level, you may not be afraid of going to Russia and having small conversations with native speakers. Achieving a satisfactory score on this level is also enough to get citizenship in Russia.

Do note, however, that the A2 level is NOT the minimum for acceptance into Russian universities; you’ll need to attain a higher level for this. Preparatory faculties and schools are the exception here, and they often teach students Russian as part of their training. 

This TORFL level is also insufficient for establishing deep connections with Russian people who use only their mother tongue.

A Woman Reading a Book on a Bus

If you dream of studying in Russia, you have to start learning and mastering the language. There is no other way.

The First Certification Level / B1

If you’ve passed the TORFL B1 exam, it means that you have an intermediate level of Russian language competence. You may support conversations about your life, culture, education, and profession. At the same time, you’re still not ready to communicate in Russian freely, because you’ll sometimes need help or preparation for it.

Attaining the B1 certificate for this Russian language test gives you the opportunity to go to any Russian university you’d like. But remember that there are still many things related to the Russian language that you don’t know, and you’ll have to continue studying hard in the future.

The Second Level Certificate / B2

People who manage to perform well on the B2 exam and attain the Second Level Certificate can gratify their needs for communication with other people in a broad range of spheres. They can understand natives talking and writing about culture, politics, and other more-complex themes without using a dictionary.

The certificate of the Second Level of the main Russian foreign language test allows a person to receive a degree from a Russian university. This person may also perform professional activities related to:

  • Humanitarian sciences (not including philology)
  • Engineering
  • Natural sciences

The Third Level Certificate / C1

If a foreigner successfully attains the Third Level Certificate, then this foreigner has excellent skills in communication with native speakers. Moreover, he can definitely:

  • Read and understand long texts
  • Capture details and hidden meanings in complex texts and speeches, even if they have nothing to do with his own specialty
  • Fluently talk about abstract topics for a long time with ease

Such deep knowledge of Russian, proven by this language certificate, gives a person many opportunities. For example, having this level of Russian allows someone to work in difficult spheres and fields such as linguistics.

A Woman Raising Her Hand in Class

There are a few foreigners working as linguists in Russia. You can be one of them if you study Russian really hard!

The Fourth Level Certificate / C2

Excellent performance on the C2 exam represents a real proficiency in understanding and speaking Russian. If someone has gotten to this level, it means that his competence in the language is not far away from the level of a native speaker.

The Fourth Level Certificate also gives its owner an opportunity to receive a Master of Arts degree in philology. With this, a foreigner can choose any kind of work in the sphere of philology.

2. Who Needs to Take the TORFL Russian Exam?

Language Skills

Not everyone who learns Russian needs to take this test, though it can be really helpful for those who:

  • Are going to receive education in a Russian-speaking country
  • Need to be licensed or certified in a particular sphere (in most cases, connected to languages)
  • Need to show their language mastery for immigration purposes
  • Simply want to check their Russian language skills in a formal setting

3. What’s Inside the TORFL?

The TORFL foreign Russian language test is composed of five parts. The difficulty and duration of each part varies depending on the level. These five parts are:

Reading

In this part, a student must demonstrate his ability to read a text (or various texts), perfectly understanding it or them. The reading portion of the test is normally composed of three tasks. The duration of this section is 50 minutes for levels A1, A2, and B1; for levels B2, C1, and C2, it is 90 minutes.

Writing

Here, students must reproduce the context of a given text and write a unique composition. It may be a letter, a card, or anything else. During this stage, students are usually asked to complete three different tasks. The duration of this section is 50 minutes for levels A1 and A2; levels B1 and C1 suggest 60 minutes for the writing section; for B2, it’s 55 minutes; for C2 it’s 80 minutes.

Listening

The number of tasks varies depending on the level. Keep in mind that this portion of the test can use both audio and video items. The listening sections for levels A1 and C1 will require 30 minutes, while the same section for levels A2 and B1 will take 35 minutes. The duration for level B2 is 40 minutes; for level C2, it’s 50 minutes.

Oral Competence

This part of the Russian proficiency exam looks at how a student participates in conversations with other people. The oral competence part may consist of two or four different sections, depending on the level. The duration of this section is 25 minutes (levels A2, B1, B2, and C1), 30 minutes for level A1, and 45 minutes for level C2.

