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Telling Time in Russian: Words, Phrases & Exciting Facts

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This article is the result of a diligent inquiry into the question of how native Russians are actually telling time in Russian. If you’ve taken a peek at this topic before, you probably know that Russians usually add one of the following words to the number of hours:

  • утра (utra) — “of the morning”
  • дня (dnya) — “of the day”
  • вечера (vechera) — “of the evening”
  • ночи (nochi) — “of the night” 

But how would you define three a.m.? Is it still night or is it already morning? 

Well, the Russian language is very flexible, so both options are possible depending on the context and what you want to emphasize. If you’re talking about early wakeups, saying Сегодня я встал в 3 утра (Segodnya ya vstal v tri utra), or “Today I woke up at three in the morning,” will be just right.

If you want to put an extra dose of indignation because something has woken you up in the middle of the night, then it will be perfect to say: В три ночи меня разбудил звонок от начальника (V tri nochi menya razbudil zvonok ot nachal’nika), meaning “At three of the night I’ve been woken up by a call from my boss.”

Exciting, isn’t it?

Understanding the limits of language flexibility will help you feel more comfortable using the Russian language for telling time in Russian. In this article, we’ll also explore Russian hours and minutes, and learn how to ask the time in Russian. So, let’s take a bite from this delicious, juicy piece of knowledge!

If you want to learn about both date and time in Russian, RussianPod101 has prepared an article on Russian Dates for you. The two go hand-in-hand, after all!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Russian Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask the Time in Russian
  2. Russian Hours
  3. Minutes in Russian
  4. Useful Patterns
  5. Conclusion

1. How to Ask the Time in Russian

How to Ask for the Time in Russian.

So, how do you say “What time is it?” in Russian? There are two main phrases:

  • Сколько времени? (Skol’ko vremeni?) — “What time is it?”
  • Который час? (Kotoryy chas?) — (lit.) “Which hour is it?” / “What time is it?”

These phrases are used equally for asking about time in Russian, depending on the speaker’s preference. Let’s have a closer look at each phrase so that you can decide which one to use in your active vocabulary. 

1- Сколько времени? (Skol’ko vryemeni?)

“What time is it?” in the Russian language is Сколько времени? (Skol’ko vremeni?).

Let’s have a closer look at the words in this question and see how we can expand on it to sound better.

  • The word cколько (skol’ko) is a basic question word which means “how much” or “how many.” For example, you can ask Сколько это стоит? (Skol’ko eto stoit?), meaning “How much does it cost?”

You can also add “now” to this phrase. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it makes a phrase a bit longer and, thus, more polite. “Now” in Russian is cейчас (seychas). To remember this word, you can divide it into two parts. The first half cей (sey) is a word often found in old Russian literature that means “this.” The second half час (chas) means “hour.” So basically, the word cейчас (seychas) means “this hour.” Cool, right?

Now let’s put it in a phrase: Сколько сейчас времени? (Skol’ko seychas vremeni?) — “What time is it now?”

The phrase became slightly more polite, but it’s still very informal. 

If you want to ask your colleague about the time in Russian, you need to add a special phrase in front of this question: 

  • Ты не подскажешь, сколько сейчас времени? (Ty ne podskazhesh’, skol’ko seychas vremeni?) — “Could you tell me, what time is it now?” 

Or this question:

  • Вы не подскажете, сколько сейчас времени? (Vy ne podskazhete, skol’ko seychas vremeni?) — “Could you tell me, what time is it now?” 

The word подсказать (podskazat’) means “prompt (to).” Use the first question if you’ve agreed to talk with your colleague in an informal way, or as Russians say на “ты” (na “ty”), meaning “using informal ‘you’.” Use the second sentence in all other cases; it’s very polite. If you want to know more about the differences between the Russian formal and informal “you,” read our article on Russian pronouns.

You can make this phrase even more polite, especially if you’re addressing a stranger on the street. Before the question, add Извините, пожалуйста (Izvinite, pozhaluysta), which means “Excuse me, please.” So, the whole phrase will be: 

  • Извините, пожалуйста, вы не подскажете, сколько сейчас времени? (Izvinite, pozhaluysta, vy ne podskazhete, skol’ko seychas vremeni?) — “Could you tell me, please, what time is it now?” 

This phrase will still sound very polite if you exclude the word пожалуйста (pozhaluysta), meaning “please”: 

  • Извините, вы не подскажете, сколько сейчас времени? (Izvinite, vy ne podskazhete, skol’ko seychas vremeni?) — “Could you tell me, what time is it now?” 

It’s totally up to you to use it or not.

Such a transformation! Now you know the first phrase for how to ask the time in Russian both formally and informally. 

2- Который час? (Kotoryy chas?)

Now, it’s time to break down the second phrase.

  • The word который (kotoryy) means “which” or “what.” For example, you can ask Который из двух тебе нравится? (Kotoryy iz dvukh tebe nravitsya?), meaning “Which one out of the two do you like?”
  • In Russian, “hour” is час (chas). We’ve already seen it as part of the word cейчас (seychas), meaning “now.”

You can also add cейчас (yeychas), or “now,” in the middle of the phrase: 

  • Который сейчас час? (Kotoryy seychas chas?) — “Which hour is it now?”

Also, you can add the polite expressions to the beginning—it works absolutely the same as with the first phrase: 

  • Извините, вы не подскажете, который час? (Izvinite, vy ne podskazhete, kotoryy chas?) — “Could you tell me, what time is it?”

There you go! So, which phrase do you choose? How do YOU say “What time is it?” in Russian? Share in the comment section below! We’re really curious.

2. Russian Hours

Time

When it comes to talking about time in Russian, it’s important to know which time system to use—twelve-hour or twenty-four-hour. In Russia, people use both systems in different situations. In a conversation, Russians prefer using the twelve-hour clock; in all kinds of official messages (e.g. TV programs, flight schedules, official meetings, etc.), they use the twenty-four-hour clock.

Below, you’ll learn how to use both systems properly for telling time in Russian.

1- Twelve-hour Clock in Russian

At the beginning of this article, you already discovered that the time of day in Russian is added to the number of hours: 

утра (utra) — “of the morning” 

дня (dnya) — “of the day” 

вечера (vechera) — “of the evening” 

ночи (nochi) — “of the night” 

And Russians choose the word depending on what time of day it is for them. If three a.m. is already morning for you, then use утра (utra), or “of the morning.” If it’s still night, then use ночи (nochi), meaning “of the night.”

Here’s a list that will be helpful for telling time in Russian: 

  • Час ночи (chas nochi) — “1 a.m.” 
  • Два часа ночи (dva chasa nochi) — “2 a.m.”
  • Три часа ночи (tri chasa nochi) — “3 a.m.”
  • Четыре часа ночи (chetyre chasa nochi) — “4 a.m.”
  • Пять часов утра (pyat’ chasov utra) — “5 a.m.”
  • Шесть часов утра (shest’ chasov utra) — “6 a.m.”
  • Семь часов утра (sem’ chasov utra) — “7 a.m.”
  • Восемь часов утра (vosem’ chasov utra) — “8 a.m.”
  • Девять часов утра (devyat’ chasov utra) — “9 a.m.”
  • Десять часов утра (desyat’ chasov utra) — “10 a.m.”
  • Одиннадцать часов утра (odinnadtsat’ chasov utra) — “11 a.m.”
  • Двенадцать часов дня (dvenadtsat’ chasov utra) — “12 p.m.” or Полдень (polden’) — “Midday”
  • Час дня (chas dnya) — “1 p.m.”
  • Два часа дня (dva chasa dnya) — “2 p.m.”
  • Три часа дня (tri chasa dnya) — “3 p.m.”
  • Четыре часа дня (chetyre chasa dnya) — “4 p.m.”
  • Пять часов вечера (pyat’ chasov vechera) — “5 p.m.”
  • Шесть часов вечера (shest’ chasov vechera) — “6 p.m.”
  • Семь часов вечера (sem’ chasov vechera) — “7 p.m.”
  • Восемь часов вечера (vosem’ chasov vechera) — “8 p.m.”
  • Девять часов вечера (devyat’ chasov vechera) — “9 p.m.”
  • Десять часов вечера (desyat’ chasov vechera) — “10 p.m.”
  • Одиннадцать часов вечера (odinnadtsat’ chasov vechera) — “11 p.m.”
  • Двенадцать часов ночи (dvenadtsat’ chasov nochi) — “12 a.m.” or Полночь (polnoch’) — “Midnight”

You’re probably wondering why the word час (chas) behaves differently after numbers. The thing is that Russian nouns change their endings depending on the numbers that stand before them, according to Russian noun declension rules

After the number of hours, the noun should be in the genitive case. The only thing that changes is the grammatical number of the noun. For numbers from two to four, the noun should be in the singular form; for numbers five or above, the noun should be in the plural form. 

What about numbers like twenty-three? The last number is taken into consideration. Here, the last number is три (tri), or “three,” so the noun after it will behave according to the rules of “three.” By the way, the same rule applies to the word минута (minuta), or “minute,” which we’ll discuss in detail shortly. :)

Please note that Russians don’t usually add один (odin), or “one,” to the beginning of час ночи (chas nochi) meaning “1 a.m.” or час дня (chas dnya) meaning “1 p.m.”

Another thing that you should know is that, in informal speech, Russians usually exclude the word час (chas), or “hour.” So, for example, Одиннадцать часов утра (odinnadtsat’ chasov utra), or “11 a.m.,” will be одиннадцать утра (odinnadtsat’ utra), meaning “11 a.m.”

Now, practice telling time in Russian using the twelve-hour clock. Here are some examples:

  • Я встаю в семь утра (Ya vstayu v sem’ utra) — “I wake up at 7 a.m.” 
  • Сейчас восемь вечера (Seychas vosem’ vechera) — “It’s 8 p.m. now.”

So, what time do you usually wake up? What time is it now? Share in the comments below. In Russian, of course. ;)

2- Twenty-four-hour Clock in Russian

24-hour Clock.

