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Archive for the 'Russian Culture' Category

Russian Family: Guide on Talking about Relatives in Russian

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

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

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

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

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

Table of Contents

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

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1. Family in Russia: Russian Family Culture

Russian Family Dinner

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

1- Age of Marriage

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

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

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

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

2- Children

Russian Kid

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

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

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

3- Elders

Russian Grandparents

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

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

4- The Most Popular Russian Family Names

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

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

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

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


2. Family Members

Family Words

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

1- Mother

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2- Father

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

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

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

3- Sister

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

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

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

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

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

4- Brother

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5- Grandmother

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

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

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

6- Grandfather

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

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

7- Wife

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

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

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

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

  • Спутница жизни
    Sputnica zhizni
    “Life companion”

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

  • Боевая подруга
    Boyevaya podruga
    “Combat friend”

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

8- Husband

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

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

9- Daughter

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

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

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

10- Son

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

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

11- Uncle and Aunt

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

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

12- Cousin

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

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

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

13- Niece and Nephew

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

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

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

14- Grandchildren

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

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


3. How to Talk about the Family

Parent Phrases

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

  • Родители (Roditeli) meaning “Parents.”

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

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

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

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

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

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


4. Top Four Quotes and Famous Phrases about Family

Family Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


4. Exercise

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

Okay, here’s the example:

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

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

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

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

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


5. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

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

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

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

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

How To Post In Perfect Russian on Social Media

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

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

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

1. Talking about Your Restaurant Visit in Russian

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

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

POST

Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

1- Ужин (Uzhin)

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

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

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

COMMENTS

In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

2- Выглядит аппетитно. (Vyglyadit appetitno.)

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

3- Это вы где? (Eto vy gde?)

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

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

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

VOCABULARY

Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    2. Post about Your Mall Visit in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

    1- Лучший допинг - (Luchshiy doping - )

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

    2- это шоппинг (eto shopping)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

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

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

    3- Что купили? (Chto kupili?)

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

    3. Talking about a Sport Day in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- Мы (My)

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

    2- победим (pobedim)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Удачи! (Udachi!)

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

    2- Какой счёт? (Kakoy shchyot?)

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    4. Share a Song on Social Media in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Рекомендую! (Rekomenduyu!)
    “My recommendation!”

    1- Рекомендую! (Rekomenduyu!)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Классная песня! (Klassnaya pesnya!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    5. Russian Social Media Comments about a Concert

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- Яркое событие (Yarkoye sobytiye)

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

    2- в моей жизни (v moyey zhizni)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

    6. Talking about an Unfortunate Accident in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

    1- Телефон (Telefon)

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

    2- сломался (slomalsya)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    7. Chat about Your Boredom on Social Media in Russian

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

    Pasha gets bored at home, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

    Скучно… (Skuchno…)
    “Bored…”

    1- Скучно… (Skuchno…)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- По пивку? (Po pivku?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    8. Exhausted? Share It on Social Media in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

    Устала… (Ustala…)
    “Tired…”

    1- Устала (Ustala)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Береги себя. (Beregi sebya.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    9. Talking about an Injury in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- Растянул (rastyanul)

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

    2- лодыжку (loduzhku)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Боевая травма? (Boyevaya travma?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    10. Starting a Conversation Feeling Disappointed in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

    1- Погода (Pogoda)

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

    2- ужасная (uzhasnaya)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Надоел дождь. (Nadoyel dozhd’.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    11. Talking about Your Relationship Status in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- Твоя любовь (Tvoya lyubov`)

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

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

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

    2- Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!)

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

    3- Ура! (Ura!)

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    12. Post about Getting Married in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

    1- Самое счастливое событие (Samoye shchastlivoye sobytiye)

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

    2- в моей жизни (v moyey zhizni)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    13. Announcing Big News in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- На следующей неделе (Na sleduyushchey nedele)

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

    2- стану отцом (stanu otsom)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    14. Posting Russian Comments about Your Baby

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

    1- Наше (Nashe)

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

    2- маленькое чудо (malen`koye chudo)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Вылитый папа. (Vylityy papa.)

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

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

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

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

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

    4- Как назвали? (Kak nazvali?)

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    15. Russian Comments about a Family Reunion

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- Вся семья (Vsya sem`ya)

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

    2- в сборе (v sbore)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Как родители? (Kak roditeli?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

    16. Post about Your Travel Plans in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

    1- Наконец-то (nakonets-ta)

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

    2- отпуск (otpusk)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Счастливого пути! (Schastlivogo puti!)

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

    2- Хорошего отдыха! (Khoroshego otdykha!)

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

    3- Куда летите? (Kuda letite?)

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

    4- Когда вернётесь? (Kogda vernyotes’?)

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

    Hopefully the rest of the trip is better!

    17. Posting about an Interesting Find in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- Решили попробовать (Reshii poprobovat`)

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

    2- знаменитый дуриан (znamenityy durian)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- И как? (I kak?)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    18. Post about a Sightseeing Trip in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

    1- Статуя (statuya)

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

    2- Великого Будды (Velikogo Buddy)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Очень впечатляет! (Ochen’ vpechatlyayet!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    19. Post about Relaxing Somewhere in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- Рай (ray)

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

    2- на земле (na zemle)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Больше фоток! (Bol’she fotok!)

