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Archive for the 'Russian Phrases' Category

Top classroom words and phrases for studying in Russia

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Studying takes up a large part of our lives, and very often when learning a new language from scratch you get acquainted with new vocabulary in a classroom that will be useful further in life. Therefore, today we will talk about school and university vocabulary.

The topic of education is very extensive, but in this article, we will try to mention the main things that interest people who study Russian. For example, there are a lot of school subjects or school supplies surrounding us in everyday life, and it will be especially useful to know what they are called. So, we suggest talking about the education process in Russian language learning and its essential vocabulary.

Books of Different School Subjects

Do you know the names of school subjects in Russian?

Here you can learn the names of school subjects, accessories, expressions, teacher’s commands and instructions, and other Russian words. Let’s get started with the classroom phrases in our Russian language learning path.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. School Vocabulary
  2. Communicating with Teachers
  3. Communicating with Classmates
  4. Conclusion

1. School Vocabulary

A) Types of educational institutions in Russia

The first educational level in Russia is kindergarten. It offers not only daycare for children aged 1-7 but special educational programs suitable for each group. Children play, draw, dance, and learn letters and numbers; even, sometimes, foreign languages. There are state kindergartens and private ones.

Kids in Kindergarten

Early childhood education is very important

Детский сад. Detskiy sad. – “Kindergarten.” 

People usually shorten this name to just: 

Садик. Sadik. – “Kindergarten.” 

The next level is school. It consists of three steps: elementary school, middle school, and high school. All three can be combined in one actual building under one name, or they can be separate schools. 

Школа. Shkola. – “School.” 

In Russia, a school with an in-depth study of the humanitarian sciences is often called a “gymnasium,” and with an in-depth study of physical and mathematical sciences –  a “lyceum.”

Гимназия. Gimnaziya. – “Gymnasium.” 

Лицей. Litsey. – “Lyceum.” 

In Russia, education up to grade 9 is considered compulsory. Parents or guardians are required by law to ensure that a child will attend a school or get home education and pass all state exams. But whether you want to proceed to the 10th and 11th grade, you can decide for yourself, together with the family. You can drop studying, go to 10th grade or go to a special college.

Educational institutions with the name “college” are like technical schools. This word doesn’t mean higher education institutions. Graduates are qualified as technicians, managers, accountants, salesmen, and so on. A college diploma gives the right to enter a university. Technical schools and colleges give vocational secondary education.

Техникум. Tekhnikum. – “Technical school.” 

Колледж. Kolledzh. – “College.” 

In Russia, the following types of higher educational institutions are established: institute, university, academy. Each has its own specifics.

Институт. Institut. – “Institute.” 

Университет. Universitet. – “University.” 

Академия. Akademiya. – “Academy.” 

B) School Subjects

The following are some subjects of the school curriculum studied in elementary, middle, and high schools.

Математика. Matematika. – “Mathematics.” 

Музыка. Muzyka. – “Music.” 

Физкультура. Fizkul’tura. – “Physical training.” 

Граждановедение. Grazhdanovedeniye. – “Civic studies.” 

Литература. Literatura. – “Literature.” 

География. Geografiya. – “Geography.” 

Алгебра. Algebra. – “Algebra.” 

Естествознание. Yestestvoznaniye. – “Natural science.” 

C) School Supplies

School supplies in Russian – let’s learn everything that is on the table.

Тетрадь. Tetrad’. – “Notebook.” 

Ручка. Ruchka. – “Pen.” 

Карандаш. Karandash. – “Pencil.” 

Стирательная резинка. Stiratel’naya rezinka. – “Eraser.” 

Линейка. Lineyka. – “Ruler.” 

Маркер. Marker. – “Marker.” 

Учебник. Uchebnik. – “Textbook.” 

Did you forget your textbook or lose the pen? Let’s ask your fellow students for help.

У тебя есть запасная ручка? Кажется, я потерял свою. U tebya yest’ zapasnaya ruchka? Kazhetsya, ya poteryal svoyu. – “Do you have a spare pen? I seem to have lost mine.”

— О, нет. Я забыл учебник по математике.
— Возьми мой. Сделай копию заданий в библиотеке. 
— O, net. Ya zabyl uchebnik po matematike.
— Voz’mi moy. Sdelay kopiyu zadaniy v biblioteke.
“— Oh no. I forgot my math textbook.
— Take mine. Make a copy of tests in the library.”

School Supplies

Did you also use all of these at school?

You can find more classroom vocabulary in our article and watch a free video with Katya.

2. Communicating with Teachers 

A) Greetings

In the Russian lesson, a student can address a teacher only using the first name with patronymic. In some countries, for example, in the Scandinavian countries, you can use a name in combination with the “Ты” form (informal). But not in Russia. Also, in Russia, students do not address the teacher by the name of the profession, i.e. “Hello, teacher” sounds pretty strange. So, to address a teacher or professor in Russia, you need to know his or her first name and patronymic and also use the “Вы” form (formal).

Доброе утро, Валентина Петровна. Dobroye utro, Valentina Petrovna. – “Good morning, Valentina Petrovna” 

A Teacher Holding Some Books

In Russian you address your teacher (or any other person you are not on first-name terms with) by their name and patronymic

B) Instructions

Very often, elementary-level students are not ready to accept instructions in Russian. Therefore, it is better to begin any course with the study of instructions in order not to spend a lot of class time explaining them. Learn Russian words and Russian phrases for class to understand the teacher’s instructions.

Откройте ваш учебник на странице 56. Otkroyte vash uchebnik na stranitse 56. – “Open your textbook on page 56.” 

Прочитайте слова в рамке. Prochitayte slova v ramke. – “Read the words in the box.” 

Решите задачи “а” и “б” в упражнениях 545, 546 и 547. Reshite zadachi a i b v uprazhneniyakh 545, 546 i 547. – “ Solve problems “a” and “b” in exercises 545, 546 and 547.” 

Внимательно прослушайте диалог и подготовьте ответы на вопросы. Vnimatel’no proslushayte dialog i podgotov’te otvety na voprosy. – “Listen carefully to the dialogue and prepare answers to the questions.” 

Произнесите это слово по буквам. Proiznesite eto slovo po bukvam. – “Spell this word” 

Работайте в парах. Разыграйте диалог. Rabotayte v parakh. Razygrayte dialog. – “Work in pairs. Act out the dialogue.” 

C) Questions from the teacher and getting clarifications

Всё понятно? Vsyo ponyatno? – “Is everything clear?” 

Кого сегодня нет в классе? Kogo segodnya net v klasse? – “Who is absent today?” 

Кто пойдёт к доске? Kto poydyot k doske? – “Who will go to the blackboard?” 

Извините, я не успеваю. Вы можете повторить ещё раз? Izvinite, ya ne uspevayu. Vy mozhete povtorit’ eshchyo raz? – “Sorry I can’t keep up. Can you repeat one more time, please?” 

Можно задать вопрос?  Mozhno zadat’ vopros? – “Can I ask you a question?” 

Уточните, пожалуйста.  Utochnite, pozhaluysta. – “Please, clarify it.” 

D) Discipline, Absence and Tardiness

Learn Russian classroom phrases for students to make excuses for tardiness and to explain the absence. Here are also a few phrases to understand when the teacher asks for discipline.  

Я нехорошо себя чувствую. Я не могу сегодня пойти в школу. Ya nekhorosho sebya chuvstvuyu. Ya ne mogu segodnya poyti v shkolu. – “I’m not feeling well. I won’t be able to attend school today.” 

Извините за опоздание. Трамвай встал на мосту. Электричество закончилось. Izvinite za opozdaniye. Tramvay vstal na mostu. Elektrichestvo zakonchilos’. – “Sorry I’m late. The tram just stood on the bridge. The electricity has run out.” 

Тишина! Tishina! – “Silence!” 

Иванов, сядь на место! Ivanov, syad’ na mesto! – “Ivanov, sit down!” 

На задней парте — тихо! Na zadney parte — tikho! – “In the back, be quiet!” 

3. Communicating with Classmates

A) Greetings

Students Giving High-fives

School friendship can last for a long time

Here are some useful classroom phrases in Russian that you can hear communicating with other students.  

— Привет! Идёшь сегодня на физру? — Нет, я забыл дома форму.  Privet! Idyosh’ segodnya na fizru? — Net, ya zabyl doma formu. – “– Hey, are you going to the gym today? – No, I forgot my uniform.” 

— Привет! Ты сделал домашнее задание по математике? — Нет, я ничего не понял. — Privet! Ty sdelal domashneye zadaniye po matematike? — Net, ya nichego ne ponyal. – “— Hey! Did you do your math homework? — No, I didn’t understand anything.” 

До завтра, Ваня. Встретимся утром у класса химии. Do zavtra, Vanya. Vstretimsya utrom u klassa khimii. – “See you tomorrow, Vanya. Meet me in the morning at the chemistry class.” 

B) Favorite Subjects

Each of us has our favorite and least favorite lessons, there are boring ones, and there are those that we cannot stand. Let’s say it in Russian.

Мой любимый предмет — математика. Moy lyubimyy predmet — matematika. – “My favorite subject is math.” 

Терпеть не могу физику. Зачем она вообще нужна? Terpet’ ne mogu fiziku. Zachem ona voobshche nuzhna? – “I can’t stand physics. Why do we need it at all?” 

У меня хорошо получается сочинять истории. Я люблю писать сочинения. U menya khorosho poluchayetsya sochinyat’ istorii. Ya lyublyu pisat’ sochineniya. – “I’m good at writing stories. I love writing essays.” 

C) Talking About Teachers and Timetables

Мария Петровна заболела. Сегодня не будет математики. Mariya Petrovna zabolela. Segodnya ne budet matematiki. – “Maria Petrovna fell ill. There will be no math today.” 

Тест по химии перенесли на субботу. Test po khimii perenesli na subbotu. – “The chemistry test has been moved to Saturday.” 

В пятницу у меня окно второй парой. Пойдём вместе в библиотеку. V pyatnitsu u menya okno vtoroy paroy. Poydyom vmeste v biblioteku. – “On Friday I have a free period instead of the second double class. Let’s go to the library together.” 

D) Tests Instructions

In order to quickly and correctly complete tasks in Russian, you need to understand well what you are asked to do. Here are some useful phrases in Russian tests.

Отмечайте правильный выбор только на матрице, в тесте ничего не пишите. Otmechayte pravil’nyy vybor tol’ko na matritse, v teste nichego ne pishite. – “Mark the correct choice only in the matrix, do not write anything in the test!” 

Задания рекомендуется выполнять одно за другим. Zadaniya rekomenduyetsya vypolnyat’ odno za drugim. – “Tasks are recommended to be completed one by one.” 

Вы не можете пользоваться калькулятором во время экзамена. Vy ne mozhete pol’zovat’sya kal’kulyatorom vo vremya ekzamena. – “You cannot use a calculator while taking the test.” 

Выберите правильную форму глагола. Vyberite pravil’nuyu formu glagola. – “Choose the correct form of the verb.” 

4. Conclusion

Now you know Russian classroom words and phrases — how to talk about the school schedule in Russian, what are the names of school items and supplies, how to communicate with the teacher and fellow students, and what are the main teachers and test instructions. Do you know some other Russian words that you often use in classrooms? Please share in the comments below. 

Do you want to learn Russian vocabulary? Be sure to check RussianPod101.com. If you want to learn Russian on your own for free, then this site is for you. Here you can find free Vocabulary lists, video lessons, and Russian grammar guides.

With our premium service MyTeacher you get oneonone personal training sessions and can practice classroom vocabulary, improve pronunciation and ask questions. An experienced tutor will help you learn Russian very quickly. Learn Russian with RussianPod101 and improve your skills on daily basis.

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Eating out: Russian Phrases for Visiting Restaurants

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Why is it important to study restaurant phrases?

No trip to Russia is complete without visiting local restaurants and cafes. But to enjoy Russian food to the fullest and not end up getting something strange on your plate, it is better to know in advance the basic Russian restaurant phrases, what popular dishes are called in Russian, how to book a table, and other nuances.

Of course, many restaurants have menus with pictures, which greatly simplifies the task for those who are new to this vocabulary. But wouldn’t you like to know how to order food in Russian and not just point the finger at the dish in the picture?

So today’s “special” is useful Russian vocabulary and the most common Russian restaurant phrases. From this article, you will learn Russian restaurant phrases, how to place an order, ask for a bill in Russian and make a dialogue in a cafe or restaurant.

A Man and a Woman Making an Order

You can also practise your social skills when dining out

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Booking a table
  2. During Dining
  3. After Dining
  4. Tipping etiquette in Russia
  5. Conclusion

1. Booking a table

Being able to reserve a table in a restaurant helps to get rid of a lot of stress. You don’t have to waste time looking for places with empty seats or waiting for a table already at the restaurant.

If you are going to dine at a famous restaurant, you need to book a table (зарезервировать столикzarezervirovat’ stolik) in advance, for example, by phone. At the same time, it is important to give your name, tell the number of seats required, as well as the exact time of booking. Specify where you would like to reserve a table.

Могу ли я заказать столик на троих на субботу, 7 мая, на 17:00?Mogu li ya zakazat’ stolik na troikh na subbotu, 7 maya, na 17:00? – “Can I reserve a table for 3 on Saturday May 7th at 5pm?” 

В вашем ресторане есть свободные места на террасе в пятницу?V vashem restorane yest’ svobodnyye mesta na terrase v pyatnitsu? – “Does your restaurant have free seats on the terrace on Friday?” 

Let’s see in the dialogue how to book a table in a restaurant in Russian:

А: Доброе утро! Я бы хотел зарезервировать столик.Dobroye utro! Ya by khotel zarezervirovat’ stolik. – Good morning! I would like to reserve a table.