Russians use the twenty-four-hour time system for official purposes. Learn how to tell time in Russian with twenty-four-hour time-tables: 

  • Один час (chas nochi) — “01:00” 
  • Два часа (dva chasa) — “02:00”
  • Три часа (tri chasa) — “03:00”
  • Четыре часа (chetyre chasa) — “04:00”
  • Пять часов (pyat’ chasov) — “05:00”
  • Шесть часов (shest’ chasov) — “06:00”
  • Семь часов (sem’ chasov) — “07:00”
  • Восемь часов (vosem’ chasov) — “08:00”
  • Девять часов (devyat’ chasov) — “09:00”
  • Десять часов (desyat’ chasov) — “10:00”
  • Одиннадцать часов (odinnadtsat’ chasov) — “11:00”
  • Двенадцать часов (dvenadtsat’ chasov) — “12:00”
  • Тринадцать часов (trinadtsat’ chasov) — “13:00”
  • Четырнадцать часов (chetyrnadtsat’ chasov) — “14:00”
  • Пятнадцать часов (pyatnadtsat’ chasov) — “15:00”
  • Шестнадцать часов (shestnadtsat’ chasov) — “16:00”
  • Семнадцать часов (semnadtsat’ chasov) — “17:00”
  • Восемнадцать часов (vosemnadtsat’ chasov) — “18:00”
  • Девятнадцать часов (devyatnadtsat’’ chasov) — “19:00”
  • Двадцать часов (dvadtsat’ chasov) — “20:00”
  • Двадцать один час (dvadtsat’ odin chas) — “21:00”
  • Двадцать два часа (dvadtsat’ dva chasa) — “22:00”
  • Двадцать три часа (dvadtsat’ tri chasa) — “23:00”
  • Ноль часов (nol’ chasov) — “00:00”

You can listen to our audio lesson to practice talking about time

Here are some examples for you:

  • Совещание назначено на одиннадцать часов (Soveshchaniye naznacheno na odinnadtsat’ chasov) — “The meeting has been appointed to start at 11:00.” 
  • Московское время двенадцать часов (Moskovskoe vremya dvenadtsat’ chasov) — “The Moscow time is 12:00.” 

Practice telling time in Russian by making your own sentences and writing them in the comments section at the end of this article.

3. Minutes in Russian 

Minutes in Russian.

“Minute” in Russian is минута (minuta). It’s pretty easy to tell the exact time with the twenty-four-hour clock using this word. Just remember the noun declension rule that we discussed for the word час (chas). Let’s see three possible forms of this word:

  • Шестнадцать часов сорок одна минута (shestnadtsat’ chasov sorok odna minuta) — “16:41”
  • Двадцать один час двадцать три минуты (dvadtsat’ odin chas dvadtsat’ tri minuty) — “21:23”
  • Пятнадцать часов тридцать минут (pyatnadtsat’ chasov tridtsat’ minut) — “15:30”
  • Пять часов шесть минут (pyat’ chasov shest’ minut) — “05:06”
  • Восемь часов ноль минут (vosem’ chasov nol’ minut) — “08:00”

When Russians add minutes, they often omit the words минута (minuta) and час (chas). If there are zeros in the number of minutes, they are pronounced. So, the times above will be pronounced as:

  • Шестнадцать сорок одна (shestnadtsat’ sorok odna) — “16:41”
  • Двадцать один двадцать три (dvadtsat’ odin dvadtsat’ tri) — “21:23”
  • Пятнадцать тридцать (pyatnadtsat’ tridtsat’) — “15:30”
  • Пять ноль шесть (pyat’ nol’ shest’) — “05:06”
  • Восемь ноль ноль (vosem’ nol’ nol’) — “08:00”

Now, let’s explore how to talk about time in Russia during a conversation.

In Russia, there are two scenarios for choosing a language pattern to give the minutes. The first one is used for the first half of the hour—the minutes from one to thirty. Russians look at the hour after the current one, and count how many minutes of this hour have already passed. For example, it’s 15:03. This means that three minutes of the fifteenth hour have already passed. 

Please note that you’ll need to use ordinal numbers. Read our article about Russian numbers to learn more.

Here are some examples:

  • Пять минут четвертого (pyat’ minut chetvyortogo) — “3:05”
  • Одна минута второго (odna minuta vtorogo) — “1:01 “
  • Девятнадцать минут десятого (devyatnadtsat’ minut desyatogo) — “09:19”

This pattern might seem a bit complicated. Believe me, this is true even for Russians! That’s why some of them simply state the hours and minutes, omitting the words минута (minuta) and час (chas):

  • Три ноль три (tri nol’ tri) — “3:03”
  • Час ноль одна (chas nol’ odna) — “1:01 “
  • Девять девятнадцать (devyat’ devyatnadtsat’) — “09:19”

The second pattern is used to talk about the second half of the hour. Russians count how many minutes are left before the upcoming hour. For example, it’s 15:40. This means that twenty minutes are left before the sixteenth hour. 

Here are some examples:

  • Без двадцати четыре (bez dvadtsati chetyre) — “3:40”
  • Без трёх минут девять (bez tryokh minut devyat’) — “8:57”
  • Без восьми минут пять (bez vos’mi minut pyat’) — “4:52”

Please note that for the most-used increments of minutes, such as twenty, fifteen, ten, and five, the word “minutes” is almost always omitted.

What about утра (utra)—”of the morning,” дня (dnya)—”of the day,” вечера (vechera)—”of the evening,” and ночи (nochi)—”of the night?” Are they used when we add minutes? 

Yes, of course. But in most cases, they’re omitted when it’s clear from the context what part of the day it is.

4. Useful Patterns

Improve Listening

Okay, so how do Russians tell time? It’s time to learn patterns that don’t need to include the word “minute.” The following patterns can be used only for the twelve-hour clock system:

  • Половина (polovina) — here: “half an hour to” 

For example, половина третьего (polovina tryet’yego), meaning “02:30” or “half an hour to three.”

  • Пол- (pol-) — here: “half an hour to” 

For example, полчетвёртого (polchetvyortogo), meaning “03:30” or “half an hour to four.” Please note that you don’t need to put a hyphen after пол- (pol-) except for with one number: одиннадцать (odinnadtsat’), or “11.” For this number, it will be пол-одиннадцатого (pol-odinnadtsatogo), or “10:30.” 

  • Четверть (chetvert’) — here: “quarter past” 

For example, четверть седьмого (chetvert’ sed’mogo), meaning “06:15” or “quarter past six.” 

  • Без четверти (bez chetverti) — here: “quarter to” 

For example, без четверти десять (bez chetverti desyat’), meaning “09:45” or “quarter to ten.” 

The following patterns can be used for both the twelve-hour and twenty-four-hour clock systems:

  • Ровно (rovno) — “exactly” 

For example, ровно шесть утра (rovno shest’ utra), meaning “exactly 06:00.” Or ровно шесть ноль ноль (rovno shest’ nol’ nol’), meaning “exactly 06:00.” 

  • Почти (pochti) — “almost” 

For example, почти пять часов (pochti pyat’ chasov), meaning “almost 05:00.”

Do you need more words and expressions of time in Russian? Here’s our vocabulary list to talk about time. Check it out!

5. Conclusion

Basic Questions

Yaaay, you did it! Now, telling time in Russian shouldn’t feel that hard. You also know how to ask the time in Russian. 

To practice telling time in Russian, we strongly recommend that you do a listening practice with our special audio lesson about time

If you want to dig even more into the topic of time, learn the phrase “What time does it open?” from our audio lesson and check out our article on how to read dates in Russian.

Searching for a professional Russian tutor? Here’s RussianPod101’s MyTeacher program for Russian-learners. Native Russian teachers with impressive teaching backgrounds will help you to understand all the grammar rules and enrich your vocabulary. Just take a trial lesson to see how it works for you. ;-)

Before you go, let us know in the comments what new Russian nouns you learned today! Are there any you still want to know? We look forward to hearing from you! 

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A Complete Guide to Directions in Russian: Phrases & More



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When you’re taking a cab, asking for the nearest toilet, and making sure that the bus goes where you need it to go, being able to understand directions in Russian is essential for tourist survival in Russia.

Of course, you can always use translation apps, but sometimes it’s just inconvenient to do that. The taximeter is counting ruble by ruble, a full bladder doesn’t want to lose a second more, and the bus is already at the bus stop ready to take off—and you have no idea when the next one is.

Learning all about directions in Russian will help you save time, money, and nerves. Also, knowing how to say basic things—such as the cardinal directions in Russian, the words for “far” and “close,” “straight,” “left” and “right” in Russian, etc.—is essential in improving your Russian language skills.

So, let’s get a smooth journey prepared right now and learn about directions in Russian! A complete guide to directions in Russian is waiting for you.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Russian

Table of Contents
  1. On the Map
  2. On the Road: Right and Left in Russian & More
  3. Talking about Landmarks
  4. Asking for Directions in Russian: Must-know Phrases
  5. How to Give Directions in Russian: Must-know Phrases
  6. Conclusion

1. On the Map


The Compass.

The words for compass directions in Russian are really useful when it comes to navigation. Let’s learn them.

1- “East” in Russian Language


Восток (vostok) is “east” in Russian. You can also make it an adjective: восточный (vostochnyy) meaning “eastern.”

Usage in a sentence or phrase:

  • Восточные страны (vostochnyye strany) — “eastern countries”; “oriental countries”
  • Озеро находится к востоку от города (Ozero nakhoditsya k vostoku ot goroda) — “The lake is to the east of the city.”
  • Владивосток находится в восточной части России (Vladivostok nakhoditsya v vostochnoy chasti Rossii) — “Vladivostok is in the eastern part of Russia.”

2- “West” in Russian Language


Запад (zapad) is “west” in Russian. As an adjective, it will be западный (zapadnyy) meaning “western.”

Usage in a sentence or phrase:

  • Западные страны (zapadnyye strany) — “western countries”
  • Россия западнее Китая (Rossiya zapadneye Kitaya) — “Russia is to the west of China.”
  • Санкт-Петербург западнее Москвы (Sankt-Peterburg zapadneye Moskvy) — “Saint Petersburg is to the west of Moscow.”

3- “South” in Russian Language


Юг (yug) is “south” in Russian. As an adjective, it will be южный (yuzhnyy) meaning “southern.”

In Russian, юг (yug) has one more meaning. When someone is going on vacation to the warm seaside, he says Я поеду на юга (Ya poyedu na yuga), meaning “I will go to the south.” That’s a classic Russian vacation—lying on the beach and swimming in the sea. Yeah, during the whole week or even two. Having a nice and even suntan on the whole body is really valued by Russians, as it shows off that they had a vacation (read: had enough money to have a vacation!). :)

Usage in a sentence or phrase:

  • Юг России (Yug Rossii) — “the south of Russia”
  • Сочи находится на юге России (Sochi nakhoditsya na yuge Rossii) — “Sochi is in the southern part of Russia.”

4- “North” in Russian Language


Север (sever) is “north” in the Russian language. You can also make it an adjective: северный (severnyy) meaning “northern.”

