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Archive for the 'Russian Words' Category

Russian Family: Guide on Talking about Relatives in Russian

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Did you know that the woman who gave birth the most times was Russian? She lived in the 18th century and was the wife of a peasant. She had sixty-nine kids! Sixteen pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets.

In the past, Russian people tried to have more kids because not all of them were able to survive infancy (rest assured that sixty-seven of the record-holder’s children survived). Since that difficult time, the Russian family has become the core value of many Russians, and has remained so for a long time.

That’s why it’s important to know how to talk about your family and ask about your Russian friend’s family. Once family backgrounds are exchanged, you’ll be able to understand each other much better!

And besides, it’s a nice and easy topic to master, even for beginners. ;-) To tackle this topic, family in Russian lessons like this one are essential.

Let’s dig in to our guide on family words in Russian and family in Russian culture!

Table of Contents

  1. Family in Russia: Russian Family Culture
  2. Family Members
  3. How to Talk about the Family
  4. Top Four Quotes and Famous Phrases about Family
  5. Exercise
  6. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

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1. Family in Russia: Russian Family Culture

Russian Family Dinner

Before we go over the most basic Russian family words, here’s some background information on the family culture in Russia!

1- Age of Marriage

Family is a really important aspect of life for Russians. In the 20th century, the age for marriage was twenty-three years old for men and twenty years old for women. From 1990 to 1993, the average marriage age lowered about two-three years; this was dictated by government policy to make families stronger.

Being together without marriage was criticized. A woman who lived with a man outside of marriage was thought to be frivolous; she usually couldn’t make a career of her work. A married man could build his career more quickly, as he was considered reliable and serious.

That government policy has significantly influenced how people think about marriage. They think that marriage is a serious thing, and people should be married once for the whole lifetime. That’s how people of the 20th century taught their children to view marriage.

However, by 2019, the age for marriage has increased. Now, it’s usually twenty-seven years old for men and twenty-two to twenty-four years old for girls. In smaller towns, people tend to get married earlier than this age, and in bigger cities (e.g. Moscow and Saint Petersburg) they get married later.

2- Children

Russian Kid

When it comes to Russian family size, modern Russian families usually have two kids. People think that because there are two parents, they need to make two replacements.

However, one child is more common for families living in bigger cities. This is because children’s education costs much more and requires much more from the parents there.

Of course, there are families with more kids, but this is an exception to the rule. Most Russian people prefer giving a lot to one child, than giving a little to several children.

3- Elders

Russian Grandparents

Of course, Russian people have high respect for elders. For example, it’s good etiquette to stand up and offer a seat on public transport if an older person walks in.

Unfortunately, the level of respect in Russia can’t compare with that in Asian countries where respect is built into the culture itself. In Russia, modern people tend to think that age alone isn’t enough to gain respect. The person needs to be intelligent, kind, or have another outstanding quality that youngsters could learn from.

4- The Most Popular Russian Family Names

For a long time, Russian people didn’t have surnames. In documents, they had only their name, nickname, father’s job, nationality, place of birth, and occupation. That’s how the first surnames were made.

Столяров (Stolyarov) is the son of столяр (stolyar) meaning “carpenter,” and Андреев (Andreyev) is the son of Андрей (Andrey) meaning “Andrey” (boys’ name).

It’s hard to say how many family names there are in Russia. According to the last attempt to count, there are more than one-hundred-thousand surnames. Here are the top five most common surnames:

  • Иванов (Ivanov)
    • The son of Иван (Ivan)
    • “Ivan” (boys’ name)
  • Смирнов (Smirnov)
    • The adjective смирной (smirnoy) refers to a person who is calm, not proud, and not arrogant. This was considered one of the highest Christian virtues.
  • Кузнецов (Kuznetsov)
    • The son of кузнец (kuznets) meaning “blacksmith.”
  • Попов (Popov)
    • The son of поп (pop)
    • That’s what people unofficially called the Christian priest.
  • Васильев (Vasil’yev)
    • The son of Василий (Vasiliy)
    • “Vasiliy” (boys’ name).


2. Family Members

Family Words

Now let’s learn the Russian words for family members to increase your family in Russian vocabulary!

1- Mother

This is how to say “mother” in Russian: мама (mama). In English, it can be translated as “mom.” This is the word kids learn to use when they’re little.

There’s also a more formal word for “mother” in Russian language: мать (mat’). It’s used in formal writing or formal speeches.

Interesting fact. If someone who has always called his mother мама (mama) has suddenly referred to her as мать (mat’), he might be pissed at her at the moment, or he’s intentionally using a more formal style to talk about her.          

Also, Russian people just looooove to use suffixes to make Russian language-learners suffer to give extra meanings to the words, usually in terms of a quality or to describe closeness, especially between family members. In English, the same additional meanings can be expressed using diminutives.

The word мама (mama) is often used with suffixes to express love for her: мамочка (mamochka), мамуля (mamulya). Russians can both call the mother мамочка (mamochka) or мамуля (mamulya) directly, or refer to her like that in a conversation (though it feels way too showy when the second situation happens).

For example, a child can try to persuade his mother to buy him something he wants by using these affectionate suffixes:

  • Мамочка, мамочка, купи мне мороженое!
    Mamochka, mamochka, kupi mne morozhenoye!
    “Mommy, mommy, buy me ice cream!”

Interesting fact. “Mother Russia” in Russian is Матушка Россия (Matushka Rossiya). The word матушка (matushka) is formed with the suffix -ушк- (-ushk-) which expresses love and tenderness toward the mother-country.     

2- Father

The word “father” in Russian also has two translations. Usually, it’s папа (papa), and in formal situations it’s отец (otets).

Also, you might come across the translation батя (batya). This word is usually used by guys to talk about their fathers. The word is of Ukranian origin.

The suffix most often used with “father” words is -к- (-k-): папка (papka), батька (bat’ka). In these cases, the suffix gives a slightly contemptuous meaning.

3- Sister

“Sister” in Russian is сестра (sestra). It slightly resembles the English word, right? When we talk about our siblings, we usually tell whether they’re older or younger than us. Let’s learn how to do that in Russian:

  • Старшая сестра
    Starshaya sestra
    “Older sister”
  • Младшая сестра
    Mladshaya sestra
    “Younger sister”

In Russian, there’s no difference in how a male or female speaker would phrase this (as is the case in other languages, such as Korean).

The word сестра (sestra) is usually used without suffixes, but you may come across the word with a suffix in a children’s story book: сестричка (sestrichka).

You can also use сестричка (sestrichka) as an endearment term to refer to your sister. The suffix -ичк- (-ichk-) also expresses a good attitude toward your sister. Keep in mind that сестричка (sestrichka) nowadays is used only in books, and almost never in other situations.

4- Brother

“Brother” in Russian is брат (brat). Just like сестра (sestra), you can describe whether your brothers are older or younger.

  • Старший брат
    Starshiy brat
    “Elder brother”
  • Младший брат
    Mladshiy brat
    “Younger brother”

The word брат (brat) has been actively used to refer to one another in criminal groups since the 1990s. During this time, many suffixes became commonly used with this word:

  • Братан
    Bratan
    “Bro”
  • Братишка
    Bratishka
    “Little bro”

The suffix -ишк- (-ishk-) here shows that you undermine the person you’re calling with it.

Now, братан (bratan) is actively used by young people to seem “cooler,” especially between guys. Try to address your Russian friend by saying Привет, братан (Privet, bratan) which means “Hi, bro.” ;-)

By the way, young Russian guys often use бро (bro) or “bro” the same as it’s used in English..

5- Grandmother

This is probably one of the most popular Russian words. So, “grandmother “in Russian translation is бабушка (babushka).

If you’re interested in how Russian words are built, then it’ll be interesting for you to know that the word бабушка (babushka) already contains a suffix in it. The suffix -ушк- (-ushk-) doesn’t give any new quality, it just shows that we like the thing (or person) we’re talking about. The stem of the word is баба (baba) which meant “woman” in previous centuries.

Nowadays, if you use баба (baba) when talking to or about a woman, it will have a disparaging meaning. But it’s often used when we talk about a grandmother in Russian language, with an added name. For example: баба Света (baba Sveta), баба Надя (baba Nadya), or баба Маша (baba Masha).

6- Grandfather

The “grandfather” in Russian translation is дедушка (dedushka). Like бабушка (babushka), this word already contains the suffix -ушк- (-ushk-) which shows that we like the person we’re talking about. The stem here is дед (ded).

Interesting fact. Santa Claus in the Russian language is Дед Мороз (Ded Moroz). Дед (Ded) means “grandfather” and Мороз (Moroz) means “frost.”

7- Wife

“Wife” in Russian is жена (zhena). It has the stem жен- (zhen-), which is used in the word жениться (zhenit’sya) which means “to marry a girl.”

If you add the suffix -ушк- (-ushk-), you’ll get a more tender name for your wife: женушка (zhenushka).

The more formal word for “wife” in Russian translation is супруга (supruga). The ending -a (-a) here shows the sex of the person (female).

Of course, there are a lot of things husbands can call their wives. The most popular are:

  • Спутница жизни
    Sputnica zhizni
    “Life companion”

The above phrase shows that the husband has chosen his wife for his whole life.

  • Боевая подруга
    Boyevaya podruga
    “Combat friend”

This phrase basically means that the wife will be at her husband’s side in any situation that might occur during their life together.

8- Husband

“Husband” in Russian is муж (muzh). It has the same stem муж- (muzh-) as the word мужчина (muzhchina) which means “man.”

The more formal word for “husband” in Russian is супруг (suprug).

9- Daughter

Let’s learn how to say “daughter” in Russian: дочь (doch’). When people talk, they’re more likely to use the less formal version by adding the suffix -к- (-k-) to make дочка (dochka).

There are plenty of suffixes that mothers add to address their daughter in a more loving and tender way. These are the most commonly used ones:

  • Доченька (Dochen’ka)
  • Дочурка (Dochurka)
  • Доча (Docha)
    • Technically, there’s no suffix in this word. But it still has a loving, emotional ring to it.
  • Дочушка (Dochushka)
  • Дочечка (Dochechka)
  • Дочура (Dochura)

10- Son

“Son” in Russian is сын (syn). The most commonly used forms with suffixes to express love are:

  • Сынок (Synok)
    • This form is the most frequently used.
    • Сынок, помоги мне, пожалуйста (Synok, pomogi mne, pozhaluysta) or “Dear son, please, help me.”
  • Сынуля (Synulya)
    • The suffix -ул- (-ul-) is used to express love.
  • Сыночка (Synochka)
    • This form is usually used in a country speech.
  • Сынишка (Synishka)
    • This form shows that the son being addressed is smaller than the speaker.

11- Uncle and Aunt

“Uncle” in Russian is дядя (dyadya). “Aunt” in Russian is тётя (tyotya).

To make it clear whose relative is being talked about—mom’s or dad’s—Russians add со стороны матери (so storony materi) or со стороны отца (so storony otsa) after дядя (dyadya) or тётя (tyotya).

12- Cousin

“Cousin” (male) in Russian is двоюродный брат (dvoyurodnyy brat). “Cousin” (female) in Russian is двоюродная сестра (dvoyurodnaya sestra).

As you can see, to say “cousin,” Russians use the words брат (brat) meaning “brother” and сестра (sestra) meaning “sister.” The word двоюродный (dvoyurodnyy) shows that this brother or sister is second-tier.

You can indicate a third-tier relative by using the word троюродный (troyurodnyy), or a fourth-tier relative by using the word четвероюродный (chetveroyurodnyy), etc. That’s a smart way to show how close your relatives are to you.

13- Niece and Nephew

“Niece” in Russian is племянница (plemyannitsa). “Nephew” in Russian is племянник (plemyannik).

To say “great niece,” add the word внучатый (vnuchatyy), and you’ll get внучатая племянница (vnuchataya plemyannitsa).

“Great nephew” is внучатый племянник (vnuchatyy plemyannik).

14- Grandchildren

Grandparents call their “granddaughter” внучка (vnuchka), and their “grandson” внук (vnuk). Внук (vnuk) is often used with the suffix -ок (-ok) and sounds like внучок (vnuchok).

Also keep in mind that old people will often call younger people these words, even if they’re not related.


3. How to Talk about the Family

Parent Phrases

Okay, now let’s learn how to talk about family in Russian. Here are some family Russian phrases and sentences:

  • Родители (Roditeli) meaning “Parents.”

Interesting fact. Though there is a word for “grandparents”—прародители (praroditeli)—Russians prefer to use бабушка с дедушкой (babushka s dedushkoy) which means “grandmother and grandfather” if they have one grandmother and one grandfather. They use бабушки с дедушками (babushki s dedushkami) meaning “grandmothers and grandfathers” if they have more.

  • В моей семье 3 человека
    V moyey sem’ye tri cheloveka
    “There are three people in my family.”
  • У меня большая семья
    U menya bol’shaya sem’ya
    “I have a big family.”
  • У меня маленькая семья: я и мой кот
    U menya malen’kaya sem’ya: ya i moy kot
    “I have a small family: me and my cat.”
  • У меня есть папа, мама, брат и сестра
    U menya yest’ papa, mama, brat i sestra
    “I have a father, mother, brother, and sister.”
  • Моему брату 20 лет
    Moyemu bratu dvadtsat’ let
    “My brother is 20 years old.”
  • Моя сестра старше меня на 5 лет
    Moya sestra starshe menya na pyat’ let
    “My sister is five years older than me.”
  • Я очень люблю и уважаю своих родителей
    Ya ochen’ lyublyu i uvazhayu svoikh roditeley
    “I really love and respect my parents.”
  • Мой папа - учитель
    Moy papa - uchitel’
    “My father is a teacher.”
  • Моя мама - врач
    Moya mama - vrach
    “My mother is a doctor.”
  • Моя племянник - школьник
    Moy plemyannik - shkol’nik
    “My nephew is a pupil at school.”
  • Моя сестра - студентка
    Moya sestra - studentka
    “My sister is a student.”
  • Моя сестра учится в университете
    Moya sestra uchitsya v universitete
    “My sister studies in a university.”

Interesting fact. There’s an interesting Russian pronoun cвой (svoy) which is translated as “my,” “our,” “your,” “his,” “her,” and “their,” depending on which person in a sentence is performing the action. Have a look at the sentence above. The word cвой (svoy) there can be easily replaced with мой (moy) meaning “my.” But the natives prefer to use cвой (svoy). So…why?

The word cвой (svoy) has a stronger meaning of ownership. By using cвой (svoy), you emphasize that something belongs to the person who’s taking action. Please, keep in mind that there should be someone taking an action in a sentence, or else using this word would be a mistake.

For example, in the sentence В моей семье 3 человека (V moyey sem’ye tri cheloveka) which means “There are three people in my family,” we don’t see any person. There’s no “I/you/him/etc.,” so you can’t use cвой (svoy) here. If you use it, Russians won’t understand whose family you’re talking about.