В: Конечно. На какое число и время?Konechno. Na kakoye chislo i vremya? – Certainly. For what date and time?

А: Завтра днём в два часа.Zavtra dnyom v dva chasa. – Tomorrow afternoon at two p.m.

В: Сколько вас?Skol’ko vas? – For how many people?

А: Нас будет четверо.Nas budet chetvero. – There will be four of us.

В: На веранде или внутри?Na verande ili vnutri? – On the patio or indoors?

А: На веранде, пожалуйста.Na verande, pozhaluysta. – On the patio, please.

В: Скажите, пожалуйста, ваше имя?Skazhite, pozhaluysta, vashe imya? – Can you please tell me your name?

А: Иван Петров. – Ivan Petrov. – Ivan Petrov.

В: Какие-нибудь особые пожелания?Kakiye-nibud’ osobyye pozhelaniya? – Any special requests?

А: Больше ничего. Спасибо!Bol’she nichego. Spasibo! – That will be it. Thanks!

В: Спасибо, что выбрали нас. До свидания!Spasibo, chto vybrali nas. Do svidaniya! – Thank you for choosing us. Goodbye!

А: Всего доброго!Vsego dobrogo! – Have a good day!

2. During Dining

After you have sat down at the table, ask them to bring you a menu if the waiter has not already done so. Then you can order your dishes, as well as choose a drink and dessert.

In a good restaurant, the staff will always meet the guest with a smile and show them to the table, after which the waiter will immediately come up to you, bring the menu and introduce himself. During the meal, you can refer to the waiter by name. To attract attention, you can use a gesture of a raised hand, as well as a nod of the head to invite the waiter.

A Man Is Calling a Waiter

It’s actually encouraging for servers to be called by their name instead of something as rude as a finger snap

Fortunately, the word menu in Russian sounds almost the same. Here are some Russian phrases for waiters at a restaurant:

Могу я посмотреть меню, пожалуйста?Mogu ya posmotret’ menyu, pozhaluysta? – “Can I see the menu please?” 

Подскажите, где находится ванная комната.Podskazhite, gde nakhoditsya vannaya komnata. – “Could you tell me where the bathroom is.” 

В вашем ресторане есть фирменные блюда?V vashem restorane yest’ firmennyye blyuda? – “Do you have specialties in your restaurant?” 

Что вы порекомендуете из горячих блюд?Chto vy porekomenduyete iz goryachikh blyud? – “Do you recommend something for hot dishes?” 

Какое ваше самое популярное блюдо? –– Kakoye vashe samoye populyarnoye blyudo? – “What’s your most popular dish?” 

Предложите мне что-нибудь из традиционной русской кухни.Predlozhite mne chto-nibud’ iz traditsionnoy russkoy kukhni. – “Offer me something from traditional Russian cuisine.” 

A small dialogue:

Как вам приготовить бифштекс?Kak vam prigotovit’ bifshteks? – “How do you want your steak?” 

Хорошо прожаренный. А моему спутнику – с кровью.Khorosho prozharennyy. A moyemu sputniku – s krov’yu – “Well done for me, please. And a medium rare for my companion.” 

Learn more about Russian traditional cuisine in our online Russian article

In Russia, the set lunch or menu of the day, a set of certain dishes served at certain times of the day at a relatively low price, is called a business lunch (бизнес-ланч). The life of a businessman goes at a crazy pace, so it is not always possible to allocate an hour or two for lunch or at least a light snack. Therefore, in Russia, back in the early 2000s, popular restaurants and cafes began to offer their visitors business menus. The food comes out pretty fast, the menu is different every day, and the price is good. Of course, not only businessmen can take advantage of this offer.

Я возьму бизнес-ланч.Ya voz’mu biznes-lanch. – “I would like the menu of the day.” 

Perhaps, when choosing a dish, it will not always be clear to you what it consists of. If you are allergic, be sure to learn the Russian words for the foods you are allergic to and tell the waiter about it. Or if you are a vegetarian. Maybe you just don’t like a certain ingredient? You can ask the chef to prepare a dish without it. Were you served a hot meal at room temperature? Ask to replace it or warm it up. Or maybe you have a dull knife? Ask for another one. In addition, you can ask for some add-ons (sauce, bread) to the order or completely change the order if you wish.

Можно нам ещё морса?Mozhno nam eshchyo morsa? – “Can we have some more fruit drink?” 

Принесите нам белый соус, пожалуйста.Prinesite nam belyy sous, pozhaluysta. – “Bring us a white sauce, please.” 

У нас кончился хлеб. Принесите, пожалуйста. U nas konchilsya khleb. Prinesite, pozhaluysta. – “We’ve run out of bread. Can we have more, please.” 

Можно принести ещё салфеток? Mozhno prinesti eshchyo salfetok? – “Can you bring some more napkins?” 

У меня аллергия на лесные орехи. Можно ли приготовить фирменный салат без орехов?U menya allergiya na lesnyye orekhi. Mozhno li prigotovit’ firmennyy salat bez orekhov? – “I’m allergic to tree nuts. Can you make a house salad without nuts?” 

Это не мой заказ.Eto ne moy zakaz. – “This is not my order.” 

Еда холодная. Yeda hkolodnaya. – “The dish is cold.” 

Блюдо пересолено.Blyudo peresoleno. – “The dish is too salty.” 

У него кислый вкус.U nego kislyy vkus. – “It has a sour taste.” 

Я давно жду свой заказ. Когда он будет готов? – Ya davno zhdu svoy zakaz. Kogda on budet gotov? – “I have been waiting for my order for a long time. When will it be ready?” 

Мы торопимся.My toropimsya. – “We’re in a hurry.” 

Are you going to work while dining in the restaurant, or are you learning online Russian on the go? Many cafes have free Wi-Fi; just ask the waiter for the password.

Скажите, пожалуйста, пароль от Wi-Fi.Skazhite, pozhaluysta, parol’ ot Wi-Fi. – “Please tell me the password for your Wifi.” 

Please, note you can’t smoke in Russian restaurants. Tobacco smoking is prohibited in Russian cafes and restaurants, even on open terraces. It is also not allowed to consume nicotine-containing products (tobacco heating systems, electronic cigarettes, vapes) or use hookahs in public catering premises.

A Woman Is Breaking a Cigarette

From June 1st  2014, all cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels, shops, markets, shopping centers and long-distance journeys on ships and trains became smoke free in Russia

3. After Dining

You can always take food to go. Here are some useful expressions in a restaurant in the Russian language for ordering takeout:

Могу я взять эти блюда с собой?Mogu ya vzyat’ eti blyuda s soboy? – “Can I get these dishes to-go?” 

Можно мне кофе с собой? Mozhno mne kofe s soboy? – “Can I get coffee to-go?” 

Можно мне два контейнера?Mozhno mne dva konteynera? – “Can I get 2 boxes?” 

After a pleasant dinner, it’s time to pay. Call your waiter and tell them you want to checkout using the following phrases:

Спасибо. Принесите счёт, пожалуйста.Spasibo. Prinesite schyot, pozhaluysta. – “Thank you. Can I have the bill, please?” 

У вас можно расплатиться карточкой?U vas mozhno rasplatit’sya kartochkoy?– “Can I pay by card?” 

Давайте заплатим каждый за себя.Davayte zaplatim kazhdyy za sebya. – “Let’s share the bill.” 

And there is no problem if you ask your waiter to call a taxi for you.

Вызовите такси, пожалуйста. Vyzovite taksi pozhaluysta. – Could you call me a taxi, please?

A Taxi Car

Taxi fares are affordable in Russia

4. Tipping etiquette in Russia

According to the new rules, in Russia, it is forbidden to include a tip in the bill. Previously, guests would find an additional service charge printed on the check, but now visitors decide on their own how much to tip. The optimal amount of tipping in Russian culture is considered to be 10-15% of the total amount.

Tips Left with a Cup of Coffee

Typically in Russia the etiquette is to tip anywhere between 10% and 15% of the bill

You can tip when you are completely satisfied with the service, with the waiter’s recommendations on the choice of dishes and drinks, unobtrusive service during dinner, and quick response to your requests. It is no secret that in some restaurants, bars, and cafes, tips are the main income of waiters. 

According to the rules of restaurant etiquette, it is better to leave a tip in a restaurant after paying the bill. It is considered indecent to demonstrate one’s generosity, so it is better to leave a tip without further ado. You should not run after the waiter with money in your hand; leave tips in cash in a special book, box, or bucket. 

Another option is to leave more money and say with gratitude: 

Сдачи не надо.Sdachi ne nado. – “Keep the change.” 

While it used to be customary to leave a tip in cash, today, most restaurants have the opportunity to thank the waiter with the help of non-cash tip systems. To do this, the guest needs to scan the QR code placed on the bill using the phone’s camera or ask the waiter to show the QR code in his mobile application. You can immediately follow the link, select the required amount (it can be indicated as a percentage), then select a convenient payment method and transfer the tip instantly.

5. Conclusion

Now you have learned a list of Russian restaurant phrases and can safely go even to the dining room, even to a classic restaurant. Knowing the proposed set of phrases and expressions, you can enjoy Russian hospitality, appreciate cuisine and drinks.

Don’t forget to explore Russianpod101 — there is a lot of useful and free information and materials which will make your Russian language learning easy. Check Vocabulary lists that are especially useful in restaurants: Twenty Drinks to Quench Your Thirst, Food – Fruits and Vegetables, and Russia 100 Food.

MyTeacher is another great way to learn Russian language — you get a personal 1-on-1 teacher to practice not only the restaurant phrases but to discuss cultural differences and improve your pronunciation. Your teacher will give you personal assignments, personalized exercises, and audio material — all in all, this approach helps to improve your Russian in no time. Enjoy your learning with RussianPod101!

What dish would you order in a Russian restaurant? Please, let us know in the comment section below!

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How to Improve Your Russian Conversation Skills

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Do you often find it difficult to find words in Russian? Do you have the opportunity to practice but don’t know what to say? When communicating in Russian begins, it takes resourcefulness to keep the conversation going. In this article, we will give you a few tips on how to improve your Russian conversation skills. Whether it’s a party or a business meeting, use these tips, and you’ll be the best at small talk for sure!

To learn any language, you need more than just vocabulary. You also need to be able to perceive speech by ear, read and write, and, of course, speak it. It doesn’t matter if you practice speaking alone or with a teacher. It is simply impossible to speak without using other skills. Therefore, it is better to develop Russian conversation skills.

Some Friends Chatting at the Table

A conversation can be a lot of fun

Further, we will give you a few main pieces of advice on how to improve your conversation skills in Russian and some phrases and words to keep a conversation going even if you are stuck.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Make Your Own Language Profile Cheat Sheet
  2. Learn Russian Reactions and Filler Words
  3. Learn Common Questions and Answers
  4. Learn Conversation Starters
  5. How to Improve Conversation Skills
  6. Conclusion

1. Make Your Own Language Profile Cheat Sheet

In an unfamiliar group of people, it is hard to reveal your best side and show communication skills. Sometimes it is not so easy to cope with such a task due to psychological and social factors. If the speaker experiences difficulties just speaking about himself in his native language, then when communicating in a foreign language, in addition to the language barrier and insurmountable excitement, he faces even greater difficulties. A Cheat Sheet will help you not to get lost in conversation.

Language Profile Cheat Sheet is basically your own profile that includes the key information about you — your age, gender, your activities, and interests. You take all that you like to talk about in your native language and turn it into Russian. Depending on the circumstances and purposes of communication, your story about yourself in Russian may differ. To make a personal cheat sheet, you can use some help from such translators as Google Translate or Yandex Translator if we are talking about the Russian language. But if you have a Premium account, you can talk about Language Profile with your personal teacher and create your own Russian Cheat Sheet together.

A Girl Is Taking a Note

Did you use cheat sheets at school?

What can be included in the Language Profile?

  1. General information (name, surname, age)

A typical conversation in Russian can start with the following words:

Позвольте представиться. Pozvol’te predstavit’sya. – “Let me introduce myself” 

Then you can say your name and age:

Меня зовут Аня. Мне 35 лет. Menya zovut Anya. Mne 35 let. – “My name is Anya. I’m 35 years old.”

Other things that Cheat Sheet may include:

  1. Place of residence
  2. Family

Here, you can write about parents, sisters/brothers, husband/wife, children, and what they do. 

  1. Education

This part of the cheat sheet should answer the question: where do/did I study? 

  1. Work

At this point, it is necessary to write where you work, and what professional skills you have. 

  1. Hobbies

To have more topics to discuss, write what you are passionate about. Think of possible questions.

Example 1:

Позвольте представиться. Меня зовут Аня. Мне 35 лет. Я живу в Москве. Я закончила МГУ и теперь работаю в банке. Мне очень нравиться работать с цифрами. Я замужем и у меня есть дочь. Зимой я люблю кататься на лыжах, а летом – на велосипеде.

Pozvol’te predstavit’sya. Menya zovut Anya. Mne 35 let. YA zhivu v Moskve. YA zakonchila MGU i teper’ rabotayu v banke. Mne ochen’ nravit’sya rabotat’ s ciframi. YA zamuzhem i u menya est’ doch’. Zimoj ya lyublyu katat’sya na lyzhah, a letom – na velosipede.

“Let me introduce myself. My name is Ann. I am 35 years old. I live in Moscow. I graduated from Moscow State University and now work in a bank. I really enjoy working with numbers. I am married and have a daughter. I love skiing in winter and cycling in summer.”

Example 2:

Меня зовут Марк. Мне 22 года. Я студент политехнического университета. В будущем я стану компьютерным инженером. Мне очень интересна сфера децентрализованных финансов и криптовалют. Также в свободное время я катаюсь на скейтборде.