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

    2- Потрясающе! (Potryasayushche!)

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

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

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

    4- Красотища! (Krasotishcha!)

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

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

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

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

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Как отдохнули? (Kak otdokhnuli?)

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

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

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

    3- С возвращением! (S vozvrashcheniyem!)

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

    4- Как долетели? (Kak doleteli?)

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    21. It’s Time to Celebrate in Russian

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

    Pasha posts a postcard, and leaves this comment:

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- Христос Воскресе! (Khristos Voskrese!)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

    1- Воистину Воскресе! (Voistinu Voskrese!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    22. Posting about a Birthday on Social Media in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

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

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    4- Поздравляю! (Pozdravlyayu!)

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

    23. Talking about New Year on Social Media in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- С новым годом! (S novym godom)

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

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

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    24. What to Post on Christmas Day in Russian

    What will you say in Russian about Christmas?

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Marina’s post.

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

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

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Marina’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

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

    25. Post about Your Anniversary in Russian

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

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

    POST

    Let’s break down Pasha’s post.

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

    1- Годовщина (Godovshchina)

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

    2- свадьбы ( svad’by)

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

    COMMENTS

    In response, Pasha’s friends leave some comments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    VOCABULARY

    Find below the key vocabulary for this lesson:

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

    Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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    1. Body Language for Apology

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

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

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

    Child Kneeling


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

    3 Ways to Say Sorry

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

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

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

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


    3. Formal Apologies

    Woman Refusing a Handshake

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

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

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

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

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


    4. Informal Apologies

    Woman Apologizing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    5. Peculiar Apologies

    Say Sorry

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

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


    6. How to Reply to an Apology in Russian

    1- General Answers

    People Shaking Hands

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

    2- Informal Answers

    Child Leaning on a Shoulder

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


    7. Conclusion

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

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

    Увидимся! (Uvidimsya!)—“See you!”

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    Celebrate Teachers’ Day in Russia

    Celebrate Teachers' Day in Russia

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

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

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

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

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

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    1. What is Teachers’ Day in Russia?

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

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

    2. When is Teachers’ Day?

    October 7 is Teacher’s Day

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

    3. Teachers’ Day Celebrations & Traditions

    Chocolate

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

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

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

    4. Original Date of Teachers’ Day

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

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

    5. Essential World Teachers’ Day Russian Vocabulary

    Teacher in Front of Blackboard

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

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

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

    How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

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

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

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

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

    Best wishes, and Happy Teacher’s Day!

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    Holiday for John the Baptist: Ivan Kupala Day in Russia

    One of the most ancient and important Slavic holidays in Russia is the holiday of Ivan Kupala, celebrated since the twelfth century. Essentially, this day is held in commemoration of St. John the Baptist, though Russians also celebrate through more pagan events.

    In learning about the Ivan Kupala Day holiday in Russia, you’re opening yourself up to some unique facets of Russian culture. And as any successful language-learner can tell you, knowing a country’s culture is vital in mastering its language.

    At RussianPod101.com, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative! So let’s get started and delve into Ivan Kupala Night, and the following Ivan Kupala Day, in Russia!

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    1. What is Ivan Kupala’s Day?

    In ancient times, people observed the holiday of Ivan Kupala on the day of the summer solstice (June 20-22). Once Russia adopted Christianity, people linked the celebration to John the Baptist’s birthday on June 24 (old style) or July 7 (new style).

    Nobody really knows where the holiday got its name. Some connect it to the Pagan god Kupala, while others say it comes from the Slavic version of St. John the Baptist’s name.

    2. When is Ivan Kupala Day?

    Ivan Kupala's Day is in July

    Each year, Ivan Kupala’s Day is celebrated on July 7 in Russia, beginning on the evening of July 6.

    3. Reading Practice: How is Ivan Kupala Day Celebrated?

    How do the Russians celebrate Kupala Night and Ivan Kupala Day? Read the Russian text below to learn about Ivan Kupala festival traditions, old and current. You can find the English translation directly below it.

    Русский народ ассоциирует три главных символа с Днем Ивана Купалы- - огонь, вода и трава. Таким образом, многие традиции и верования относительно этого праздника имеют отношение к этим трем вещам.

    Одной из таких традиций является традиция костра. Русский народ будет строить большой костер и прыгать через него, так как это, как полагают, лечебные силы в эту ночь. Кроме того, в старые времена люди сжигали одежду больных людей в надежде, что они выздоровеют быстрее. Для того, чтобы это сработало, люди думали, что огонь должен быть сделан путем потирания вместе сухих палочек.

    В День Ивана Купалы девицы плели венки из цветов с поля и отпускали их вечером, чтобы поплавать на озере или поверхности реки. Затем они наблюдали венок. Если венок застрял вдоль берега, его владелец не женится в этом году; если он скорее затонул, это считалось плохим предзнаменованием. Чем дальше венок плыл с берега, и чем дольше он фактически оставался на плаву, тем счастливее судьба девицы в конечном итоге.