For better understanding, note that the antonym of cвой (svoy) is чужой (chuzhoy) which means “someone else’s,” “not belonging to me/you/etc.”


4. Top Four Quotes and Famous Phrases about Family

Family Quotes

There are many phrases about family that go around. Here are the most famous ones:

  • В гостях хорошо, а дома лучше
    V gostyakh khorosho, a doma luchshe
    “There’s no place like home.”

This proverb is often used in books and even orally, especially by older people. The perfect situation to use this phrase would be when you come home from someone else’s place after having a good time.

  • Яблочко от яблони недалеко падает
    Yablochko ot yabloni nedaleko padayet
    “The apple doesn’t fall far from an apple tree.”

This proverb can be translated as “Like mother, like son.” It’s used to comment on someone else’s bad behavior when the speaker doesn’t like that person’s mother. For example, Tanya’s mother got pregnant without being married. When Tanya grew up, she also got pregnant without being married. The person who knows these facts, and doesn’t like this family, could express his contempt by saying Яблочко от яблони недалеко падает (Yablochko ot yabloni nedaleko padayet).

  • Я старый солдат и не знаю слов любви
    Ya staryy soldat i ne znayu slov lyubvi
    “I am an old soldier and I don’t know words of love.”

This is a quote from another famous Soviet film Здравствуйте, я ваша тётя (Zdravstvuyte, ya vasha tyotya) which translates to “Hello, I’m Your Aunt.” Watch the moment when this phrase is used. Note that Донна Роза (Donna Roza) is the name of the main hero. This phrase can be ironically used by a husband when his wife asks him to tell her more often that he loves her.

  • В семье не без дурака
    V sem’ye ne bez duraka
    “There is no family without a fool.”

When one family member does something bad, other family members can comment on the situation by saying this proverb. There’s a stronger version of this phrase: В семье не без урода (V sem’ye ne bez uroda) which means “There is no family without a freak.” It’s usually said when the speaker is really angry. Be very careful when using it.


4. Exercise

Now it’s time for practice! First, read the following example and then write a paragraph or two about your own family. If you want professional assistance, don’t hesitate to apply for our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners, where professional Russian tutors will help you nail this topic.

Okay, here’s the example:

Меня зовут Катя. Мне 16 лет. У меня большая семья. В ней шесть человек: мама, папа, сестра и два брата. Моя сестра - студент, учится на адвоката. Мои братья - еще школьники. Младший учится в шестом классе, а старший - в одиннадцатом. Я очень люблю свою семью!

Menya zovut Katya. Mne shestnadtsat’ let. U menya bol’shaya sem’ya. V ney shest’ chelovek: mama, papa, sestra i dva brata. Moya sestra - student, uchitsya na advokata. Moi brat’ya - eshchyo shkol’niki. Mladshiy uchitsya v shestom klasse, a starshiy - v odinnadtsatom. Ya ochen’ lyublyu svoyu sem’yu!

“My name is Katya. I’m 21 years old. I have a big family. I have six family members: mom, dad, sister, and two brothers. My sister is a student; she is studying to be a lawyer. My brothers are still at school. The younger one is in sixth grade, and the older one is in eleventh grade. I love my family a lot!”

Now, your turn! And don’t move to the next article until you finish this task.

To add to this paragraph of yourself, please read our article on how to introduce yourself in Russian. To handle numbers, read our article on numbers in Russian.


5. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

In this article, we’ve learned the words to talk about Russian family and family members. Print our colorful PDF to keep all the new words in front of your eyes while you’re learning them. You can also refresh the vocabulary in your memory with our word list for family members.

And keep in mind that practice makes perfect. Try to use the words as much as you can to transfer them from short-term memory into long-term memory. You can do it!

If you’re searching for a professional Russian tutor, check out our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners. Our teachers are all native speakers with an impressive teaching background. They’ll make sure that you start talking in Russian very soon. ;-)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Russian

Useful Russian Phrases for Tourists: Travel Vocabulary

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Going to explore gorgeous Moscow Kremlin or travel back into the XIX century on the tiny cobblestone streets of Saint Petersburg? Or maybe you’re coming to study or work in Russia? Whatever your goal is, knowing useful Russian phrases for tourists will make your life easier in this snowy country.

If you’ve had trouble finding travel guides when having road trips in Russia, look no further. RussianPod101.com is here to help you learn Russian travel phrases in English, so that your stay in Russia will be much more enjoyable and comfortable.

Please note that hotel staff in Russia usually speak English, so we’re not going to cover hotel phrases in this article. But once you leave your hotel, it’ll become a little bit trickier to find a person who knows English. In Moscow and Saint-Petersburg you’ll probably find an English-speaking person to help you out, but in smaller cities this becomes a real challenge. Thus, it’s definitely good to know at least a few Russian language travel phrases.

So, let’s get started with common phrases in Russian for travelers in our Russian travel phrases guide!

Table of Contents

  1. Basic Russian Phrases for Travel
  2. Transport
  3. Shopping
  4. Restaurant Phrases
  5. Asking for and Giving Directions
  6. Emergencies
  7. Flattery Phrases
  8. Useful Phrases to Go through Language Problems
  9. Conclusion

Log


1. Basic Russian Phrases for Travel

Basic Questions

Even if your language skills are poor—or if you’ve just opened this article in a last attempt to learn at least a couple of the most important words—then you’ve come to the right place! These fifteen basic Russian language travel phrases are just enough to show that you’re really trying. You may also gain a few points in the eyes of Russian people.

1- Спасибо (Spasibo)

This means “Thank you,” and is one of the most common Russian travel phrases. You can use it in any situation, both formal and informal. For example:

Спасибо за помощь (Spasibo za pomoshch) — “Thank you for your help.”

2- Пожалуйста (Pozhaluysta)

This is translated into English as “You are welcome,” or “Please…” For example:

Пожалуйста, дайте пройти (Pozhalusta, dayte proyti) — “Please, let me walk past you.”

3- Извините (Izvinite)

This means, “Excuse me, sorry.”

When it comes to travel phrases in Russian grammar, you can also ask for forgiveness with Простите (Prostite) — “Sorry.”

Check out our article about how to say “I’m sorry” in Russian if you want to know more.

4- Привет (Privet)

That means informal “Hi.” Alternatively, Здравствуйте (Zdravstvuyte)—is formal “Hello.” If you want to know more, please, read our article about Russian ways to say Hello.

5- Пока (Poka)

This easy word is an informal way of saying, “Bye.” Don’t hesitate to use it with people your age or younger when you meet them while traveling. For older people, use the formal До свидания (Do svidaniya) — “Goodbye. ”

6- Да (Da)

This simply means, “Yes.” An important word to remember, isn’t it?

You can emphasize your answer by adding Хорошо (Khorosho), meaning “Good,” so it sounds like Да, хорошо (Da, khorosho), meaning “Yes, okay.”

Or you can add “of course”: Да, конечно! (Da, konechno!), meaning “Yes, sure!” or “Yes, of course!”

7- Нет (Net)

This simple means, “No.” You can make your refusal more polite by adding words of gratitude: Нет, спасибо (Net, spasibo) — “No, thank you.”

8- Вы не могли бы меня сфотографировать (Vy ni mogli by menya sfotografirovat’)

This important phrase for every traveler means, “Please, could you take a picture of me.” If you wanna take a picture with other people, use Вы не могли бы нас сфотографировать (Vy ni mogli by nas sfotografirovat’), meaning “Please, could you take a picture of us.”

9- Я не говорю по-русски (Ya ne govoryu po-russki)

This basic Russian travel phrase means, “I don’t speak Russian.” It’s a nice phrase to know even if you do know Russian, right? To get rid of annoying salespeople. ;-)

10- Хорошо (Khorosho)

This means “Good.” If things go better than good, use Отлично! (Otlichno!), meaning “Great! Perfect!” We hope that your Russian trip goes отлично!

Learn more conversational phrases from our vocabulary list.

By the way, do you know what the Russian word for “travel” is? It’s путешествовать (puteshestvovat’).


2. Transport

Airplane Phrases

Transportation is one of the most vital aspects of a trip to anywhere, making Russian phrases for traveling related to this so important. Let’s look at some Russian travel words and phrases to help you find your way around Russia.

1- Taxi Phrases

Taxis are a popular way of transportation in Russia. Be aware of stopping the car on the street, because there are plenty of cases of robberies and fraudulent actions. The best way to order a taxi is through an app or by calling a taxi company. The prices will be absolutely the same as the prices of cars you stop on the street, and most of the time even lower.

You can use Uber or Yandex taxis (which works the same way as Uber). If you’re in a small city, you’ll probably be able to use either Uber or Yandex as well, but there might be less cars available, so give yourself a time cushion to account for searching for one. Or ask your friends or fellow travelers for a local taxi app.

Here are the phrases that will help you communicate with the driver:

  • Мне нужно доехать до… (Mne nuzhno doyekhat’ do…) — “I need to get to… [location].” Use this phrase when you need to get somewhere using a transportation service.
  • Остановите, пожалуйста… (Ostanovite, pozhaluysta…) — “Please, stop…” After that, add where you want to stop:
    • …на остановке (…na ostanovke) — “…at the public transport stop.”
    • …за перекрестком (…za perekryostkom) — “…after the crossroads.”
    • …у светофора (…u svetofora) — “…near the traffic light.”
    • …у следующего подъезда (…u sleduyushchego pod’yezda) — “…near the next entrance.”
    • …у того подъезда (…u togo pod’yezda) — “…near that entrance.”
    • …прямо здесь (…pryamo zd’es’) — “…right here.”
    • …у того магазина (…u togo magazina) — “…on the public transport stop.”
  • Можно остановить тут (Mozhno ostanovit’ tut) — “You can stop here.”
  • Остановите, пожалуйста, чуть подальше (Ostanovite, pozhaluysta, chut’ podal’she) — “Please, stop a little bit further.”

2- Bus/Trolleybus/Tram/Metro Phrases

There are several means of public transportation in Russia—trams, trolleybuses, buses, and the metro. Use the following phrases to ensure that you don’t miss the right stop and to be polite during your ride:

  • На какой остановке мне выходить? (Na kakoy ostanovke mne vykhodit’?) — “On which stop should I get off?”
  • Подскажите, пожалуйста, какая следующая остановка? (Podskazhite, pozhaluysta, kakaya sleduyishchaya ostanovka?) — “Please, could you tell me what the next stop is?”
  • Какая это остановка? (Kakaya eto ostanovka?) — “What stop is it now?”
  • Сколько остановок до…? (Skol’ko ostanovok do…?) — “How many stops until… [location]?”
  • Садитесь, пожалуйста (Sadites’, pozhaluysta) — “Sit, please.”
    • In Russia, it’s considered polite to give up your seat for old people, pregnant ladies, and parents with little kids. It also looks really chivalrous when a guy gives up his seat for a girl.

Also, there’s one interesting means of public transport that’s not very common in other countries. It’s called маршрутка (marshrutka) — “route taxi.” It works like a shared taxi or a small bus, which drives along one route back and forth. Usually, it’s slightly more expensive than a bus/tram/trolleybus, but moves faster. It usually doesn’t stop on every public transport stop, so you’ll need to ask for a stop:

  • На остановке остановите, пожалуйста… (Na ostanovke ostanovite, pozhaluysta…) — “Please, stop on the (next; nearest) public transport stop.”
    • Use the phrase right before the needed stop. Remember to shout loud so the driver hears you. Don’t hesitate to shout one more time, if the driver has missed the stop and keeps driving: Остановите, пожалуйста! (Ostanovite, pozhaluysta!) — “Please, stop!”

To make public transportation more predictable, use the app Yandex Transport. After you set the starting point and final point of the route, the app shows you the fastest way to get there with the numbers of buses/route taxis/trams/trolleybuses needed. In big cities, such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg, you’ll also be able to see on the map where the needed bus is and how many minutes it will be until it arrives.

3- Suburban Train Phrases

If you want to travel between cities, especially if they’re four hours (or less) away from each other, consider taking a suburban sitting train. It’s usually quite cheap and fast. Unfortunately, for now you can’t buy a ticket online. You’ll have to buy a ticket at a ticket window or from a ticket machine. These are usually located on the way to the station before the security turnstile, or right at the station if it’s a smaller station. In 90% of stations, especially big ones, you’ll be able to pay by card.

These phrases will be useful for you:

  • Электричка (Elektrichka) — “Suburban electric train.”
  • Сколько стоит билет до…? (Skol’ko stoit bilet do…?) — “How much is the ticket to… [location]?”
  • До…, пожалуйста (Do…, pozhaluysta) — “Ticket to… [location], please.”
  • Где я могу купить билет на электричку? (Gde ya mogu kupit’ bilet na elektrichku?) — “Where can I buy a ticket on a suburban train?”
  • Подскажите, пожалуйста, где туалет? (Podskazhite, pozhaluysta, gde tualet?) — “Please, tell me which way the bathroom is.”

4- Sleeping Train Phrases

Sleeping Train.

Usually, tickets to sleeping trains are bought online, but you can also buy them at the ticket window on the station in advance.

While you’re on the train, you’ll probably have some questions. These phrases will help you deal with most of the situations that might occur:

  • Когда мы приедем? (Kogda my priyedem?) — “When will we arrive?”
  • Это какая станция? (Eto kakaya stantsiya?) — “What station is this?”
  • Сколько стоим на этой станции? (Skol’ko stoim na etoy stantsii?) — “How long will we stay on this station?”
  • У вас есть зарядка для… (U vas est’ zaryadka dlya…?) — “Do you have a charger for…?” (Where the blank space is the model of the phone.)
    • …такого телефона? (…takogo telefona?) — “…this kind of the phone?” After that, show your phone.
    • …Айфона? (…Ayfona?) — “…iPhone?”
    • …Самсунга? (…Samsunga?) — “…Samsung?”
  • Как пройти в вагон-ресторан? (Kak proyt’i v vagon-restoran?) — “How can I get to the restaurant-carriage?”
  • Где можно покурить? (Gde mozhno pokurit’?) — “Where could I smoke?”
    • Курить запрещено (Kurit’ zapreshcheno) — “Smoking is prohibited.” Usually, it’s prohibited to smoke on the trains, though people do it on stops outside.
  • Проводник (Provodnik) — “Train conductor.” The provodnik’s room is located at the beginning of each wagon. You can ask him any questions during your trip.The provodnik usually checks tickets, and provides bed-clothes and food if it’s included in your ticket. Most of the time, the provodnik reminds you in advance about your stop, but still be careful and in control about where you should get off the train yourself. You can also order a tea from provodnik, but be ready to pay for it:
    • Сколько стоит чай? (Skol’ko stoit chay?) — “How much does the tea cost?”
    • Зеленый чай (Zelyonyy chay) — “Green tea”
    • Черный чай (Chyornyy chay) — “Black tea”
  • Вагон (Vagon) — “Wagon.” You’ll probably buy a ticket for one of these types of wagons:
    • Плацкарт (Platskart) — “Open plan carriage.” This is the cheapest kind of carriage. Open plan coach has no separate rooms.
    • Купе (Kupe) — “Сompartment.” There are separate rooms in these. Each room in a compartment coach has four beds: two upper ones and two lower ones. Upper ones are usually cheaper because you need to be physically fit to climb into them.
    • СВ (Es Ve) — “Sleeping wagon.” This is the most expensive type. A sleeping wagon consists of separate rooms with two beds in each room.
  • Постельное белье (Postel’noye bel’yo) — “Bed-clothes.” When you’re booking the ticket, check if they provide the bed-clothes or not. If you plan to sleep during your trip, then it’s better to include it in your ticket. However, nobody will blame you if you bring and use your own bed-clothes or a sleeping bag to lower your travel expenses.