Menya zovut Mark. Mne 22 goda. YA student politekhnicheskogo universiteta. V budushchem ya stanu komp’yuternym inzhenerom. Mne ochen’ interesna sfera decentralizovannyh finansov i kriptovalyut. Takzhe v svobodnoe vremya ya katayus’ na skejtborde.

“My name is Mark. I am 22 years old. I am a student at Polytechnic University. In the future, I will become a computer engineer. I am very interested in the field of decentralized finance and cryptocurrencies. I also go skateboarding in my free time.”

Example 3:

Я – Виктор. Мне 65 лет. Я на пенсии. Всю свою жизнь я работал бухгалтером. Теперь я путешествую по миру, знакомлюсь с традициями народов и учу новые языки.

Ya – Viktor. Mne 65 let. Ya na pensii. Vsyu svoyu zhizn’ ya rabotal buhgalterom. Teper’ ya puteshestvuyu po miru, znakomlyus’ s tradiciyami narodov i uchu novye yazyki.

“I am Victor. I am 65 years old. I’m retired. All my life, I have worked as an accountant. Now I travel the world, get acquainted with the traditions of peoples, and learn new languages.”

2. Learn Russian Reactions and Filler Words

During a conversation, native speakers use numerous phrases to support the conversation.

They sound very similar to English exclamations and have almost the same meaning.

A Man Is Pronouncing Letters

Filler words are an important part of sounding natural when you speak Russian

Ух ты! Uh ty! – “Wow!” 

– Я выиграл в лотерею 500 рублей!

– Ух ты!
– Ya vyigral v lotereyu 500 rublej!

– Uh ty!
“- I won 500 rubles in the lottery!

– Wow!”

Кошмар/Ужас! Koshmar/Uzhas! – “It’s a nightmare!” 

– Мы простояли в очереди три часа!

– Ужас! Не могу себе представить.
– My prostoyali v ocheredi tri chasa!

– Uzhas! Ne mogu sebe predstavit’.
“- We stood in line for three hours!

– It’s a nightmare! I can not imagine it.”

Да ты что! Da ty chto! – “No way!” 

– Вчера мой парень сделал мне предложение!

– Да ты что! Счастливая…
– Vchera moj paren’ sdelal mne predlozhenie!

– Da ty chto! Schastlivaya… 
“- Yesterday my boyfriend proposed to me!

– No way! You are a lucky girl…”

Ничего себе! Nichego sebe! – “That’s awesome”

– Нашему отделу дали премию.

– Ничего себе! Вот повезло.
– Nashemu otdelu dali premiyu.

– Nichego sebe! Vot povezlo. 
“- Our department was given an award.

– That’s awesome! That’s lucky.”

Понятно. Ponyatno. – “I see” 

– Я завтра не смогу прийти. Мне нужно в больницу.

– Понятно. Выздоравливай. 
– Ya zavtra ne smogu prijti. Mne nuzhno v bol’nicu.

– Ponyatno. Vyzdoravlivaj. 
“- I won’t be able to come tomorrow. I need to go to the hospital.

– I see. Get well.”

Неужели? Neuzheli? – “Really?” 

– Я опоздал, потому что застрял в пробке.

– Неужели? Уже третий раз за неделю? 
– Ya opozdal, potomu chto zastryal v probke.

– Neuzheli? Uzhe tretij raz za nedelyu?
“- I was late because I got stuck in a traffic jam.

– Really? For the third time in a week?”

What are fillers? This is a word (or words) that does not carry a special lexical meaning and is superfluous. However, such words are often used to fill a pause or to express emotions. In Russian, they are called parasitic words — people use them in a speech almost unconsciously. They can be reaction words and just unconsciously spoken words and sounds. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the Russian conversation words to improve your skill, learn fillers, and learn reaction words in order to fill in the awkward pauses.

Как бы… Kak by… – “ Like…”

Знаешь…Znayesh’… – “You know…”

Ну… Nu… – “Well…”

В любом случае… V lyubom sluchaye… – “Anyway…”

Типа… Tipa… – “Sort of …”

Видишь ли …  Vidish’ li … – “You see…”

Да уж… Da uzh… – “Yeah…”

Точно … Tochno … – “Right…”

Короче говоря … Koroche govorya … – “In short…”

There are also sounds (interjections), that can be “parasites”: 

Гм… / Хм… Gm… / Khm… – “Um…”

Ммм… Mmm… – “Mmm …”

Ага …  Aga … – “Uh-huh …”

О! O! – “Oh!”

А! –  A! – “Uh!”

With the help of these words, we fill the void in speech, compensate for our insecurity, and take time to choose the right words. And if vocabulary is still meager, and there is something to express in words, linguistic parasites are irreplaceable helpers to facilitate the process of communication. Using them, you show that you follow the train of thought and are emotionally involved in someone’s story. But here, of course, you should be careful so that the enthusiasm and empathy do not turn into interrupting the interlocutor.

3. Learn Common Questions and Answers

There are a lot of materials on RussianPod101 about common questions and answers in Russian. Check the main articles: The 10 Most Common Questions in Russian & How to Answer Them and 10 Responses to “How are you?”

For now, look at the following questions and answers, which you are likely to hear in everyday conversations in Russian.

Practice these questions with your partner, and then try to use a few of these phrases the next time you meet a friend at a coffee shop, work event, or party.

-Чем вы занимаетесь?
-В настоящий момент я учусь.
-Chem vy zanimayetes’?
-V nastoyashchiy moment ya uchus’.
-So, what do you do?
-Right now, I’m a student. 
-Что ты делаешь по выходным?
-Ну, я люблю читать русскую классику.
-Chto ty delayesh’ po vykhodnym?
-Nu, ya lyublyu chitat’ russkuyu klassiku.
-What sort of stuff do you do on the weekends?
-Well, I tend to read Russian Classics.
– Твоя работа интересная?
– Да, я постоянно узнаю что-то новое.
– Tvoya rabota interesnaya?
– Da, ya postoyanno uznayu chto-to novoye.
– Is your job interesting? 
– Yes, I am constantly learning something new.
– Откуда ты?
– Я из Сибири, а ты?
– Otkuda ty?
– Ya iz Sibiri, a ty?
– Where are you from?
– I am from Siberia, and you?
– Вы хорошо говорите по-русски. Где вы учились?
– Я окончил МГУ.
– Vy khorosho govorite po-russki. Gde vy uchilis’?
– Ya okonchil MGU.
-Your Russian is good. Where did you study?
– I graduated from Moscow State University.

4. Learn Conversation Starters

Let’s talk about some examples of how to break the ice. A general comment is a good start for dialogue. Take a closer look, maybe there is something noteworthy in the place where you are? Or will you notice an interesting detail in the appearance, and behavior of the interlocutor? Here are some Russian conversation skills examples:

Какой завораживающий вид! –  Kakoy zavorazhivayushchiy vid! – “What an eye-catching view!”

A winning option is to ask the person for their opinion.

А как вы считаете? –  A kak vy schitayete? – “What do you think?”

A good old trick that will help out if nothing more remarkable could be found is a conversation about the weather. A selection of words about weather and nature will come in handy.

Кажется, вот-вот пойдёт снег. –  Kazhetsya, vot-vot poydyot sneg. – “Looks like it’s going to snow.”

Льёт как из ведра. У вас есть с собой зонтик? –  L’yot kak iz vedra. U vas yest’ s soboy zontik? – “The rain is coming down in buckets. Do you have an umbrella with you?”

Get some more weather ideas from our article — Learn The Top 15 Weather Conditions.

Вы смотрели вчерашнюю игру? Такой позор! –  Vy smotreli vcherashnyuyu igru? Takoj pozor! – “Have you watched yesterday’s game? What a shame!”

Hopefully, a few more phrases have been added to your favorite ways to strike up a casual conversation.

5. How to Improve Conversation Skills

If you wonder how to practice speaking Russian skills, here are some best practices which are good for learning any new language:

1. Talk and talk

If you live or study abroad, use this advantage and talk to new friends, talk in shops and cafes, and everywhere you go. If you are studying the Russian language in your own country, find a language partner, use apps for talking, or talk to a personal teacher here on RussianPod101.

2. The shadowing method

The basis of this method is simple: you need to listen to audio with a foreign speech and repeat it aloud – as close to the original as possible. Thus, you follow the speaker like a shadow. Then it all depends on the time you devote to practice. Here, regularity is above all: at least half an hour of daily classes – and soon, even in Moscow, no one will guess that you are not Russian.

3. Listen and read

You need a vocabulary to carry on a conversation, right? Learning bookish vocabulary is great, but there are also other ways to improve your vocabulary: watch movies and TV shows, listen to Russian music, radio, and podcasts (RussianPod101 also has a great podcast for learning), or read books, forums, and blogs.

Learning Russian through movies is a great way to improve your language skills! You hear live foreign speech, and enrich your vocabulary with colloquial words. To get the most out of your viewing experience, choose a movie or TV show according to your level and taste. Don’t start with The Brothers Karamazov screen adaptation so as not to get lost. Start with something funny and easy-going like the comedy TV show «Кухня» (Kitchen) or classic Oscar-winner «Москва слезам не верит» (Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears).

4. Talking on the phone

Many people find telephone conversations particularly difficult. The reason is that on the phone, we do not see people’s movements and expressions on their faces. For practice, don’t send messages, try to call and talk on the phone in a good old way. Hearing a person’s voice is much more pleasant than receiving emoticons in messengers, and it will definitely help you with Russian learning.

A Girl Is Talking on the Phone

People form significantly stronger bonds when they’re talking on the phone than when communicating over text messages

5. Talk to yourself

It is one of the best ways how to improve your Russian speaking skills. Maybe it is strange, but it works. And if someone sees, you can pretend to be on the phone and just don’t care.

What to talk about? You can simply describe what you see or comment on your actions: “Here I am eating my breakfast. It is a tasty sandwich…Here I am leaving the house. Did I take keys? Is it cold today? So, what bus should I take…”. 

6. Conclusion 

All in all, the best way for improving Russian conversation skills is to have fun practicing the Russian language. It is much easier to learn when you enjoy it. Combine serious practice with humorous things: sing along to popular songs in Russian, practice tongue twisters, or make up a speech in case of getting a Nobel Prize.

A Man Singing to the Song

Singing in a foreign language can significantly improve learning how to speak it

Remember that all these tips are effective under one extremely important condition: even if you do not have an interlocutor, you must have feedback. Find a teacher to review your written work. Be sure to check yourself with a dictionary. 

Don’t start using many new phrases until you are sure you understand what they mean and how to say them. A personal teacher is a great way here to practice Conversation Skills. Use our Premium service, MyTeacher, and it will not take long to see the result.

And what about you, do you feel comfortable when talking in Russian? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian

Advanced Russian Phrases to Broaden Your Vocabulary

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We recommend this article for those who have largely mastered the Russian language, have learned to build simple sentences on their own, and wish to improve further. If you want to not only speak in Russian but also to do so exactly like a native speaker, then you’re in the right place. The advanced Russian phrases outlined in this article will take your language skills to the next level. 

It’s very difficult to become a fluent speaker in a foreign language, not needing to think about your every word or how to phrase something. The secret, however, is simple: The more you practice, the faster you’ll refine your skills. 

Being able to start and maintain conversations in Russian is a major indicator that you’re getting closer to mastery, which makes it imperative to practice your Russian speaking skills early on. Writing also helps. Dip a toe in the water, and start writing academic essays or powerful resumes in Russian using the advanced words and phrases from this article.

We have prepared for you a comprehensive list of advanced Russian phrases for a variety of contexts. The best way to memorize them is to use them in your daily life as often as possible. If your goal is to sound like a native speaker, you should place particular focus on learning the common Russian idioms and expressions outlined at the end of this article.

Students Communicating with Each Other on a University Lawn

Whether we travel for work or for pleasure, understanding one another without language barriers enhances our lives.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Common Phrases for Writing an Essay
  2. Power Phrases for Your Resume and Cover Letter
  3. Smart Phrases for Business and Meetings
  4. Advanced Idioms, Sayings, and Proverbs for Everyday Usage
  5. Conclusion

1. Common Phrases for Writing an Essay

To write a really good essay or academic paper, you’ll need to have sufficient vocabulary. Developing the language skills for writing a persuasive argument is crucial. 

Here, we have listed several advanced Russian phrases and expressions for writing a great essay. This is absolutely not an exhaustive list, but it should be enough to help you practice your writing skills and compose an impressive academic paper.


A Girl Writing

To write a good essay, you will need to know some advanced phrases.

1.
С этой целью необходимо рассмотреть ряд ключевых вопросов.
S etoy tsel’yu neobkhodimo rassmotret’ ryad klyuchevykh voprosov.
“To that end, consideration needed to be given to a number of key issues.”

2.
Результаты недавнего исследования предоставляют убедительные доказательства в поддержку этой теории.
Rezul’taty nedavnego issledovaniya predostavlyayut ubeditel’nyye dokazatel’stva v podderzhku etoy teorii.
“The results of a recent study provide strong evidence to support this theory.”

3.
Первостепенное значение для решения поставленных нами задач имеют исследования, непосредственно направленные на изучение теоретических аспектов.
Pervostepennoye znacheniye dlya resheniya postavlennykh nami zadach imeyut issledovaniya, neposredstvenno napravlennyye na izuchenie teoreticheskih aspektov.
“Studies directly aimed at theoretical aspects are of paramount importance for finding solutions to the tasks set by us.”

4.
Сказанное заставляет полагать, что изначальное предположение было верным.
Skazannoye zastavlyayet polagat’, chto iznachal’noe predpolozhenie bylo vernym.
“This leads one to believe that the original assumption was correct.”

5.
Ещё одна ключевая вещь, о которой нужно помнить – это разнообразие.
Yeshchyo odna klyuchevaya veshch’, o kotoroy nuzhno pomnit’ – eto raznoobrazie.
“Another key thing to remember is diversity.”