Structural Competence

Here, students must be ready to show their knowledge of the Russian linguistic system. To pass it, they need to know structural rules, grammar points, and other aspects of the language’s linguistic system. The student will also need to know a lot of Russian vocabulary to pass. The grammar and vocabulary section will last 50 minutes for levels A1 and A2, 60 minutes for levels B1 and C2, and 90 minutes for levels B2 and C1.

A Woman Thinking while Doing Homework

All of the parts are important and ranked equally.

4. How to Pass the TORFL Russian Language Test

If you’re a foreigner, you probably won’t pass the exam without good preparation. This is especially true if you’re trying to get the Certificate for the Third or even the Fourth level. Be ready to begin preparing for your Russian proficiency exam at least a month in advance.

There are several ways to prepare:

  • Regularly do TORFL tests online
  • Regularly do paper-based tests
  • Get support from a teacher or tutor
  • Find other people preparing for the test and study with them
  • Find native speakers and talk with them as much as possible
A Group of People Chatting at a Table

Native speakers are the best help in learning a language.

5. Where to Take the TORFL Practice Test

You may test your Russian language level through any organization that’s authorized for handling the TORFL examination. Such organizations are located not only in Russia and other CIS countries, but also in Europe and the USA; you won’t have any difficulties finding them and taking a practice test!

6. What is the Minimum Score to Get the TORFL Certificate?

If you want to pass this Russian test and get the certificate, you need to score no less than sixty-six percent for every section. Keep in mind that this exam is made with some security features to prevent cheating. But once you pass, your certificate will be valid forever.

A Woman Shaking Hands with Someone and Getting a Certificate

This certificate may be yours!

7. What if I Fail the Test?

If you don’t receive the minimum score in one or two of the sections, you may retake that part of the test again for the full price of the exam. And if you failed more than two of the sections, you can retake the entire test for the full price. 

If you fail only one of the sections, you’ll receive a certificate that’s valid for just two years. Of course, in the future, you’ll be able to retake your Russian language test for the full price and get the non-expiring certificate.

8. Conclusion

In this helpful guide, you’ve learned everything you need to know about the TORFL. If you want to test successfully and receive the certificate, be sure to use the free audio recordings and other useful resources on RussianPod101.com. They’ll help you master Russian while having fun.

If you want to increase your chances of passing the TORFL, use our premium service MyTeacher. You’ll get personal one-on-one coaching with a private tutor. Your teacher will help you prepare for your future Russian language examination in accordance with your current level of knowledge. Don’t waste your time; start preparing right now!

What level of Russian proficiency do you think you have right now? Do you feel prepared for the TORFL now? Please, let us know in the comments section below.

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Life Event Messages: Happy Birthday in Russian & More

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Did you know that there’s a Russian holiday called Крещение (Kreshcheniye), or “Baptism,” when everyone jumps into прорубь (prorub’), or an “ice hole” in just their underwear? This holiday is in January, so it might be -10°C or -20°C, or even -50°C outside. Russian people believe that it washes off their sins and improves health. This holiday salutes the end of Russian winter holidays, each of which contains even more peculiar traditions. (You thought you were just going to learn Happy Birthday in Russian, didn’t you?)

To feel confident in living in Russia and communicating with Russian people, it’s important to know these traditions, especially how people congratulate each other. So, let’s dig into the festive side of life and learn how to become a part of it while in Russia.

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Table of Contents

  1. Happy Holidays in Russian
  2. How to Say Happy Birthday in Russian
  3. How to Say Merry Christmas in Russian & A Happy New Year in Russian
  4. Russian Congratulations: Baby News & Pregnancy
  5. Happy Graduation in Russian
  6. Congratulations for a New Job or Promotion
  7. Russian Congratulations for Retirement
  8. Russian Congratulations: Weddings & Anniversaries
  9. Death and Funerals: Russian Condolence Messages
  10. Bad News
  11. Injured or Sick
  12. Other Holidays and Life Events
  13. Conclusion

1. Happy Holidays in Russian

Basic Questions

No matter what holiday or life event you’re observing, you can always say “I congratulate you,” and most of the time, this is enough. In Russian, it can be said with just one word: Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!). If you’re representing a group of people—or just somebody other than yourself—change the word into Поздравляем! (Pozdravlyayem!).

Make sure to use it instead of the full congratulation when it’s obvious what you’re congratulating someone on. For example, in social networks, when a lot of people are posting congratulations for a birthday or New Year, posting Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!) will be enough; it’s obvious what you’re celebrating.

If it’s not obvious enough, be ready for the person to ask you: С чем? (S chem?), meaning “With what?”