3. Shopping

Shopping with a Credit Card.

While you’re traveling, you may need to buy food from a shop, some souvenirs, or even hunt for great deals on clothes and other goods. This list has everything you need to know to feel comfortable while shopping:

  • Рубль (Rubl’) — “Ruble.” This is the Russian currency. Learn more about the Ruble in our short video.
  • Сколько это стоит? (Skol’ko eto stoit?) — “How much does it cost?”
  • Вы не могли бы сделать скидочку? (Vy ne mogli by sdelat’ skidochku?) — “Could you give me a discount?”
  • Что посоветуете? (Chto posovetuyete?) — “What would you recommend?”
  • Дайте, пожалуйста, это (Dayte, pozhaluysta, eto) — “Give me this, please.”
  • Картой можно оплатить? (Kartoy mozhno oplatit’?) — “Can I pay by card?”
    • If you travel to smaller cities, paying by credit card might not be an option. You may hear a Russian salesperson offer you: Можете перевести на Сбербанк (Mozhete perevesti na Sberbank) — “You could transfer money to Sberbank.” This means that you can make a wire transfer to a Russian bank account.
    • Sberbank is the most common bank in Russia. Please, note that if you transfer from a foreign bank account, the commission may be taken. Also, if you transfer from a Russian bank, whether Sberbank or another one, the commission might be taken as well. Please, carefully check this option with your bank in advance.
  • Оплата наличными? (Oplata nalichnymi?) — “Should I pay by cash?”

Talking about prices requires knowing Russian numbers. Learn how to count in Russian and how to use these numbers in shopping phrases in our article.


4. Restaurant Phrases

Communicating with a Waiter.

Eating local food in local restaurants is usually one a “must” during a trip. And you, for sure, don’t wanna miss trying out traditional Russian food. Of course, you might have food or beverage preferences, or just want to feel free when communicating with waiters, so our list with the most important phrases will come in handy:

  • Меню, пожалуйста (Menyu, pozhaluysta) — “Bring the menu, please.”
  • Мне, пожалуйста, это (Mne, pozhaluysta, eto) — “Give me this one, please. ” This way, you can smartly avoid pronouncing the name of the dish. Just point to the picture, to the menu item, or to the food on the shop window.
  • Воду, пожалуйста (Vodu, pozhaluysta) — “Craft beer.”
    • Вода с газом (Voda s gazom) — “Sparkling water, soda.”
    • Газированная вода (Gazirovannaya voda) — “Sparkling water, soda.”
    • Вода без газа (Voda bez gaza) — “Still water.”
    • Негазированная вода (Negazirovannaya voda) — S”till water.”
  • Пиво, пожалуйста (Pivo, pozhaluysta) — “Beer, please.”
    • Светлое пиво (Svetloye pivo) — “Light beer.”
    • Темное пиво (Tyomnoye pivo) — “Dark beer.”
    • Нефильтрованное пиво (Nefil’trovannoye pivo) — “Unfiltered beer.”
    • Крафтовое пиво (Kraftovoye pivo) — “Craft beer.”
  • Я вегетарианец (Ya vegetarianets) — “I’m a vegetarian.”
  • Я веган (Ya vegan) — “I am vegan.” Please, note that your waiter probably won’t know the difference between being a vegan and being a vegetarian. Check out the list of ingredients on the menu carefully, and if you order a salad, ask them to bring the sauce (dressing) separately, just in case: Соус отдельно, пожалуйста (Sous otdel’no, pozhaluysta) — “Bring the sauce separately, please.”
  • Я не ем мясо. Какие у вас блюда без мяса? (Ya ne yem myaso. Kakiye u vas blyuda bez myasa?) — “I don’t eat meat. Which dishes are without meat?”
  • У меня аллергия на… (U menya allergiya na…) — “I’m allergic to…”
  • Это очень вкусно! (Eto ochen’ vkusno!) — “It’s really tasty!”
  • Официант! (Ofitsiant!) — “Waiter!”
  • Посчитайте, пожалуйста (Poschitayte pozhaluysta) — “Bring the bill, please.” You’ll sound really “Russian” if you use this phrase. Literally, the translation is “Count, please.”
  • Счет, пожалуйста (Shchot, pozhaluysta) — “Bill, please.”
  • Оплата картой (Oplata kartoy) — “Payment by card.”
  • Оплата наличными (Oplata nalichnymi) — “Payment by cash.”

If you want to feel even more confident in a Russian restaurant, check out our restaurant vocabulary list.


5. Asking for and Giving Directions

Figuring out the Direction

Getting lost in a foreign country is a terrifying thing. That’s why it’s important to make sure to remember basic Russian expressions—or even print them out on paper in case your phone dies:

  • Где я? (Gde ya?) — “Where am I?”
  • Где находится… (Gde nakhoditsya…?) — “Where is… [location] located?”
  • Подскажите, пожалуйста, где ближайший туалет? (Podskazhite, pozhaluysta, gde blizhayshiy tualet?) — “Please, could you tell me where the nearest bathroom is?”
  • Как мне дойти до…? (Kak mne doyti do…?) — “How can I get to… [location]?”
  • Идите… (Idite…) — “Go…”
    • …прямо (pryamo) — “…straight”
    • …направо (napravo) — “…to the right”
    • …налево (nalevo) — “…to the left”
    • …туда (tuda) — “…that way”
    • …сюда (syuda) — “…this way”

If you feel like going into the wild—and we know that Russian wilderness can be amazingly beautiful and attractive for hiking-lovers—study our vocabulary list with direction words that will come in handy when you use the map.


6. Emergencies

Calling the Emergency Number.

The Russian emergency number is 112. The operator will redirect your call to the police, ambulance, fire brigade, gas alarm, or rescuers.

  • Помогите! (Pomogite) — “Help me!”
  • Спасите! (Spasite!) — “Save me!”
  • Пожар! (Pozhar!) — “Fire!”
  • Вызовите скорую! (Vyzovite skoruyu!) — “Call an ambulance!”
  • Здесь есть доктор? (Zdes’ yest’ doctor?) — “Is there a doctor?”
  • Я потерял свой паспорт (Ya poteryal svoy pasport) — “I’ve lost my passport.” (For a male.)

    • Я потеряла свой паспорт (Ya poteryalа svoy pasport) — “I’ve lost my passport.” (For a female.)
  • Я потерял свой кошелек (Ya poteryal svoy koshelyok) — “I’ve lost my purse.” (For a male.)
    • Я потеряла свой кошелек (Ya poteryalа svoy koshelyok) — “I’ve lost my purse.” (For a female.)

Study our vocabulary list with more words and phrases for emergency situations.


7. Flattery Phrases

Complimenting Russians is One of the Ways to Their Hearts.

When you travel in a foreign country, you’ll probably get a chance to make new Russian friends. Learn some phrases to leave a good first impression:

  • Мне нравятся русские (Mne nravyatsya russkiye) — “I like Russians.”
  • Я люблю русскую еду (Ya lyublyu russkuyu yedu) — “I love Russian food.”
  • Я люблю Россию (Ya lyublyu Rossiyu) — “I love Russia.”
  • Я хочу быть твоим другом (Ya khochu byt’ tvoim drugom) — “I wanna be your friend.”
  • У тебя есть Фейсбук или Инстаграм? (U tebya yest’ Feysbuk ili Instagram?) — “Do you have Facebook or Instagram?”


8. Useful Phrases to Go through Language Problems

Survival Phrases

Well, even if you’ve learned all the phrases above, in some situations, the phrase you need may disappear from your memory or you might not understand what that gloomy Russian is saying. Don’t worry, just use the following phrases:

  • Вы говорите по-английски? (Vy govorite po-angliyski?) — “Do you speak English?”
  • Я не понимаю (Ya ne ponimayu) — “I don’t understand.”
  • Вы не могли бы повторить? (Vy ne mogli by povtorit’?) — “Could you repeat, please?”
  • Пожалуйста, говорите помедленнее (Pozhaluysta, govorite pomedlenneye) — “Please, speak more slowly.”
  • Я не говорю по-русски (Ya ne govoryu po-russki) — “I don’t speak Russian.”
  • Напишите это, пожалуйста (Napishite eto, pozhaluysta) — “Write it down, please.”
  • Как это читается? (Kak eto chitayetsya?) — “How do you read this?”


9. Conclusion

We hope you now know why travel phrases, to learn Russian, are so vital. Travel phrases in Russian language learning provide you with helpful information for when you’re in a pinch, and also give you cultural context to make learning easier and more relevant!

Make sure that you return to the basic Russian words for tourists list and look through it one more time, as it’s the most important part of the article. Believe me, Russian people will be kinder to you once they understand that you’ve come prepared. Having some travel phrases in your Russian vocabulary is the first step to a good first impression.

Remember that knowing and using foreign words are totally different skills. Find a Russian-speaking language partner to practice or consider taking some lessons with our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners to start using the vocabulary for free and to feel more comfortable while you’re staying in Russia. Our teachers are native Russians and they’ll help you digest the most important and useful Russian phrases for tourists.

We wish you a great Russian journey that you’ll remember with excitement for a long time!

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Learn Russian Numbers: Full Guide with Interesting Exercises

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There’s hardly a day that passes without numbers. Russians don’t differ that much from other nations in this area—they count money, arrange meetings for specific dates, set alarms for a specific time, count the minutes until the end of the working day… Without numbers, you wouldn’t even be able to share how old you are. In fact, without learning how to speak Russian numbers, you’ll be like a fish out of water while in Russia!

Learning numbers and getting better at using them is essential both in life and in business. This is why here at RussianPod101 we decided to teach you how to say numbers in Russian with Russian numbers’ pronunciation, and to help you practice using them right away in interesting exercises. So, let’s go ahead and start with Russian numbers 1-100, and go from there!

Table of Contents

  1. Learn Russian Cardinal Numbers
  2. Learn Russian Ordinal Numbers
  3. How to Give a Mobile Phone Number in Russian
  4. How to Talk about Prices
  5. How to Tell the Date in Russian
  6. How to Tell the Time in Russian
  7. Conclusion

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Count to One Billion in Russian


1. Learn Russian Cardinal Numbers

Russian Numbers

1- Russian Numbers 0-10

Here are the simplest numbers in the Russian language, upon which you can build to create bigger numbers.

  • 0 — ноль (nol’)

Interesting fact: There’s also a less common name for zero: нуль (nul’). Usually, it’s used in terminology. For example, равняться нулю (ravnyat’sya nulyu) means “to be equal to zero.” Most of the time, both words can be used interchangeably. However, in some expressions, only one word can be used. For example: ноль внимания (nol’ vnimaniya) which means “zero attention; no attention.”

  • 1 — один (odin) Also, number one in Russian can be called раз (raz).
  • 2 — два (dva)

Please note that when the numbers один (odin) meaning “one” and два (dva) meaning “two” are put before the noun, they can change their form according to the gender of the following noun (masculine, feminine, or neutral):

Masculine: один (odin); два (dva)
Feminine: одна (odna); две (dve)
Neutral: одно (odno); два (dva)

  • 3 — три (tri)
  • 4 — четыре (chetyre)
  • 5 — пять (pyat’)

Interesting fact: Number five in Russian culture has special meaning, as it’s the highest grade in a school system. The grades usually go: two (”bad”), three (”passable”), four (”good”), and five (”excellent”).

  • 6 — шесть (shest’)
  • 7 — семь (sem’)
  • 8 — восемь (vosem’)
  • 9 — девять (devyat’)
  • 10 — десять (desyat’)

Examples:

  • В комнате два человека (V komnate dva cheloveka)—”There are two people in the room.”
  • Она скинула пять килограммов за один месяц (Ona skinula pyat’ kilogrammov za odin mesyats)—”She has lost five kilos in one month.”
  • У меня есть три желания (U menya yest’ tri zhelaniya)—”I have three wishes.”

2- Russian Numbers 11-100

  • 11 — одиннадцать (odinnadtsat’)
  • 12 — двенадцать (dvenadtsat’)
  • 13 — тринадцать (trinadtsat’)
  • 14 — четырнадцать (chetyrnadtsat’)
  • 15 — пятнадцать (pyatnadtsat’)
  • 16 — шестнадцать (shestnadtsat’)
  • 17 — семнадцать (semnadtsat’)
  • 18 — восемнадцать (vosemnadtsat’)
  • 19 — девятнадцать (dev’atnadtsat’)
  • 20 — двадцать (dvadtsat’)
  • 30 — тридцать (tridtsat’)
  • 40 — сорок (sorok)
  • 50 — пятьдесят (pyat’desyat)
  • 60 — шестьдесят (shest’desyat)
  • 70 — семьдесят (sem’desyat)
  • 80 — восемьдесят (vosem’desyat)
  • 90 — девяносто (devyanosto)
  • 100 — сто (sto)

Compound numerals are formed the same way as English ones are. Take a look at these examples to improve your numbers in Russian vocabulary:

  • 21 — двадцать один (dvadtsat’ odin)
  • 33 — тридцать три (tridtsat’ tri)
  • 146 — сто сорок шесть (sto sorok shest’)
  • 174 — сто семьдесят четыре (sto sem’desyat chetyre)

Examples:

  • Программа загрузилась на сорок три процента (Programma zagruzilas’ na sorok tri protsenta) — “The program has downloaded on forty-three percent.”
  • Я эту книгу и за сто лет не прочитаю! (Ya etu knigu i za sto let ne prochitayu) — “I won’t be able to finish this book even in one hundred years!”
  • Мне тридцать два года (Mne tridtsat’ dva goda) — “I am thirty-two years old.”