6.
Многочисленные исследования показывают, что более 70% покупок совершаются импульсивно.
Mnogochislennyye issledovaniya pokazyvayut, chto bolee 70% pokupok sovershayutsya impul’sivno.
“Numerous studies show that over 70% of purchases are made on impulse.”

7.
Трудно найти однозначный ответ на этот вопрос.
Trudno nayti odnoznachnyy otvet na etot vopros.
“It is difficult to find a definite answer to this question.”

8.
Аналогичную ситуацию автор описывает в следующем эпизоде.
Analogichnuyu situatsiyu avtor opisyvayet v sleduyushchem epizode.
“The author describes a similar situation in the next episode.”

9.
Я разделяю точку зрения автора по этому вопросу.
Ya razdelyayu mneniye/tochku zreniya avtora po etomu voprosu.
“I share the author’s point of view on this matter.”

2. Power Phrases for Your Resume and Cover Letter

A resume should be short, clear, and persuasive. It is important to choose your words carefully, opting for those that best highlight your experience and competence. Effective action phrases also improve the content of a resume and its accompanying cover letter. You can use the following advanced Russian words and phrases as a reference.

A Resume

A good resume will showcase your knowledge, skills, experience, expertise, and accomplishments.

1. “optimize costs” (оптимизировать расходы) 
Во время работы в этой компании я оптимизировал расходы и получил экономию в размере миллиона рублей.
Vo vremya raboty v etoy kompanii ya optimiziroval raskhody i poluchil ekonomiyu v razmere milliona rubley.
“While working at this company, I optimized costs and saved a million rubles.”

2. “reduce procurement costs” (сократить затраты на закупки) 
Я внедрил новую систему инвентаризации и сократил затраты на закупки на 20% в первом квартале.
Ya vnedril novuyu sistemu inventarizatsii i sokratil zatraty na zakupki na 20% v pervom kvartale.
“I implemented a new inventory system and reduced procurement costs by 20% in the first quarter.”

3. “develop a project” (разработать проект) 
Я разработал проект водоочистки и решил задачу создания системы водоподготовки.
Ya razrabotal proekt vodoochistki i reshil zadachu sozdaniya sistemy vodopodgotovki.
“I developed a water purifying project and solved the challenge of creating a water treatment system.”

 4. “make a schedule with tasks” (составлять график задач) 
Во время моей работы я составлял график задач на 3 месяца вперёд.
Vo vremya moey raboty ya sostavlyal grafik zadach na 3 mesyatsa vperyod.
“During my work, I made a schedule with tasks three months in advance.”

5. “increase sales” (увеличить продажи) 
За последний год я увеличил продажи на 5%, повысил показатели эффективности отдела.
Za posledniy god ya uvelichil prodazhi na 5%, povysil pokazateli effektivnosti otdela.
“Over the past year, I have increased sales by 5% and increased the performance indicators of the department.”

6. “head a team of” (возглавлять команду из) 
В компании “Спецпроект” я возглавлял команду из трёх человек.
V kompanii “Spetsproyekt” ya vozglavlyal komandu iz tryokh chelovek.
“At the Spetsproekt company, I headed a team of three people.”

7. “design a sales scheme” (спроектировать схему продаж) 
Спроектировал схему продаж.
Sproyektiroval skhemu prodazh.
“I designed a sales scheme.”

8. “be engaged” (заниматься) 
На последнем проекте я занимался адаптацией новых сотрудников и успешно взаимодействовал с госорганами.
Na poslednem proyekte ya zanimalsya adaptatsiyey novykh sotrudnikov i uspeshno vzaimodeystvoval s gosorganami.
“On the last project, I was engaged in the adaptation of new employees and successfully interacted with government agencies.”

9. “prioritize” (расставлять приоритеты) 
Я умею расставлять приоритеты при решении задач.
Ya umeyu rasstavlyat’ prioritety pri reshenii zadach.
“I can prioritize tasks.”

10. “critical thinking” (критическое мышление) 
Также я обладаю критическим мышлением.
Takzhe ya obladayu kriticheskim myshleniyem.
“I also have critical thinking.”

11. “defend one’s point of view” (отстаивать точку зрения) 
Я умею отстаивать свою точку зрения, обладаю навыками презентации и самопрезентации.
Ya umeyu otstaivat’ svoyu tochku zreniya, obladayu navykami prezentatsii i samoprezentatsii.
“I can defend my point of view; I have the skills of presentation and self-presentation.”

3. Smart Phrases for Business and Meetings

Do you plan on working or doing business in Russia? Then you’re going to need some advanced Russian vocabulary for use in business settings. Below, we have listed several advanced Russian phrases that will help you successfully speak during a business meeting and defend your point of view in a discussion.

People of Different Professions

The single most important ingredient for success is knowing how to get along with people.

1.
Первый пункт повестки дня…
Pervyy punkt povestki dnya…
“The first item on the agenda is…”

2. 
Прежде чем мы продолжим, мы должны…
Prezhde chem my prodolzhim, my dolzhny…
“Before we move on, we should…”

3. 
В чём заключается главная проблема?
V chyom zaklyuchayetsya glavnaya problema?
“What is the main problem?”

4.
В завершение мне бы хотелось подчеркнуть основные моменты.
V zaversheniye mne by khotelos’ podcherknut’ osnovnyye momenty.
“I’d like to finish by emphasizing the main points.”

In the corporate world, people sometimes use slang. Although most of these words are borrowed from the English language, foreigners often struggle to understand what they mean. Let’s take a look at a few of these difficult words in Russian.

  • Оффер 
    • Мы сделали клиентам оффер и ждём их ответа. 
      My sdelali kliyentam offer i zhdyom ikh otveta.
      “We made an offer to the clients, and now we are waiting for their answer.”
  • Митинг 
    • У меня сейчас митинг с партнёрами, перезвони позже.
      U menya seychas miting  s partnyorami, perezvoni pozzhe.
      “I am at a meeting with partners, call back later.”
  • Стартап 
    • Наша компания выросла из небольшого стартапа. 
      Nasha kompaniya vyrosla iz nebol’shogo startapa.
      “Our company originated from a small startup.”
  • Денежные потоки 
    • Требую полной прозрачности денежных потоков! 
      Trebuyu polnoy prozrachnosti denezhnykh potokov
      “I demand full transparency of cash flow.”
  • Cолидная компания 
    Solidnaya kompaniya
    “Established company”

The word тенденция is typically used in negative contexts: 

  • Тенденция 
    • Наметилась опасная тенденция. 
      Nametilas’ opasnaya tendentsiya
      “A dangerous trend has emerged.”
  • Делегировать полномочия 
    Delegirovat’ polnomochiya
    “Delegate authority”

4. Advanced Idioms, Sayings, and Proverbs for Everyday Usage

At any level of Russian proficiency, learning idioms is very difficult. This is due to the variety of these expressions as well as their seeming strangeness. 

That said, let’s learn a few useful advanced Russian idioms and proverbs. Some of them have equivalents in English, and some can be explained in simple words.

1.
Бабушка (бабка) надвое сказала.
Babushka (babka) nadvoye skazala.
Literally: “Grandma said in two.”
Meaning: “No one knows what will happen.”

2.
Метать громы и молнии
Metat’ gromy i molnii
Literally: “To fling thunder and lightning”
Meaning: “to be in a temper”

3. 
Обещать золотые горы
Obeshchat’ zolotyye gory
“To promise mountains of gold”
Equivalent to: “To promise the moon”

4. 
Нажать на все кнопки
Nazhat’ na vse knopki
“To press on all the buttons”
Equivalent to: “To pull strings”

5. 
Называть вещи своими именами
Nazyvat’ veshchi svoimi imenami
“To call things by their names”
Equivalent to: “To call a spade a spade”

6. 
Быть между молотом и наковальней
Byt’ mezhdu molotom i nakoval’ney
“To be between the sledgehammer and the anvil”
Equivalent to: “To be between a rock and a hard place”
Meaning: To be in a difficult, dangerous situation where trouble threatens from both sides

7. 
Волосы становятся дыбом.
Volosy stanovyatsya dybom.
“One’s hair stands on end.”
Meaning: It refers to a sense of dread or intense fear.

8.
Как гора с плеч свалилась
Kak gora s plech svalilas’
“As if a mountain had fallen off one’s shoulders”
Equivalent to: “A load off one’s mind”

9. 
Камня на камне не оставить
Kamnya na kamne ne ostavit’
“Not to leave one stone upon another stone”
Meaning: To destroy something to the ground or to criticize something/somebody mercilessly

10. 
Кататься как сыр в масле
Katat’sya kak syr v masle
“To be rolling like cheese in butter”
Meaning: To live content with everything in abundance

Two Girls Speaking

Improve your speaking skills and learn advanced techniques in order to speak confidently.

5. Conclusion

This guide is your starting point on this exciting journey toward learning to speak Russian at an advanced level. Speaking Russian will never be as easy as speaking your native language, but with enough practice, you can still progress by leaps and bounds. The more advanced Russian phrases you learn, the more opportunities you’ll have to practice—and to impress native speakers. The more you learn, the easier it gets!

Visit RussianPod101.com to find a lot more valuable (and free) information. We have prepared plenty of materials for advanced learners: recorded conversations, vocabulary lists, grammar lessons, etc. You can even learn key Russian phrases and use our Russian Word of the Day feature to learn a new word every day. 

Our Premium PLUS members also have access to our MyTeacher service, which allows you to communicate with a personal tutor. They can help you practice advanced phrases in Russian, assign you personalized exercises, and help you achieve success faster. Deepen your knowledge, expand your vocabulary, and get rid of your uncertainty about communicating with native Russian speakers!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how comfortable you feel with the advanced phrases we covered today. Are you eager to start memorizing them, or is something still a bit unclear? We look forward to hearing from you. 

Enjoy learning with RussianPod101.com! 

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The Most Useful Intermediate Russian Phrases

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Conversational speech consists of many idioms and collocations. The Russian language has its own commonly used phrases, some of which you already encountered at the beginner level. Now, we would like to offer you a concise guide to the most useful intermediate Russian phrases.

When you first started learning Russian, you probably focused on memorizing lists of words. But now that you understand the language much better, picking up entire phrases will help accelerate your Russian learning—even if there are still words you don’t know! 

By using intermediate Russian phrases at the right time and in the right place, you’ll be at your best and will be able to participate in conversations with native Russian speakers.

    ➜ Make sure to go through our Intermediate lesson series to learn even more Russian phrases and to hone your language skills.

A Man Greeting a Woman at a Car Dealership

Interacting with people of diverse backgrounds is a great way to practice your verbal communication skills.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Talking About Past Events
  2. Making and Changing Plans
  3. Listing and Explaining Your Reasons
  4. Making Recommendations and Complaints
  5. Reaction Phrases for Everyday Conversations
  6. Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings
  7. To Conclude

1. Talking About Past Events

Both English and Russian have three main tenses—past, present, and future—with each tense having several different forms. While there are twelve such forms in English, most verbs in Russian have five forms (except for some verbs, which have more). 

As a beginner, you likely focused on learning how to use the present tense. But in order to begin communicating more fluently, intermediate learners should start practicing how to use the different forms of the past tense

Below, we have compiled several intermediate-level Russian phrases for talking about past events. Learning them will significantly enrich your speech!

Girls Having a Party

Parties are fun, but they’re also a great way to practice your speaking skills when learning a foreign language.

Вчера на вечеринке мы весело провели время. 
Vchera na vecherinke my veselo proveli vremya.
“We had fun at the party last night.”

Я начал здесь работать три года назад. 
Ya nachal zdes’ rabotat’ tri goda nazad.
“I started this job three years ago.”

Вчера был худший день в моей жизни. 
Vchera byl khudshiy den’ v moyey zhizni.
“Yesterday was the worst day of my life.”

Когда-то у меня был щенок по кличке Шарик. 
Kogda-to u menya byl shchenok po klichke Sharik.
“I used to have a puppy named Sharik.”

Все выходные шёл дождь. 
Vse vykhodnyye shyol dozhd’.
“It was raining all weekend.”

    ➜ Want to study the past tense in greater depth? Then visit our lesson Precious Russian Memories on RussianPod101.com to learn about verb conjugation for the past tense. 

2. Making and Changing Plans

Now we will look at the future tense and discover how to make plans in Russian. Maybe you’ve already learned how to use the future tense in one of our free lessons, but if not, make sure to see this lesson for information on how to conjugate the verb быть (“to be”).

Ready? Try to memorize the following intermediate words and phrases in Russian, and feel free to play around with them to make them your own.

A Man Planning His Schedule

Life planning means setting smart goals that are feasible, measurable, and aligned with the broader outcomes you’re seeking.

У тебя есть время в эти выходные? 
U tebya yest’ vremya v eti vykhodnyye?
“Do you have time this weekend?”

Как насчёт русской еды? 
Kak naschyot russkoy yedy?
“How about Russian food?”

Могу ли я привести с собой парня/девушку? 
Mogu li ya privesti s soboy parnya/devushku?
“Can I bring my boyfriend/girlfriend with me?”

На следующей неделе они собираются сделать ремонт в комнате. 
Na sleduyushchey nedele oni sobirayutsya sdelat’ remont v komnate.
“They are going to redecorate the room next week.”

Я хотел спросить, можем ли мы перенести встречу. 
Ya khotel sprosit’, mozhem li my perenesti vstrechu.
“I was wondering if we could reschedule the meeting.”

Давайте в следующий вторник проведём встречу в Zoom, чтобы обсудить подробности. 
Davayte v sleduyushchiy vtornik provedyom vstrechu v Zoom, chtoby obsudit’ podrobnosti.
“Let’s have a Zoom meeting next Tuesday to discuss the details.”