    Еще одно интересное убеждение, связанное с этим праздником в древние времена? Люди верили, что накануне Ивана Купалы оживают деревья и растения, разговариваются друг с другом и даже перемещаются по лесу.

    The Russian people associate three main symbols with Ivan Kupala Day: fire, water, and grass. Thus, many traditions and beliefs regarding this holiday have to do with these three things.

    One such tradition is that of the bonfire. The Russian people will build a large bonfire and jump over it, as this is thought to have curative powers on this night. Further, in the old times, people burned the clothing of sick people in hopes that they would recover faster. In order for this to work, people thought that the fire must be made by rubbing together dry sticks.

    On Ivan Kupala Day, maidens wove wreaths made of flowers from a field, and let them go in the evening to float on a lake or river’s surface. They then observed the wreath. If the wreath got stuck along the shore, its owner would not get married that year; if it rather sunk, this was considered a bad omen. The further the wreath floated from the shore, and the longer it actually stayed afloat, the happier the maiden girl’s fate would end up being.

    Another interesting belief associated with this holiday in ancient times? People believed that on the eve of Ivan Kupala, trees and plants came to life, talked with each other, and even moved around the forest.

    4. The Symbolic Plant of Ivan Kupala’s Day

    Jumping Over a Bonfire

    Do you know which plant is the symbol of Ivan Kupala Day?

    Since ancient times, the symbol of Ivan Kupala Day is the fern. There’s a legend associated with fern flower, which blooms only one time during the year: Ivan Kupala Night. Whoever finds this fern flower will be gifted with many useful and interesting abilities:

    • Understanding bird and animal language
    • Seeing into the future
    • Becoming invisible
    • Finding buried treasure easily

    Who wouldn’t want at least one of these abilities?!

    5. Vocabulary You Should Know for Ivan Kupala Day

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

    • Вода (voda) — “water”
    • Июль (iyul‘) — “July”
    • Плавание (plavaniye) — “swimming”
    • Растение (rasteniye) — “plant”
    • Огонь (agon`) — “fire”
    • Папоротник (paporotnik) — “fern”
    • День Ивана Купалы (Den’ Ivana Kupaly) — “Ivan Kupala’s Day”
    • Гадание (gadaniye) — “divination”
    • плетение венков (pleteniye venkof) — “weave wreaths
    • командная игра (kamandnaya igra) — “team game”
    • прыгать через костёр (prygat’ cheres kastyor) — “jump over the bonfire”
    • 7 июля (7 iyulya) — “July 7th”
    • Иоан Креститель (Ioan Krestitel’) — “John the Baptist”
    • Костер (kastyor) — “bonfire”

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Ivan Kupala’s Day vocabulary list.

    Conclusion

    What do you think of the Kupala Night Russia observes each year? Which of the beliefs associated with it do you find most interesting? Let us know in the comments!

    To continue learning about Russian culture and the language, keep exploring RussianPod101.com! We provide fun and practical learning tools for every learner, including free Russian vocabulary lists and more insightful blog posts like this one! We also have an online forum where you can talk with fellow Russian learners or reach out for help!

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    How to Celebrate the Day of the Russian Language

    UN Russian Language Day

    Russian Language Day, established in 2010, is a holiday in United Nations dedicated to honoring Russian literature. In particular, people commemorate the work and life of the famous (and often controversial) writer Alexander Pushkin. In fact, this day used to be named after Pushkin!

    In learning about UN Russian Language Day, you’re allowing yourself a glimpse into Russian culture, particularly that which revolves around the famous Russian writers and Russian literature. Any successful language-learner will tell you that comprehension of a country’s culture is a vital tool in mastering the language.

    And at RussianPod101.com, we hope to make your Russian-learning journey both fun and informative!

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    1. What is Day of the Russian Language?

    A relatively new holiday, established in 2010, the Day of the Russian Language is a holiday in the United Nations to celebrate the evolution of literature in Russia. Moreover, this holiday commemorates the work and life of Alexander Pushkin, who’s birthday coincides with Russian Language Day.

    To learn more about Alexander Pushkin, read the Russian text below and find the English translation directly below it.

    Александр Сергеевич Пушкин – великий русский поэт и писатель, признанный гений эпохи романтизма. Пушкин считается создателем новой русской литературы и основателем норм современного русского языка. Его творчество оказало большое влияние на развитие языка и культуры в России.

    Пушкин родился 6 июня 1799 года в Москве в аристократической семье. Своей экзотической внешностью он обязан прадеду по материнской линии – Абраму Ганнибалу, уроженцу Эфиопии.

    Воспитывался Пушкин частными учителями, обладал прекрасным знанием французского языка и литературы XVIII века. В 12 лет он поступил в лицей, где серьёзно занялся поэзией, и уже в 15 лет опубликовал своё первое стихотворение. Уже в лицее, а также впоследствии, Пушкин был членом различных литературных обществ, был связан тесными узами с “бунтарями” – декабристами, а в 1824 году был отправлен в двухлетнюю ссылку за атеистические идеи.

    В 1831 году Пушкин обвенчался с восемнадцатилетней московской красавицей Натальей Гончаровой и переселился в Петербург.