3- Russian Numbers from 200 to 1-million

  • 200 — двести (dvesti)
  • 300 — триста (trista)
  • 400 — четыреста (chetyresta)
  • 500 — пятьсот (pyat’sot)
  • 600 — шестьсот (shest’sot)
  • 700 — семьсот (sem’sot)
  • 800 — восемьсот (vosem’sot)
  • 900 — девятьсот (devyat’sot)
  • 1000 — тысяча (tysyacha or tyshcha) or одна тысяча (odna tysyacha). The shorter version is used in spoken language.
  • 2000 — две тысячи (dve tysyachi or dve tyshchi)
  • 3000 — три тысячи (tri tysyachi or tri tyshchi)
  • 100,000 — сто тысяч (sto tysyach or sto tyshch)
  • 1,000,000 — миллион (milion)

Examples:

  • На митинг пришло тысяча человек (Na miting prishlo tysyacha chelovek) — “One-thousand people came to the public gathering.”
  • У меня зарплата семьдесят тысяч рублей в месяц (U menya zarplata sem’desyat tysyach rubley v mesyats) — “My salary is 70,000 rubles per month.”

Great! Now you know how to say Russian Cardinal numbers! We advise you to work on your pronunciation in our voice recording exercise. You can also get a better idea of how to pronounce Russian numbers by visiting our relevant vocabulary list, where you can find many numbers accompanied by an audio of their pronunciation.


2. Learn Russian Ordinal Numbers

Numbers Being Highlighted

For the next part of this numbers in Russian lesson, we’ll go over Russian ordinal numbers.

Russian ordinal numbers behave like an adjective in a sentence. Its ending changes according to the gender of the following noun (masculine, feminine, neutral, or plural). In Russian dictionaries, adjectives are usually given in the masculine form:

  • Первый (pervyy) — “the first”
  • Второй (vtoroy) — “the second”
  • Третий (tretiy) — “the third”
  • Четвертый (chetvyortyy) — “the fourth”
  • Пятый (pyatyy) — “the fifth”
  • Шестой (shestoy) — “the sixth”
  • Седьмой (sed’moy)— “the seventh”
  • Восьмой (vos’moy) — “the eighth”
  • Девятый (devyatyy) — “the ninth”
  • Десятый (desyatyy) — “the tenth”
  • Одиннадцатый (odinnadtsatyy) — “the eleventh.” Please note that the letter д in the number одиннадцатый and in the following numbers is not pronounced.
  • Двенадцатый (dvenadtsatyy) — “the twelfth”
  • Тринадцатый (trinadtsatyy) — “the thirteenth”
  • Четырнадцатый (chetyrnadtsatyy) — “the fourteenth”
  • Пятнадцатый (pyatnadtsatyy) — “the fifteenth”
  • Шестнадцатый (shestnadtsatyy) — “the sixteenth”
  • Семнадцатый (semnadtsatyy) — “the seventeenth”
  • Восемнадцатый (vosemnadtsatyy) — “the eighteenth”
  • Девятнадцатый (devyatnadtsatyy) — “the nineteenth”
  • Двадцатый (dvadtsatyy) — “the twentieth”

Compound numerals are formed the same way that English ones are. The first part stays a cardinal number and the second part becomes ordinal. For example:

  • Двадцать первый (dvadtsat’ pervyy) — “the twenty-first”
  • Тридцать второй (tridtsat’ vtoroy) — “the thirty-second”
  • Сорок третий (sorok tretiy) — “the forty-third”
  • Пятьдесят четвертый (pyat’desyat chetvyortyy) — “the fifty-fourth”
  • Шестьдесят пятый (shest’desyat pyatyy) — “the sixty-fifth”
  • Семьдесят шестой (sem’desyat shestoy) — “the seventy-sixth”
  • Восемьдесят седьмой (vosem’desyat sed’moy) — “the eighty-seventh”
  • Девяносто восьмой (devyanosto vos’moy) — “the ninety-eighth”
  • Сто двадцать шестой (sto dvadtsat’ shestoy) — “the one-hundred twenty-sixth”

If you want to write Russian ordinal numbers with numerals, please: write a number, add a hyphen, and add the last two letters of the last number-word. For example:

  • Первый (pervyy) — 1-ый — “the first”
  • Второй (vtoroy) — 2-ой — “the second”
  • Третий (tretiy) — 3-ий — “the third”
  • Четвертый (chetvyortyy) — 4-ый — “the fourth”
  • Пятый (pyatyy) — 5-ый — “the fifth”
  • Девяносто восьмой (devyanosto vos’moy) — 98-ой — “the ninety-eighth”
  • Сто двадцать шестой (sto dvadtsat’ shestoy) — 126-ой — “the one-hundred twenty-sixth”

Examples:

  • Кто двадцать седьмой по списку? (Kto dvadtsat’ sed’moy po spisku?) — “Who is 27th on the list?”
  • Я родился в тысяча девятьсот девяносто первом году (Ya rodilsya v tysyacha devyat’sot devyanosto pervom godu) — “I was born in 1991.”

Please note that Russian ordinal numbers behave exactly as adjectives in a sentence. This is why they change their case according to the case of the noun to which they belong. You can learn more about Russian cases or get a lesson in our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners to understand this difficult, but important, Russian grammar rule quickly.


3. How to Give a Mobile Phone Number in Russian

Phone Number

1- How to Write Russian Phone Numbers

Russian mobile phone numbers can be written in different ways:

  • +7 910 098 76 54
  • 79100987654
  • +7-910-098-76-54

But the right way to do it looks like this: +7 (910) 098-76-54.

So, you leave a space after +7, put the next three numbers into brackets, then put another space, then put hyphens after three digits, and after the next two.

2- The Difference Between 8 and +7 in Russian Phone Numbers

Russian numbers can be given in two ways:

  • 8 (910) 987-65-43
  • +7 (910) 987-65-43

As you can see, the difference is only in the first number.

In the first case, it’s just восемь (vosem’), which means “eight.” In the second case, it’s + and семь (sem’), meaning “seven.” The thing is, dialing a number with 8 will work only in Russia, while 7 is an international code of Russia and will work if you call from abroad. + is the symbol for an international format of a phone number.

Exercise. Now it’s time for some Russian numbers practice. Your Russian friend gave you his phone number: 89159998877. You’re currently not in Russia. How will you dial this phone number to call him? (Write the number with brackets, spaces, and hyphens).

_________________

Answer: +7 (915) 999-88-77

3- How to Pronounce Russian Phone Numbers

When you know the rules of how to write the number correctly, it’s easy to read the number. The thing is, it’s read as it’s grouped. The first number (8 or +7) in spoken language is often skipped. If not, just read it as one simple number.

The numbers in brackets are read as one number. For example, девятьсот десять (devyat’sot desyat’) is “910.”

Then read three numbers, separated by hyphens. For example: сто тридцать один - пятьдесят семь - сорок два (sto tridtsat’ odin - pyat’desyat sem’ - sorok dva) means “131-57-42.”

If the first number of a two-digit number is zero, then read it like that: ноль семь (nol’ sem’), meaning “07.”

“+7″ is pronounced as плюс семь (plyus sem’).

Examples:

  • Восемь, девятьсот девятнадцать, семсот шестьдесят четыре, ноль девять, восемнадцать (vosem’, devyat’sot devyatnadtsat’, sem’sot shest’desyat chetyre, nol’ devyat’, vosemnadtsat’) — “8 (919) 764-09-18.”
  • Восемь, девятьсот восемьдесят пять, семьсот двадцать один, тридцать один, шестьдесят девять (vosem’, devyat’sot vosem’desyat pyat’, sem’sot dvadtsat’ odin, tridtsat’ 0din, shest’desyat devyat’) — “8 (985) 721-31-69.”


4. How to Talk about Prices

1- About Russian Currency

A Two Ruble Coin

The Russian currency is called the рубль (rubl’) or “ruble” in English. The currency sign for the Russian ruble is . You may also come across a Russian coin, which is called a копейка (kopeyka) or “kopeck.” There are one-hundred of them in one ruble. Kopecks are rarely used nowadays.

If you want to learn more about Russian currency, please check out our free three-minute video lesson.

2- How to Pronounce Prices in Russian

Sale Sign

To talk about prices, use Russian Cardinal Numbers. The word рубль (rubl’) meaning “ruble” and the word копейка (kopeyka) meaning “kopeck” change their form according to the number before them. For most numbers, the form is рублей (rubley) meaning “rubles” and копеек (kopeyek) meaning “kopecks.” Let’s learn four exceptions for the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4:

  • 1 ₽ — один рубль (odin rubl’)
  • 2 ₽ — два рубля (dva rublya)
  • 3 ₽ — три рубля (tri rublya)
  • 4 ₽ — четыре рубля (chetyre rublya)
  • 1 kopeck — одна копейка (odna kopeyka)
  • 2 kopecks — две копейки (dve kopeyki)
  • 3 kopecks — три копейки (tri kopeyki)
  • 4 kopecks — четыре копейки (chetyre kopeyki)

Compound numbers ending with 1, 2, 3, or 4 are also read with these forms. For example:

  • 21 ₽ — двадцать один рубль (dvadtsat’ odin rubl’)
  • 32 ₽ — тридцать два рубля (tridtsat’ dva rublya)
  • 143 ₽ — сто сорок три рубля (sto sorok tri rublya)
  • 1354 ₽ — тысяча триста пятьдесят четыре рубля (tysyacha trista pyat’desyat chetyre rublya)

Please remember that the numbers from 11 to 14 aren’t compound numerals, thus they’re pronounced according to the common rule:

  • 11 ₽ — одиннадцать рублей (odinadtsat’ rubley)
  • 12 ₽ — двенадцать рублей (dvenadtsat’ rubley)
  • 13 ₽ — тринадцать рублей (trinadtsat’ rubley)
  • 14 ₽ — четырнадцать рублей (chetyrnadtsat’ rubley)

Examples:

  • Суп стоит двести тридцать рублей (Sup stoit dvesti tridtsat’ rubley) — “The soup costs 230 rubles.”
  • С вас две тысячи двести рублей (S vas dve tysyachi dvesti rubley) — “You need to pay 2200 rubles.”

Let’s also learn the most-used Russian slang words that you may come across while talking to your Russian friends:

  • Полтинник (poltinnik) — “50 rubles”
  • Стольник (stol’nik); сотка (sotka); сотен (soten) — “100 rubles”
  • Пятихатка (pyatikhatka) — “500 rubles”
  • Косарь (kosar’); штука (shtuka); кусок (kusok) — “1000 rubles”
  • Лимон (limon) — here: “1,000,000 rubles”
    • Note that the word лимон (limon) usually means “lemon.”

Exercise. Write down the following prices in Russian with the correct form of the word рубль (rubl’). For example, for 1235 the answer is тысяча двести тридцать пять рублей.

  1. 1999
  2. 6507
  3. 9908
  4. 131
  5. 563

Answers:

  • Тысяча девятьсот девяносто девять рублей
  • Шесть тысяч пятьсот семь рублей
  • Девять тысяч девятьсот восемь рублей
  • Сто тридцать один рубль
  • Пятьсот шестьдесят три рубля


5. How to Tell the Date in Russian

A Calendar

Russian dates are usually written in this order: day->month->year. For example, 30.01.2021.

In order to tell a date, you need to know the Russian words for months:

  • Январь (yanvar’) — “January”
  • Февраль (fevral’) — “February”
  • Март (mart) — “March”
  • Апрель (aprel’) — “April”
  • Май (may) — “May”
  • Июнь (iyun’) — “June”
  • Июль (iyul’) — “July”
  • Август (avgust) — “August”
  • Сентябрь (sentyabr’) — “September”
  • Октябрь (oktyabr’) — “October”
  • Ноябрь (noyabr’) — “November”
  • Декабрь (dekabr’) — “December”

When you tell the day, you need to use Russian ordinal numbers.

In order to tell the date, use the Genitive case for the name of the month and the number of the year.

Examples:

  • 01.01.2003
    • первое января две тысячи третьего года
    • pervoye yanvarya dve tysyachi tret’yego goda
    • “The first of January 2003″
  • 23.02.1984
    • двадцать третье февраля тысяча девятьсот восемьдесят четвертого года
    • dvadtsat’ tret’ye fevralya tysyacha devyat’sot vosem’desyat chetvyortogo goda
    • “The twenty-third of February 1984″

Exercise. Read the following dates and write them down in numbers. (Remember to keep the Russian date format.)

  1. Седьмое октября тысяча девятьсот пятьдесят второго года.
  2. Девятое мая тысяча девятьсот сорок пятого года.

Answers:

  1. 07.10.1952
    By the way, this is the birthday of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
  2. 09.05.1945
    This is Victory Day in Russia. Every year since then, Russian people celebrate the surrender of the Nazis in the Second World War.

Try out our video exercise to practice recognizing dates.

So, now you can learn how to ask “When is your birthday?” in Russian and be absolutely sure that you won’t miss this most important event in the life of your partner or friend.


6. How to Tell the Time in Russian

Alarm Clock

[Полдень (Pold’in’) — “Midday”
Полночь (Polnach) — “Midnight”]

When Russians talk about time, they usually use the 24-hour format or add the words morning, day, evening, or night to the 12-hour format.

Let’s start with some vocabulary that you’ll definitely need to talk about time:

  • Час (chas) — “hour”
  • Минута (minuta) — “minute”
  • Утро (utro) — “morning”
  • День (den’) — “day”
  • Вечер (vecher) — “evening”
  • Ночь (noch’) — “night”
  • Половина (polovina) — here: “half an hour to”
  • Пол- (pol-) — here: “half an hour to”
  • Четверть (chetvert’) — here: “quarter past”
  • Без четверти (bez chetverti) — here: “quarter to”
  • Без… мин ут… (bez… minut…) — here: “without… minutes to…”
  • Ровно (rovno) — “exactly”
  • Почти (pochti) — “almost”

So, the easiest way to tell the time is to say the hour first, followed by the minutes:

  • Сейчас 7:23 (Seychas sem’ dvadtsat’ tri) — “Now it is 7:23.”
    • Please note that in this case, you understand whether it’s morning or evening only from the context.
  • Давай встретимся в шесть (Davay vstretimsya v shest’) — “Let’s meet at six o’clock.”

You can add the words “morning,” “day,” “evening,” or night to the time to be more exact:

  • У нас будет встреча в 8 утра по Москве (U nas budet vstrecha v vosem’ utra po Moskve) — “We’ll have a meeting at eight a.m. Moscow time.”
  • Мне кто-то позвонил в час ночи (Mne kto-to pozvonil v chas nochi) — “Somebody called me at one a.m..”

Or, you can use other words from our vocabulary list to sound like a real Russian:

  • Пойдем на обед в половине первого? (Poydyom na obed v polovine pervogo?) — “Let’s go for lunch half an hour to one.”
  • В полседьмого у меня тренировка (V polsed’mogo u menya trenerovka) — “I’m having a workout at half an hour to seven.”
  • Давай встретимся у входа в кафе в четверть третьего (Davay vstretimsya u vkhoda v kafe v chetvert’ tret’yego) — “Let’s meet near the coffeeshop entrance at 2:15.”
  • Без четверти четыре я был уже на месте (Bez chetverti chetyre ya byl uzhe na meste) — “I was already there a quarter to four.”
  • Сейчас ровно десять (Seychas rovno desyat’) — “It’s ten o’clock sharp.”
  • Сейчас уже почти три (Seychas uzhe pochti tri) — “It’s already almost three o’clock.”