3. Listing and Explaining Your Reasons 

There are many sentence patterns for explaining reasons in Russian. Doing so usually means forming a complex sentence and making use of the appropriate conjunctions, which can perform a range of functions useful for organizing thoughts. 

    ➜ If you haven’t yet, we recommend adding conjunctions to your intermediate Russian vocabulary. Our Level 3 Russian pathway has several lessons about different conjunctions and their uses. 

…потому что… 
…potomu chto…
“…because…”

  • Мы здесь, потому что нам не все равно. 
    My zdes’, potomu chto nam ne vse ravno.
    “We are here because we care.”
  • Я тут, потому что она попросила. 
    Ya tut, potomu chto ona poprosila.
    “I only came because she asked.”

Вот почему… 
Vot pochemu…
“That’s why… ”

  • Нам не все равно, вот почему мы здесь. 
    Nam ne vse ravno, vot pochemu my zdes’.
    “We care; that’s why we are here.”
  • Она попросила, вот почему я тут. 
    Ona poprosila, vot pochemu ya tut. 
    “She asked; that’s why I came.”

Так получилось, что… 
Tak poluchilos’, chto…
“It so happened that…”

  • Оказалось, что это девичья фамилия его мамы. 
    Okazalos’, chto eto devichya familiya evo mamy.
    “Turns out that it’s his mother’s maiden name.”
  • Так получилось, что мне нужно было уехать. 
    Tak poluchilos’, chto mne nuzhno bylo uehat’. 
    “It so happened that I had to leave.”

In Russian, you can use the following words to list your reasons. These words are always hyphenated:

    ★ во-первых (vo-pervykh) – “firstly”
    ★ во-вторых (vo-vtorykh) – “secondly”
    ★ в-третьих (v-tret’ikh) – “thirdly”
    ★ в-четвертых (v-chetvertykh) – “fourthly”
    ★ в-пятых (v-pyatykh) – “fifthly”
    ★ etc. 

Я выбрал это по трём причинам. Во-первых… Во-вторых… И последнее, но не менее важное… 
Ya vybral eto po tryom prichinam. Vo-pervykh… Vo-vtorykh… I posledneye, no ne meneye vazhnoye…
“I chose it for three reasons. First of all… Secondly… Last but not least…”

В первую очередь…
V pervuyu ochered’…
“First of all…”

4. Making Recommendations and Complaints

It’s difficult to imagine the modern world without internet communication. We all, in one way or another, require the internet in our daily lives: sending emails, performing work-related tasks, writing reviews and recommendations… 

In this section, we’ll touch on that last point. You’ll find a variety of intermediate phrases in Russian that you can use to make recommendations or complaints.

A Woman Showing Another Woman Something on a Tablet

Online reviews can help other customers make better choices.

Попробуй. Это лучшее, что я когда-либо пробовал. 
Poprobuy. Eto luchsheye, chto ya kogda-libo proboval.
“You should try this. It’s the best I’ve ever had.”

Нам очень понравилось в этом отеле. Я обязательно вернусь сюда снова. 
Nam ochen’ ponravilos’ v etom otele. Ya obyazatel’no vernus’ syuda snova.
“We loved staying at this hotel. I would definitely go back again.”

Плохое обслуживание. Не рекомендую. 
Plokhoye obsluzhivaniye. Ne rekomenduyu.
“Bad customer service. Would not recommend it.”

Лучшая еда в городе! 
Luchshaya yeda v gorode!
“The best food in the city!”

5. Reaction Phrases for Everyday Conversations

The following intermediate phrases in Russian will help you react more naturally during a conversation. Using the right phrase at the right time can help keep the conversation going and make your speech more fluent and relaxed. The Russian reaction phrases below are simple and easy to remember.

Класс! / Обалдеть! / Здорово! 
Klass! / Obaldet’! / Zdorovo!
“Awesome!”

Неужели? / Правда? 
Neuzheli? / Pravda?
“Really?”

Да что ты говоришь! / Да ты что! / Не может быть. 
Da chto ty govorish’! / Da ty chto! / Ne mozhet byt’.
“No kidding!”

Боже мой! / Ничего себе! 
Bozhe moy! / Nichego sebe!
“Oh my goodness!”

Ух ты! / Вот это да! 
Ukh ty! / Vot eto da!
“Wow!”

Это круто (потрясающе, ужасно, потрясно и т.д)!
Eto kruto (potryasayushche, uzhasno, potryasno i t.d)!
“That’s cool (fantastic, awful, mind-blowing, etc.)!”

Let’s use them in a couple of sample dialogues:

А: Вчера на вечеринке мы весело провели время.
B: Здорово! Я рада за вас.

A: Vchera na vecherinke my veselo proveli vremya.
B: Zdorovo! Ya rada za vas.

A: We had fun at the party last night. 
B: Awesome! I’m happy for you.

А: Вчера был худший день в моей жизни.
B: Правда? Что случилось?

A: Vchera byl khudshiy den’ v moyey zhizni.
B: Pravda? Chto sluchilos’?

A: Yesterday was the worst day of my life.
B: Really? What happened?

6. Etiquette Phrases for Social and Business Settings

All over the world, there are polite phrases used to show good manners, praise others, and encourage one another. In Russia, too, we have “magic words” and other niceties for business and social occasions. Below are a few of the most useful Russian phrases for intermediate learners who want to make a great impression on native speakers.

A Man and a Woman Cheering with Glasses of Wine

Having good manners is an incredibly important life skill.

Приятного аппетита! 
Priyatnogo appetita!
“Bon appétit!”

Добро пожаловать в наш магазин. 
Dobro pozhalovat’ v nash magazin.
“Welcome to our store.”

Пожалуйста, будьте как дома. 
Pozhaluysta, bud’te kak doma.
“Please make yourself at home.”

Пожалуйста, дай мне знать, если возникнут какие-либо вопросы.
Pozhaluysta, day mne znat’, yesli vozniknut kakiye-libo voprosy.
“Please let me know if you have any questions.”

Жду от тебя ответа. 
Zhdu ot tebya otveta.
“I look forward to hearing from you.”

Счастливого пути! 
Schastlivogo puti!
“Have a safe trip!”

Вы не могли бы..? 
Vy ne mogli by..?
“Could you…?”

Прошу прощения за то, что отнял ваше время. 
Proshu proshcheniya za to, chto otnyal vashe vremya.
“I apologize for wasting your time.”

Я хотел бы спросить вас… 
Ya khotel by sprosit’ vas…
“I would like to ask you…”

7. To Conclude

Alright, now we’re sure that if you go to Russia, you’ll have no problems communicating with the locals. Collocations will help you out in any—even the most difficult—situation!

Don’t forget to explore RussianPod101.com and create your free lifetime account today. Our Russian learning website provides a lot of free information to help you practice grammar, learn vocabulary, and pick up new phrases. 

Also, consider upgrading to Premium PLUS so that you can take advantage of our MyTeacher service. This will give you an incredible opportunity to learn Russian 1-on-1 with a teacher, so you could practice all the new intermediate Russian phrases from this article and ask any questions you might have.

Until next time, happy Russian learning!

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Common Russian Phrases for Beginners

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So, you’ve probably already conquered the Russian alphabet—congrats! Now it’s time to work on your vocabulary. Save the grammar for later. But instead of jumping into word lists right away, let me offer you something better: Russian beginner phrases you can start using today. 

I’ve been learning languages for more than a decade myself. I know that unpleasant feeling of not being able to make up a sentence when it’s finally my time to shine. Learning a few ready-made phrases solves this problem: At the heat of the moment, you won’t have to manipulate separate words. The whole phrase would just pop up in your mind. It’s like magic!

In this article, I’ll cover the 50 most common Russian phrases for beginners. You’ll learn the basic greetings and self-introduction lines, essential courtesy phrases, and some expressions that’ll help you order food in a restaurant, buy a souvenir, and not get lost in the city. This set of phrases will be particularly helpful if you plan to visit Russia, as not many Russians speak English

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Greetings and Self-introductions
  2. Courtesy Phrases
  3. Shopping
  4. Eating Out
  5. Asking for Help
  6. What’s Next?

1. Greetings and Self-introductions

It all starts with a hello! Let’s begin by going over a few basic Russian phrases you’ll need to know as you meet new people and make friends. 

Hello. [formal]Hi. [informal]
Здравствуйте. 
(Zdravstvuyte.)
Привет. 
(Privet.)
These are universal greetings. They can be used at any time of day.

If you want to be more specific (or just want to flaunt your knowledge of Russian), keep reading.

Good morning.
Доброе утро. 
(Dobroye utro.)

Good afternoon.
Добрый день. 
(Dobryy den’.)

Good evening.
Добрый вечер. 
(Dobryy vecher.)

How are you doing? [formal]How are you? [informal]
Как поживаете?
(Kak pozhivayete?)
Как дела? 
(Kak dela?)

I’m fine, thank you.
Всё хорошо, спасибо.
(Vsyo khorosho, spasibo.)

Now, straight to introducing ourselves and getting to know other people.

What’s your name? [formal]What’s your name? [informal]
Как вас зовут?
(Kak vas zovut?)
Как тебя зовут?
(Kak tebya zovut?)

My name is Amelie.
Меня зовут Амели
(Menya zovut Ameli.)

Where are you from? [formal]Where are you from? [informal]
Откуда вы?(Otkuda vy?)Откуда ты?(Otkuda ty?)

I’m from France.
Я из Франции.
(Ya iz Frantsii.)

Nice to meet you.
Приятно познакомиться.
(Priyatno poznakomit’sya.)

Nice to meet you, too.
Мне тоже. 
(Mne tozhe.)

Literally: Me too.

➤ You might be surprised to see how many ways there are to greet people in Russian! Our guide to Russian greetings is there to prove it.

Two Businesswomen Smiling and Shaking Hands

Amelie and Olga just met. How would they greet each other? How would they introduce themselves?
Challenge yourself and come up with a short dialogue for this imaginary scene to practice!

2. Courtesy Phrases

  • Cultural Note:

There’s one word in Russian that can turn a rude thug into a courteous gentleman. And this word is Пожалуйста (Pozhaluysta) – “Please.” Simply adding this word to the end of your request is enough to make you sound polite. 

Interestingly, we use the same word for both “Please” and “You’re welcome.” In the following chapters, pay attention to how it’s used. Пожалуйста. :)

Please.
Пожалуйста.
(Pozhaluysta.)

Thank you.
Спасибо.
(Spasibo.)

You’re welcome.
Не за что.
(Ne za chto.)

Excuse me.
Извините.
(Izvinite.)

I’m sorry. [formal]I’m sorry. [informal]
Простите, пожалуйста.
(Prostite, pozhaluysta.)
Извини.
(Izvini.)

That’s okay.
Ничего страшного.
(Nichego strashnogo.)

Literally: Nothing scary.

Goodbye. [formal]Bye. [informal]
До свидания.
(Do svidaniya.)
Пока.
(Poka.)

A Woman Waving Goodbye to Her Husband and Little Baby as She Leaves for Work

Do you think she’s saying «Пока» or «До свидания»? Why?

3. Shopping 

Do you plan on buying a souvenir for your loved one, or maybe a loaf of bread from a local grocery store? In either case, knowing these beginner phrases in Russian will help you have a smooth shopping experience. 

May I have a bottle of water, please?
Можно бутылку воды, пожалуйста? 
(Mozhno butylku vody, pozhaluysta?)
The base structure:

May I have _____, please?
Можно _____, пожалуйста?
(Mozhno _____, pozhaluysta?) 

[I’d like] a loaf of bread, please.
Булку хлеба, пожалуйста. 
(Bulku khleba, pozhaluysta.)

Do you have milk?
У вас есть молоко?
(U vas yest’ moloko?)

How much is the shirt?
Сколько стоит рубашка?
(Skol’ko stoit rubashka?)

How much in total?
Сколько будет всё вместе?
(Skol’ko budet vsyo vmeste?)

Do you accept credit cards?
Вы принимаете карты?
(Vy prinimayete karty?)

➤ You can find more words and phrases for shopping on RussianPod101.com.


A Young Couple and Their Daughter Choosing Pastries at the Store

You know some Russian already! Help the lady buy a cake.
Word hint: cake – пирожное(pirozhnoye)

4. Eating Out

Russia boasts a number of delicacies that’ll have your mouth watering from the first time you step into a traditional restaurant. Before your trip, make sure to learn these useful Russian phrases for dining out! 

I’m hungry.
Я хочу есть.
(Ya khochu yest’.)

Literally: I want to eat.

I’m thirsty.
Я хочу пить.
(Ya khochu pit’.)

Literally: I want to drink.

For here or to go?
Будете есть здесь или возьмёте с собой?
(Budete yest’ zdes’ ili voz’myote s soboy?)

Could I have the menu, please?
Можно меню, пожалуйста?
(Mozhno menyu, pozhaluysta?)

Do you have a lunch menu?
У вас есть бизнес-ланч?
(U vas yest’ biznes-lanch?)

What would you recommend?
Что бы вы посоветовали?
(Chto by vy posovetovali?)

I’m allergic to…
У меня аллергия на…
(U menya allergiya na…)

I’d like to have a salad.
Я буду салат.
(Ya budu salat.)

I’d like to have soup, please.
Можно мне суп, пожалуйста?
(Mozhno mne sup, pozhaluysta?)

The bill, please.
Можно счёт, пожалуйста?
(Mozhno schyot, pozhaluysta?)

➤ To be able to make a more specific order in the restaurant, check our vocabulary list Useful Phrases for Ordering Food.


A Couple Ordering at a Restaurant

Congrats, you’ve found a bonus phrase!
Вы готовы сделать заказ? (Vy gotovy sdelat’ zakaz?) – “Are you ready to order?”

5. Asking for Help

Our final set of Russian beginner phrases consists of expressions you might need to use during your trip should something go wrong, such as communication issues or getting lost.