Usage in a sentence or phrase:

  • Северная столица (severnaya stolitsa) — “northern capital” (referring to the famous Russian city of Saint-Petersburg)
  • Деревня находится к северу от нас (Derevnya nakhoditsya k severu ot nas) — “The village is to the north of us.”
  • Мы идем на север (My idyom na sever) — “We are going to the north.”

5- Southeast, Southwest, Northeast & Northwest in Russian


All compound directions start with either “north” or “south,” like in English. Starting them with “east” or “west” is a mistake and will confuse native speakers.

To make a compound direction, add the letter “o” and a hyphen to север (sever) or юг (yug):

  • Юго-запад (yugo-zapad) — “southwest”
  • Юго-восток (yugo-vostok) — “southeast”
  • Северо-запад (severo-zapad) — “northwest”
  • Северо-восток (severo-vostok) — “northeast”

2. On the Road: Right and Left in Russian & More


Directions

Okay, say you need to tell your cab driver where to stop. Let’s equip you with the most useful phrases for giving directions in Russian: “left” and “right” in Russian, front and back, far and close, “straight,” and more.

1- “Right” in Russian Language


There are several ways to say “right” in the Russian language depending on the context. If you wanna say that something is located “to the right,” then you need to use the word справа (sprava):

  • Справа от меня – рынок. (Sprava ot menya – rynok) — “There is an open market to the right of me (to my right).”
  • Банк находится справа. (Bank nakhoditsya sprava) — “The bank is located to the right.”

If you’re turning to the right or going to the right, then you need to use the word направо (napravo):

  • На первом перекрестке поверните направо. (Na pervom perekryostke povernite napravo) — “On the first crossroads, turn to the right.”
  • Туалет направо (Tualet napravo) — “The toilet is to the right.”

So, just keep in mind that “right” can be expressed in two ways. Make sure that you pick the right one for the context.

2- How to Say “Left” in Russian


Just like “right,” “left” in the Russian language can be said differently depending on the context. To say that something is located “to the left,” use слева (sleva):

  • Что ты видишь слева от себя? (Chto ty vidish’ sleva ot sebya?) — “What do you see to the left of you (to your left)?” This is a very useful phrase to use if you’re talking on the phone with your Russian friend who’s gotten lost.
  • Магазин находится слева от парикмахерской. (Magazin nakhoditsya sleva ot parikmakhersoy) — “The shop is to the left of the hairdresser’s.”

If you’re turning or moving to the left, then use the word налево (nalevo):

  • За светофором поверните налево (Za svetoforom povernite nalevo) — “Turn to the left after the traffic light.”
  • Идите по коридору налево (Idite po koridoru nalevo) — “Go to the left in this corridor.”

Now you know how to say “right” and “left” in Russian.

3- Useful Words and Phrases in a Taxi or Car


In the Taxi.

In addition to knowing how to say “left” and “right” in Russian, you need to know how to say other basic “taxi” words. Here are some words you’ll probably need when giving directions in Russian to your taxi driver:

  • Такси (taksi) — “taxi”
    • Я вызову такси (Ya vyzovu taksi) — “I’ll call a taxi.”

  • Переднее сиденье (peredneye siden’ye) — “front seat”
    • Я сяду на переднее сиденье. (Ya syadu na peredneye siden’ye) — “I’ll sit in the front seat.”

  • Заднее сиденье (zadneye siden’ye) — “back seat”
    • Я сяду на заднее сиденье (Ya syadu na zadneye siden’ye) — “I’ll sit in the back seat.”

  • Спереди (speredi) — “in the front”
    • Садитесь спереди. (Sadites’ speredi) — “Take a seat in the front.”

  • Сзади (szadi) — “in the back”
    • Садитесь сзади (Sadites’ szadi) — “Take a seat in the back.”

  • Далеко (daleko) — “far”
    • Далеко ехать? (Daleko yekhat’?) — “Is it far to ride from here?”

  • Близко (blizko) — “close”
    • Магазин уже близко (Magazin uzhe blizko) — “The shop is already close.”

  • Рядом (ryadom) —”next to”
    • Мой дом рядом с торговым центром (Moy dom ryadom s torgovym tsentrom) — “My house is next to the shopping mall.”


And here’s a list of useful road landmarks and how to ask a taxi driver to stop the car right after them:

  • Перекрёсток (perekryostok) — “crossroads”
    • Остановите, пожалуйста, за перекрёстком. (Ostanovite, pozhaluysta, za perekryostkom) — “Please, stop right after the crossroads.”

  • Светофор (svetofor) — “traffic light”
    • Остановите, пожалуйста, за светофором (Ostanovite, pozhaluysta, za svetoforom) — “Please, stop right after the traffic light.”

  • Пешеходный переход (peshekhodnyy perekhod) — “crosswalk”
    • Остановите, пожалуйста, за пешеходным переходом (Ostanovite, pozhaluysta, za peshekhodnym perekhodom) — “Please, stop right after the crosswalk.”

Here are the most simple and useful phrases for how to give directions in Russian when you’re in the taxi:

  • Остановитесь, пожалуйста. (Ostanovites’, pozhaluysta) — “Stop, please.”

  • Тут (tut) — “Here”
    • Use this word if the car is going slowly and the driver is waiting for your signal to stop.

  • Езжайте, езжайте. (Ezzhayte, ezzhayte) — “Keep going.”

  • Побыстрее, пожалуйста. (Pobystreye, pozhaluysta) — “Faster, please. Hurry up, please.”

  • Помедленнее, пожалуйста. (Pomedlenneye, pozhaluysta) — “Not so fast, please.”


Here are advanced sentence patterns for you:

  • До реки ехать десять километров. (Do reki yekhat’ desyat’ kilometrov) — “It’s a 10-kilometer drive to the river.”

  • Я живу через улицу от вкусной и уютной кофейни. (Ya zhivu cherez ulitsu ot vkusnoy i uyutnoy kofeyni) — “I live across the street from a tasty and cozy coffeeshop.”

  • Остановите за углом, пожалуйста (Ostanovite za uglom, pozhaluysta) — “Stop around the corner, please.”


If taxi phrases are essential for you, listen to our audio lesson on riding a taxi and watch our video lesson for absolute beginners on taking a cab.

3. Talking about Landmarks



Basic Questions

When learning about Russian directions, you can’t skip the essential location nouns. Here’s a list of them:

  • Аэропорт (aeroport) — “airport”
    • Мне нужно в аэропорт Шереметьево (Mne nuzhno v aeroport Sheremet’yevo) — “I need to get to the Sheremetyevo Airport.”

  • Станция метро (stantsiya metro) — “metro station”
    • Это какая станция метро? (Eto kakaya stantsiya metro?) — “What metro station is this?”

  • Центр города (tsentr goroda) — “city center”
    • Завтра я хочу погулять в центре города (Zavtra ya khochu pogulyat’ v tsentre goroda) — “Tomorrow I wanna walk in the city center.”

  • Парк (park) — “park”
    • Давай погуляем в парке! (Davay pogulyayem v parke!) — “Let’s have a walk in the park!”

  • Отель (otel’) — “hotel”
    • There is another word for a hotel: гостиница (gostinitsa). They mean the exact same thing.
    • Вы не знаете, где гостиница “Космос”? (Vy ne znaete, gde gostinitsa “Kosmos”?) — “Do you know where the hotel ‘Kosmos’ is?”

  • Больница (bol’nitsa) — “hospital”

  • Банк (bank) — “bank”
    • Подскажите, где ближайший банк? (Podskazhite, gde blizhayshiy bank) — “Please, tell me where the nearest bank is.”

  • Магазин (magazin) — “shop”
    • Магазин одежды (magazin odezhdy) — “clothes shop”
    • Продуктовый магазин (produktovyy magazin) — “food shop”

  • Супермаркет (supermarket) — “supermarket”
    • Вы не подскажете, где ближайший супермаркет? (Vy ne podskazhete, gde blizhayshiy supermarket?) — “Could you tell me, please, where the nearest supermarket is?”

  • Торговый центр (torgovyy tsentr) — “shopping mall”
    • Торговый центр находится прямо у выхода из метро. (Torgovyy tsentr nakhoditsya pryamo u vykhoda iz metro) — “The shopping mall is right near the exit from the underground.”

  • Кафе (kafe) — “cafe”
    • Давай сходим в кафе (Davay skhodim v kafe) — “Let’s go to the cafe.”

  • Ресторан (restoran) — “restaurant”
    • Это хороший ресторан (Eto khoroshiy restoran) — “This is a good restaurant.”

  • Столовая (stolovaya) — “canteen”; “cafeteria”
    • Food here is usually less tasty, but cheaper.

  • Кофейня (kofeynya) — “coffee shop”
    • Это моя любимая кофейня (Eto moya lyubimaya kofeynya) — “This is my favorite coffee shop.”

  • Аптека (apteka) — “pharmacy”
    • Вы не знаете, где аптека? (Vy ne znayete, gde apteka?) — “Do you know where the pharmacy is?”

You can also check out our video lesson to learn more transportation vocabulary.

Once you enter any building, you’ll need the following words:

  • Туалет (tualet) — “restroom”
    • Вы не подскажете, где туалет? (Vy ne podskazhete, gde tualet?) — “Could you tell me where the restroom is?”
    • Извините, вы не знаете, где ближайший туалет? (Izvinite, vy ne znayete, gde blizhayshiy tualet?) — “Excuse me, do you know where the nearest toilet is?”

  • Лифт (lift) — “elevator”
    • Лифт по коридору налево (Lift po koridoru nalevo) — “The elevator is in the corridor to the left.”

  • Лестница (lestnitsa) — “stairs”
    • Поднимитесь по лестнице на второй этаж. (Podnimites’ po lestnitse na vtoroy etazh) — “Climb the stairs to the second floor.”

  • Ворота (vorota) — “gates”
    • Ворота открываются. (Vorota otkryvayutsya) — “The gates are opening.”

  • Парковка (parkovka) — “parking lot”
    • Извините, а где парковка? (Izvinite, a gde parkovka?) — “Excuse me, where is a parking lot?”


4. Asking for Directions in Russian: Must-know Phrases


Asking Directions

  • Извините… (Izvinite…) — “Excuse me…”

  • Разрешите спросить… (Razreshite sprosit’…) — “May I ask…”

  • Где находится…? (Gde nakhoditsya…?) — “Where’s…?”
    • Где находится ближайший туалет? (Gde nakhoditsya blizhayshiy tualet?) — “Where is the nearest toilet?”
    • It’s okay to use the word находится (nakhoditsya), but sometimes Russians just omit it: Где туалет? (Gde tualet?) — “Where is the toilet?”