Exercise. Decipher the time from Russian into the 24-hour format. For example, for ровно 7 вечера, the answer would be 19:00.

  1. Без трёх минут шесть утра
  2. Ровно десять вечера
  3. Полвосьмого утра
  4. Половина второго дня
  5. Шестнадцать часов две минуты

Answers:

  • 5:57
  • 22:00
  • 7:30
  • 13:30
  • 16:02


7. Conclusion

Now you know how to tell the date, name a price, and set a time with Russian numbers. That’s a huge part of the Russian learning, so congrats! What do you think of our numbers in Russian course lesson?

Of course, such a broad and important topic requires a lot of practice to master. You can torture your Russian friend with it. :) Or consider taking some lessons with our MyTeacher program for Russian learners. Our professional teachers will not only explain this topic to you again, but also help you to start using and recognizing the numbers in writing and speech easily.

RussianPod101.com is here to guide you through every step of your language-learning journey!

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How To Post In Perfect Russian on Social Media

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You’re learning to speak Russian, and it’s going well. Your confidence is growing! So much that you feel ready to share your experiences on social media—in Russian.

At Learn Russian, we make this easy for you to get it right the first time. Post like a boss with these phrases and guidelines, and get to practice your Russian in the process.

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1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in Russian

Eating out is fun, and often an experience you’d like to share. Take a pic, and start a conversation on social media in Russian. Your friend will be amazed by your language skills…and perhaps your taste in restaurants!

Pasha eats at a restaurant with his friends, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

POST

Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

Ужин с лучшими друзьями. (Uzhin s luchshimi druz’yami.)
“Dinner with best friends.”

1- Ужин (Uzhin)

First is an expression meaning “Dinner.”
The word “ужин” is a masculine noun and has 3 meanings: 1. food, prepared for the evening meal 2. a meal taken in the evening. 3. a banquet or formal meal in honor of a person or event. The origin of “ужин” is unclear, however, some linguists suppose it is connected with the latin words “southern” and “midday”. You can also find related words in Polish, Bulgarian and Slovenian languages.

2- с лучшими друзьями (s luchshimi druz`yami)

Then comes the phrase - “with the best friends.”
Friendship is very important for Russians. In Russian culture all friends are divided into normal friends and best friends. It is considered that every person should have no more than 3-4 best friends. For friends in Russia it is commonplace to complain to each other about how severe life is, or to rely on friends to help solve one’s problems.

COMMENTS

In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

1- Я тоже хочу к вам! (Ya tozhe khochu k vam!)

His girlfriend, Marina, uses an expression meaning - “I also want to join you!”
Marina would love to join the fun, and states it clearly.

2- Выглядит аппетитно. (Vyglyadit appetitno.)

His neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Looks delicious.”
Ira comments on what the food looks like in a simple, easy comment.

3- Это вы где? (Eto vy gde?)

His supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “This is where are you?”
Ivan is making conversation with this question.

4- Хорошо вам посидеть! (Khorosho vam posidet’!)

His girlfriend’s high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “Wish you a good time!”
Oksana extends a warm wish, a sweet way to be part of a conversation.

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • ужин (uzhin): “dinner”
  • хотеть (khotet`): “to want”
  • аппетитно (appetitno): “appetizing”
  • где (gde): “where”
  • посидеть (posidet`): “to sit for a while”
  • лучший (luchshiy): “the best”
  • друзья (druz`ya): “friends”
  • выглядеть (vyglyadet`): “to look (like), to seem”
  • So, let’s practice a bit. If a friend posted something about having dinner with friends, which phrase would you use?

    Now go visit a Russian restaurant, and wow the staff with your language skills!

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in Russian

    Another super topic for social media is shopping—everybody does it, most everybody loves it, and your friends on social media are probably curious about your shopping sprees! Share these Russian phrases in posts when you visit a mall.

    Marina shop with her sister at the mall, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Лучший допинг - это шоппинг! (Luchshiy doping - eto shopping!)
    “The best doping is shopping!”

    1- Лучший допинг - (Luchshiy doping - )

    First is an expression meaning “The best doping.”
    Here, the word “допинг” (doping) is used in an indirect way. In Russian, “допинг” can also mean something that stimulates creativity, a burst of energy. It is not necessarily because of drugs.

    2- это шоппинг (eto shopping)

    Then comes the phrase - “is shopping.”
    Here, we have the masculine noun “шоппинг”, which came to Russian from English and means the same as “shopping”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Что, снова нечего надеть? (Chto, snova nechego nadet’?)

    Her nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “What, again nothing to wear?”
    Use this expression to show you are feeling cynical.

    2- Где-то распродажи? (Gde-to rasprodazhi?)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “Sales somewhere?”
    Anya needs more information, so she asks this question. Questions are great conversation-starters.

    3- Что купили? (Chto kupili?)

    Her boyfriend, Pasha, uses an expression meaning - “What did you buy?”
    Pasha is curious about his girlfriend’s purchase, so he asks this question.

    4- Возьмите меня с собой! (Voz’mite menya s soboy!)

    Her high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “Take me with you!”
    Oksana wishes she was with Marina! A fun, light expression.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • шоппинг (shopping): “shopping”
  • надеть (nadet`): “to wear”
  • где-то (gde-to): “somewhere”
  • купить (kupit`): “to buy”
  • взять (vzyat`): “to take”
  • нечего (nechego): “nothing”
  • распродажа (rasprodazha): “sale”
  • снова (snova): “again”
  • So, if a friend posted something about going shopping, which phrase would you use?

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in Russian

    Sportz events, whether you’re the spectator or the sports person, offer fantastic opportunity for great social media posts. Learn some handy phrases and vocabulary to start a sport-on-the-beach conversation in Russian.

    Pasha plays with his friends at the beach, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Мы победим! (My pobedim!)
    “We’ll win!”

    1- Мы (My)

    First is an expression meaning “We.”
    Here we have the pronoun that means the same as the English word “we”.

    2- победим (pobedim)

    Then comes the phrase - “will win.”
    The word “победим” means “will win” in the future tense, and derives from the word “победа” - victory.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Удачи! (Udachi!)

    His girlfriend, Marina, uses an expression meaning - “Good luck!”
    Sweet Marina is sure to encourage her boyfriend with this wish!

    2- Какой счёт? (Kakoy shchyot?)

    His supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “What`s the score?”
    Ivan wants to know more details, showing his interest in the conversation.

    3- Продули или нет? (Produli ili net?)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “Lost or not?”
    Yura is also curious about the score.

    4- Надеюсь, не будет дождя. (Nadeyus’, ne budet dozhdya.)

    His high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “I hope there won’t be rain.”
    Anya is expressing a hope regarding weather that could affect the game. She’s showing that she’s interested in Pasha’s conversation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • победить (pobedit`): “to win”
  • удача (udacha): “luck”
  • счёт (shchyot): “score, bill”
  • продуть (produt`): “to blow, to lose (a game) - sl.”
  • надеяться (nadeyat’sya): “to hope”
  • дождь (dozhd`): “rain”
  • мы (my): “we”
  • Which phrase would you use if a friend posted something about sports?

    But sport is not the only thing you can play! Play some music, and share it on social media.

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in Russian

    Music is the language of the soul, they say. So, don’t hold back—share what touches your soul with your friends!

    Marina shares a song she just heard at a party, posts an image of the artist, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Рекомендую! (Rekomenduyu!)
    “My recommendation!”

    1- Рекомендую! (Rekomenduyu!)

    Literally, this word means “I recommend”. As you know, all Russian verbs undergo conjugation depending on person and number. Therefore, in daily speech Russians can omit pronouns, as it is clear to them whom the verb is referring to. Use this pattern when you want to give your recommendations to your friends.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Классная песня! (Klassnaya pesnya!)

    Her high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “Cool song!”
    WIth this post, Oksana shows that she knows the song and agrees with Marina about it.

    2- Мне тоже нравится. (Mne tozhe nravitsya.)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “I also like it.”
    Ira shares the same as Oksana with this comment.

    3- А по-моему, не очень. (A po-moyemu, ne ochen’.)

    Her boyfriend, Pasha, uses an expression meaning - “In my opinion, it’s not so good.”
    Pasha qualifies that the statement is his opinion, and then shares that he doesn’t think it to be very good. All well here - it is delivered respectfully and pleasantly.

    4- И как такое может кому-то нравиться. (I kak takoye mozhet komu-to nravit’sya.)

    Her nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “I can’t believe someone likes it!”
    Yura doesn’t hold back on his dislike, though. This type of comment is probably best reserved for friends and family who knows you very well! Otherwise, it could come across as criticism and disrespectful. On the other hand it could mean that Marina’s nephew is teasing here; only they will know.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • рекомендовать (rekomendovat`): “to recommend”
  • классный (klassnyy): “cool”
  • нравиться (nravit’sya): “to like”
  • по-моему (po-moyemu): “in my opinion”
  • такой (takoy): “such”
  • песня (pesnya): “song”
  • тоже (tozhe): “also”
  • мочь (moch`): “to be able to, can”
  • Which song would you share? And what would you say to a friend who posted something about sharing music or videos?

    Now you know how to start a conversation about a song or a video on social media!

    5. Russian Social Media Comments about a Concert

    Still on the theme of music—visiting live concerts and shows just have to be shared with your friends. Here are some handy phrases and vocab to wow your followers with in Russian!

    Pasha goes to a concert, posts an image of him there, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Яркое событие в моей жизни. (Yarkoye sobytiye v moyey zhizni.)
    “Important event in my life.”

    1- Яркое событие (Yarkoye sobytiye)

    First is an expression meaning: “Important event.”
    The word “яркий” basically means “bright”. However, when talking about events, etc. the word “яркий” has an indirect meaning - “making a strong impression”, “not ordinary”. In our sentence, the adjective “яркий” is used in its neuter form - яркое. You can use the expression “Яркое событие” to say that there was/is/will be an event making a strong impression and even influencing something or someone.

    2- в моей жизни (v moyey zhizni)

    Then comes the phrase - “in my life.”
    Here we have the phrase “в моей жизни” which is in the prepositional case. “В” means “in”, “моей” means “my” and “жизни” is the word for “life”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Фотки в студию. (Fotki v studiyu.)

    His college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “Show the pictures! (lit. present the pictures to everyone.)”
    Denis is enthusiastic and wants to see more of this event.

    2- И ты не сказал, что идёшь?? (I ty ne skazal, chto idyosh’??)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “And you didn’t say that you’re going to go??”
    Oksana seems indignant that Pasha wasn’t forthcoming with information about his attending this concert.

    3- Одна из моих любимых групп. (Odna iz moikh lyubimykh grupp.)

    His high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “One of my favorite bands.”
    She partakes in the conversation by sharing a personal preference.

    4- Концерт был супер! (Kontsert byl super!)

    His girlfriend, Marina, uses an expression meaning - “The concert was great!”
    Marina shares an opinion about the concert - good for conversation!

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • событие (sobytiye): “event”
  • фотка (fotka): “photo (slang)”
  • сказать (skazat`): “to say”
  • любимый (lyubimyy): “favorite”
  • концерт (kontsert): “concert”
  • жизнь (zhizn’ ): “life”
  • группа (gruppa): “group, band”
  • супер (super): “super, cool”
  • If a friend posted something about a concert , which phrase would you use?

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in Russian

    Oh dear. You broke something by accident. Use these Russian phrases to start a thread on social media. Or maybe just to let your friends know why you are not contacting them!

    Marina accidentally breaks her mobile phone, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Телефон сломался… (Telefon slomalsya…)
    “Phone is broken…”

    1- Телефон (Telefon)

    First is an expression meaning “Phone.”
    You can use this word to talk about any phone: mobile, home phone or public phone. In daily speech it can also be used in the meaning of “phone number”. For example: “Give me your phone number” in Russian is “Дай мне свой телефон” (Day mne svoy telefon).

    2- сломался (slomalsya)

    Then comes the phrase - “is broken.”
    You can use this verb to say that something no ​longer ​​works, was broken, or broke down. In Russian, you can also use this verb to describe a person who lost strength, will, power, or is weak physically or mentally because of hard life circumstances. Russians often say: “Он сломался” (on slomalsya). - He cracked (under pressure).

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Его можно починить. (Yego mozhno pochinit’.)

    Her boyfriend, Pasha, uses an expression meaning - “It can be repaired.”
    Pasha seems to feel positive that the event is not so serious.

    2- Как это случилось? (Kak eto sluchilos’?)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “How did it happen? (Kak eto sluchilos’?)”
    Ira would like more detail by asking this question. Questions are great to keep a conversation going on social media.

    3- Хороший повод купить новый. (Khoroshiy povod kupit’ novyy.)

    Her high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “That’s a good reason to buy a new one.”
    Oksana’s opinion differs from Pasha, and her comment is also slightly more positive!

    4- Всё, что ни делается, всё к лучшему! (Vsyo, chto ni delayetsya, vsyo k luchshemu!)

    Her boyfriend’s high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “Things work out for the best.”
    Anya chooses to leave an encouraging, if not somewhat philosophical opinion.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • телефон (telefon): “phone”
  • починить (pochinit`): “to fix, to repair”
  • случиться (sluchit’sya): “to happen”
  • повод (povod): “reason, occasion”
  • Всё, что ни делается, всё к лучшему! (Vsyo, chto ni delayetsya, vsyo k luchshemu.): “Things work out for the best.”
  • сломаться (slomat’sya): “to break”
  • хороший (khoroshiy): “good”
  • новый (novyy): “new”
  • If a friend posted something about having broken something by accident, which phrase would you use?

    So, now you know how to describe an accident in Russian. Well done!

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in Russian

    Sometimes, we’re just bored with how life goes. And to alleviate the boredom, we write about it on social media. Add some excitement to your posts by addressing your friends and followers in Russian!

    Pasha gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Скучно… (Skuchno…)
    “Bored…”

    1- Скучно… (Skuchno…)

    “Скучно” is an adjective. You can use it to express that you are bored right now or that an action or process is boring. To say “I am bored” in Russian, just add the pronoun “me” in the dative case, which is “мне”, so it will become “Мне скучно”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- По пивку? (Po pivku?)

    His college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “Let’s drink (beer)?”
    Denis has a solution to Pasha’s predicament that guys usually like.

    2- Я знаю неподалёку одно хорошее местечко. (Ya znayu nepodalyoku odno khorosheye mestechko.)

    His girlfriend’s nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “I know a good place not far away.”
    Yura pipes in to support Denis’ idea, offering information.

    3- Присоединюсь к вам после работы. (Prisoyedinyus’ k vam posle raboty.)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “I’ll join you after work.”
    Oksana seems keen to join the guys drinking beer to alleviate boredom.

    4- Работа - лучшее лекарство от скуки. (Rabota - luchsheye lekarstvo ot skuki.)