You might also be wondering about greetings and best wishes in Russian. As for greetings, there’s a big article prepared by RussianPod101 for you. As for best wishes, there’s a nice way to say that: Всего наилучшего! (Vsyego nailuchshego!), which simply means “Best wishes!”

2. How to Say Happy Birthday in Russian

Happy Birthday

Birthdays in Russia are very important. Many people take the day off from work and go on vacation; most people wait until the nearest weekend to gather all their friends and close relatives for a party. Birthday gifts to friends are usually more expensive compared to gifts for the New Year. If you’re wondering what kind of gifts would be most appropriate, here are a few examples for you:

  • Chocolate and a cute souvenir to a coworker
  • A book, a box of nice candies, and a flower to a girlfriend
  • A bottle of expensive alcohol to your boss (just make sure that he actually drinks alcohol beforehand)
  • Two tickets to a theatre/reality quest/concert for your friend (ask in advance if that evening or day is free)

The closer your relationship is, the more expensive the present becomes. For example, a wife or girlfriend can congratulate her husband or boyfriend with an expensive watch.

Now, how do you wish someone a happy birthday in Russian?

1- С днём рождения!

  • Romanization: S dnyom rozhdeniya!
  • English Translation: “Happy Birthday!”

This is a basic congratulation that will sound great both for formal and informal situations, in speaking and in writing. To make it sound more solemn, you can say Поздравляю с днём рождения! (Pozdravlyayu s dnyom rozhdeniya!), which means “I congratulate you on your birthday!”

Besides the main congratulatory phrase, you can also add some wishes. For example, Всего самого наилучшего! (Vsyego samogo nailuchshego!), which means “All the best” in Russian.

2- С прошедшим!

  • Romanization: S proshedshim!
  • English Translation: “Belated Happy Birthday!”

If you just found out that someone had a birthday during the last week, it would be great to congratulate him even though you’re a little late. The Russian phrase for congratulations С прошедшим! (S proshedshim!), meaning “Belated Happy Birthday!” in Russian, sounds great in informal situations. For formal situations, make it longer: С прошедшим днём рождения! (S proshedshim dnyom rozhdeniya!), or “Belated Happy Birthday!”

3- Ещё раз с днём рождения!

  • Romanization: Yeshchyo raz s dnyom rozhdeniya!
  • English Translation: “Once again Happy Birthday!”

Usually, Russian people enjoy making congratulations more personal by wishing a lot of different blessings. At the end of such a congratulation, they sum it up by saying Ещё раз с днём рождения! (Yeschyo raz s dnyom rozhdeniya!), which means “Once again Happy Birthday!” in Russian.

These are the most basic birthday congratulations in Russian. If you’re texting it to your friends, you might need text slang modifications to sound more natural. For that, check out our article on Russian Internet slang. Also, we’ve prepared special podcasts on how to ask “When is your birthday?” in Russian and how to make a post on social network about your own birthday.

3. How to Say Merry Christmas in Russian & A Happy New Year in Russian

New Year.

The New Year in Russia is the biggest and longest holiday. Official holidays last from seven to ten days. People spend time with their families and friends, travel, and enjoy winter sports.

Christmas in Russia is celebrated after the New Year, on January 7 according to the Gregorian calendar. It’s a smaller holiday compared to New Year, and is mostly celebrated by religious people.

Let’s see how to say Merry Christmas in Russian and look at some Russian New Year congratulations!

1- С наступающим!

  • Romanization: S nastupayushchim!
  • English Translation: “With the upcoming New Year!”

So, how do you say “Happy New Year” in Russian? First of all, there’s a very common phrase to congratulate people with before New Year, such as colleagues or friends that you won’t be able to see during the holidays. It’s С наступающим! (S nastupayushchim!), which means “With the upcoming New Year!” This is one of the most popular New Year wishes in Russian for before the New Year holidays.

    An interesting fact. One of the meanings of the word наступать (nastupat’) is “to step on (someone’s foot).” That’s why there’s a pretty cheesy Russian joke when a person intentionally steps on your foot and says С наступающим! (S nastupayushchim!), or “With the upcoming New Year!”

2- C новым годом!

  • Romanization: S novym godom!
  • English Translation: “Happy New Year!”

After the Kremlin clock has tolled twelve times and a new year has begun, you can change your congratulatory words from С наступающим! (S nastupayushchim!), or “With the upcoming New Year!”, to C новым годом! (S novym godom!). That is how to say “Happy New Year!” in Russian. Though literally, it means “With New Year!” You can also say, more solemnly, Поздравляю с новым годом! (Pozdravlyayu s novym godom!), which means “I congratulate you with a happy New Year!” in Russian.