Could you help me, please? [formal]Please help me. [informal]
Не могли бы вы помочь, пожалуйста?
(Ne mogli by vy pomoch’, pozhaluysta?)
Помоги, пожалуйста.
(Pomogi, pozhaluysta.)
These simple phrases will get you places. Don’t underestimate the magical powers of “please.”

Lost in Translation

Do you speak English? [formal]Do you speak English? [informal]
Вы говорите по-английски?
(Vy govorite po-angliyski?)
Ты говоришь по-английски?
(Ty govorish po-angliyski?)

I don’t speak Russian very well.
Я плохо говорю по-русски.
(Ya plokho govoryu po-russki.)

I don’t speak Russian.
Я не говорю по-русски.
(Ya ne govoryu po-russki.)

How do you say “Red Square” in Russian?
Как сказать “Red Square” по-русски?
(Kak skazat’ “Red Square” po-russki?)
Quick answer: Красная Площадь (Krasnaya Ploshchad’)

Could you repeat, please? [formal]Repeat, please. [informal]
Не могли бы вы повторить, пожалуйста?
(Ne mogli by vy povtorit’, pozhaluysta?)
Повтори, пожалуйста.
(Povtori, pozhaluysta.)

Or simply:
Что? (Chto?) – “Sorry?”

Could you repeat a little slower, please?
Можно ещё раз, но помедленнее, пожалуйста?
(Mozhno yeshchyo raz, no pomedlenneye, pozhaluysta?)

I don’t understand.
Я не понимаю.
(Ya ne ponimayu.)

I’m sorry; I don’t know.
Извините, я не знаю.
(Izvinite, ya ne znayu.)

Asking for Directions

  • Cultural Note:

It’s time to introduce another important courtesy-related word: «Извините» (Izvinite) – “Excuse me.” It serves the same purpose as its English equivalent and can be used before you “bother” a stranger.

Interestingly, we use the same word for “sorry” as well.

Excuse me, where is the restroom?
Извините, где здесь туалет?
(Izvinite, gde zdes’ tualet?)

Excuse me, I’m looking for the subway.
Извините, я ищу метро.
(Izvinite, ya ishchu metro.)

Is there an ATM around here?
Здесь неподалёку есть банкомат?
(Zdes’ nepodalyoku yest’ bankomat?)

Excuse me, how can I get to the park?
Извините, как добраться до парка?
(Izvinite, kak dobrat’sya do parka?)

Is it far?
Это далеко?
(Eto daleko?)

➤ Check our lesson on directions, and learn how to say “turn right” and “turn left” as well. Fewer chances to get lost in town!

A Tourist Holding and Examining a Map

You’re in Saint Petersburg, and you’re looking for The Hermitage.
You have no GPS, and the map won’t help you since it’s obviously not the map of Saint Petersburg.
How would you ask somebody for directions?

6. What’s Next?

Browse our collection of lessons to learn even more Russian beginner phrases. I bet you’d be especially interested in our Survival Phrases series! It covers more topics that would be particularly useful while traveling in Russia: riding the bus, catching a taxi, greeting a business partner, and more.

After this, you can start to expand your vocabulary and explore some basic grammar. But no need to dive into the grammar just yet: What’s the point of knowing how to combine words if you have no words to combine? At the beginner level, it might be more efficient to focus on word chunks and set phrases instead, like the ones mentioned in this article.

Also, if you happen to have any questions about the Russian beginner phrases we covered, our teachers will help you dispel any doubts. With RussianPod101’s Premium PLUS service, MyTeacher, you get personal 1-on-1 coaching with a tutor. Feel free to ask anything about Russian grammar, vocabulary, or culture—our teachers are there to help you! You can also choose to receive assignments, grammar and vocabulary exercises, and voice recording tasks to improve your pronunciation. 

Too many benefits to fit in one paragraph—just give it a try!

Happy learning with RussianPod101.

About the author: Dzhuliia Shipina is a Russian linguist and a language teacher. For the past few years, she’s been traveling the world and sharing her passion for languages with other inquiring minds. She invites you to explore the beauty of Russian and unravel its mysteries together.

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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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Russian Phone Call Phrases for Everyday Use

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If you’re studying Russian as a foreign language, it’s important for you to practice your oral communication skills as regularly as possible. 

Speaking on the phone with native Russians is a great way to hone your speaking skills, become familiar with new words and expressions, and gain more confidence in yourself. But we understand that it can be a daunting task for language learners! 

To help you get a strong start, we’ve compiled a list of all the basic Russian phone call phrases you need to know. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be able to make and take phone calls in Russian with ease—whether you’re chatting with a friend or reserving a table at an upscale restaurant.

Let’s go!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Picking up the Phone
  2. Saying Who You Are
  3. Stating the Reason for the Call
  4. Asking to Speak to Someone
  5. Asking Someone to Wait
  6. Leaving a Message
  7. Asking for Clarification
  8. Ending the Phone Call
  9. Sample Phone Conversations
  10. Conclusion

1. Picking up the Phone

The first set of Russian phone call phrases you’ll need to know are those for greeting the caller. Here are a few standard greeting expressions you can use: 

  • Aлло. (Allo.) – “Hello.”
  • Я вас слушаю. (Ya vas slushayu.) – “I’m listening to you.”
  • Слушаю. (Slushayu.) – “I’m listening.”

A Woman Holding a Blue Handset

It’s said that 95% of Russian phone conversations start with Алло.

2. Saying Who You Are

Once you’ve greeted the caller, it’s time to introduce yourself. You can use any of the following Russian phone phrases for this:

  • Это ___. (Eto ___.) – “This is ___.”
  • Это говорит ___. (Eto govorit ___.) – “This is ___.”
  • Вас беспокоит ___. (Vas bespokoit ___.) – “This is ___.”

3. Stating the Reason for the Call

After introducing yourself, you’ll need to explain why you’re calling. There are several ways to do this, depending on the situation. These Russian phone call phrases and their English equivalents will be helpful:

  • Вы мне звонили. (Vy mne zvonili.) – “I’m returning your call.”
  • Я звоню, чтобы спросить / уточнить / подтвердить… (Ya zvonyu, chtoby sprosit’ / utochnit’ / podtverdit’…) – “I’m calling to ask / clarify / confirm…”
  • Мне нужно поговорить с кем-то насчёт… (Mne nuzhno pogovorit’ s kem-to naschyot…) – “I need to talk to somebody about…”

A Person Taking Notes

If you’re not confident in your knowledge of the Russian language, it’s a good idea to come up with what you’re going to say during the phone call in advance.

4. Asking to Speak to Someone

If there’s a specific person you’d like to speak to, you can use one of these basic Russian phone phrases to let the receiver know this: 

  • Я хочу поговорить с ___. (Ya hochu pogovorit’ s ___.) – “I want to talk to ___.”
  • Это ___? (Eto ___?) – “Is this ___?”
  • Могу я поговорить с ___? (Mogu ya pogovorit’ s ___?) – “May I talk to ___?”
  • Пожалуйста, позовите ___. (Pozhaluysta, pozovite ___.) – “Call ___, please.”

5. Asking Someone to Wait

If you receive a call and need some time to check something, you could ask the other person to wait by using one of these basic Russian phone phrases: 

  • Подождите минутку, я проверю. (Podozhdite minutku, ya proveryu.) – “Just a moment, let me check.”
  • Минуточку. (Minutochku.) – “Just a minute.” [very informal]
  • Вы подождёте немного? (Vy podozhdyote nemnogo?) – “Will you wait a bit?”
  • Не вешайте трубку. (Ne veshayte trubku.) – “Hold the line, please.”

A Woman Talking on the Phone and Checking the Time

If you’re really busy with something and will not be available in the next few minutes, don’t make the other person wait. It’s better to have him or her call you back.

6. Leaving a Message

If you’re unable to reach the person you wanted to speak with, you should be able to leave them a message. Here are a few ways you can leave a message over the phone in Russian:

  • Передайте ___, что… (Peredayte ___, chto…) – “Let ___ know that…”
  • Можете, пожалуйста, попросить [имя] перезвонить на номер [номер телефона]? (Mozhete, pozhaluysta, poprosit’ [imya] perezvonit’ na nomer [nomer telefona]?) – “Can you please tell [name] to call me back at [phone number]?”
  • Передайте ___, что я звонила/звонила. (Peredayte ___, chto ya zvonila/zvonila.) – “Please tell ___ that I’ve called.”

7. Asking for Clarification

As we mentioned earlier, it can be quite difficult for a non-native speaker to talk over the phone in Russian. If you fail to understand what the other person is saying, you can ask for clarification by using one of these simple Russian phone phrases: 

  • Можете, пожалуйста, повторить? (Mozhete, pozhaluysta, povtorit’?) – “Could you repeat, please?”
  • Вас плохо слышно. (Vas ploho slyshno.) – “I can’t hear you well.”
  • Я не расслышал / расслышала. (Ya ne rasslyshal / rasslyshala.) – “I didn’t hear.”
  • Пожалуйста, говорите погромче. (Pozhaluysta, govorite pogromche.) – “Speak louder, please.”

An Impatient Woman on the Phone

Talking to a Russian consultant using the Russian phone conversation phrases we’ve covered? Remember that he or she is probably overwhelmed with work, so be patient!

8. Ending the Phone Call

There are a few different ways you could end your phone call, depending on the situation. Below are several phrases you could use to sound polite and friendly while ending the conversation. 

  • Я могу вам чем-то ещё помочь? (Ya mogu vam chem-to eshchyo pomoch’?) – “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
  • Вы мне очень помогли, спасибо! (Vy mne ochen’ pomogli, spasibo!) – “You helped me a lot, thank you!”
  • Спасибо за помощь. (Spasibo za pomoshch’.) – “Thank you for your help.”
  • Увидимся в… (Uvidimsya v…) – “See you at…”
  • До встречи. (Do vstrechi.) – “See you.”
  • Хорошего дня / вечера. (Horoshego dnya / vechera.) – “Have a good day / evening.”
  • До свидания. (Do svidaniya.) – “Goodbye.”
  • Пока. (Poka.) – “Bye.”

9. Sample Phone Conversations

Now that you know quite a few Russian phone call phrases, it’s time to take it a step further. We’ve prepared two sample dialogues for you. The first one is an informal chat between two friends and the second one is a formal conversation between one of the friends and a cafe manager. You’ll see some of the phrases we’ve covered already in these dialogues, so be attentive while reading!

Conversation #1

Дима:
Алло.
Allo.
“Hello.”

Рома: 
Алло, Дима, это Рома.
Allo, Dima, eto Roma.
“Hello, Dima, this is Roma.”

Дима: 
Привет, Рома, рад тебя слышать! Как у тебя дела?
Privet, Roma, rad tebya slyshat’! Kak u tebya dela?
“Hello, Roma, glad to hear from you! How are you?”

Рома: 
Дела отлично, твои как?
Dela otlichno, tvoi kak?
“I’m fine, what about you?”

Дима:
пойдёт. Что нового?
Poydyot. Chto novogo?
“I’m okay. What’s new?”

Рома: 
Ничего особенного… Слушай, я тут хочу пообедать в субботу в новом кафе на Арбате. Называется «Кофебум». Может, слышал?
Nichego osobennogo… Slushay, ya tut hochu poobedat’ v subbotu v novom kafe na Arbate. Nazyvaetsya «Kofebum». Mozhet, slyshal?
“Nothing special… You know, I want to have lunch at a new cafe on Arbat on Saturday. It’s called Сoffeeboom. Have you heard about it?”

Дима: 
Да, я собирался туда сходить, но всё никак.
Da, ya sobiralsya tuda shodit’, no vsyo nikak.
“Yes, I was going to go there, but still haven’t.”

Рома: 
Здорово! Буду я, Женя и Макс. Ты пойдёшь с нами?
Zdorovo! Budu ya, Zhenya i Maks. Ty poydyosh’ s nami?
“Nice! There will be Zhenya, Max, and I. Will you join us?”

Дима: 
А во сколько вы собираетесь?
A vo skol’ko vy sobiraetes’?
“Well, what time are you going to meet?”

Рома: 
В три.
V tri.
“At three.”

Дима: 
Отлично, я как раз к этому времени освобожусь.
Otlichno, ya kak raz k etomu vremeni osvobozhus’.
“Nice, I’ll be free right by this time.”

Рома: 
Вот и договорились! Тогда до скорого.
Vot i dogovorilis’! Togda do skorogo.
“I guess we’ve got a deal. See you soon!”

Дима: 
До скорого!
Do skorogo!
“See you!”

Friends Having a Meal Together

Lunch with friends is certainly a good plan for Saturday!

Conversation #2

Екатерина: 
Кафе «Кофебум», на связи менеджер Екатерина, чем я могу вам помочь?
Kafe «Kofebum», na svyazi menedzher Ekaterina, chem ya mogu vam pomoch’?
“This is manager Ekaterina from Coffeeboom Cafe, what can I help you with?”

Рома: 
Здравствуйте, Екатерина, я хотел бы забронировать у вас столик на субботу.
Zdravstvuyte, Ekaterina, ya hotel by zabronirovat’ u vas stolik na subbotu.
“Hello, Ekaterina, I’d like to book a table for Saturday.”

Екатерина: 
Минутку… Какое время вас интересует?
Minutku… Kakoe vremya vas interesuet?
“Just a minute… What time are you interested in?”

Рома: 
Три часа дня.
Tri chasa dnya.
“Three in the afternoon.”

Екатерина:
Сколько будет гостей?
Skol’ko budet gostey?
“How many guests will be there?”

Рома: 
Четыре человека.
Chetyre cheloveka.
“Four people.”

Екатерина: 
На чьё имя бронировать?
Na ch’yo imya bronirovat’?
“For whom should I book?”