    Творческое наследие Пушкина огромно и состоит из произведений различных жанров, форм, стилей и тематик. В основном – это поэзия. Именно в стихах Пушкин отразил свои настроения, мысли, переживания, творческие порывы и поиски. Смелые вольнодумные стихи сменялись разочарованиями и потерей идеалов, вплоть до депрессивности.

    В 1837 году, защищая честь своей жены, Пушкин вызвал на дуэль её предполагаемого любовника, поручика Дантеса. Пушкин получил смертельное ранение в живот

    и десятого февраля скончался. Жизнь поэта трагически оборвалась, а творчество его осталось. Благодаря Пушкину, русская литература была признана одной из величайших литератур мира. Язык Пушкина прост и понятен, но в этой простоте и ясности заключается удивительная глубина мысли и великой мудрости.

    Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin was a great Russian poet and writer, and a recognized genius of the Romantic era. Pushkin is considered to be the creator of a new Russian literature and founder of the norms of the modern Russian language. His works had big influence on the development of the language and culture in Russia.

    Pushkin was born on June 6, 1799, in Moscow to an aristocratic family. He owed his exotic looks to his great-grandfather on his mother’s side—Ethiopian-born Abram Gannibal.

    Pushkin was educated by private teachers, receiving excellent knowledge of the French language and eighteenth-century literature. At twelve years old, he entered a lyceum (or academy) where he seriously dedicated himself to poetry, and at age fifteen, he had already published his first poem. While in lyceum and after it, Pushkin was a member of different literature societies and was tightly tied with “the rebels”—Decemberists, and was sentenced to a two-year exile for his atheist ideas in 1824.

    In 1831, Pushkin married an eighteen-year-old Moscow beauty, Natalia Goncharova, and relocated to St. Petersburg.

    Pushkin’s literary legacy is huge and consists of works of different genres, forms, styles, and themes. Mostly it’s poetry. It’s poetry where Pushkin reflected his moods, thoughts, worries, creative urges, and searches. Bold, freethinking poems alternated with disappointments and the loss of ideals up to depressiveness in his writings.

    In 1937, defending the honor of his wife, Pushkin challenged for a duel with her alleged lover, Lieutenant Dantes. On February 10, Pushkin died of a lethal wound into his stomach.

    The poet’s life ended tragically, but his works remain alive. Owing to Pushkin, Russian literature was recognized as one of the greatest in the world. Pushkin’s language is simple and easy to understand, but this simplicity and clarity contains amazing depth of thought and great wisdom.

    2. When is Russian Language Day?

    Russian Books of Literature

    Russians celebrate Day of the Russian Language each year on June 6, the date of Alexander Pushkin’s birth.

    3. How to Celebrate Russian Language Day

    Woman Reading Poetry

    There are no concrete celebrations or traditions for Day of the Russian Language, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find any ways to celebrate. Why not start by reading some of Pushkin’s work to discover for yourself his style and great mind? Not only can you discover the inner world of one of the great Russian writers, but you can increase your knowledge of Russian culture and improve your reading skills.

    While you’re at it, there’s plenty of impressive and meaningful Russian literature out there for you to check out! In reading Russian literature classics, you may just discover something that intrigues you by famous Russian writers!

    4. Pushkin’s Greatest Works

    I don’t know about you, but I find great joy in literary language, and this is something Alexander Pushkin was known for.

    One of the most loved masterpieces is his novel in verse “Eugene Onegin.” Other big Alexander Pushkin poems, such as “Prisoner of the Caucasus,” “The Gypsies,” “The Misery Knight,” “Boris Godunov,” and “Ruslan and Lyudmila” take special places in literature.

    Pushkin’s prose is represented by such remarkable works as “Peter the Great’s Negro,” “The Tales of the Late Iven Petrovich Belkin,” “Dubrovsky,” “The Queen of Spades,” and “The Captain’s Daughter.”

    5. Useful Vocabulary for Day of the Russian Language

    Handwritten Page

    Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Day of the Russian language!

    • Концерт (kantsert) — “concert
    • Александр Пушкин (Aleksandr Pushkin) — “Alexander Pushkin”
    • Организация Объединённых Наций (Organizatsiya Ob”edinyonnykh Natsiy) — “United Nations”
    • Генеральная Ассамблея ООН (General’naya Assambleya OON) — “United Nations General Assembly”
    • Писатель (pisatel’) — “writer”
    • русская литература (russkaya literatura) — “Russian literature”
    • литературный язык (literaturnyi yazyk) — “literary language”
    • читать стихи (chitat’ stihi) — “read poetry”
    • постсоветское пространство (postsavetskaye prastranstvo) — “post-Soviet states”
    • славянская народная музыка (slavyanskaya narodnaya muzyka) — “slavic folk music”
    • русская культура (russkaya kul’tura) — “Russian culture”
    • Выставка (vystavka) — “exhibition”
    • Мероприятиe (merapriyatiye) — “activity”

    To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Day of the Russian Language vocabulary list. Here, each word is accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    What are your thoughts on Russia’s Language Day and Alexander Pushkin? Does your country observe a special language day, too? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn more about the culture in Russia and the Russian language, visit us at RussianPod101.com! We aim to make the Russian learning experience both fun and informative, and we offer an array of practical learning tools for every student. This includes free Russian vocabulary lists, more insightful blog posts like this one, and an online community forum. By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin taking advantage of our MyTeacher service, which allows you to learn Russian one-on-one with your own personal teacher.