  • Как добраться до…? (Kak dobrat’sya do…?) — “How can I get to…?”
    • Как добраться до метро? (Kak dobrat’sya do metro?) — “How can I get to the metro station?”
    • Keep in mind that this phrase means that it will be a long way to get there. If the metro station is somewhere nearby, it’s better to ask: Где метро? (Gde metro?) — “Where is a metro?”
    • The Russian Saint Petersburg Metro and the Moscow Metro are very famous tourist attractions—make sure you visit. And don’t miss a chance to practice your Russian vocabulary. :)

  • Сколько ехать до…? (Skol’ko yekhat’ do…?) — “How long will it take to drive to…?”
    • Сколько ехать до аэропорта Домодедово? (Skol’ko yekhat’ do aeroporta Domodedovo?) — “How long will it take to drive to Domodedovo Airport?”

  • … далеко отсюда? (…daleko otsyuda?) — “Is … far from here?”
    • Автобусная остановка далеко отсюда? (Avtobusnaya ostanovka daleko otsyuda?) — “Is a bus stop far from here?”

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


5. How to Give Directions in Russian: Must-know Phrases


A Girl with a Map.

  • Идите… (Idite…) — “Go…” or “Walk…” if the person is walking.
    • Идите в комнату (Idite v komnatu) — “Go to the room.”

  • Езжайте… (Ezzhayte) — “Go…” or “Drive…” if the person is using a vehicle.
    • Езжайте вперед (Ezzhayte vperyod) — “Go straight.”

  • Идите прямо (Idite pryamo) — “Go straight.”

  • Идите вперед (Idite vperyod) — “Go straight ahead.”

  • Идите в обратную сторону (Idite v obratnuyu storonu) — “Go in the opposite direction.”

  • Поверните направо (Povernite napravo) — “Turn right.”

  • Поверните налево (Povernite nalevo) — “Turn left.”

  • На … этаже (Na … etazhe) — “On … floor.”
    • На третьем этаже (Na tret’yem etazhe) — “On the third floor.”

  • Поднимитесь по лестнице вверх (Podnimites’ po lestnitse vverkh) — “Go upstairs.”

  • Спуститесь по лестнице вниз (Spustites’ po lestnitse vniz) — “Go downstairs.”

  • Вы его не пропустите (Vy ego ne propustite) — “You won’t miss it.”

6. Conclusion


Now, you have everything you need for a comfortable journey in Russia: how to say “right” and “left” in Russian, how to give and ask for directions in Russian, and so on.

To remember these words and phrases better, make word cards in a word card learning app such as Quizlet; you can also sign up for a free account on RussianPod101 and use our flashcard feature. Make sure to go through these words multiple times, so that they stick in your memory.

Also, use our directions word list to practice your listening and pronunciation skills.

Learning about Russian directions might be tricky, especially figuring out the grammar, so if you feel like you need some help, consider taking RussianPod101’s MyTeacher program for Russian-learners. Native Russian teachers with impressive teaching backgrounds will help you understand the grammar, memorize the words, and use them in real dialogue. Just take a trial lesson to give it a try. ;-)

Before you go, let us know in the comments how confident you feel asking and giving directions in Russian. Very confident, or are there still some things you’re having trouble with? We look forward to hearing from you!

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Life Event Messages: Happy Birthday in Russian & More

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. Happy Holidays in Russian

Basic Questions

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

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

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

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

2. How to Say Happy Birthday in Russian

Happy Birthday

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

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

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

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

1- С днём рождения!

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

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

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

2- С прошедшим!

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

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

3- Ещё раз с днём рождения!

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

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

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

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

New Year.

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

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

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

1- С наступающим!

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

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

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

2- C новым годом!

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

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

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

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

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

3- C Рождеством!

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

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

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

4. Russian Congratulations: Baby News & Pregnancy

Talking About Age

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

1- Поздравляю с беременностью!

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

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

2- Поздравляю с рождением ребёнка!

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

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

3- Поздравляю с рождением мальчика/девочки!

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

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

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

5. Happy Graduation in Russian

Graduation.

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

1- Поздравляю с окончанием школы!

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

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

2- Поздравляю с окончанием университета!

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

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

3- Добро пожаловать во взрослую жизнь!

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

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

6. Congratulations for a New Job or Promotion

Promotion.

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

1- Поздравляю с новой работой!

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

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

2- Поздравляю с повышением!

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

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

3- Успехов на новой работе!

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

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

7. Russian Congratulations for Retirement

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

1- С выходом на пенсию!

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

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

2- Здоровья и долголетия!

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

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

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

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

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

8. Russian Congratulations: Weddings & Anniversaries

Marriage Proposal

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

1- Совет да любовь!

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

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

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

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

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

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

3- Горько!

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

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

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

9. Death and Funerals: Russian Condolence Messages

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

1- Пусть земля ему/ей будет пухом

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

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

2- Помним, любим, скорбим

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

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

3- Ты навсегда останешься в моей памяти

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

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

10. Bad News

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

1- Сочувствую

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

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

2- Сожалею об утрате

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

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

3- Мои соболезнования

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

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

11. Injured or Sick

Sick.

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

1- Поправляйся!

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

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

2- Не болей!

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

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

3- Скорее выздоравливай!

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

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

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

12. Other Holidays and Life Events

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

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

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

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

2- Defender of the Fatherland Day

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

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

3- Happy International Women’s Day in Russian

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

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

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

4- Happy Anniversary in Russian

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

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

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

5- Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian

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

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

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

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

13. Conclusion

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

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

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

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Top 10 Russian Movies on Netflix to Improve Your Russian!

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The best way to learn any language is to immerse yourself in the culture of the target language. Such as reading in Russian, watching movies and TV shows in Russian, listening to Russian podcasts, chatting with Russian friends, and learning new words with Russian teachers. Russian series on Netflix will be a great step in creating this true Russian atmosphere for boosting the learning process.

Yes, you really can learn Russian on Netflix! And when it comes to Russian TV, Netflix is a gold mine.

So, what’s the best way to learn from Netflix Russia? Here are some tips on how to watch Russian Netflix for language-learning purposes:

First, don’t translate every single word. You’ll get tired and lose interest pretty fast. Instead, either translate the first episode or translate the first few minutes of every episode. Write down the translations in a notebook and look in there every time you hear a familiar word. Once you hear it ten or twenty times, you’ll naturally start to recognize the meaning!

To help you with that, RussianPod101.com has prepared a list of words and expressions that you’ll hear a lot in Russian movies on Netflix. You can write them down in your “show-notebook” as well. ;)

Without further ado, our list of some of the best Netflix Russian content for language-learners!

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Table of Contents

  1. Фарца (Fartsa)—Fartsa, 2015
  2. Хождение по мукам (Khozhdeniye po mukam)— The Road to Calvary, 2017
  3. Спарта (Sparta)—Sparta, 2018
  4. Троцкий (Trotsky)—Trotsky, 2017
  5. Нюхач (Nyukhach)—The Sniffer, 2017
  6. Смешарики (Smeshariki)—Kikoriki, 2010
  7. Машины Сказки (Mashiny skazki)—Masha’s Tales, 2017
  8. Саранча (Sarancha)—Locust, 2014
  9. Метод (Method)—Method, 2015
  10. Мажор (Mazhor)—Silver Spoon, 2015
  11. Conclusion

1. Фарца (Fartsa)—Fartsa, 2015

Genre: Crime TV Show
This show is: Emotional; suspenseful

This is one of the best Russian shows on Netflix, and it tells a story about four Russian friends who grow up in the early ‘60s in Moscow. Kostya Germanov gambles away a huge sum of money that he needs to find and give to bandits. Three of his friends decide to help him, so he can get that money in time. As they become фарцовщик (fartsovshchik — see below), they start to make a lot of money and their life changes…

Interesting fact:

When it comes to Russian history, Netflix shows like this can be a great learning tool.

The movie title comes from a Russian slang term фарцовка (fartsovka) which is simply “fartsovka” in English. The Soviet Union was a closed country, so foreign goods were scarce and it was illegal to trade them. But scarcity makes things even more desirable, which is how фарцовка (fartsovka) appeared. A number of clever people started to acquire foreign goods from foreigners and sell them to Soviet people. They were called фарцовщик (fartsovschik).

The most popular goods were clothes, accessories, phonograph records and other sound storages, cosmetics, and books. Ownership of foreign goods gave prestige, which was the basic principle of the arisen subculture – стиляги (stilyagi). Cтиляги were the main buyers of foreign goods. There’s a great Russian musical about this subculture called Cтиляги (Stilyagi).

For language learners. This Russian Netflix show contains a handful of Soviet Union vocabulary and historic terms, so it will give you a great chance to dig into exciting Russian history. Though the show is about history, language is pretty easy and modern, so you’ll be able to find a lot of useful expressions.

The vocabulary.

  • Гражданин (grazhdanin) — “Citizen” or “Mister” (in the Soviet Union)
    • This was the common form of address to another person in the Soviet Union. гражданин (grazhdanin) was used outside to address an unknown person, while гражданин (grazhdanin) plus the person’s surname were used to officially address someone. The first phrase of the first episode is гражданин Рокотов (grazhdanin Rokotov), meaning “Mister Rokotov.” Find it and remember this word. You’ll hear it a lot in the series. By the way, “Miss” or “Mrs.” will be гражданка (grazhdanka).
  • Поехали! (Poyekhali!) — “Let’s go!”
    • This is a famous phrase that belongs to Yurii Gagarin, the first human to go to outer space. He said it right before the launch. This phrase became a symbol of a new era in the history of Russia.
  • Спектакль окончен. Занавес. (Spektakl’ okonchen. Zanaves.) — “The show is over. The end.”
    • Literally, занавес (zanaves) refers to a curtain on the scene in the theater. The curtain goes up at the beginning of the show and goes down at the end of the show. In this phrase, it’s used as a synonym of “the end.”
  • Костыль (kostyl’) — “crutch”
    • What is this word doing on the list? The thing is that some Russian names get turned into specific nicknames. For example, the name Константин (Konstantin), or the shorter version Костя (Kostya), is often turned into Костыль (kostyl’). You’ll hear this nickname throughout the show because he’s one of the main heroes. In the first episode, when the main hero gets off the train and meets his friends, he asks: А где Костыль? (A gde Kostyl’?) meaning “And where is Kostyl?” His friends joke: Сломался (Slomalsya) meaning “Broken.”
  • Жить взахлёб (Zhit’ vzakhlyob) — “To live excitedly/effusively”
    • This is a poetic expression that the main hero often quotes and tries to build his life off of. It essentially means “to seize the moment” or “to enjoy every moment of life.” If you’re a person who lives like that, then you can say about yourself: Я живу взахлёб (Ya zhivu vzakhlyob), which means “I live excitedly/effusively,” or Я люблю жить взахлёб (Ya lyublyu zhit’ vzakhlyob), which means “I love to live excitedly/effusively.”
  • Твою ж мать! (Tvoyu zh mat’!) — “Darn it!”
    • Literally, it means “Your mother!” and is the ending of a Russian obscene phrase. But as it’s used quite often in Russia, Твою ж мать! (Tvoyu zh mat’!) has lost its negative meaning and can now be translated as “Darn it!”
  • Бегом! (Begom!) — “Run!”
    • This word is used when people are late and need to hurry up.
  • Давай! Давай! (Davay! Davay!) — “Go! Go! Go!”
    • Literally, it means “Give! Give!” but it has another meaning depending on the context. By the way, there’s one more meaning of Давай! (Davay!) — “Let’s do it!”
  • Счастливо! (Shchactlivo!) — “Goodbye!”
    • This word comes from the noun счастье (shchast’ye), which means “happiness.” So literally it means “be happy,” and is used to say “goodbye.”
  • Пошёл вон отсюда! (Poshyol von otsyuda!) — “Go away!”
    • Russian people can use this expression when they’re really angry. Of course, people can also use it as a joke. Always mind the context and facial expression of the person saying it.