Рома: 
Роман.
Roman.
“For Roma.”

Екатерина: 
Хорошо, забронировала вам столик на имя Роман, на субботу, на три часа дня.
Horosho, zabronirovala vam stolik na imya Roman, na subbotu, na tri chasa dnya.
“Okay, I’ve made a reservation for Roma, on Saturday, at three in the afternoon.”

Рома: 
Всё верно, спасибо!
Vsyo verno, spasibo!
“That’s right, thank you!”

Екатерина: 
Будем вас ждать! До свидания.
Budem vas zhdat’! Do svidaniya.
“We’ll be waiting for you. Goodbye.”

Рома: 
До свидания.
Do svidaniya.
“Goodbye.”

10. Conclusion

In this guide, you’ve learned more than 30 Russian phone call phrases! You can use them to engage in simple dialogues, in both formal and informal situations. 

But don’t stop yet! 

There are many other Russian phone phrases for use in specific situations, not to mention a wealth of additional expressions and vocabulary to discover. 

If you’re serious about your studies and want to learn about the Russian language and culture in a fun, engaging manner, check out RussianPod101.com! We provide numerous study materials, including vocabulary lists and audio/video lessons for learners at every level. 

Struggling to get very far on your own? Then you might enjoy the benefits of our MyTeacher service. You can study with an experienced private tutor who speaks the language natively. They can help you better understand certain concepts and even help you with your pronunciation! 

Before you go: Have you ever made a phone call in Russian? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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Mind the Gap: 15 Russian Filler Words

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Filler words. They come to the rescue when you run out of words. Sometimes, literally. They’re there when you hesitate with your answer, stutter trying to cover a lie, or…um just need a second to think. 

Today, we’ll be talking about Russian filler words and how to use them. But first, let’s set the stage… Let’s say I asked you to name out loud five movies with Matt Damon. Yes, right now. For real. 

Done? 

What was the sound you made when you were (painfully) trying to remember the fifth one? That’s a filler. 

I’m sure you could come up with at least a couple more filler words yourself if I told you they pop up whenever you stammer. And I bet “like” or “um” would be the first ones to cross your mind! And you’d be right. That’s the type of word we’ll be talking about today.

Contrary to common belief, filler words are not useless. They express hesitation, impatience, and surprise. They give you some time to gather your thoughts. And today, you’ll learn the top 15 Russian filler words and get a step closer to fluency. 

Filler words are extremely common, and knowing them is key to understanding native Russian speakers. Not to mention that it’s very common for even intermediate and advanced learners of Russian to just thoughtlessly insert a filler from their native language here and there. Voilà. Love it!

In this article, you’ll learnabout the functions of fillers, take an in-depth look into our list of Russian filler words, and find out some ways you can substitute—or even completely omit—fillers when speaking. Well, get ready to take notes!

A Woman Standing in Front of a Chalkboard and Thinking

Um… Yes! The Martian as well!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. What are filler words?
  2. The 15 Most Common Russian Fillers
  3. Are Filler Words Our Friends?
  4. What’s Next?

1. What are filler words?

Filler words (or fillers) are words and sounds that we use to fill pauses while speaking. They send a signal to our partner that we haven’t finished our thought yet and just need more time to find the right words. 

Some filler words serve as a link between two ideas. But they’re more decorative than they are meaningful. In this regard, they’re similar to transition words. (Basically, the first word in this sentence is a transition word, just to give you an example.)

In some cases, fillers provide clues about the speaker’s emotions and attitude: uncertainty, hesitation, impatience, you name it. And no, it’s not only about negative emotions. Fillers can also help you gently approach delicate topics, for example, or let your partner know that you’re about to say something.

Types of Russian Filler Words

We can divide Russian fillers into two groups: linking words and “parasite words.”

Linking words are the transition words we mentioned earlier. They serve as a “bridge” that facilitates the transition from one idea to another. Even though, technically, you won’t lose much by removing them from a sentence, they’re still common in speech as well as writing. If you wrote essays in school, I bet you’re quite familiar with the concept of connecting two ideas.

Parasite words are junk words and sounds that serve no purpose other than filling the gaps in your speech. They’re harmless if not overused, but an excess of parasite words in your speech makes it interrupted and hard to follow. For this reason, most public speaking coaches recommend keeping them in check. I mean, no need to be a psycholinguist to notice the attitude we have toward parasite words. Just look at the name.

A Woman Trying to Understand What a Man Is Saying

“He’s really hard to follow…”
What “parasite words” do you know in your language?

2. The 15 Most Common Russian Fillers

Below, you’ll find both linking words and parasite words. Try your linguistic hunch at deciding which word belongs to which group. A tiny hint: If the word can be removed without affecting the meaning of the sentence at all, it’s a junk word. 

Also, pay attention to the punctuation. Russian fillers are often separated from the rest of the sentence with commas. 

#1

Ну (nu)“Well”
[often used before giving an answer to a question or to summarize]
Russian– Почему опоздал?
– Ну, я проспал.
Ну, я пошёл.
Romanization(Pochemu opozdal?)
(Nu, ya prospal.)
(Nu, ya poshyol.)
English“Why are you late?”
“Well, I overslept.”
“Well, I’m off.” [leaving]

#2

Слушай (slushay) “Listen”[used to attract attention before a question or an offer; informal]
Слушай, ты сейчас дома? Я к тебе заеду.
(Slushay, ty seychas doma? Ya k tebe zayedu.)
“Listen, are you home now? I’ll drop by.”

Слушайте (slushayte) is the formal version of it. It can also be used when addressing several people.

Слушайте, а давайте сходим в кино?
(Slushayte, a davayte skhodim v kino?)
“Listen, why don’t we go to the movies?” [formal or plural]

Слышь (slysh’) is a vulgar version of the first two. If you want to put on the face of a bad guy, go ahead with this one; otherwise, you’d sound blatantly rude. It is, however, a common slang term among not-the-most-polite guys who you might encounter in certain suburbs of large Russian cities. Anyway, if anybody’s addressing you this way, I’d refrain from interacting with them. Let me tell you, the communication is not going to be friendly.

#3

В общем (v obshchem) – “Bottom line” / “In short”[used to summarize; emotionally neutral]
Мы расстались. В общем, упустил я свой шанс.
(My rasstalis’. V obshchem, upustil ya svoy shans.)
“We broke up. Bottom line, I missed my chance.”
Надоело с ним ругаться. В общем, хватит с меня.
(Nadoyelo s nim rugat’sya. V obshchem, khvatit s menya.)
“I’m tired of arguing with him all the time. In short, I’ve had enough.”

#4

Короче (koroche) – “So” / “Long story short”
or Короче говоря (koroche govorya)
[used to summarize; can sometimes imply impatience]
Короче, был у меня друг…
(Koroche, byl u menya drug…)
“So, I had this friend once…”

Мне позвонили из той компании. Короче, меня не взяли на работу. 
(Mne pozvonili iz toy kompanii. Koroche, menya ne vzyali na rabotu.)
“I got a call from that company. Long story short, I didn’t get the job.”

#5

Так вот (tak vot) – “So”
[used to refer to a previous piece of information]
Помнишь его сына? Так вот, он поступил в Оксфорд. 
(Pomnish’ ego syna? Tak vot, on postupil v Oksford.)
“Do you remember his son? So he got into Oxford.”
Помнишь дом, который я тебе показывал? Так вот, мы его купили.
(Pomnish’ dom, kotoryy ya tebe pokazyval? Tak vot, my yego kupili.)
“Do you remember the house I showed you the other day? So we bought it after all.”

#6

Так сказать (tak skazat’) – “So to speak”
[used when one cannot come up with a better word]
Она выиграла в лотерею. Повезло, так сказать.
(Ona vyigrala v lotereyu. Povezlo, tak skazat’.)
“She won the lottery. Lucky, so to speak.”
Я решил искать другую работу. Хочу сменить обстановку, так сказать.
(Ya reshil iskat’ druguyu rabotu. Khochu smenit’ obstanovku, tak skazat’.)
“I’ve decided to look for another job. I need a change of scenery, so to speak.”

#7

В принципе (v printsipe) – “Basically” / “Technically” / “As far as it goes”
[used to skip over some details or look at the bigger picture]
Мне, в принципе, больше нечего сказать. 
(Mne, v printsipe, bol’she nechego skazat’.)
“Technically, I have nothing more to say.”
В принципе, мне здесь нравится.
(V printsipe, mne zdes’ nravitsya.)
“As far as it goes, I like it here.”

#8

И всё такое (i vsyo takoye) – “And that sort of thing” / “And so on”
[used to imply more things of the same kind]
Он жалуется, что ему некогда и всё такое.
(On zhaluyetsya, chto yemu nekogda i vsyo takoye.)
“He’s complaining that he doesn’t have time and that sort of thing.”
Хочу на Мальдивы: пляж, море, солнце и всё такое.
(Khochu na Mal’divy: plyazh, more, solntse i vsyo takoye.)
“I want to go to the Maldives because of the beach, the sea, the sun, and so on.”

A Guy Playing a Game on His Computer

«Он жалуется, что ему некогда и всё такое…»
What’s been keeping him busy?
Try to answer in Russian!

#9

Как-то так. (Kak-to tak.) – “That’s about it.”
or Вот как-то так. (Vot kak-to tak.)
[used as an independent sentence; concludes an explanation; means “That’s the end of my thought.”]
Как ты нашёл эту работу?
– Как обычно. Увидел объявление, отправил резюме, прошёл собеседование. Как-то так.
– (Kak ty nashyol etu rabotu?)
– (Kak obychno. Uvidel ob’yavleniye, otpravil rezyume, proshyol sobesedovaniye. Kak-to tak.)
– “How did you find this job?”
– “As usual. I saw the posting, sent my CV, and passed the interview. That’s about it.”

#10

Просто (prosto) – “Just”
[used when looking for an excuse; the speaker might feel guilty]
Я просто подумал, что так будет лучше.
(Ya prosto podumal, chto tak budet luchshe.)
“I just thought it would be better this way.”
Я просто проходил мимо.
(Ya prosto prokhodil mimo.)
“I was just passing by.”

#11

Это… (eto) “Um” / “You know” / “Well”
or Это самое… (eto samoye)
[used when the speaker is really struggling to find the right words or delaying their reply as long as they can]
Я это… передумал.
(Ya eto… peredumal.)
“You know, I…um…changed my mind.”
Я его это самое… Выкинул.
(Ya yego eto samoye… Vykinul.)
“I…well…I threw it away.”

#12

Типа (tipa) – “Like” / “Sort of”
[used when the speaker is being slightly sarcastic about their own words; sometimes just a junk word]
Мы с ним типа «друзья».
(My s nim tipa druz’ya.)
“We are, like, ‘friends’.”
Типа того. (Tipa togo.) – “Something like that.” / “Sort of.”
– Так вы с ним друзья?
– Типа того.
– (Tak vy s nim druz’ya?)
– (Tipa togo.)
– “So you’re friends?”
– “Sort of.”

#13

Как бы (kak by) – “Kinda” / “Sort of”
[similar to “типа” and pretty often used as simply a junk word]
Не мешайте! Мы тут как бы работаем.
(Ne meshayte! My tut kak by rabotayem.)
“Don’t disturb us! We’re kinda working here.”
Я как бы его помощник.
(Ya kak by ego pomoshchnik.)
“I’m kinda his assistant.”

#14

Блин (blin) – “D*mn” [lit. “pancake”]
[mild expletive]
[might get out of hand as it can be inserted anywhere in the sentence; breaks the flow completely]
Я, блин, никак не могу до него дозвониться.
(Ya, blin, nikak ne mogu do nego dozvonit’sya.)
“D*mn, I still can’t get through to him.”
Я, блин, везде, блин, поискал уже, блин.
(Ya, blin, vezde, blin, poiskal uzhe, blin.)
“D*mn, I’ve already d*mn looked in every single d*mn place!”

#15

Э-э-э… (e-e-e) – “Er”
[sound of perplexity or active thinking]
– Ты дом закрыл?
– Э-э-э… Вроде да.
– Столица Аргентины?
– Э-э-э… Сантьяго? Нет, Буэнос-Айрес!
– (Ty dom zakryl?)
– (E-e-e… vrode da.)
– (Stolitsa Argentiny?)
– (E-e-e… Sant’yago? Net, Buenos-Ayres!)
– “Did you lock the house?”
– “Er… Yes, I guess.”
– “What’s the capital of Argentina?”
– “Erm… Santiago? No, Buenos Aires!”

A Businessman Looking at His Wristwatch and Talking on the Phone with a Concerned Look on His Face

Which of the previous examples describes this situation well?

3. Are Filler Words Our Friends?

Short answer—yes and no. Sorry for the ambiguity. 

If you check again the functions of filler words, you’ll see that sometimes they can help you out. Using Russian fillers in your conversations with native speakers can signal to your partner that you’re about to say something or need some time to let your brain catch up with your tongue. 

Some fillers are like good red wine: a bit bitter, but probably harmless if used in moderation. (Excessive use, on the other hand, will have some consequences.) And yeah, it might also help your speech flow. We all become eloquent under the spell of wine.

The parasite words though… You should probably wave them goodbye. They bring nothing to the table and litter your speech if overused. And in many formal situations, such as interviews and public speeches, they can make you sound more hesitant and less confident. 

Should you study Russian filler words anyway? 

That’s a yes. Even if you’re not going to use them yourself, you’ll hear them a lot. 

RussianPod101 has some tips for you on how to Improve Your Listening Skills. Make sure to read through them if you feel like listening isn’t your strongest suit (yet).

But if you do decide to cut some filler words from your speech…

Here are some ideas to help you “purify” your speech. These tips actually helped me limit the use of “ну” back in the day. It was my personal favorite. These tips might be useful for your native language as well!