    We hope that you enjoyed learning about Day of the Russian Language with us, and that you’ll keep coming back for more information on everything Russian! Know that your hard work will pay off, and RussianPod101.com will be here for every step of your language-learning journey!

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    Top 10 Russian Movies: With Links and Quotes

    Without knowing and recognizing quotes from the best Russian movies, you’ll probably get lost because Russians do use a lot of them. Like A LOT OF THEM. Especially the ones from Soviet movies. As you probably know, the USSR was a really closed country, so the only movies that Russian people got were basically Russian. And they were really good and kind, and contained strong ideas about love, friendship, courage, truth, and loyalty. So, Soviet people rewatched them millions of times and learned all the lines by heart.

    Of course, nowadays Soviet movies aren’t that well-known, but quotes organically grew into the Russian language, so it’ll be really useful for language learners to watch them. Of course, not only useful but exciting too. You’ll find that watching movies in Russian will really bring your language skills to the next level! Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in Russian.

    Ways to improve pronunciation

    Table of Contents

    1. How to Learn Russian Using Movies
    2. The Best USSR Movies
    3. The Best Russian Movies
    4. Where to Watch
    5. Conclusion

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    1. How to Learn Russian Using Movies

    Movie genres

    Learning Russian might become a bit challenging and exhausting, considering how complicated the language is. To get some rest from digging into new grammar and memorizing new words, watch Russian movies—that’s a great solution. They’ll keep you entertained while you practice your listening skills and try to catch familiar words as they’re said. Here are some tips to boost your learning process.

    1. Write down unknown words with their translations, especially if you understand that the word is used often in the Russian film. The first 3-4 times, you’ll Google the translation every time—and write it down, we hope. The next 2-3 times, you’ll think that the word sounds familiar, and still Google it. Don’t hesitate to write it down again. Only after that, this word will get into your memory and stay there long-term.
    2. Practice speaking skills by pausing the movie and repeating the sentence. Try to follow the accent, gestures, and speed. Replay it to check yourself.
    3. Don’t get too scrupulous and try to translate everything one-hundred percent; try to get the main idea. Though you should translate any jokes with details, as this will help you feel the language better.
    4. If you’re a beginner, start with English subtitles but switch to Russian ones as soon as you feel confident enough. If you’re an intermediate learner or higher, start with Russian subtitles right away. Yes, it will be hard, but much more effective.

    Here are the most common Russian vocabulary that you may find in the movies.

    Top verbs


    2. The Best USSR Movies

    The best films to learn Russian would be USSR movies. We have chosen the most popular ones that got a lot of international awards and are well-known by every Russian.

    1- Иван Васильевич меняет профессию (Ivan Vasil`evich menyaet professiyu) — “Ivan Vasil`yevich Changes Professions”

    Ivan changes professions poster

    What about: Engineer-inventor Timofeev creates a time-machine that leads to the XVI century right from his flat. Moreover, the door between times is in the palace of a real Russian tsar Ivan Groznyy. Everything goes wrong when the tsar gets into the modern world and Timofeev`s neighbor Ivan Bunsha walks into the palace. Due to a weird coincidence, the tsar and Ivan look almost the same…

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Замуровали… замуровали, демоны. (Zamurovali… zamurovali, demony.)

    Vocabulary:

    • Замуровать (zamurovat`)—“immure”
    • Демон (demon)—“demon”

    Where to use: When you suddenly get stuck in some closed space and wanna lighten the mood of other people who may be with you.

    Answer:

    “Immured… Immured. Demons!”

    2- Операция “Ы” и другие приключения Шурика (Operatsyya “Y” i drugie priklyucheniya Shurika) — “Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures”

    Operation Y poster

    What about: The film covers three stories about a young guy Shurik who gets into incredible situations—fights with hooligan Verzila, preparation for the university exam, and preventing a real robbery.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Ну, граждане алкоголики, хулиганы, тунеядцы… Кто хочет сегодня поработать? А?! (Nu, grazhdane alkogoliki, khuligany, tuneyadtsy… Kto khochet segodnya porabotat`? A?!)

    Vocabulary:

    • Гражданин (grazhdanin)—“citizen”
    • Алкоголик (alkogolik)—“alcoholic”
    • Хулиган (khuligan)—“hooligan”
    • Тунеядец (tuneyadets)—“useless mouth; lazy fellow; parasite”
    • Кто (kto)—“who”
    • Хотеть (khotet`)—“to want”
    • Сегодня (segodnya)—“today”
    • Поработать (porabotat`)—“to work a bit”

    Where to use: A bossy and fun way to start a working day with your team.

    Answer:

    “Well, dear alcoholics, hooligans, parasites… Who wants to work today?”