2. Хождение по мукам (Khozhdeniye po mukam)— The Road to Calvary, 2017

Best Ways to Learn

Genre: Political TV Show based on the book
This show is: Emotional; suspenseful

This Russian Netflix TV series covers the life of two sisters during political changes in 1914 through 1919. The old imperial Russia is dying, and the revolution is rising. The show is based on a book trilogy by the Russian classical author Alexey Tolstoy. The language is really literal and the dialogue is truly deep. If you enjoy solving language puzzles and trying to find the meaning underneath every phrase, this Russian Netflix series will become an exciting nut to crack. It’s best for advanced language learners or for those who want to immerse themselves in the great Russian Revolution.

The vocabulary.

  • Да здравствует революция! (Da zdravstvuyet revolyutsiya!) — “Viva revolution”
    • During revolution times, this was a popular phrase to cry out loud in the crowd.
  • Хороших снов тебе (Khoroshikh snov tebe) — “Sweet dreams to you.”
    • This is a really sweet phrase to say to a friend, or someone who is more than a friend. You can say it without тебе (tebe), or “to you” at the end, but this little word makes the phrase sound smarter and more intellectual. Use it. ;-)
  • Я хочу выпить за вашу смелость (Ya khochu vypit’ za vashu smelost’) — “I want to have a drink for your bravery.”
    • As you probably know, Russians rarely drink alcohol without making a toast. This is one of the ways to make a toast: Я хочу выпить за… (Ya khochu vypit’ za…), meaning “I want to have a drink for…” You can put pretty much anything after that: …ваше здоровье (…vashe zdorov’ye) meaning “…your health,” …мир во всем мире (…mir vo vsyom mire) meaning “…peace in the whole world,” …красоту женщин (…krasotu zhenshchin) meaning “…women’s beauty,” etc. Use your imagination. :-)
  • Чем могу быть полезен? (Chem mogu byt’ polezen?) — “How can I be useful?”
    • This is an old-fashioned phrase used when you’ve been called by someone you don’t know. You will often hear it during this show.
  • Барышня (baryshnya) — “young lady”
    • This is another old-fashioned way for older people to address a young lady. As there are many heroines in the show, you’ll hear this address pretty often.
  • Слово хозяина – закон (Slovo khozyaina – zakon) — “The word of a host is a law.”
    • This is a very interesting phrase, in that you can actually change the noun хозяин (khozyain) meaning “host” for начальника (nachal’nika) or “boss,” мужа (muzha) or “husband,” and Кати (Kati) or “Katya” (a girl’s name, though you can put any name here).
  • Вы что себе позволяете? (Vy chto sebe pozvolyayete?) — “What do you think you are doing?” (What are you daring?)
    • This is an old-fashioned phrase to ask someone who’s acting inappropriately.
  • Это безобразие! (Eto bezobraziye!) — “It’s a disgrace!”
    • Famous phrase to use in the Soviet Union to comment on anything that’s out of order or scandalous. Now it’s used very occasionally and mostly by people born in the Soviet Union.
  • Это издевательство! (Eto izdevatel’stvo!) — “That’s an insult/mockery!”
    • A nice way to comment on something when you feel that someone is intentionally doing something bad.
  • Милости прошу (Milosti proshu) — “Welcome”
    • An old-fashioned way to welcome someone. Though it’s old-fashioned, nowadays this expression is very popular. It’s used as a mocking or cool way to greet guests into a home.

3. Спарта (Sparta)—Sparta, 2018

Improve Pronunciation

Genre: Mystery; Thriller
This show is: Dark

In this Netflix Russian language series, a crime investigator starts to uncover the mysterious death of a young high school teacher. He finds out about a video game that all the kids in that school love to play. The more he knows about the game, the more he realizes that what happens in the game happens in real life as well… All dark fantasies become real.

This Russian Netflix series contains great vocabulary that modern teenagers use, making this one of the best Russian Netflix series for improving your informal communication skills.

The vocabulary.

  • Самоубийство (samoubiystvo) — “suicide”
    • As the story takes place around the suicide of a school teacher, you’ll hear this word quite often. It’s interesting to know that “murder” is убийство (ubiystvo), so cамоубийство (samoubiystvo) can literally be translated as “self-murder.”
  • Не перебивай (Ne perebivay) — “Don’t interrupt.”
    • You can tell this phrase to your friend who’s trying to say something while you’re still speaking.
  • Да пошёл ты (Da poshyol ty!) — “F*ck you.” [Literally “You go away.”]
    • This is a short version of the phrase with obscene words, which is why even without obscene lexic, it still sounds harsh.
  • Да ладно, не парься! (Da ladno, ne par’sya!) — “It’s fine, don’t worry.”
    • This phrase was popular when todays’ adults were teenagers. It’s still pretty commonly used between friends.
  • Мне б твои проблемы (Mne b tvoi problemy) — “I’d love to have your problems.”
    • This means that your problems are very small compared to mine, so I’d gladly switch them. This is a great and very common phrase, so don’t hesitate to use it in a friendly conversation.
  • Чё смотрим? (Chyo smotrim?) — “Stop staring.” [Literally “Why are you looking?”]
    • This is a rude question to ask, and it may result in a conflict.
  • Британские учёные доказали, что… (Britanskiye uchyonyye dokazali, chto…) — “British scientists have proved…”
    • You’ll hear this phrase several times during this series. It refers to the highly valued authority of British scientists. Kids in the series use it as a joke to “prove” random facts.
  • А чё так? (A chyo tak?) — “Why?”
    • This alternative of the question Почему? (Pochemu?) or “Why?” is used a lot in spoken language between friends. Try to use it in your next conversation.
  • Тянуть кота за хвост (Tyanut’ kota za khvost) — “To pull a cat by his tail.”
    • It means that something takes a longer time than it should.
  • Это в прошлом (Eto v proshlom) — “It is in the past.”
    • You can use this phrase to emphasize that even though you did something in the past, you’re not doing it now.

The story is about modern high school students, so they use a lot of slang words and abbreviations. We’ve prepared an awesome article on this topic for you.

4. Троцкий (Trotsky)—Trotsky, 2017

Genre: Political drama
This show is: Cerebral

This is a great Russian period drama Netflix currently has. Lev Trotskiy was a powerful political figure. It was he who influenced the minds of Russian people, headed the Russian Revolution, and destroyed the Russian Empire. This Russian Netflix series contains a lot of revolution-related words that would be exciting vocabulary to learn for advanced learners.

The vocabulary.

  • Приятного вечера (Priyatnogo vechera) — “Have a nice evening.”
    • This is a very polite phrase that you can use toward someone you respect.
  • Пошёл вон! (Poshyol von!) — “Get out of here!”
    • This phrase is used by people who have a different kind of authority, such as teachers or parents toward kids.
  • Всего хорошего (Vsego khoroshego) — “I wish you well.”
    • A very polite thing to say as an alternative to До свидания (Do svidaniya) meaning “Goodbye.”
  • Есть! (Yest’!) — “Yes, sir!” and Так точно! (Tak tochno!) — “Yes, sir!”
    • These replies to commands are used in Russian military forces.
  • Вы свободны (Vy svobodny) — “You can go.” [Literally “You are free.”]
    • Very official phrase used by people with authority.
  • Позвольте представиться (Pozvol’te predsatvit’sya) — “Let me introduce myself.”
    • Follow it with your name. It’s a nice and intelligent way to introduce yourself. It was mainly used in XIX-XX centuries by the aristocracy, so you’ll bring some noble manners into your speech by using it.
  • Я знаю, кто вы (Ya znayu, ko vy) — “I know who you are.”
    • This phrase is often used in series as a reply to someone’s introduction.
  • Я никогда ни о чём не жалею (Ya nikogda ni o chyom ne zhaleyu) — “I never regret anything.”
    • One of the phrases that the main hero likes to use.
  • Строить новый мир (Stroit’ novyy mir) — “To build a new world.”
    • You’ll hear this phrase many times in the series. Revolutionists built their propaganda around this idea.
  • Управлять людьми можно единственно страхом (Upravlyat’ lyud’mi mozhno edinstvenno strakhom) — “You can rule people only by fear.”
    • A famous phrase of Trotsky.

5. Нюхач (Nyukhach)—The Sniffer, 2017

Genre: Mystery; Thriller
This show is: Dark

A genius detective with a nasty character has a keen sense of smell. Just by smell, he can tell everything and even more about any person: what he ate, with whom did he sleep, if he has an alibi.

The vocabulary in this series is pretty simple, so it’s great for beginners. But do be warned it may have the most interesting vocabulary of the other Russian shows on Netflix… ;) You’ll see.

The vocabulary.