  • First of all, you need to learn how to spot your junk words. For this, you can read a short text (a news article, for instance) and then summarize it out loud while recording yourself. When listening to your recording, mark all the fillers you hear. Focus on the one that pops up the most. You’ll work at reducing its use in your speech from now on. 
  • Record yourself one more time now, paying attention to limit that one word you’ve chosen. Listen again. Is it already getting better? Repeat as many times as you need.

Don’t try to get rid of all the small imperfections in your speech at once. It’d make you too self-conscious, and you might start stuttering. That’s not our goal. Pick one word and stick to it.


  • Also, you can ask a friend or relative to poke you every time you use the “forbidden” word. 
  • Don’t be scared of pauses. “Awkward” is not the only adjective for “silence” in a conversation. Make it meaningful, resting, calming. You choose.
  • Try to use shorter sentences. Even simple ideas, when stacked, will need some linking eventually. Your convo partner will also benefit from having the info split into digestible chunks.
  • Calm down. You might overuse junk words when you’re anxious, hesitant, or preoccupied. Slow down. Breathe in. Breathe out. Think about speaking slower. It’ll give your brain more time to process the information before you put it into words.
  • Use more meaningful synonyms. When you do need some time to think, instead of “это…” or “э-э-э…” (which don’t make you sound very smart), you can use:

Дай(те) подумать… (Day-te podumat’…) – “Let me think…” [informal / formal]
Минутку. (Minutku.) – “Just a moment.”
Я думаю… (Ya dumayu…) – “I think…”
Мне кажется… (Mne kazhetsya…) – “It seems to me…”

And, again, no need to aim at 100% purity. Even if you decide to say goodbye to some junk words, don’t turn them into your foes. They’ll keep popping up here and there anyway, it’s only natural. Remember: perfectionism and eloquence rarely go hand in hand.

➤ Feel free to also check out RussianPod101’s advice on How to Improve Your Speaking Skills.

Someone Holding a Pair of Scissors and Getting Ready to Cut a Red Ribbon

Cut your junk words one at a time.

4. What’s Next?

To sum it all up, we use fillers when we hesitate, look for the right words, or want to connect two ideas. Native speakers mostly use filler words spontaneously and unconsciously. If you want to insert them in your speech as well, be prepared to make some deliberate efforts at first. Just don’t get carried away and drop an occasional filler from your native language. Keep it Russian till the end!

Also, remember to not overuse the fillers. Yes, most of them do serve as linking words, but an overabundance of them will make your message difficult to follow. If you feel like you need some help getting rid of the fillers in your speech, here’s some advice:

1) Start cutting them one by one by being more conscious of what you say.
2) Try altering the speed of your speech.

And don’t become desperate in your pursuit of perfection! 

So, how many Russian filler words out of our top 15 can you recall from memory? Don’t peek into your notes just yet! To practice, start using two or three fillers in your Russian sentences or at least try to notice them in the speech of Russian speakers.

By the way, if you happen to have more questions about Russian filler words, our teachers will help you dispel any doubts. With MyTeacher, a Premium PLUS service from RussianPod101, you get personal 1-on-1 coaching with a tutor. Feel free to ask anything about Russian grammar, vocabulary, or culture—our teachers are there to help you! You can also opt to receive assignments, grammar and vocabulary exercises, and even voice recording tasks to improve your pronunciation. Too many benefits to fit in one paragraph. Just give it a try!

Eager to learn more? RussianPod101 has lots to offer! 

  • Our vocabulary lists will equip you with more meaningful words to use between (or in place of) fillers. 
  • You should also check out our list of 20 essential Russian idioms that will make you sound like a native speaker. Some of them are really funny!
  • Our article of essential Russian Business Phrases will help you hesitate less during important meetings!

Happy learning with RussianPod101!

About the author: Dzhuliia Shipina is a Russian linguist and a language teacher. For the past few years, she’s been traveling around the world and sharing her passion for languages with other inquiring minds. She invites you to explore the beauty of Russian and unravel its mysteries together.

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Russian Love Phrases: “I Love You,” in Russian & More

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Love is one of the best feelings ever, and it’s one that frequently cuts across international borders and cultural backgrounds. 

If a Russian has caught your eye or completely stolen your heart, learning even a few basic phrases in his or her language might just win them over. 

In this article, we’ll talk about everything from flirting to marriage and introduce you to the many ways you can say “I love you,” in Russian. You’ll learn the most common pick-up lines, how to express your abiding love in Russian, how to propose to that special someone, and more. 

Save these popular Russian love phrases for the person of your heart, and get ready for a whirlwind of romance! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian Table of Contents
  1. Confess Your Affection: Pick-Up Lines and More
  2. Fall in Deeper: “I Love You,” and More
  3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More
  4. Endearment Terms
  5. Must-Know Love Quotes
  6. Conclusion

1. Confess Your Affection: Pick-Up Lines and More

Before you learn how to say “I love you,” in Russian, you need to know how to start communicating with the person you like. The phrases below will help you make the right first impression. Keep in mind that girls almost never make the first move in Russia, so these expressions are appropriate for use by men only.

  • Девушка, можно с Вами познакомиться?
    Devushka, mozhno s Vami poznakomit’sya?
    “Can I get to know you better, girl?”

In English, it’s not common to start a conversation with this type of phrase, but it works well in Russian (despite being kind of a cliche). 

  • Вы очень красивая.
    Vy ochen’ krasivaya.
    “You’re very beautiful.”

This is one of the most popular compliments to offer a woman. You can use it in any informal situation, even as a conversation starter.

  • Ты мне нравишься.
    Ty mne nravish’sya.
    “I like you.”

Keep in mind that this phrase is much less serious than “I love you,” in Russian. It’s used more like a compliment. Before saying it, make sure you know the girl quite well as it may sound weird coming from a stranger.

  • Я хочу пригласить тебя на свидание.
    Ya hochu priglasit’ tebya na svidaniye.
    “I’d like to ask you out.”

After you’ve gotten to know each other a bit more, it’s time to take bigger steps. For example, you might want to ask the girl out on a date using this phrase.

  • Давай поужинаем вместе?
    Davay pouzhinayem vmeste?
    “Let’s have dinner together.”

Here’s another good phrase to show your interest and make a date.

  • Потанцуешь со мной?
    Potantsuyesh’ so mnoy?
    “Would you like to dance with me?”

This question is suitable if you want to ask a girl to dance when at a club or a restaurant.

  • Я могу тебе позвонить?
    Ya mogu tebe pozvonit’?
    “May I call you?”

If you want to continue your acquaintance with the girl, then don’t hesitate to ask this question.

A Man Flirting with a Woman and Getting Her Number

Russian flirting rules are almost the same as anywhere else, so don’t be shy!

2. Fall in Deeper: “I Love You,” and More

Sooner or later, you’ll fall in love deeply and will want to start talking about your feelings. There are many ways of saying “I love you,” in Russian, and we’ve picked out the very best for you. All of these phrases are appropriate for use by both men and women, so we’ve prepared both male and female versions where needed.

  • Я люблю тебя.
    Ya lyublyu tebya.
    “I love you.”

This is a classic, go-to phrase for expressing your love in Russian.

  • Я влюбился / влюбилась в тебя с первого взгляда.
    Ya vlyubilsya / vlyubilas’ v tebya s pervogo vzglyada.
    “I fell in love with you at first sight.”

You can use this romantic Russian phrase to really woo your partner. Remember: A man says “влюбился,” and a woman says “влюбилась.”

  • Я постоянно думаю о тебе.
    Ya postoyanno dumayu o tebe.
    “I’m thinking about you all the time.”

This is a sweet yet more casual way of declaring your love in Russian. You may use this expression even at the very beginning of your relationship.

  • Я схожу по тебе с ума.
    Ya skhozhu po tebe s uma.
    “I’m crazy about you.”

This one isn’t as common among Russians, and it sounds less trivial than the other love declarations we’ve covered so far. 

  • Я не могу без тебя жить.
    Ya ne mogu bez tebya zhit’.
    “I can’t live without you.”

We recommend only using this phrase when you’re in a serious relationship.

  • Ты – лучше всех на свете!
    Ty – luchshe vsekh na svete!
    “You are the best!” (literally, “You’re better than anyone else in the world!”)

This romantic Russian phrase shows that you really appreciate your partner as a person.

  • Я тебя обожаю.
    Ya tebya obozhayu.
    “I adore you.”

This is a very informal way of saying “I love you,” in Russian. You may say it at any stage of your relationship.

  • Ты мне очень нужна / нужен.
    Ty mne ochen’ nuzhna / nuzhen.
    “I need you very much.”

Saying this phrase is not as thrilling as saying “I love you,” in Russian, though they connote the same meaning. If you’re saying it to a girl, you should say “нужна,” and if your partner is a man, say “нужен.”

  • Я всегда рядом.
    Ya vsegda ryadom.
    “I’m always near.”

Saying this phrase shows that you care about your sweetheart, and that he or she can rely on you.

A Man Surprising a Woman with a Bouquet of Flowers

Never forget that actions are more important than words!

3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More

Is your relationship getting serious? Are you thinking about taking steps toward a solid commitment with the man or woman of your dreams? Then there are a few more love phrases in Russian you should learn! The following expressions are universal, unless otherwise noted.

  • Я хочу познакомить тебя со своими друзьями.
    Ya khochu poznakomit’ tebya so svoimi druz’yami.
    “I want to introduce you to my friends.”

This is one of the first indicators for your sweetheart that your intention is really serious.

  • Я хочу познакомить тебя с моими родителями.
    Ya hochu poznakomit’ tebya s moimi roditelyami.
    “I want to introduce you to my parents.”

This phrase is much more serious than the previous one. It’s appropriate to say this to your partner after at least a few months of being in a relationship.

  • Давай жить вместе.
    Davay zhit’ vmeste.
    “Let’s live together.”

This is another phrase you should put off using until a bit later in your relationship, not at the very beginning. 

  • Ты выйдешь за меня?
    Ty vyydesh’ za menya?
    “Will you marry me?”

This expression is for use by men only! If you want to spend the rest of your life with your girlfriend, you can make a beautiful proposal with this phrase. Most women dream of hearing this phrase! 

  • Давай заведём ребёнка.
    Davay zavedyom rebyonka.
    “Let’s have a baby.”

This offer usually comes some time after the marriage proposal, and it’s really cute!

A Man Is Proposing to a Woman

Going to make a proposal? Don’t forget to turn your imagination on!

4. Endearment Terms

Couples from all over the world tend to address each other using cute nicknames, and Russians are no exception. Below, you’ll find some adorable pet names you can use with your lover. 

  • Дорогой / Дорогая
    Dorogoy / Dorogaya
    “My dear,” “Honey”

This term is popular among married couples. The first form is used to address a man, and the second to address a woman.

  • Родной / Pодная
    Rodnoy / Rodnaya
    “Honey”

This is an endearment term only used between people who are really close. Like in the previous example, the first form is for men, while the second is for women.

  • Моя любовь&
    Moya lyubov’
    “My love”

When they have been together for quite a long time, Russian couples like to address one another with the term “my love.”

  • Моя радость
    Moya radost’
    “My joy”

This term perfectly objectifies the happiness that another person brings into your life. 

  • Мой ангел
    Moy angel
    “My angel”

This sounds not only sweet, but also somewhat more significant than the previous phrases. 

  • Душа моя
    Dusha moya
    “My soul”

This is a term of deep affection. When you call somebody “my soul,” it means that this person is of great importance to you.

  • Солнышко
    Solnyshko
    “My sun,” “Sunny”

This is one of the most common words used to express affection in the Russian language.

  • Зайка
    Zayka
    “Bunny”

In most cases, this word is used toward girls. 

  • Котёнок
    Kotyonok
    “Kitten”

This word is also more appropriate when used toward girls, but some guys don’t mind being called a “kitten” either!

A Cat Hiding under a Bed

Before calling somebody “котёнок”… make sure your real cat is not very jealous!

5. Must-Know Love Quotes

Want some extra romance in your life? Watch the movie From Russia with Love, listen to some mood music, or…simply read these love quotes in Russian

  • Моё любимое место – рядом с тобой.
    Moyo lyubimoye mesto – ryadom s toboy.
    “Together with you is my favorite place to be.”
  • Если бы мне пришлось прожить эту жизнь снова, я бы нашел тебя раньше.
    Esli by mne prishlos’ prozhit’ etu zhizn’ snova, ya by nashyol tebya ran’she.
    “If I were to live my life again, I’d find you sooner.”
  • Если я знаю, что такое любовь, то только благодаря тебе.
    Esli ya znayu, chto takoye lyubov’, to tol’ko blagodarya tebe.
    “If I know what love is, it is because of you.”
  • Лучше любить и потерять, чем не любить вовсе.
    Luchshe lyubit’ i poteryat’, chem ne lyubit’ vovse.
    “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
  • Если любовь не безумна, то это не любовь.
    Yesli lyubov’ ne bezumna, to eto ne lyubov’.
    “When love is not madness, it is not love.”

6. Conclusion

In this article, you’ve learned how to say “I love you,” in Russian, as well as the most common and useful Russian love phrases. But as beautiful as these phrases are, there’s still a lot more to learn about Russian if you want to master the language of your lover’s heart. 

On RussianPod101.com, you’ll find tons of materials to help you communicate with your loved one. With a free lifetime account, you’ll gain access to tons of video and audio lessons, our themed vocabulary lists, and a variety of tools for effective learning and studying. 

Also, don’t forget to check out our Premium PLUS service MyTeacher. This service provides you with a tutor with whom you can work 1-on-1 to really achieve mastery over the language. He or she can teach you more romance phrases, for instance, and help you learn their pronunciation. 

Before you go: What pick-up line in Russian are you most likely to try? And which of the Russian endearment terms do you like the most? Please, let us know in the comments section below!

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