    3- Бриллиантовая рука (Brilliantovaya ruka) — “The Diamond Arm”

    Diamond Arm poster

    What about: A band of criminals plans to transfer the diamonds in a hand cast. Everything goes wrong when instead of the “right” man, Semen Semenych—a usual traveler—falls in a stipulated place and the cast with valuable cargo is put on him.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Я не трус… но я боюсь. (Ya ne trus… no ya boyus`.)

    Vocabulary:

    • Трус (trus)—“coward”
    • Бояться (boyat`sya)—“to be afraid”

    Where to use: A smart way to let other people know that something you need or expected to do is scary. With this phrase, you motivate people to look into the situation and see the dangers that they might not have taken seriously.

    Answer:

    “I am not a coward… But I am scared.”

    4- В бой идут одни старики (V boy idut odni stariki) — “Only Old Men are Going to Battle”

    Only old men poster

    What about: The film tells us about the life of pilot fighters in World War II. The veteran soldiers teach new recruits about life and death, courage and love. The movie became an iconic film about the war, and it got a lot of rewards in international festivals.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Хочешь жить—умей вертеться! (Khochesh zhit`—umey vertet’sya.)

    Vocabulary:

    • Хотеть (khotet`)—“to want”
    • Жить (zhit`)—“to live”
    • Уметь (umet`)—“to be able to”
    • Вертеться (vertet’sya)—“to spin; to move”

    Where to use: When commenting on someone’s laziness or lack of action that leads to an undesirable result.

    Answer:

    “If you want to live learn how to spin.”

    Start now: Watch it by following this link:

    5- Ирония судьбы, или С легким паром (Ironiya sud`by, ili s l`okhkim parom) — “The Irony of Fate or Enjoy Your Bath”

    The irony of fate poster

    What about: This is a traditional movie for all Russians to watch on New Year’s Eve while making salads for a holiday dinner. The story follows the adventures of a Moscow doctor who goes to the Russian banya (sauna) with his friends before the New Year, drinks a lot, and by mistake ends up on a plane to Saint Petersburg instead of his friend. He wakes up when he lands. Still drunk, he orders the taxi by his Moscow address, arrives there, and opens the flat with his Moscow key that suddenly fits perfectly. Then, still unaware that this isn’t his home, he falls asleep…

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Какая гадость эта ваша заливная рыба… (Kakaya gadost’ eta vasha zalivnaya ryba.)

    Vocabulary:

    • Гадость (gadost`)—“disgusting thing”
    • Заливная рыба (zalivnaya ryba)—“fish in aspic”

    Where to use: When somebody is eating something that you never eat due to personal preferences. Or you can use it when somebody’s asking you how the dish was—you can pretend to not like it and say the quote while putting some more on your plate—obviously enjoying it a lot.

    Answer:

    “How disgusting is your fish in aspic…”


    3. The Best Russian Movies

    If you want to practice slang words or to watch movies with modern plots, then this list will help you. Choose by genre and topic to broaden your vocabulary and learn some slang words and expressions.

    1- Книга мастеров (Kniga masterov) — “The Book of Masters”

    What about: This is the first and the only—so far—Russian Disney movie. You’ll get to explore the world of Russian fairy tales about Baba Yaga, The Mermaid, Koschei the Immortal, and more. The main hero Ivan will have to start a journey to rescue his beloved Katya and save the world from evil Kamennaya Knyazhna.

    Russian level: For beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    • Отвечай… Любишь ли ты Катерину? (Otvechay… Lyubish’ li ty Katerinu?)
    • Люблю… Больше жизни люблю. (Lyublyu… Bol`she zhizni lyublyu.)
    • Не надо преувеличивать. Достаточно просто «Люблю»! (Ne nado preuvelichivat`. Dostatochno prosto “Lyublyu”!)

    Vocabulary:

    • Отвечать (otvechat`)—“to answer”
    • Любить (lyubit`)—“to love”
    • Жизнь (zhizn`)—“life”
    • Преувеличивать (preuvelichivat`)—“exaggerate”
    • Достаточно (dostatochno)—“enough”
    • Просто (prosto)—“just”

    Answer:

    • “Answer me… Do you love Katerina?”
    • “I do… More than my life.”
    • “Don’t exaggerate. Just ‘I love her’ is enough.”

    2- Брат (Brat) — “Brother”

    Brother poster

    What about: This Russian action movie tells us the story of Danila Bagrov who returns from the army and moves to Saint Petersburg and his brother. This is when he finds out that his brother works as a hired killer.

    Russian level: For beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    • А в чём сила, брат? (A v chyom sila, brat?)
    • А вот в чём! В деньгах вся сила, брат! Деньги правят миром, и тот сильней, у кого их больше.
    • (A vot v chyom! V den`gakh vsya sila, brat! Den`gi pravyat mirom, i tot sil`ney, u kogo ikh bol`she.)

    Vocabulary:

    • Сила (sila)—“strength”
    • Брат (brat)—“brother; bro”
    • Деньги (den`gi)—“money”
    • Править (pravit`)—“to rule”
    • Мир (mir)—“world”
    • Сильный (sil`nyy)—“strong; powerful”
    • Больше (bol`she)—“more”

    Answer:

    • “And what brings the strength, bro?”
    • “That’s what! The money is the source, bro. The money rules the world. And the more you have the stronger you are.”