    His supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “Work is the best medicine for boredom.”
    Ivan is the first one to break this line of conversation, offering some sage advice.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • скучно (skuchno): “bored”
  • пиво (pivo): “beer”
  • неподалёку (nepodalyoku): “not far”
  • присоединиться (prisoyedinit’sya): “to join”
  • лекарство (lekarstvo): “medicine”
  • работа (rabota): “job, work”
  • скука (skuka): “boredom”
  • местечко (mestechko): “place (conversational)”
  • If a friend posted something about being bored, which phrase would you use?

    Still bored? Share another feeling and see if you can start a conversation!

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in Russian

    Sitting in public transport after work, feeling like chatting online? Well, converse in Russian about how you feel, and let your friends join in!

    Marina feels exhausted after a long day at work, posts an image of herself looking tired, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Устала… (Ustala…)
    “Tired…”

    1- Устала (Ustala)

    Here, we have the verb in the past tense - “устала”, “tired”. The ending [a] shows that this verb can be used by women. Men should say “Устал” (ustal). If you want to emphasize that you are exhausted or dead tired, you can say “Устала до смерти”, if you are a female and “Устал до смерти” if you are a male. It literally means “Tired till death”, “So tired that gonna die”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Береги себя. (Beregi sebya.)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Take care of yourself.”
    Ira offers warmhearted advice.

    2- Давай приезжай домой поскорее. (Davay priyezzhay domoy poskoreye.)

    Her boyfriend, Pasha, uses an expression meaning - “Come back home as soon as possible.”
    Does Pasha have a surprise for his tired girlfriend, perhaps…?!

    3- Может, возьмёшь такси? (Mozhet, voz’myosh’ taksi?)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Maybe you could take a taxi?”
    Ira also offers advice, thinking that a taxi-ride may be less tiring for the tired Marina.

    4- Ничего не поделаешь - работа есть работа. (Nichego ne podelayesh’ - rabota yest’ rabota.)

    Her nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “There’s nothing we can do - a job is a job.”
    Yura feels he needs to explain that fatigue is an inevitable part of work life. He is perhaps younger and wants to partake in the conversation.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • устать (ustat’ ): “to get tired”
  • беречь (berech’ ): “to save, to preserve, to take care of”
  • поскорее (poskoreye): “as soon as possible, somewhat quicker”
  • может (mozhet): “maybe”
  • ничего не поделаешь (nichego ne podelayesh’ ): “there’s nothing to be done”
  • приезжать (priyezzhat’ ): “to come, to arrive (by means of transportation)”
  • такси (taksi): “taxi”
  • взять (vzyat`): “to take”
  • If a friend posted something about being exhausted, which phrase would you use?

    Now you know how to say you’re exhausted in Russian! Well done.

    9. Talking about an Injury in Russian

    So life happens, and you manage to hurt yourself during a soccer game. Very Tweet-worthy! Here’s how to do it in Russian.

    Pasha suffers a painful injury during a soccer game, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Растянул лодыжку (Rastyanul lodyzhku.)
    “I sprained my ankle.”

    1- Растянул (rastyanul)

    First is an expression meaning “sprained.”
    You can use this verb not only when talking about an injury caused by a sudden movement, but also in the meaning “to make something longer or wider without tearing or breaking. ”

    2- лодыжку (loduzhku)

    Then comes the phrase - “ankle.”
    Here, we have the word “лодыжка” in the accusative case, which means “ankle.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Боевая травма? (Boyevaya travma?)

    His girlfriend, Marina, uses an expression meaning - “Fight trauma?”
    Marina seems to be joking here with Pasha, wondering if he sustained this injury in a fight.

    2- Может, в больницу? (Mozhet, v bol’nitsu?)

    His neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Maybe you should go to the hospital?”
    Ira is more concerned for his well being and wonders if he needs medical attention.

    3- Это полуболь, у тебя ещё есть вторая нога. (Eto polubol’, u tebya yeshchyo yest’ vtoraya noga.)

    His college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “You have half the pain because your other leg is healthy.”
    Denis is also trying to alleviate his friend’s suffering with a joke.

    4- Боль в ноге делает мир мрачным. (Bol’ v noge delayet mir mrachnym.)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “The pain in his leg makes the world dark.”
    Oksana uses this comment to show her sympathy with Pasha’s pain.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • лодыжка (loduzhka): “ankle”
  • травма (travma): “injury”
  • больница (bol`nitsa): “hospital”
  • нога (noga): “leg”
  • мрачный (mrachnyy): “dark, bleak, gloomy”
  • боевой (boyevoy): “battle; fighting”
  • боль (bol’ ): “pain”
  • мир (mir): “world, peace”
  • If a friend posted something about being injured, which phrase would you use?

    We love to share our fortunes and misfortunes; somehow that makes us feel connected to others.

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in Russian

    Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. Share your disappointment about this with your friends!

    Marina feels disappointed about today’s weather, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Погода ужасная. (Pogoda uzhasnaya.)
    “The weather is awful.”

    1- Погода (Pogoda)

    First is an expression meaning “The weather .”
    Here, we have the word “погода”, which means the same as the English word “weather”.

    2- ужасная (uzhasnaya)

    Then comes the phrase - “is awful.”
    The feminine adjective “ужасная” means “awful”. The masculine adjective is “ужасный”. Just put the appropriate noun of masculine or feminine gender to express your opinion about an “awful character”, an “awful day” and even an “awful person”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Надоел дождь. (Nadoyel dozhd’.)

    Her high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “I’m tired of rain.”
    Oksana shares a personal feeling about the weather - a good way to make conversation.

    2- Никуда не хочется выходить. (Nikuda ne khochetsya vykhodit’.)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “I don’t want to go out anywhere.”
    Ira continues to elaborate on why rainy days suck.

    3- Льёт как из ведра. (L’yot kak iz vedra.)

    Her boyfriend, Pasha, uses an expression meaning - “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
    Pasha does the same as the others, but he uses a common expression that means the same in English as in Russian - it rains a big lot!

    4- Можно посмотреть телик или почитать книжку. (Mozhno posmotret’ telik ili pochitat’ knizhku.)

    Her nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “You can watch TV or read a book.”
    Yura feels he knows what Marina should do to alleviate her boredom, and he shares his wisdom.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • погода (pogoda): “weather”
  • дождь (dozhd`): “rain”
  • выходить (vykhodit`): “to go out”
  • Льёт как из ведра. (L`yot kak iz vedra): “The rain is pouring.”
  • телик (telik): “TV (slang)”
  • ужасный (uzhasnyy): “awful, horrible”
  • почитать (pochitat`): “to read (for a short time)”
  • книжка (knizhka): “book”
  • How would you comment in Russian when a friend is disappointed?

    Not all posts need to be about a negative feeling, though!

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in Russian

    Don’t just change your relationship status in Settings, talk about it!

    Pasha changes his status to “In a relationship”, posts an image of himself with Marina and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Твоя любовь даёт мне крылья. (Tvoya lyubov’ dayot mne kryl’ya.)
    “Your love gives me wings”

    1- Твоя любовь (Tvoya lyubov`)

    First is an expression meaning “Your love.”
    In the Russian language, “Love” - Любовь (Lyubov`) is a common female name.

    2- даёт мне крылья (dayot mne kryl`ya)

    Then comes the phrase - “it gives me wings.”
    You can use this expression to say that something inspires you. Just put the noun or phrase before “даёт мне крылья” to express what things or people inspire you.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Кто эта счастливица? (Kto eta shchastlivitsa?)

    His girlfriend’s high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “Who’s the lucky one?”
    Oksana is making fun of her friends with this comments.

    2- Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!)

    His neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations! ”
    This is the traditional, commonly-used comment when receiving good news of this kind.

    3- Ура! (Ura!)

    His high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “Hurrah!”
    Anya is feeling both enthusiastic and optimistic about this relationship.

    4- И когда ты успеваешь… (I kogda ty uspevayesh’…)

    His supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “And when do you have time for this…”
    Ivan can be either pedantic with this comment, or he’s making fun of the two lovebirds. It would all depend on the relationship Marina and Pasha have with their supervisor.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • крылья (krul`ya): “wings”
  • поздравлять (pozdravlyat`): “to congratulate”
  • ура (ura): “hurrah”
  • успевать (uspevat`): “to have time”
  • любовь (lyubov’ ): “love”
  • давать (davat`): “to give”
  • What would you say in Russian when a friend changes their relationship status?

    Being in a good relationship with someone special is good news - don’t be shy to spread it!

    12. Post about Getting Married in Russian

    Wow, so things got serious, and you’re getting married. Congratulations! Or, your friend is getting married, so talk about this in Russian.

    Marina is getting married to Pasha today, so she leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Самое счастливое событие в моей жизни. (Samoye schastlivoye sobytiye v moyey zhizni.)
    “The happiest event in my life.”

    1- Самое счастливое событие (Samoye shchastlivoye sobytiye)

    First is an expression meaning “The happiest event.”
    A phrase commonly used to express that something important is going to happen on a certain day.

    2- в моей жизни (v moyey zhizni)

    Then comes the phrase - “in my life.”
    Here we have the phrase “в моей жизни” which is in the prepositional case. “В” means “in”, “моей” means “my” and “жизни” is the word for “life”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Счастливой семейной жизни! (Schastlivoy semeynoy zhizni!)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Happy family life!”
    Ira leaves a warm wish on her neighbour’s feed.

    2- Совет да любовь! (Sovet da lyubov’!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “May you live happily!”
    Anya also wishes the couple happiness, a common comment for this occasion.

    3- Ещё раз поздравляю вас! (Yeshchyo raz pozdravlyayu vas!)

    Her college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “Once again, congratulations!”
    Denis personalizes his congratulations, probably referring to the time Pasha announced their relationship.

    4- Уже решили, куда поедете в свадебное путешествие? (Uzhe reshili, kuda poyedete v svadebnoye puteshestviye?)

    Her supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “Have you already decided where you’ll go on your honeymoon?”
    Ivan makes friendly conversation with this question, showing his interest in the couple’s wellbeing.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • счастливый (shchastlivyy): “happy”
  • семейный (semeynyy): “family”
  • Совет да любовь! (Sovet da lyubov`.): “May you live happily!”
  • поздравлять (pozdravlyat`): “to congratulate”
  • свадебное путешествие (swadebnoye puteshestviye): “wedding journey”
  • событие (sobytiye): “event”
  • решить (reshit`): “to decide”
  • путешествие (puteshestviye): “journey, trip”
  • How would you respond in Russian to a friend’s post about getting married?

    For the next topic, fast forward about a year into the future after the marriage…

    13. Announcing Big News in Russian

    Wow, huge stuff is happening in your life! Announce it in Russian.

    Pasha is sharing the news that he and his wife are going to have a baby soon, posts an image of him and a pregnant Marina, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    На следующей неделе стану отцом. (Na sleduyushchey nedele stanu otsom.)
    “Next week I will become a father.”

    1- На следующей неделе (Na sleduyushchey nedele)

    First is an expression meaning “Next week.”
    Here we have the phrase “на следующей неделе” which is in the prepositional case. “на” means “on”, “следующей” means “next” and “неделе” is the word for “week”.

    2- стану отцом (stanu otsom)

    Then comes the phrase - “I will become a father.”
    In the Russian language, there are two words that mean “father”: “папа” (papa) - dad and “отец” (otets) - father. “Отец” (otets) is the formal version. “Папа” (papa) sounds more tender to native Russians.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Мальчик или девочка? (Mal’chik ili devochka?)

    His neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Boy or girl?”
    Ira makes conversation by wanting to know more details of the pregnancy. He also shows interest in their big life event.

    2- Скоро у меня появится новый родственник. (Skoro u menya poyavitsya novyy rodstvennik.)

    His nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “I’m getting a new relative soon.”
    Yura is enthusiastic about this fact, it seems.

    3- Легких вам родов! (Lyogkikh vam rodov!)

    His high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “May your childbirth be easy!”
    Anya thinks of Marina and wishes her well for the birth.

    4- Пусть малыш родится здоровым! (Pust’ malysh roditsya zdorovym!)

    His college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “I wish your baby is born healthy!”
    Denis also extends a friendly, warm wish for the baby’s wellbeing.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • следующий (sleduyushchiy): “next”
  • мальчик (mal`chik): “boy”
  • родственник (rodstvennik): “relative”
  • роды (rody): “childbirth”
  • малыш (malysh): “kid, baby”
  • неделя (nedelya): “week”
  • скоро (skoro): “soon”
  • здоровый (zdorovyy): “healthy”
  • Which phrase would you choose when a friend announces their pregnancy on social media?

    So, talking about a pregnancy will get you a lot of traction on social media. But wait till you see the responses to babies!

    14. Posting Russian Comments about Your Baby

    Your bundle of joy is here, and you cannot keep quiet about it! Share your thoughts in Russian.

    Marina plays with her baby, posts an image of the cute little one, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Наше маленькое чудо. (Nashe malen’koye chudo.)
    “Our little miracle.”

    1- Наше (Nashe)

    First is an expression meaning “Our.”
    Here we have the pronoun “наше”, which means “our”. You can use it only with nouns of neuter gender.

    2- маленькое чудо (malen`koye chudo)

    Then comes the phrase - “small miracle.”
    Here we have the noun “miracle” - чудо “chudo”. It refers to a baby. You can use this word to talk about an extraordinary and remarkable event as well as about something unusual and ​mysterious. Russians often say : Дети - это чудо. - Kids are miracles.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Вылитый папа. (Vylityy papa.)

    Her husband, Pasha, uses an expression meaning - “Looks like dad.”
    Dad seems to be very proud, and claims that the baby inherited his looks.

    2- А мне кажется, что ребёнок больше похож на маму. (A mne kazhetsya, chto rebyonok bol’she pokhozh na mamu.)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “I think the kid looks more like its mother.”
    Ira doesn’t agree with Pasha, moving the conversation along nicely. This is a friendly comment.

    3- Какой красивый малыш! Поздравляю! (Kakoy krasivyy malysh! Pozdravlyayu!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “What a beautiful baby! Congratulations!”
    Anya feels happy for the couple, and appreciative of the baby’s good looks. But then - all babies tend to be beautiful!

    4- Как назвали? (Kak nazvali?)

    Her supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “How did you call him? (What`s his name?)”
    Ivan shows his interest in the conversation by asking a question, which is appropriate.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • чудо (chudo): “miracle”
  • вылитый (vylityy): “exactly like”
  • быть похожим (byt` pokhozhim): “to look like”
  • красивый (krasivyy): “beautiful”
  • называть (nazyvat`): “to call”
  • ребёнок (rebyonok): “child”
  • казаться (kazat’sya): “to seem, to appear”
  • If your friend is the mother or father, which phrase would you use on social media?

    Congratulations, you know the basics of chatting about a baby in Russian! But we’re not done with families yet…

    15. Russian Comments about a Family Reunion

    Family reunions - some you love, some you hate. Share about it on your feed.