Some older people love to say C новым годом, с новым счастьем! (S novym godom, s novym schast’yem!), which means “With New Year, with new happiness!” That’s one of the old New Year wishes in Russian and may sound a bit cliche.

After saying this phrase, you can add some New Year wishes in Russian. For example: Я желаю тебе здоровья, счастья и удачи в новом году (Ya zhelayu tebe zdorov’ya, schast’ya i udachi v novom godu), meaning “I wish you health, happiness, and good luck in the new year.”

You can also add Всего самого наилучшего! (Vsyego samogo nailuchshego!), which means “All the best” in Russian.

3- C Рождеством!

  • Romanization: S Rozhdestvom!
  • English Translation: “Merry Christmas!”

In Russian, “Christmas” is Рождество (Rozhdestvo). So, here’s how to say Merry Christmas in Russian: C Рождеством! (S Rozhdestvom!). Don’t worry whether they’re religious or not; it’s still one of the traditional holidays.

To improve your listening skills on this topic, listen to our podcast “How Will You Spend New Year’s in Russia?”.

4. Russian Congratulations: Baby News & Pregnancy

Talking About Age

In Russia, baby showers aren’t really common. Usually, people celebrate and give presents to happy parents when the child is already born. So, there are no actual Russian baby shower traditions. If Russians put on a baby shower, they copy traditions from English-speaking countries.

1- Поздравляю с беременностью!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s beremennost’yu!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on the pregnancy!”

This is a basic phrase that you can tell a woman when you see that she is pregnant. It’s more common to omit the word беременность (beremennost’), or “pregnancy,” and just say Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!), meaning “Congratulations!”

2- Поздравляю с рождением ребёнка!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlayu s rozhdeniyem rebyonka!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on the baby’s birth!”

This a formal congratulation suitable for writing (e.g. in a card or a message), or for a toast.

3- Поздравляю с рождением мальчика/девочки!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlayu s rozhdeniyem mal’chika/devochki!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on the birth of the boy/girl!”

If you want to specify the gender and congratulate upon a gender, then this phrase will suit your needs the best. It’s great both for speaking and writing in formal and informal situations.

To learn the most common phrases to talk about a baby, watch our free educational video lesson.

5. Happy Graduation in Russian

Graduation.

Like everywhere in the world, graduation in Russia is an important occasion, especially if it’s graduation from a school or university. Learn how to give graduation congratulations in Russian to your friends or friends’ kids.

1- Поздравляю с окончанием школы!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s okonchaniyem shkoly!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on (your) school graduation!”

This may sound a bit too official, though. If you want to sound more casual, omit the word Поздравляю (Pozdravlyayu), or “Congratulations.”

2- Поздравляю с окончанием университета!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s okonchaniyem universiteta!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on (your) university graduation!”

Like with the previous congratulation, omitting Поздравляю (Pozdravlyayu), or “Congratulations,” will make the phrase sound more casual.

3- Добро пожаловать во взрослую жизнь!

  • Romanization: Dobro pozhalovat’ vo vzrosluyu zhizn’!
  • English Translation: “Welcome to an adult life!”

This phrase should come from someone older than the graduate himself. Usually, this congratulatory phrase comes from older relatives.

6. Congratulations for a New Job or Promotion

Promotion.

Promotions aren’t a very common cause for celebration or giving congratulations, but it will be considered very attentive and kind of you if you do congratulate your colleagues or friends on a promotion. Usually, promotions are celebrated by having a family dinner, so if you have a Russian spouse or parents-in-law, the following congratulations in Russian will be a great choice.

1- Поздравляю с новой работой!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s novoy rabotoy!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on a new job!”

This is a general phrase that will sound good whether you’re saying it to your colleague—or wait, ex-colleague—or a friend. Don’t hesitate to use it.

2- Поздравляю с повышением!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s povysheniyem!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on (your) promotion!”

This is another general phrase that can be used in any situation.

3- Успехов на новой работе!

  • Romanization: Uspekhov na novoy rabote!
  • English Translation: “Have success in your new job!”

This is an addition to the main congratulation. It sounds a bit formal, so it’s better to use it only for toasts or cards.

7. Russian Congratulations for Retirement

Usually, colleagues organize a big celebration when somebody retires. You can write the following congratulations in Russian on a card or just say them personally.