    Start now: Watch it by following this link:

    3- Стиляги (Stilyagi) — “Hipsters”

    Hipsters poster

    What about: Moscow in the 1950s is a suffocating place—prohibited sex, identical clothes with faded colors, a predefined life course. A group of young people starts to fight for their right to be different, listen to different music, wear different clothes, and love with passion.

    Russian level: For beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    • Я не хочу быть другой. Я не считаю, что я лучше остальных. (Ya ne khochu byt` drugoy. Ya ne shchitayu, chto ya luchshe ostal`nykh.)
    • Ты не лучше и не хуже, ты просто другая. (Ty ne luchshe i ne khuzhe, ty prosto drugaya.)

    Vocabulary:

    • Хотеть (khotet`)—“to want”
    • Другой (drugoy)—“different”
    • Считать (shchitat`)—“to think; to consider; to find”
    • Лучше (pravit`)—“better”
    • Остальные (ostal`nye)—“others”
    • Хуже (khuzhe)—“worse”
    • Просто (prosto)—“just”

    Answer:

    • “I don’t want to be different. I don’t think that I am better than the others.”
    • “You are not better or worse, you are just different.”

    Start now: Watch it by following this link:

    4- Остров (Ostrov) — “The Island”

    The island poster

    What about: “The Island” is a Russian movie which won the Golden Eagle Award and the Nika Award, becoming the best Russian film of 2006. It follows the story of a man who avoids inevitable death during the Second World War and becomes a monk with the gifts of healing and prophecy.

    Russian level: For beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Я вижу, когда ты врешь, в такие моменты ты улыбаешься, а глаза грустные. (Ya vizhu, kogda ty vryosh’, v takie momenty ty ulybaesh’sya, a glaza grustnye.)

    Vocabulary:

    • Видеть (videt`)—“to see”
    • Врать (vrat`)—“to lie”
    • Момент (moment)—“moment”
    • Улыбаться (ulybat`sya)—“smile”
    • Глаз (glaz)—“eye”
    • Грустный (grustnyy)—“sad”

    Answer:

    “I see when you are lying. Then when you smile, your eyes are sad.”

    Start now: Watch it by following this link:

    5- Питер FM (Piter FM) — “Saint-Petersburg FM”

    Saint petersburg FM poster

    What about: The second biggest city in Russia is Saint-Petersburg. You can also call it Peterburg, Pit`er, Spb. Russians consider it the cultural capital of Russia as the city still keeps its historical spirit. The romantic story of this film happens right here. Masha is a DJ on a local radio station and Maxim is a young architect. Both of them have plans for the future, but experience serious doubts about them. The course of their lives changes when Masha loses her phone and Maxim finds it…

    Russian level: For beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    1. Все будет хорошо, я узнавала… (Vsyo budet khorosho, ya uznavala…)
    2. Жизнь вообще штука непредсказуемая. Это только в кино всё по сценарию. (Zhizn` voobshche shtuka nepredskazuemaya. Eto tol`ko v kino vsyo po stsenariyu.)

    Vocabulary:

    • Хорошо (khorosho)—“good”
    • Узнавать (uznavat`)—“to find out; to learn; to inquire”
    • Жизнь (zhizn`)—“life”
    • Вообще (voobshche)—“generally”
    • Штука (shtuka)—“thing; piece”
    • Непредсказуемый (nepredskazuemyy)—“unpredictable”
    • Только (tol`ko)—“only”
    • Кино (kino)—“movie”
    • Сценарий (stsenariy)—“script”

    Answer:

    1. “Everything will be okay, I’ve inquired.”
    2. “A life is an unpredictable thing. Only movies follow the script.”


    4. Where to Watch

    Here’s a list of the best sources to find Russian movies:

    • You can find Russian movies on Amazon Prime.
    • A lot of films—even with subtitles—are on YouTube. Search for Russian movies on YouTube by their English-spelled name plus “with English subtitles” if you’re a beginner. If you don’t see the subtitles right away, don’t worry—they are usually hidden under the button “Subtitles” on the bottom-right corner of the video. If you click on “Settings” to the right of this button, you can find subtitles in other languages (if they were created for this video).
    • Vkontakte—a Russian social network—is a great source for all kinds of shows. You’ll find a huge list of Russian TV shows here.
    • Also, you can find some of the most popular Russian movies on Netflix. The list of Russian films on Netflix is pretty lengthy, so you’ll definitely find something great to watch.


    5. Conclusion

    Russian films are full of deep philosophy and humor. They’ll help you to deepen your language knowledge and have some fun during the process. If you get hungry for Russian movies, use the special website to see the ratings. Russian people usually use Kinopoisk. Here you’ll find the list of USSR movies and here, a list of Russian movies. Enjoy!

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

    Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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    Top 20 Russian TV Shows: Study Russian the Fun Way

    Did you know that comedy is the most watched TV show genre in modern Russia? On the one hand, Russians enjoy hilarious series, entertaining games, and funny reality shows. On the other hand, they value their military past and refresh their memories about the Second World War by watching truthful and heartbreaking military series.