  • Чёрт! (Chyort!) — “Darn it!”
    • Literally, it means “Devil!” Often used as an interjection.
  • Я вызову полицию (Ya vyzovu politsiyu) — “I’ll call the police.”
    • In the context of this series, the phrase is used as a threat.
  • Совершенно верно (Sovershenno verno) — “Absolutely right.”
    • This phrase is often used by the main hero of the series.
  • Посмотрим (Posmotrim) — “We’ll see.”
    • It has the same meaning as the English phrase.
  • Ладно (Ladno) — “Okay.”
    • This is a nice and very Russian alternative to Окей (Okey) meaning “okay” and Хорошо (Khorosho) meaning “good.”
  • Отпечатков нет (Otpechatkov net) — “There are no fingerprints.”
    • All crimes that the main hero will come across are complicated, so this phrase will come up pretty often.
  • Убитый (Ubityy) — “Murdered person”
    • Well, this word will come up even more often.
  • Убийца (Ubiytsa) — “Murderer”
    • This one as well.
  • Труп (Trup) — “Corpse”
    • You’re going to get pretty interesting Russian words in your memory after watching this series, right? :)
  • Да? (Da?) — “Yes?”
    • In the series, the main hero uses this reply as an alternative to Алло (Allo) or “hello,” which is used to reply to phone calls. You can also start your phone call reply this way, as it’s very common in Russia.

6. Смешарики (Smeshariki)—Kikoriki, 2010

Genre: Kids’ cartoon
This show is: Funny

Cute animals live, get into adventures, and build friendships in this funny animation series.

The vocabulary is simple but very diverse, like most Netflix Russian programs for kids. This is one of the best Russian Netflix shows for beginner language learners, as they’ll find a great deal of useful words here.

The vocabulary.

  • Ёжик (Yozhik) — “Yozhik”
    • That’s the name of the hedgehog hero. It was made from the word Ёж (Yozh) meaning “hedgehog” by adding the suffix -ик (-ik) that usually shows that the thing referred to is small.
  • Бараш (Barash) — “Barash”
    • That’s the name of the ram hero. The name comes from the word Баран (Baran) that actually means “ram” or “sheep.”
  • Нюша (Nyusha) — “Nyusha”
    • That’s the name of the pig hero. It’s interesting to know that нюша (nyusha) is a cute way to refer to a “pig.”
  • Что это у тебя? (Chto eto u tebya?) — “What’s that you have?”
  • Не мешайте (Ne meshayte) — “Don’t distract (me).”
    • A very often-used phrase to stop someone from interfering.
  • Это как-то само собой получилось (Eto kak-to samo soboy poluchilos’) — “It happened by itself.”
    • A nice way to remove guilt from yourself. :)
  • Я чуть не умерла от страха! (Ya chut’ ne umerla ot strakha!) — “I’ve almost died from fright!”
    • You can say this phrase after you’ve been suddenly very frightened by someone or something.
  • Ёлки-иголки! (Yolki-igolki!) — “Fir tree needles!”
    • Actually, the translation of this phrase isn’t that important. It’s an interjection which is used by some people, and can be translated as “Wow!”
  • Спасайся, кто может! (Spasaysya, kto mozhet!) — “Save yourself, everyone who can!”
    • The short version of this phrase is Спасайся! (Spasaysya!) meaning “Save yourself!” It’s used in the same situations as the English phrase.
  • Какая прелесть! (Kakaya prelest’!) — “So cute!”
    • You can say this phrase if a kid is gifting you with something cute that he made himself, or if you get an amazing and pretty gift. The phrase can also be cut to Прелесть! (Prelest’!)
  • Чего нет, того нет (Chego net, togo net) — “What I don’t have, I don’t have,” or “What there isn’t, there isn’t.”
    • This phrase gives an interesting emphasis on regret about something that you don’t have. For example, if someone asks you if you have a video camera, you can sadly shake your head and say Чего нет, того нет (Chego net, togo net).

7. Машины Сказки (Mashiny skazki)—Masha’s Tales, 2017

Genre: Kids’ cartoon
This show is: Funny

Another one of the best Russian Netflix TV shows for beginners, where the most famous Russian tales are interpreted and told by a cute little Russian girl.

The vocabulary that you learn from this series will help you to read Russian tales. Good for both beginners and advanced language learners.

The vocabulary.

  • Голубчики мои (Golubchiki moi) — “My darlings”
    • Usually, this address is used by grannies to their grandkids. It has a patronizing connotation.
  • Жили были… (Zhili byli…) — “Once upon a time there lived…”
    • The most common beginning of Russian tales.
  • Заяц (Zayats) — “Hare”
    • In Russian tales, he’s often named as Зайчик-попрыгайчик (Zaychik-poprygaychik), meaning “Hare the Jumper.”
  • Медведь (Medved’) — “Bear”
    • One of the most often-met characters in Russian tales.
  • Волк (Volk) — “Wolf”
    • Another one of the most often-met characters in Russian tales.
  • Лиса (Lisa) — “Fox”
    • Another one of the most often-met characters in Russian tales.
  • Мышка-норушка (Myshka-norushka) — “Mouse the Burrow”
    • A lot of Russian tales refer to a mouse hero by that name.
  • Лягушка-квакушка (Lyagushka-kvakushka) — “Frog the Croaker”
    • A lot of Russian tales refer to a frog hero by that name.
  • Баба-яга (Baba-yaga) — “Baba Yaga”
  • Проще простого (Proshche prostogo) — “Easier than easy.”
    • You can say this phrase when someone asks you to do a job for them, and you want to show that the job will be really easy for you—even if it’s really not. :)

8. Саранча (Sarancha)—Locust, 2014

Movie Genres

Genre: Thriller; Drama
This show is: Steamy; romantic

This is an exciting thriller and Russian Netflix drama with intense love between a rich girl and a poor guy. The language is quite simple, and there are a lot of useful modern expressions for language learners—both beginners and advanced.

The vocabulary.

  • Саранча (Sarancha) — “Locust”
    • This is a metaphorical name of the series. But we won’t spoil why it’s named that way. :)
  • Я ничего не слышу! (Ya nichego ne slyshu!) — “I don’t hear anything!”
    • Use this phrase when you really don’t hear a word that another person is saying.
  • Ладно, давай, пока (Ladno, davay, poka) — “Okay, well, bye.”
    • You might wonder why the main heroine can’t just say Пока (Poka), or “Bye.” Well, won’t it be too simple and short? :) By the way, a lot of Russians use this expression, so make sure to remember it and use it at the end of a first conversation.
  • Приятных снов (Priyatnykh snov) — “Sweet dreams.”
    • A nice way to wish goodnight.
  • Хватит на сегодня (Khvatit na segodnya) — “Enough for today.”
    • This phrase can be used in many situations. For example, to send your employees home. :)
  • За тебя! (Za tebya!) — “For you!”
    • A really short and meaningful toast when nothing else comes into your mind.
  • Иди ты! (Idi ty!) — “F*ck you.” [Literally: “Go away.”]
    • Can be used when you have nothing witty to say in reply to an insult or a joke.
  • Пока. Целую (Poka, Tseluyu) — “Bye. Kissing you.”
    • It’s a nice way to say goodbye to someone. Though it may seem to be okay only for relationship goodbyes, in Russia it’s very popular between girlfriends and family members.
  • Заткнись! (Zatknis’!) — “Shut up!”
    • Use this rude phrase when somebody is really annoying.
  • Не заводись (Ne zavodis’) — “Don’t start.”
    • This is a popular phrase to calm down a wife or a girlfriend when she’s starting to shower you with negative emotions.

9. Метод (Method)—Method, 2015

Genre: Crime drama
This show is: Emotional; suspenseful

Do you like genius maniacs with perverted minds, and even more genius detectives? Then this Russian crime drama Netflix series would be a great addition for your Russian language study process. The language is pretty simple and modern, so the series will be good for beginners.

The vocabulary.

  • Метод (Metod!) — “Method”
    • The word means pretty much the same as in English.
  • Чем занимаешься? (Chem zanimayesh’sya?) — “What are you up to? What are you doing right now?”
    • This is a famous and really common question to start a casual conversation on the phone or via Messenger.
  • Глянь! (Glyan’!) — “Have a look!”
    • You probably know the alternative word for it: Смотри! (Smotri!) meaning “Look!” Глянь! (Glyan’!) sounds more common.
  • Я не понимаю (Ya ne ponimayu) — “I don’t understand.”
    • Pretty useful phrase even when you do understand. :)
  • Маньяк (Man’yak!) — “A maniac”
    • Well, you’ll get to know a lot of maniac heroes while watching this series. :) At least, now you know what they’re called in Russian. By the way, you can say: Ну ты маньяк! (Nu ty man’yak!) or “You’re a maniac!” when somebody is overdoing something (e.g. they learned a crazy amount of foreign words). How about you? How many Russian words have you already learned? 10? 100? What??? 1000??! Ну ты маньяк! (Nu ty man’yak!)
  • Помогите! (Pomogite!) — “Help me!”
    • This is a phrase you need to cry out loud in case you face a guy we talked about earlier, Маньяк (Man’yak!) or “A maniac.” And since we’re talking about maniacs…
  • Ты меня не поймаешь (Ty menya ne poymayesh) — “You won’t catch me.”
    • That’s the nickname of the first maniac in the series.
  • Тело (Telo) — “A body.”
    • In the context of the series, this word often means a dead body.
  • Ничего страшного (Nichevo strashnovo) — “It’s fine.” [Literally “Nothing bad.”]
    • You’ll hear this phrase a lot, both in the series and in real life in Russia. People say this phrase when somebody is apologizing to them.
  • Внешность обманчива (Vneshnost’ obmanchiva) — “Looks can be deceiving.”
    • This is a popular expression in Russia. Use it to characterize a person whose appearance doesn’t match his character.

10. Мажор (Mazhor)—Silver Spoon, 2015

Genre: Thriller; Drama
This show is: Exciting; suspenseful

A rich boy that had everything since birth seems not to understand what’s right and what’s wrong anymore. After one of his drunken adventures, his father gets so pissed that he cuts all his bank cards and makes him take a job as a simple investigation officer. A rich boy has to face a simple life with its ups and downs in order to become respected among his colleagues and find himself. His witty humor and positive life attitude seem to change the life of his colleagues for the better, as well.

There’s a lot of modern jargon in this Netflix Russian series, so if you’d like to learn some juicy Russian expressions to impress your Russian friends, this series is a great choice.

The vocabulary.