1- С выходом на пенсию!

  • Romanization: S vykhodom na pensiyu!
  • English Translation: “Congratulations on (your) retirement!”

This is a general congratulation that will sound great in both formal and informal situations.

2- Здоровья и долголетия!

  • Romanization: Zdorov’ya i dolgoletiya!
  • English Translation: “Have great health and a long life!”

This is a good addition to the previous congratulation. You can also use it for birthday congratulations in Russian if the person who’s birthday is being observed is up there in years.

3- Пусть ваша жизнь будет долгой, счастливой и наполненной самыми добрыми событиями!

  • Romanization: Pust’ vasha zhizn’ budet dolgoy, schastlivoy i napolnennoy samymi dobrymi sobytiyami!
  • English Translation: “Let your life be long, happy, and filled with the kindest occasions!”

This is a nice and long congratulations phrase suitable for a toast or a card.

8. Russian Congratulations: Weddings & Anniversaries

Marriage Proposal

Russian weddings are full of peculiar traditions. It would be a great experience if you could get to a real Russian wedding to see it with your own eyes. But first, let’s learn some expressions and congratulations that would be useful during a Russian wedding.

1- Совет да любовь!

  • Romanization: Sovet da lyubov’!
  • English Translation: “May you live happily!”

Literally, these words mean: “Advice and love!” The thing is that, in the past, the word совет (sovet) had another meaning, “friendship,” so basically this phrase is a wish of friendship and love between the newlyweds.

2- Поздравляю с днём вашей свадьбы! От всей души желаю семейного счастья, искреннего взаимопонимания, любви и благополучия!

  • Romanization: Pozdravlyayu s dnyom vashey svad’by! Ot vsey dushi zhelayu semeynogo schast’ya, iskrennego vzaimoponimaniya, lyubvi i blagopoluchiya!
  • English Translation: “I congratulate you on your wedding day! I wish your family happiness, true understanding, love, and prosperity.”

After you say this, you can also add: Всего самого наилучшего! (Vsyego samogo nailuchshego!), which means “All the best” in Russian.

Usually, Russians give a whole speech when congratulating a marriage. This is a short version of it that you can still use though. And to distract attention from how short it is, once you finish, shout the congratulation below. :)

3- Горько!

  • Romanization: Gor’ko!
  • English Translation: “Bitter!”

This is a famous phrase that you’ll hear at all Russian weddings. Guests love to finish their congratulations with it. After this word is pronounced, all other guests start chanting it. To stop it, newlyweds need to kiss—that is metaphorically sweet, so the guests don’t feel bitter anymore. :)

Also, listen to our special podcasts on how to give a wedding toast in Russian and what wedding gift to choose for a Russian couple.

9. Death and Funerals: Russian Condolence Messages

If you get invited to a Russian funeral, it’s good to know the most common phrases Russian people say regarding the deceased.

1- Пусть земля ему/ей будет пухом

  • Romanization: Pust’ zyemlya yemu/yey budyet pukhom.
  • English Translation: “May the earth rest lightly on him/her.”

This is a very famous phrase said during funerals. You can also address it directly to the deceased: Пусть земля тебе будет пухом (Pust’ zyemlya tyebye budyet pukhom), which means “May the earth rest lightly on you.” The etymology of this phrase is very interesting as it’s a translation from Latin: Sit tibi terra levis. It was first used in Roman times. Some historians believe that it was a curse to deceased people, but there is no definite proof for that hypothesis.

2- Помним, любим, скорбим

  • Romanization: Pomnim, lyubim, skorbim.
  • English Translation: “We remember, love, and mourn.”

This official phrase is great in writing. You can use it for a card.

3- Ты навсегда останешься в моей памяти

  • Romanization: Ty navsegda ostanesh’sya v moyey pamyati.
  • English Translation: “I will always remember you.”

This phrase sounds really sincere when you’re talking with a deceased person one last time.

10. Bad News

Bad situations can happen suddenly to anyone, and it’s good to know how to react when they do happen. Let’s learn the most-used condolences phrases in Russian.

1- Сочувствую

  • Romanization: Sochuvstvuyu.
  • English Translation: “I feel for you (for your feelings).”

This is a great phrase to show that you care about the person when something less serious than death happened. It’s great to use in all situations.

2- Сожалею об утрате

  • Romanization: Sozhaleyu ob utrate.
  • English Translation: “My condolences for your loss.”