    Pasha goes to a family gathering, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Вся семья в сборе. (Vsya sem’ya v sbore.)
    “The whole family is assembled. (gathered together)”

    1- Вся семья (Vsya sem`ya)

    First is an expression meaning “The whole family.”
    Here we have the phrase “вся семья” which means “the whole family”. “Вся” means “whole” and “семья” means “family”. Russian families are basically very friendly. Children, parents, grandparents closely communicate with each other and help each other. Many children spend their summer vacations at their grandparent’s house in the village.

    2- в сборе (v sbore)

    Then comes the phrase - “reunion.”
    This phrase literally means “is assembled”. You can use it to say that people are gathered in one place for a common purpose. One of the most common phrases in Russian is “Все в сборе” (vse v sbore) - “all are assembled.”

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Как родители? (Kak roditeli?)

    His nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “How are your parents?”
    Yura shows a caring, considerate side with this comment.

    2- А малыш-то подрос! (A malysh-to podros!)

    His college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “But the baby has grown up though!”
    Denis makes an observation about the couple’s baby, making conversation by showing he paid attention to the photo.

    3- Твоя мама выглядит замечательно! (Tvoya mama vyglyadit zamechatel’no!)

    His supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “Your mother looks great!”
    Ivan is showing consideration for family, and compliments Pasha’s mother to boot.

    4- Передавай всем привет! (Peredavay vsem privet!)

    His high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “Send my regards to everyone.”
    Anya is greeting Pasha’s family, showing her interest and consideration.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • в сборе (v sbore): “assemble, assembled”
  • родители (roditeli): “parents”
  • подрасти (podrasti): “to grown up (a little bit)”
  • выглядеть (vyglyadet`): “to look”
  • передавать (peredavat`): “to pass, to transmit”
  • семья (sem`ya): “family”
  • замечательно (zamechatel`no): “great”
  • привет (privet): “greeting, regards, hello”
  • Which phrase is your favorite to comment on a friend’s photo about a family reunion?

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in Russian

    So, the family are going on holiday. Do you know how to post and leave comments in Russian about being at the airport, waiting for a flight?

    Marina waits at the airport for her flight, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Наконец-то отпуск! (Nakonets-to otpusk!)
    “Finally vacation!”

    1- Наконец-то (nakonets-ta)

    First is an expression meaning “Finally.”
    You can use this word to express that something has finally happened after a long wait or some difficulty.

    2- отпуск (otpusk)

    Then comes the phrase - “vacation.”
    You can use this word only when talking about work vacations, often with pay granted to an employee. You cannot use it when talking about vacations from schools or universities.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Счастливого пути! (Schastlivogo puti!)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Have a good trip!”
    This is a common wish for a pleasant trip, a traditional expression when someone leaves on holiday.

    2- Хорошего отдыха! (Khoroshego otdykha!)

    Her high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “Have a nice rest!”
    Oksana’s wish is somewhat more personal, telling them to have a good restful time.

    3- Куда летите? (Kuda letite?)

    Her supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “Where are you flying to?”
    Ivan is, as usual for him, making conversation by asking a question.

    4- Когда вернётесь? (Kogda vernyotes’?)

    Her college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “When will you return?”
    Denis is also curious about the details of the trip.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • отпуск (otpusk): “vacation”
  • счастливого пути (schastlivogo puti): “Have a good trip!”
  • отдых (otdykh): “rest”
  • лететь (letet`): “to fly”
  • вернуться (vernut’sya): “to return”
  • куда (kuda): “where”
  • когда (kogda): “when”
  • наконец-то (nakonets-to): “finally”
  • Choose and memorize your best airport phrase in Russian!

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in Russian

    So maybe you’re strolling around at the local market, and find something interesting. Here are some handy Russian phrases!

    Pasha finds an unusual item at a local market, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Решили попробовать знаменитый дуриан. (Reshili poprobovat’ znamenityy durian.)
    “We’ve decided to try the famous durian.”

    1- Решили попробовать (Reshii poprobovat`)

    First is an expression meaning “We’ve decided to try.”
    Use this pattern when you decide to try something or to taste something. If you are a man, use the verb “решил” - reshil - decided; if you are woman, use the verb “решила” - reshila - decided.

    2- знаменитый дуриан (znamenityy durian)

    Then comes the phrase - “the famous durian”
    Here, we have the adjective “знаменитый” (znamenityy), which means “famous”, “well-known”. A durian is a tropical fruit from Asia with a spiky skin and a creamy, foul-smelling pulp inside. It is very tasty and flavorsome, despite its strong odor.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- И как? (I kak?)

    His neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “How was it?”
    Ira asks the question everyone probably wants to.

    2- Я тоже его пробовал…:( (Ya tozhe yego proboval…:()

    His nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “I’ve also tried it…:(”
    Yura shares that he has also eaten durian, and his comment seems that it wasn’t a positive experience.

    3- Хорошо, что я с ним не знаком :))) (Khorosho, chto ya s nim ne znakom :))))

    His college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “I’m glad I’m not familiar with it :)))”
    Durian shares a personal opinion.

    4- Я тоже хочу попробовать. (Ya tozhe khochu poprobovat’.)

    His wife, Marina, uses an expression meaning - “I also want to try.”
    Marina wants to share this experience with Pasha.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • решить (reshit`): “to decide”
  • как (kak): “how”
  • пробовать (probovat`): “to try, to taste”
  • быть знакомым (byt` znakomym): “to be familiar”
  • тоже (tozhe): “also”
  • знаменитый (znamenityy): “famous”
  • тоже (tozhe): “also”
  • хотеть (khotet`): “to want”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment on a friend’s interesting find?

    Perhaps you will even learn the identity of your find! Or perhaps you’re on holiday, and visiting interesting places…

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in Russian

    Let your friends know what you’re up to in Russian, especially when visiting a remarkable place! Don’t forget the photo.

    Marina visits a famous landmark, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Статуя Великого Будды. (Statuya Velikogo Buddy.)
    “Great Buddha statue.”

    1- Статуя (statuya)

    First is an expression meaning “Statue.”
    Here, we have the word “статуя”, which means “statue”. This word comes from Latin.

    2- Великого Будды (Velikogo Buddy)

    Then comes the phrase - “of Great Budda.”
    Russian people like to visit Asia. Some of the most popular destinations are Thailand, Pattaya and Phuket. Plenty of Russians visit this country every year.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Очень впечатляет! (Ochen’ vpechatlyayet!)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Very impressive!”
    Ira expresses that she’s impressed with the large Buddha statue.

    2- Чувствуется мощная энергетика! (Chuvstvuyetsya moshchnaya energetika!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “I can feel its powerful energy!”
    Anya is also clearly impressed by the image.

    3- Kruto, khochu tozhe tuda poyekhat’. (Kruto, khochu tozhe tuda poyekhat’.)

    Her college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “Cool! I also wanna go there.”
    Denis is so impressed that he wants to visit the Buddha statue too.

    4- Ничего особенного…Просто статуя. (Nichego osobennogo…Prosto statuya.)

    Her nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “Nothing special…just a statue.”
    Yura seems immune to the statue’s charms, however.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • статуя (statuya): “statue”
  • впечатлять (vpechatlyat`): “impress”
  • энергетика (energetika): “energetics”
  • круто (kruto): “cool (slang)”
  • ничего особенного (nichego osobennogo): “nothing special”
  • мощный (moshchnyy): “powerful”
  • просто (prosto): “just”
  • очень (ochen`): “very”
  • Which phrase would you prefer when a friend posts about a famous landmark?

    Share your special places with the world. Or simply post about your relaxing experiences.

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in Russian

    So you’re doing nothing yet you enjoy that too? Tell your social media friends about it in Russian!

    Pasha relaxes at a beautiful place, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Рай на земле! (Ray na zemle!)
    “Heaven on the Earth!”

    1- Рай (ray)

    First is an expression meaning “Heaven.”
    Here we have the word “рай” which in English is “paradise” or “heaven”. This word is used in daily life as well as in church affairs.

    2- на земле (na zemle)

    Then comes the phrase - “on the Earth.”
    The Russian word “земля” is used to talk about both the Earth and the land.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Больше фоток! (Bol’she fotok!)

    His college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “More photos!”
    Denis feels positively inspired by the photo and wants to see more.

    2- Потрясающе! (Potryasayushche!)

    His neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Breathtaking!”
    Ira agrees with Pasha that the place looks beautiful.

    3- Я вам завидую! (Ya vam zaviduyu!)

    His supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “I envy you!”
    Ivan is clear about this feelings! He is rather jealous of Pasha’s experience.

    4- Красотища! (Krasotishcha!)

    His high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “How nice!”
    Anya is impressed by the beauty of the place.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • рай (ray): “heaven, paradise”
  • больше (bol`she): “more”
  • потрясающе (potryasayushche): “breathtakingly”
  • завидовать (zavidovat`): “to envy”
  • красотища (krasotishcha): “how nice, so beautiful (slang)”
  • земля (zemlya): “Earth, land”
  • фотки (fotki): “pictures, photos (slang)”
  • Which phrase would you use to comment in a friend’s feed?

    The break was great, but now it’s time to return home.

    20. What to Say in Russian When You’re Home Again

    And you’re back! What will you share with friends and followers?

    Marina returns home after a vacation, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    В гостях хорошо, а дома лучше. (V gostyakh khorosho, a doma luchshe.)
    “East or west, home is the best.”

    1- В гостях хорошо, а дома лучше. (V gostyakh khorosho, a doma luchshe.)

    This is a very famous Russian proverb. Literally, it means: “It’s good visiting someone, but home is better.” Home is the best no matter where it is. There’s no place like home.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Как отдохнули? (Kak otdokhnuli?)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “How was the trip?”
    Ira wants to know more about the trip, a warm, friendly question to ask upon a friend’s return.

    2- Жду подробного рассказа! (Zhdu podrobnogo rasskaza!)

    Her college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “I am looking forward to a detailed story!”
    Denis is curious about the details and says so!

    3- С возвращением! (S vozvrashcheniyem!)

    Her nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “Welcome back!”
    Yura clearly missed Marina and her family.

    4- Как долетели? (Kak doleteli?)

    Her high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “How was the flight?”
    Oksana shows that she cares about their flight with this question.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • В гостях хорошо, а дома лучше. (V gostyakh khorosho, a doma luchshe.): “East or west home is best.”
  • отдохнуть (otdokhnut`): “to rest”
  • подробный (podrobnyy): “detailed”
  • возвращение (vozvrashcheniye): “return”
  • ждать (zhdat`): “to wait”
  • рассказ (rasskaz): “story”
  • How would you welcome a friend back from a trip?

    What do you post on social media during a religious holiday such as Easter?

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in Russian

    Easter is a special day and you wish to post something about it on social media. What would you say?

    Pasha posts a postcard, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Христос Воскресе! (Khristos Voskrese!)
    “Christ is Risen!”

    1- Христос Воскресе! (Khristos Voskrese!)

    This is a very traditional Russian greeting on Easter morning. “Христос” means “Christ” and “Воскресе” means “is risen”. The word “Воскресе” is in old Russian and nowadays is only used in church vocabulary. The modern version is “Воскрес” (voskres).

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Воистину Воскресе! (Voistinu Voskrese!)

    His wife, Marina, uses an expression meaning - “Truly He is risen!”
    This is the traditional, commonly-used response to this greeting.

    2- Всех с праздником светлой Пасхи! (Vsekh s prazdnikom svetloy Paskhi!)

    His supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “Happy Easter to everyone!”
    Ivan uses a common well-wish as a response.

    3- Где планируете святить куличи? (Gde planiruyete svyatit’ kulichi?)

    His wife’s high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “Where are you planning to bless the Easter cake?”
    It is customary to bless loaves of kulich (Eastern cake) during Eastern. Oksana is curious and would like more details of Marina’s plans.

    4- А мы сегодня будем на службе :) (A my segodnya budem na sluzhbe :))

    His high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “And we’ll visit church service today :)”
    It is customary for many people to attend a church service on Easter, and Anya shares that they will be doing that.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • Христос Воскресе! (Khristos Voskrese): “Christ is Risen!”
  • Воистину Воскресе! (Voistinu Voskrese): “Truly He is risen!”
  • Пасха (Paskha): “Easter”
  • кулич (kulich): “Easter cake”
  • служба (sluzhba): “church service”
  • планировать (planirovat`): “to plan”
  • святить (svyatit`): “to consecrate”
  • праздник (prazdnik): “holiday, feast”
  • If a friend posted something about a holiday, which phrase would you use?

    But Easter and other public commemoration days are not the only special ones to remember!

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in Russian

    Your friend or you are celebrating your birthday in an unexpected way. Be sure to share this on social media!

    Marina goes to her birthday party, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    С днем рождения меня! (S dnyom rozhdeniya menya!)
    “Happy birthday to me!”

    1- С днём рождения меня! (S dnyom rozhdeniya menya!)

    This expression literally means “Happy birthday to me”. Russians often use it on Facebook or other social networks to inform everyone that today is their birthday. It’s like saying “yes, it is my birthday today, come congratulate me”.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- С днем рождения! Будь счастлива и любима! (S dnyom rozhdeniya! Bud’ schastliva i lyubima!)

    Her high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “Happy birthday! Be happy and be loved!”
    Oksana comments with a sweet, loving wish for her friend.

    2- Мои наилучшие пожелания! Удачи во всём! (Moi nailuchshiye pozhelaniya! Udachi vo vsyom!)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “My best wishes to you! Good luck in everything!”
    This is a warmhearted, friendly wish for someone on their birthday.

    3- C днем варенья! (S dnyom varen’ya!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “Happy jam-day! ”
    Use this expression to sound funny. In Russian words birth and jam sound alike: рожденья (rozhden’ya) - варенья (varen’ya), so it sounds kind of funny.

    4- Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!)

    Her husband’s college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “Congratulations!”
    Denis uses a short, traditional word to congratulate Marina on her birthday.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • день рождения (den’ rozhdeniya): “birthday”
  • любимый (lyubimyy): “beloved”
  • наилучшие пожелания (nailuchshiye pozhelaniya): “best wishes”
  • С днем варенья! (S dnem varen’ya!): “Happy birthday (slang)”
  • поздравлять (pozdravlyat’ ): “to congratulate”
  • счастливый (schastlivyy): “happy”
  • удача (udacha): “luck”
  • If a friend posted something about birthday greetings, which phrase would you use?

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in Russian

    Impress your friends with your Russian New Year’s wishes this year. Learn the phrases easily!

    Pasha attends New Year celebrations, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    С Новым годом! С новым счастьем! (S Novym godom! S novym schast’yem!)
    “Happy New Year! With new happiness!”

    1- С новым годом! (S novym godom)

    First is an expression meaning “Happy New Year!.”
    This is a very common greeting on New year. New year is one of the favorite holidays of Russian people. Young adults and teenagers prefer to celebrate this holiday among friends and romantic partners.