  • Вали отсюда! (Vali otsyuda!) — “Be off with you!”
    • The word валить (valit’), meaning “to go,” comes from a criminal slang word, so every usage of it has this spicy feeling of something illegal. A milder version of it that you’ll hear in one of the episodes is: Иди отсюда! (Idi otsyuda!) meaning “Go away.” Also, in this series, you’ll hear the phrase Валим! (Valim!), meaning “Time to go!” which is used when people have been doing something restricted and now it’s time to go.
  • Вопросы остались? (Voprosy ostalis’?) — “Any questions left?”
    • This question can be used by someone who has just given instructions.
  • Погоны не жмут? (Pogony ne zhmut?) — “Shoulder boards are not tight?”
    • Shoulder straps in Russia usually indicate a military rank. This phrase is used when a person with shoulder boards is overusing his power (and thus risking the loss of his shoulder straps).
  • Пистолет (Pistolet) — “Gun; pistol”
    • This word will be used often in the series. Make sure to memorize it.
  • Мажор (Mazhor) — “Silver spoon”
    • This is how Russians describe a person with a lot of money. In spoken language, they call someone this if they spend a lot of money on something that’s very expensive or exclusive. In that situation, you can say, with admiration on your face, Ну ты мажор! (Nu ty mazhor!) meaning “What a silver spoon you are!”
  • Ты чего? (Ty chego?) — “Why are you behaving like that?”
    • It’s a quick way to ask what’s going on with someone who’s behaving oddly or not like they usually do.
  • Здравствуйте. А вы к кому? (Zdrastvuyte. A vy k komu?) — “Hello. Whom did you come for?”
    • This phrase is often used by secretaries or employees of companies when they see an unknown visitor.
  • Проставиться (Prostavit’sya) — “To buy drinks to celebrate.”
    • This is an interesting Russian word that doesn’t have an exact translation in English. There’s a tradition that a person who’s celebrating something should buy a round of drinks for his friends or coworkers (depending on the event). That’s what Russians call Проставиться (Prostavit’sya), or “To buy drinks to celebrate.” That way, a Russian person kind of shares his good luck or happiness with others. If you want to know more such words, go ahead and check out our article with the top ten untranslatable Russian words.
  • Не таких кололи (Ne takikh kololi) — “We’ve cracked tougher ones.”
    • This phrase is used by policemen when they’re trying to get the truth from somebody who doesn’t want to tell it. You can use the word колоться (kolot’sya), meaning “to crack,” in a popular phrase used in spoken language: Колись давай (Kolis’ davay), or “Come on, tell me.” It’s used when a person is hiding some secret and you want to know it.
  • Издеваешься? (Izdevayesh’sya?) — “Are you mocking me?”
    • This phrase can be used when someone is proposing or talking about something irritating. Another way to say it, with the same meaning: Ты издеваешься, что ли? (Ty izdevayeshsya, chto li?).

11. Conclusion

Now you have a list with the most relevant Netflix Russian series for language learners. Choose one you like and start your new exciting step in your language-learning journey!

Have you already watched any of these Russian series on Netflix? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments!

If you’ve watched one or several series and realized that you want to learn Russian more profoundly with professional tutors, 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. ;-) And Russian series on Netflix will be a great help in the learning process.

RussianPod101.com also has several other practical learning tools for the aspiring Russian learner! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study our free vocabulary lists, and chat with fellow students on our community forums!

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Russian Etiquette: 7 Do’s and Don’ts in Russia

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Did you know that it’s considered good etiquette in Russia to bring something к чаю (k chayu) or “for the tea?” That means something sweet: cake, chocolate, candies, or a sweet pastry. There are many interesting and exciting Russian customs which may not seem obvious, but definitely are to native Russians. Knowing even basic Russian etiquette for tourists can go a long way during your visit to the country!

Let’s start this exciting journey. Learn Russian etiquette with RussianPod101.com’s Russian tourist etiquette guide!

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Table of Contents

  1. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #1: Basic Russian Etiquette
  2. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #2: Russian Dining Etiquette
  3. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #3: Russian Drinking Etiquette
  4. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #4: What to Expect from a Date with a Russian Girl or Russian Guy
  5. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #5: So, You’re Going to Visit a Russian House
  6. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #6: How Russians Behave in a Public Transport
  7. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #7: Russian Business Etiquette Tips
  8. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #8: Russian Gift Giving Etiquette
  9. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Learn Russian Better

1. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #1: Basic Russian Etiquette

1- Russian Greeting Etiquette

Someone Putting Their Hand Out to Shake

1. Cheek kiss.

There’s a well-known Russian greeting tradition: the triple cheek-kiss. It’s usually common between close relatives. Sometimes, it’s shortened to two kisses.

One cheek kiss is often used by girls to greet friends, or even close female coworkers.

2. Russian handshake etiquette.

This is a usual greeting between men—regardless of how close they are—who are meeting for the first time, or for the 100th time.

Important advice! If you’re wearing gloves, make sure to take them off before a handshake. If you don’t take them off when another person has prepared to give you a handshake with his bare hands, he might think that you’re disrespecting him.

Another piece of important advice! Don’t give a handshake across a doorway. Walk inside the apartment or wait for someone to come outside, but don’t stick your hand across a threshold immediately after you see a person. This is considered very bad luck in Russia, and a lot of people will refuse to shake your hand in this situation.

For girls, a handshake works in business settings where this American tradition has become popular. But still, most girls prefer just to smile and nod instead of shaking hands.

When you leave a place where you’ve spent some time—a party, a house, or an office—make sure to shake hands as a goodbye with everyone you previously greeted with a handshake. If you leave without saying goodbye, people call this Уходить по-английски (Ukhodit’ po-angliysky) meaning “To leave as Englishmen do.” In England, people can leave without saying goodbye; but in Russia, it would be considered rude to do so. Always be mindful of this Russian meeting etiquette rule.

3. Smile and nod.

This is a basic solution for all other situations. If you feel awkward with other greetings, just stick with this one and you’ll be fine.

4. Hug.

This greeting is often used when greeting close friends, family members, or family members of close friends.

To learn greeting words and phrases, check out our article on how to say “Hello” in Russian.

2- Asking for Forgiveness

There are no specific Russian traditions or gestures for a formal apology. Just use formal Russian apology expressions and you’ll be fine.

If the situation isn’t formal or serious, look into the other person’s eyes. Note that, in Russian culture, looking down during the apology will make it look more sincere.

Learn how to say “I’m sorry” in Russian in our relevant article.

3- Gratitude

Thanks

Спасибо (spasibo) means “thank you” in Russian. You can use it in any situation, both formal and informal.

In informal situations, you can add a hug if you’re feeling extremely grateful. Men are most likely to add a handshake (yes, pretty much the same one they use in greeting).

For additional information on this topic, listen to our audio lesson on how to say “You are welcome” in Russian. By listening to this audio lesson, you can also practice using etiquette interjections.

4- Forms of Address for Different People

When you talk with an elder person or a person you don’t know, don’t use an informal way of speaking. It will be considered extremely rude. Well, of course, not if you’re addressing your own granny who happens to be Russian.

You can use an informal way of speaking only with kids or school children.

2. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #2: Russian Dining Etiquette

Hygiene

1- Paying for Food

First on our list of Russian etiquette at restaurants: paying.

If you’re visiting Russian friends for a short period of time, they’ll most likely pay for your food to show hospitality.

But normally, if you go to a restaurant with your Russian friends, you’ll notice that when it comes to payment, everyone takes a look at the bill and pays for their own food.

Splitting the bill is an option if Russians buy some food to be shared, like pizza or Japanese rolls.

2- When Should You Start Eating?

Don’t start eating your food before everyone gets to the table. According to Russian meal etiquette, this is considered rude.

Before eating, people usually wish Приятного аппетита (Priyatnogo appetita) which means “Enjoy your meal,” in Russian. This phrase is used both in formal and informal situations.

3- Going to the Toilet

It’s perfectly fine Russian table etiquette to leave the table to go to the toilet in Russia. Just say Извините, сейчас вернусь (Izvinite, seychas vernus’) which means “I’m sorry, I’ll be back soon,” and go. However, if you go more than once, it may be considered rude (or cause people to question your digestion). :-)

To learn even more about table manners in Russia, listen to our audio lesson about basic table etiquette.

3. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #3: Russian Drinking Etiquette

Friends Drinking at Lunch

1- Making a Toast

In Russia, no one should drink at the table without making a toast. It’s a famous Russian tradition that shows that they’re aware of the people around them and want to share the moment.

Usually, after making a toast, people clink glasses. Then, everyone drinks.

2- Pouring

There’s a tradition that a man should pour alcohol for the women sitting next to him. This is especially relevant during big occasions such as weddings or funerals, so that women won’t spoil their pretty dresses with a clumsy glass refill.

3- Don’t Put Empty Bottles on the Table

Russia is full of traditions and superstitions, especially about alcohol. One of the famous ones is that keeping empty bottles on the table is considered bad luck, and is thought to make you poor. That’s why, as soon as the bottle gets empty, it should be passed to the waiter, removed to the trash bin, or at least put under the table to be thrown away later.

4. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #4: What to Expect from a Date with a Russian Girl or Russian Guy

Couple at Dinner

In this section, we’ll go over the basic Russian social etiquette that’s expected when dating a Russian. Let’s get started.

1- Dating a Russian Woman Etiquette

1. Bringing Flowers

Bringing flowers on a date with a girl—even on a first date—has become popular in Russian etiquette and customs for dates. It shows that the guy has romantic feelings toward the girl. If you follow this dating tradition, you’ll score a couple of points already, at the beginning of the date.

But make sure that:

  • You don’t bring an even number of flowers. This is REALLY important. Russians bring an even number of flowers only to funerals or when they visit a tomb.
  • Gifting carnations is also associated with funerals—Soviet ones. If you happen to be in Russia on a Victory Day (9th of May) you’ll see a lot of carnations that commemorate war heroes.
  • Don’t gift yellow roses. According to Russian superstition, yellow roses will bring a couple apart.

2. Russian Girls on the Date

Russian girls are famous for being really girly. They put on makeup and dress up even when going out to the supermarket or to throw away the garbage. One of the things that makes them more “girly” are high heels.

Sometimes it’s inconvenient to wear high heels all the time. So they just bring them along to wear when they arrive at the place (the cinema, theatre, or party, for instance).

3. Being a Gentleman

If you go out on a date with a Russian girl, behave like a gentleman. Open the doors for her, let her sit on public transport if there’s only one free seat left, and pay for her food in a restaurant.

Russian girls believe that they spend a lot of money and time to stay pretty—makeup, nails, eyelashes, eyebrows, clothes, etc., so it’s only natural that the guys pay for them on the date.

2- Dating a Russian Man Etiquette

If you want to date a Russian guy, then you should be aware of things that Russian men expect from their dates:

1. Act Like a Lady

While Russian guys, since childhood, are expected to act like gentlemen around girls, Russian girls are expected to accept that. Don’t fight for your life if a guy wants to pay for you on a date. You can take out your purse to show that you’re ready to pay, and if a guy offers to pay for you, just accept that; put your purse back in your pouch and warmly thank him.