This is a good phrase to express your condolences. Nowadays, it’s usually shortened to Я сожалею (Ya sozhaleyu), or “My condolences!”

3- Мои соболезнования

  • Romanization: Moi soboleznovaniya.
  • English Translation: “My condolences.”

This is an official phrase that will definitely fit any situation when you don’t know people well, or when you are talking with older people. It’s also great for a message or a letter.

11. Injured or Sick

Sick.

When Russian people know that someone is sick, they usually want to cheer that person up by saying one of the following phrases.

1- Поправляйся!

  • Romanization: Popravlyaysya!
  • English Translation: “Get better!”

This phrase is good for informal situations. It will make a great message to a friend.

2- Не болей!

  • Romanization: Nye boley!
  • English Translation: “Don’t be ill!”

This might sound weird, but Russian people actually say that to cheer someone up and show that they care. It’s also an informal phrase.

3- Скорее выздоравливай!

  • Romanization: Skoryeye vyzdoravlivay!
  • English Translation: “Recover faster!”

This phrase is more formal, but if you want to be very respectful, change it to Скорее выздоравливайте! (Skoreye vyzdoravlivaytye!), which also means “Recover faster!”

Sickness is an important topic in any language. If you want to dig deeper, start with our special podcasts on how to ask for medical assistance and what words and expressions to expect from a Russian doctor.

12. Other Holidays and Life Events

There are many other different national holidays and life events in Russia. Here are the biggest ones.

1- How to Say Happy Mother’s Day in Russian

Mother’s Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of November in Russia. It will be really considerate of you to congratulate women with children on this wonderful holiday. Here’s a common phrase:

  • С днём матери! (S dnyom materi!) — “Happy Mother’s Day!”

2- Defender of the Fatherland Day

This day is an official holiday in Russia, celebrated on February 23. Originally, it was a holiday for people who serve, or served, in the military forces, but modern people congratulate all men with it. Girls prepare surprises and give presents to all the men around them. Here is how you can congratulate men around you:

  • С 23 февраля! (S dvadtsat’ tret’im fevralya!) — “Congratulations on February 23!”
  • С днём Защитника Отечества! (S dnyom Zashchitnika Otechestva!) — “Happy Defender of the Fatherland Day!”

3- Happy International Women’s Day in Russian

A couple of weeks after the Defender of the Fatherland Day, International Women’s Day became a holiday for all women. It’s the men’s turn to prepare surprises and presents. Here are some common congratulations:

  • С 8 марта! (S Vos’mym marta!) — “Congratulations on May 8!”
  • С Международным женским днём! (S Mezhdunarodnym zhenskim dnyom!) — “Happy Women’s Day!”
  • С праздником весны! (S prazdnikom vesny!) — “Congratulations on the spring holiday!”

We’ve prepared a special educational video lesson about International Women’s Day in Russia. Have a look!

4- Happy Anniversary in Russian

It would be nice of you to remember your friends’ wedding anniversary and congratulate them, especially if you attended their wedding. The first wedding anniversary is a big day, and some people even celebrate it with some of their guests from the wedding.

Here’s how you could wish them a happy anniversary in Russian:

  • С годовщиной свадьбы! (S godovshchinoy svad’by) — “Happy wedding anniversary!”

5- Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian

Valentine’s Day became a pretty big holiday in Russia. So, it will be useful to learn the most popular phrases for how to say Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian:

  • С днём Святого Валентина! (S dnyom Svyatogo Valentina!) — “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
  • С днём всех влюблённых! (S dnyom vsekh vlyublyonnykh!) — “Congratulations on the day of all people who are in love!”

These phrases are great both for writing and speaking, and for formal and informal situations.

If you want to know more about Valentine’s Day in Russia, watch our free educational video lesson.

13. Conclusion

So, now you won’t be empty-handed in any life situation—you know how to say Merry Christmas in Russian, Happy New Year in Russian, Happy Birthday in Russian, and loads more. To learn more about national holidays in Russia, listen to our audio lesson.

If you feel excited about the Russian language, or simply need it for work or travel, consider participating in RussianPod101’s MyTeacher program for Russian learners. We have impressively experienced native Russian teachers who will explain all grammar points so that you can understand them easily. They can also help you enrich your vocabulary, overcome a language barrier, and, of course, make sure that you start talking with Russians in Russian in no time. Just try it. ;-)

And before you go, let us know in the comments which of these Russian life event messages you plan on trying out first, or if we missed any. We’d love to hear from you!

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