    2- С новым счастьем! (S novym schast’yem)

    Then comes the phrase - “With new happiness!.”
    To wish “new happiness” is an old tradition. This expression means that you wish someone new happiness in addition to the happiness they already have. “New happiness” means new hopes, new plans, and new dreams that will come true during new year.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Удачи и счастья в Новом году! (Udachi i schast’ya v Novom godu!)

    His neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “Good luck and happiness in the New Year!”
    This is another warmhearted, traditional wish for New Year, commonly used.

    2- У кого какие новогодние обещания? (U kogo kakiye novogodniye obeshchaniya?)

    His high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “What are your New Year’s resolutions?”
    Anya makes conversation by asking this question, feeling optimistic about the New Year’s prospects.

    3- Кому что Дед Мороз положил под ёлку? (Komu chto Ded Moroz polozhil pod yolku?)

    His college friend, Denis, uses an expression meaning - “What did Father Frost put under the New Year’s tree for you?”
    Father Frost is another name for Santa Clause, only he doesn’t visit homes on Christmas day in the Slavic countries. Denis wants to know which gifts Pasha received for New Year.

    4- Помните! Новый год - не повод для обжорства! :) (Pomnite! Novyy god - ne povod dlya obzhorstva! :))

    His nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “Remember! New Year is not a reason for overeating! :)”
    Yura feels the need to remind everyone to temper their appetites over these celebrations.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • С новым годом! (S novym godom): “Happy New Year!”
  • счастье (schast’ye): “happiness”
  • новогоднее обещание (novogodneye obeshchaniye): “New Year’s resolution”
  • Дед Мороз (Ded Moroz): “Father Frost”
  • обжорство (obzhorstvo): “overeating, gluttony”
  • ёлка (yolka): “New Year’s tree”
  • положить (polozhit`): “to put”
  • помнить (pomnit`): “to remember”
  • Which is your favorite phrase to post on social media during New Year?

    During the week of New Year, which is celebrated from January 1 till 8, comes another important day…

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in Russian

    What will you say in Russian about Christmas?

    Marina celebrates Christmas with her family, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    С Рождеством Христовым! (S Rozhdestvom Khristovym!)
    “Merry Christmas!”

    1- С Рождеством Христовым! (S Rozhdestvom Khristovym!)

    This phrase is used often during the Christmas season. Christmas in Russia is celebrated with family and many Russians go to church services. Unlike in European countries, Russian Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Желаю всем веселого Рождества! (Zhelayu vsem veselogo Rozhdestva!)

    Her husband’s high school friend, Anya, uses an expression meaning - “Wish you a Merry Christmas!”
    Anya responds to Marina’s traditional wish with another commonly-used phrase.

    2- Вы сегодня пойдете в церковь? (Vy segodnya poydyote v tserkov’?)

    Her high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “Will you go to church today?”
    Oksana is after more information regarding Marina’s plans on Christmas day.

    3- Посылаю вашей семье самые теплые пожелания на Рождество. (Posylayu vashey sem’ye samyye tyoplyye pozhelaniya na Rozhdestvo.)

    Her supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “Sending the warmest Christmas wishes to your family.”
    This is a warmhearted, sincere wish for Christmas.

    4- А мы сегодня собираемся на службу. (A my segodnya sobirayemsya na sluzhbu.)

    Her neighbor, Ira, uses an expression meaning - “And we are going to attend church service today.”
    Ira shares a bit of personal information regarding her family’s plans for the day.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • С Рождеством Христовым! (S Rozhdestvom Khristovym!): “Merry Christmas!”
  • Рождество (Rozhdestvo): “Christmas”
  • церковь (tserkov`): “church”
  • пожелания (pozhelaniya): “wishes”
  • собираться (sobirat’sya): “going to, to gather”
  • весёлый (vesyolyy): “cheerful, merry”
  • пойти (poyti): “to go”
  • тёплый (tyoplyy): “warm”
  • If a friend posted something about Christmas greetings, which phrase would you use?

    So, the festive season is over! Yet, there will always be other days, besides a birthday, to wish someone well.

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in Russian

    Some things deserve to be celebrated, like wedding anniversaries. Learn which Russian phrases are meaningful and best suited for this purpose!

    Pasha celebrates his wedding anniversary with his wife, posts an image of it, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Годовщина свадьбы! (Godovshchina svad’by!)
    “Wedding anniversary!”

    1- Годовщина (Godovshchina)

    First is an expression meaning “anniversary.”
    Most married couples like to celebrate their wedding anniversary every year. They go out to dinner, give each other gifts or go on a trip. The gifts often depend on the anniversary. On the silver anniversary, for example, it is common to give silver accessories or presents; on the golden anniversary - gifts made of gold.

    2- свадьбы ( svad’by)

    Then comes the phrase - “wedding.”
    Here, we have the word “свадьба”, or “marriage” in English. This word is in the genitive case.

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Как быстро летит время! (Kak bystro letit vremya!)

    His wife, Marina, uses an expression meaning - “How time flies!”
    Marina comments with a comment that shows surprise.

    2- Пусть Бог сохранит надолго ваш брак и ваши чувства! (Pust’ Bog sokhranit nadolgo vash brak i vashi chuvstva!)

    His supervisor, Ivan Petrovich, uses an expression meaning - “May God save your marriage and feelings for a long time!”
    Ivan wishes them a good, loving marriage.

    3- Поздравляю с юбилеем! (Pozdravlyayu s yubileyem!)

    His wife’s high school friend, Oksana, uses an expression meaning - “Happy anniversary!”
    Oksana uses a traditional, commonly-used expression to wish the couple well on this anniversary.

    4- Надеюсь, ваш брак и вправду продлится долго. (Nadeyus’, vash brak i vpravdu prodlitsya dolgo.)

    His nephew, Yura, uses an expression meaning - “I hope your marriage will really last long.”
    Even Yura is uncommonly sincere and sensitive in his wish for a long marriage.

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

  • годовщина (godovshchina): “anniversary”
  • время (vremya): “time”
  • Бог (Bog): “God”
  • юбилей (yubiley): “anniversary”
  • брак (brak): “marriage”
  • свадьба (svad`ba): “wedding”
  • лететь (letet`): “to fly”
  • чувство (chuvstvo): “feeling”
  • If a friend posted something about Anniversary greetings, which phrase would you use?

    Conclusion

    Learning to speak a new language will always be easier once you know key phrases that everybody uses. These would include commonly used expressions for congratulations and best wishes, etc.

    Master these in fun ways with Learn Russian! We offer a variety of tools to individualize your learning experience, including using cell phone apps, audiobooks, iBooks and many more. Never wonder again what to say on social media!

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

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

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

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    1. Body Language for Apology

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

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

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

    Child Kneeling


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

    3 Ways to Say Sorry

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

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

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

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


    3. Formal Apologies

    Woman Refusing a Handshake

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

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

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

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

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


    4. Informal Apologies

    Woman Apologizing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    5. Peculiar Apologies

    Say Sorry

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

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


    6. How to Reply to an Apology in Russian

    1- General Answers

    People Shaking Hands

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

    2- Informal Answers

    Child Leaning on a Shoulder

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


    7. Conclusion

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

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

    Увидимся! (Uvidimsya!)—“See you!”

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    Celebrate Teachers’ Day in Russia

    Celebrate Teachers' Day in Russia

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

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

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

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

    At RussianPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Teachers’ Day in Russia?

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

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

    2. When is Teachers’ Day?

    October 7 is Teacher’s Day

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

    3. Teachers’ Day Celebrations & Traditions

    Chocolate

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

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

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

    4. Original Date of Teachers’ Day

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

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

    5. Essential World Teachers’ Day Russian Vocabulary

    Teacher in Front of Blackboard

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

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

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

    How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

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

    To continue learning about Russian culture and the language, visit us at RussianPod101.com. We provide an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

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

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

    Best wishes, and Happy Teacher’s Day!

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

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

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

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

    At RussianPod101.com, we hope to make this exploration into Russian culture both fun and informative!

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    1. What is the Russian Day of Knowledge?

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

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

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

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

    Knowledge Day is on September 1

    Each year, Russians observe Knowledge Day on September 1.

    3. Day of Knowledge Traditions & Events

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

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

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

    4. Russia’s First Professional School

    Group of Children Studying

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

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

    5. Useful Vocabulary for Knowledge Day in Russia

    Human Brain

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

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

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

    How RussianPod101 Can Help You Learn About Russian Culture

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

    To continue delving into Russia’s unique culture and studying the language, explore RussianPod101.com. We have an array of fun and effective learning tools for every type of learner, at every level:

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

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

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

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    Russian Etiquette: Body Language and Gestures

    Thumbnail

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

    Table of Contents

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

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    1. Russian Greetings and Gestures

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

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


    2. Interesting Russian Nonverbal Gestures

    Russian Hand Gestures

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

    1- Fig

    Fig Gesture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2- A Flick on the Neck

    Neck Flick

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

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

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

    3- Crazy Person

    Crazy Person Gesture

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

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

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

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

    4- Giving a Tooth

    Giving a Tooth Gesture

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

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

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

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

    5- “I’m fed up with it”

    Fed Up Gesture

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

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

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

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

    6- Hitting Your Chest with a Fist Two Times

    Chest Beating

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

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

    7- Russian Shrug

    Woman shrugging

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

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

    8- A Confused Head Scratch

    Woman Scratching Her Head

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

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

    9- “Now I Get it!”

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

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

    10- Throwing a Hat on the Ground

    Throwing a Hat Gesture

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

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


    3. Counting

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

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

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

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

    1.
    Hand Three

    • Один
    • Два
    • Три
    • Четыре
    • Пять

    The answer: Два

    2.
    Hand Four

    • Один
    • Два
    • Три
    • Четыре
    • Пять

    The answer: Один

    3.
    Hand Five

    • Один
    • Два
    • Три
    • Четыре
    • Пять

    The answer: Пять

    4.
    Hand Two

    • Один
    • Два
    • Три
    • Четыре
    • Пять

    The answer: Три

    5.
    Hand One

    • Один
    • Два
    • Три
    • Четыре
    • Пять

    The answer: Четыре


    4. Russian Business Etiquette Tips

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

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


    5. Conclusion

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

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

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    Russian Internet Slang: How to Text Like a Modern Russian

    Thumbnail

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

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

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

    Table of Contents

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

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    1. About Russian Texting Slang

    Computer words

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

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

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

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


    2. Russian Texting Abbreviation Dictionary

    Computer sentences

    1- Smiles and Russian Text Faces

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

    - Привет) (Privet) “Hi!”

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

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

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

    Additional information:

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

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

    2- Expressing Opinion or Emotions in Russian Text Slang

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

    3- Russian Shorthands for Texting Nouns

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

    4- Other Russian Texting Abbreviations

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

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

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

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

    5- Shortened Verbs and Expressions

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

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

    6- Obsolete Russian Abbreviations

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


    3. Russian Internet Slang Words

    Text slang

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

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


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

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

    Man Lying on Mines with Text
    Source: https://vk.com/wall-55623462_233497

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

    Translation:

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

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

    1.
    Аня (Anya): [Sends the image above]
    Олег (Oleg): Смешно. Но старая шутка же.
    Аня (Anya): Ну не знаю. Только увидела.
    Олег (Oleg): Смешно. Что на выходных делаешь?
    Аня (Anya): Вообще не знаю.
    Олег (Oleg): Пойдем на велосипедах кататься?
    Аня (Anya): Пойдем!

    2.
    Лена (Lena): За компом?
    Даша (Dasha): Ага
    Лена (Lena): Посмотри скок сегодня градусов на улице пжст)
    Даша (Dasha): А че мне за это будет?))
    Лена (Lena): Даша!!! Хорош, прекрати
    Даша (Dasha): ыыы) +18
    Лена (Lena): о, норм, тепло. спс
    Даша (Dasha): ;)


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

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

    2. VK
    For middle and higher levels. If you’re learning Russian, you most likely already have an account on VK. If not, stop reading and register there immediately. It’s a Russian version of Facebook which is used by nearly every Russian. It has a great base of easily accessible user-generated content useful for Russian-language learners—video, audio, and books (even more than you can find on YouTube). There are also several different groups and communities that you can join. It’ll be a great opportunity to practice and meet new Russian friends who will be more than happy to explain and show you how to text in Russian. Here’s a community that publishes funny notes and has open comments: https://vk.com/dfzwe4. Practice!

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


    6. Conclusion

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

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

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


    7. Answer Key

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

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

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

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    List of Untranslatable Russian Words: Top 10 Idioms 2019

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

    In order to understand the Russian language fully and to know more about Russian culture, it’s essential to learn the most-used untranslatable Russian words. That’s why we here at RussianPod101.com have prepared for you a list of the top-ten modern untranslatable Russian idioms that you can easily study and start using. Please, go ahead!

    Table of Contents

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

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    1. Опохмелиться (Opokhmelit’sya)

    Man Drinking Too Much Alcohol

    Literal Translation: “Drink some more alcohol.”

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

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

    Usage in a Sentence:

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

    Interesting Fact:

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


    2. Запой (Zapoy)

    Literal Translation: “Several days drinking.”

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

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

    Usage in a Sentence:

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

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

    Interesting Fact:

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


    3. Сушняк (Sushnyak)

    Someone Pouring a Glass of Water

    Literal Translation: “Dry mouth.”

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

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

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

    Usage in a Sentence:

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

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


    4. Халява (Khalyava)

    Literal Translation: “Freebie.”

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

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

    Usage in a Sentence:

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

    Interesting Fact:

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


    5. Хамить (Khamit’)

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

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

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

    Related Words:

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

    Usage in a Sentence:

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

    Interesting Fact:

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


    6. Брезговать (Brezgovat’)

    Literal Translation: “To feel disgusted by something.”

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

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

    Related Words:

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

    Usage in a Sentence:

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


    7. Подвиг (Podvig)

    One Person Carrying Another

    Literal Translation: “Brave and heroic feat.”

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

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

    Usage in a Sentence:

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

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

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


    8. Однолюб (Odnolyub)

    Couple Hugging Each Other

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

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

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

    Usage in a Sentence:

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


    9. Воля (Volya)

    Literal Translation: “Freedom.”

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

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

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

    Related Words:

    Вольный (vol’nyy)—“Free.”

    Usage in a Sentence:

    Сила воли.
    Sila voli.
    “Willpower.”

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


    10. Тоска (Toska)

    Literal Translation: “Feeling of boredom and depression.”

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

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

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

    Related words:

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

    Usage in a Sentence:

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

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

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


    11. Conclusion

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

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

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

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

    Consider taking some lessons in our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners to learn the untranslatable terms in Russian that will help you to reach your language goal. Our professional teachers will not only expand your active vocabulary, but will help you sound like a real Russian pretty soon. RussianPod101.com is here to guide you through every step of your language-learning journey!

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