2. Be Ready for High Expectations

While women and men in Russia have equal rights, relationships are still built with a specific division of responsibilities.

In a dating phase, women are expected to show good knowledge of doing simple house chores. Girls should clean a messy place of her beloved one and cook some food. In exchange, men will be paying for her when going out.

Of course, this isn’t set in stone, and you can always negotiate your responsibilities. But just know that your boyfriend’s mother is probably very traditional, and she’ll accept you only if you show that you’re good at performing household duties.

5. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #5: So, You’re Going to Visit a Russian House

Bad Phrases

Now, for some Russian guest etiquette so that you can be a great visitor in a friend’s home.

1- Take Your Shoes Off

Once you enter a Russian house, take your shoes off unless you’re told not to. Many Russian houses are decorated with big rugs that are difficult to clean. You may be offered to wear slippers instead.

2- Don’t Show up Empty-handed

It’s considered rude not to bring something along when you come as a guest to a Russian house. A perfect gift is something sweet like a cake, candies, chocolate, pastry, etc., that can be eaten during a tea-time. There’s even a special expression—Что-нибудь к чаю (Chto-nibud’ k chayu) meaning “something for tea”—that you’ll probably hear as an answer if you ask Что купить? (Chto kupit’?) or “What should I buy?”

3- Don’t Whistle Indoors

Russians are very superstitious. Whistling indoors means that you’ll become poor. So, as in many European countries, whistling indoors is considered unacceptable.

4- Offer to Help Clean Dishes After the Meal

This is a really nice thing to do to get extra points for being a good guest in Russia, as it is in many other countries. A Russian hostess would probably refuse your help, but she will for sure remember how considerate you were and will gladly invite you the next time.

It’s especially beneficial if you’re visiting your future parents-in-law. ;-)

5- Russian Food Etiquette

Russian people are extremely hospitable. They’ll feed and feed you until you feel like you’ll blow up from inside from food. It’s considered rude to refuse food when the hostess offers you something.

But there’s a small secret about how to avoid being overfed. When you feel that you’re almost full, leave a small portion of food on your plate to show the hostess that you’re full. It shouldn’t be too much, or the hostess will think that you didn’t like the food, but it shouldn’t be extremely small, or you’ll be offered some more food. About 1/8 of a plateful is fine.

And don’t forget that drinking tea with a cake or sweets is a must after the main course. Leave some free room in your stomach for that.

6. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #6: How Russians Behave in a Public Transport

1- Offering a Seat

There’s an etiquette rule that Russians teach their kids from childhood. You should offer your seat to elder people, pregnant women, women with a child up to seven years old, and disabled people.

There’s a nuance in offering a seat to older people. Do it only when you see that they’re bringing really heavy bags or when it’s hard for them to walk (e.g. they’re really old or bring along a crutch). If you offer a seat to a perfectly normal woman, she might think that she looks too old and even get angry. :-)

If you’re a guy, offer your seat to a girl. This is considered to be a gentlemanly behavior.

2- Pushing in a Crowd and Public Lines

If you get to the Moscow underground, you’ll see that there are no lines to enter a train. People will push to get inside and catch a better spot for a ride.

If you feel uncomfortable around crowds, wait until people get onto the train before getting on the train yourself.

Also, try to avoid rush hour. Usually, people go to work at 8-9 a.m. and go back at 6-7 p.m.

3- Staring at Women

In Russia, it’s rude to stare at people you don’t know. In some countries it’s considered normal to stare at women who walk by themselves, but in Russia, a girl who’s being stared at will feel offended and disrespected.

Of course, quick looks are okay, so don’t walk around trying not to meet some girl’s eyes by accident. :-)

7. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #7: Russian Business Etiquette Tips

People Shaking Hands in a Meeting Room

1- Business and Alcohol

Business

Russian business etiquette is closely connected with alcohol traditions. Russians tend to have greater trust in those with whom they’ve gotten drunk. In a drunken condition, people loosen up and say what they really think. And Russians use this.

Another tradition is to celebrate a sealed business deal with alcohol. Very often, Russians go to баня (banya) or a “banya; Russian sauna” for that. This may look weird to foreigners, but it’s one of the famous Russian etiquette business traditions that you should just accept.

2- Don’t Keep Your Hands in Your Pockets

This is another etiquette point that Russians teach their kids: not keeping hands in pockets during official events. Doing so shows disrespect to the person you’re speaking with.

This is due to psychological logic that comes from old times. When people show their empty hands, it’s considered a gesture of peace; when you keep your hands in your pockets, it indicates that you might be ready to use a weapon.

3- Don’t Spread Your Legs Wide Apart

This is an important Russian office etiquette rule. This posture is popular among men as it allows them to occupy more space and thus show their dominance. But in Russia, it’s also considered a sign of a man with bad etiquette. Showing dominance that way is considered vulgar.

Instead, keep your legs together, or at a natural distance.

If you’re interested in finding a job in Russia, here’s our useful article for you on that very topic.

8. Do’s and Don’ts in Russia #8: Russian Gift Giving Etiquette

1- Gift Superstitions

There are famous superstitions that have naturally converted into Russian gift etiquette:

1. Don’t gift an empty wallet. In Russia, giving an empty wallet as a present is like wishing financial hardships to that person. Just put some cash inside to make it a great gift.

2. Don’t give a knife as a gift. Giving a knife as a present is believed to cause the breakup of a relationship. Just give them money to buy a knife with to avoid that.

3. Pay for a pet. When Russians receive a cat or a dog, they need to pay some money even though the pet is a present. Russians believe that if they do, the animal will grow up happy and healthy.

2- First Refusing the Gift and Then Accepting it

Russians tend to refuse any gift that you try to give them. They can say Что ты, это слишком дорого (Chto ty, eto slishkom dorogo) meaning “No-no, it’s too expensive,” or Нет, спасибо, тебе не стоило (Net, spasibo, tebe ne stoilo) meaning “No, thank you, you didn’t need to.”

Just insist on giving them the gift. You’ll get a gush of gratitude.

3- Gifts to Women

If you want to give a gift to a woman on her birthday or another important date, bring along a flower or a flower bouquet. It’s an etiquette tradition that’s followed both in the business world and in personal life.

Some women may not even like flowers that much, but they still gladly accept them as it’s a tradition.

9. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Learn Russian Better

So, now you know the most common Russian traditions and etiquette. Of course, if you don’t follow them, people will understand. But you’ll be much more welcomed and appreciated if you’re aware of Russian etiquette and follow it as much as you can.

Did you learn anything new in our Russian etiquette guide? Are there similar etiquette rules in your own country? Or is etiquette very different? Let us know in the comments!

Once you’ve learned Russian etiquette, it would be a great help to learn basic Russian vocabulary to be polite around Russians. Our teachers will gladly help you with that. 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 - Beginner Vocabulary in Russian

Five Tips To Avoid Common Mistakes

The Focus of This Lesson is Tips to Help Russian Students Overcome Common Errors

Tip 1: Learn Your Cases

    • There are no cases in English. That means that nouns and adjectives always stay the same no matter what their function and position in the sentence is. It’s different in Russian. The endings of nouns and adjectives change depending on their function.
      • Of course, it’s possible for a native speaker to understand someone who speaks like this but…
        • It can be irritating because you are slaughtering their language
        • It can be totally confusing!

          Tip 2: Watch Your Word Stress!

            • Like in English, word stress is extremely important. In Russian, you don’t say all the syllables of the word with the same strength, but accentuate one syllable.
              • If you don’t stress the right syllable, it can lead to confusion, and native speakers will have difficulty understanding you.
                • Unfortunately, unlike in Italian or French, there are no rules to help you stress a word correctly. It’s just something you have to learn for each word.

                  Tip 3: Don’t Repeat the Verb in the Question

                    • In Russian, you use a different verb ending for “I” and “you” in the present. It is very common for English speakers to forget about it, as in English the verb doesn’t change. Also, they hear the ending -ешь in the question and tend to reply using ешь.

                      Tip 4: Watch Your Gender

                        • In Russian, the ending of the verb in the past tense changes depending on the gender and the plurality.
                        • If the subject is я or ты, use the ending -л if the pronoun refers to a man, and -ла if it refers to a woman.

                          Tip 5: Don’t Try to Translate “It”

                            • In Russian, the pronoun “it” doesn’t exist. We replace “it” with “he” or “she,” depending on their gender. That means, for example, that when you speak, you have to remember that книга (“a book”) is feminine, and that you should refer to it as она (“she”).


                              Introduction to Russian and Top 5 Reasons to Study

                              This Lesson Focuses on the history of the Russian languages and the top 5 reasons to study!

                              • Russia is the largest country in the world with a population of over 140 million people. It spans eleven time zones and contains the largest forest reserves in the
                                world as well as a quarter of the earth’s fresh water within its lakes.
                              • The Russianlanguage has recieved numerous influences throughout history, including influences from Polish, German, and even Slavic.
                              • A lot of academic and intellectual vocabulary was used from languages such as Dutch, French, German, and even Latin. So by learning Russian, you get a sense
                                of history, and the better you know it, the more familiarities you’ll pick up from other languages too.

                              Other than the amazing history of the Russian language and its huge geographical size we have composed a list of the top 5 reasons you should study Russian!

                              • Romance: Lots of people learn Russian because they either have or want a Russian partner.
                              • Business: Since the former Soviet Union opened its borders to foreigners, many businessmen travel to Russia and particularly the Ukraine.
                              • Travel and tourism: Russia has always attracted tourists by its historical past and culture. Russian theatre, and in particular, ballet, are famous all over the world.
                              • “Exotic”: Even though it’s considered challenging because it has a different alphabet, the Russian writing system makes it perhaps easier to learn than some other languages such as Arabic and Japanese.
                              • Extremely popular: According to estimations, between 144 and 160 million people speak Russian as their first language. It’s the eighth most spoken language in the world, before Japanese, German, French, and Italian. Still, people speak Russian natively in all former Soviet republics, some of which are part of the EU now such as Latvia. In Eastern Ukraine, for example, people speak Russian rather than Ukrainian.

                              Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From RussianPod101.com!

                              Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from everyone here at RussianPod101.com! We’re grateful to have listeners just like you, and we’re eagerly waiting for the upcoming year to learn Russian together!

                              And when the New Year comes around, be sure to make a resolution to study Russian with RussianPod101.com!

                              Have a healthy and happy holiday season.

                              From the RussianPod101.com Team!