    It’s essential for Russian language learners to watch these TV shows in order to understand the complicated Russian brain and pick up some great phrases. We’ve meticulously selected the most interesting and useful Russian TV shows that will boost your language learning process.

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

    Table of Contents

    1. How to Learn Russian Using TV Shows
    2. Russian TV Series
    3. Where to Watch
    4. Conclusion

    1. How to Learn Russian Using TV Shows

    Switching on a Russian TV series is an effective way to broaden your vocabulary, work on pronunciation and accent, have a closer look at Russian culture, and practice your listening skills. And besides that, you can have some fun watching Russians fighting, falling in love, joking, studying, traveling, and the list goes on. Some of these things you’ll find surprisingly common within your culture, but others will come as a surprise.

    In order to use this language learning instrument more effectively, we recommend preparing a spare notebook in which to write down new exciting words, phrases, or even whole sentences and dialogues to better memorize new vocabulary. Then practice it while chatting with your Russian-speaking friends.

    Further, don’t hesitate to stop the show and repeat the sentences or phrases after the actors. This is excellent practice for your pronunciation skills and for improving your accent.

    Also, watching the best Russian TV shows to learn Russian is the perfect way to stay motivated in your study process.

    2. Russian TV Series

    We’ve chosen top Russian TV shows for learners. Some of them are old ones that nearly every Russian has seen, and others are brand-new and beating all the charts. Read the descriptions and choose the one that best resonates with your state of mind.

    We’ve taken the liberty to put each show we’ve chosen into a category: those for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners, based on language difficulty and the range of vocabulary. But don’t worry if you’re a beginner and start watching the advanced-tagged Russian television shows. You can still get the full language learning effect, though you’ll have to work harder at writing down the new words.

    So, let’s get started! Here’s the list of Russian TV shows that we’ve prepared for you.

    1- Comedy

    1. Кухня (Kukhnya) — “Kitchen”

    Kitchen

    What about: Maxim gets a dream job as a chef in one of the most expensive restaurants in Moscow. But it turns out to be not as great as he expected. His boss—a star-chef in the restaurant industry—drinks too much alcohol, gambles, and has an unbearable character. The art director is an ice queen of business. Maxim spends a night with her before his first day at work and has to face the consequences. And on top of that, all the other chefs are waiting for him to make every newbie mistake so they can have a laugh at him.

    Russian level: For beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    • Ты что, уксус тыришь? (Ty chto, uksus tyrish?)
    • Может, у меня дети дома голодают! (Mozhet, u menya deti doma golodayut!)
    • Ага, уксуса просят. (Aga, uksusa prosyat.)

    Vocabulary:

    • Уксус (uksus)—“vinegar”
    • Тырить (tyrit`)—“to steal” (in spoken language)
    • Может (mozhet)—“may be”
    • Дети (deti)—“children”
    • Дом (dom)—“house”
    • Голодать (golodat`) —“to be hungry”
    • Просить (prosit`)—“to ask for”

    Answer:

    • “What are you doing? Stealing vinegar?”
    • “Maybe my children are hungry at home!”
    • “Yeah, and they are asking for vinegar.”

    Start now: Start with the first episode by following this link:

    2. Интерны (Interny) — “Interns”

    Interns

    What about: This show follows the career of interns at the hospital who always get into funny situations. To make this series more endearing, their boss doctor Bykov enjoys watching that and teasing them. This series will be useful in learning Russian sarcasm and the game of words, so you can learn to create sarcastic jokes yourself.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    1. У нас выходной, и мы не будем отмечать этот день чаем.
    (U nas vykhodnoy, I my ne budem otmechat` etot den` chaem.)
    “It’s a day off and we will not celebrate it with tea.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Выходной (vykhodnoy)—“weekend day” or “day off”
    • Отмечать день (otmechat` den`)—“celebrate the day”
    • Чай (chay)—“tea”

    2. Быстро эволюционируем до прямоходящих, и за мной!
    (Bystro evolyutsioniruem do pryamokhodyashchikh, i za mnoy.)
    “Quickly evolve into orthograde and follow me.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Быстро (bystro)—“quickly”
    • Эволюционировать (evolyutsionirovat`)—“evolve”
    • Прямоходящий (pryamokhodyashchiy)—“orthograde”
    • За мной (za mnoy)—“(go) after me; follow me”

    Start now: Here’s the first episode of the first season. Give it a try!

    2- Classical

    1. Мастер и Маргарита (Master I Margarita) — “The Master and Margarita”

    The Master and Margarita

    What about: This mystery mini-series is based on the famous novel, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, which stays first place on the “must-read” list for Russians. It has several crossing storylines, with the first storyline taking place in Moscow under the regime of Stalin where the Master lives. He works on a manuscript about the biblical Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem—and that is the second storyline. The antagonist—Woland and his retinue—are manipulating events and people all over Moscow using people’s sins. The Master’s muse, Margarita, gets into Woland’s hands when she tries to save the Master.

    Russian level: Advanced.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Аннушка уже купила подсолнечное масло, и не только купила, но даже и разлила. Так что заседание не состоится.
    (Annushka uzhe kupila podsolnechnoe maslo, I ne tol`ko kupila, no dazhe I razlila. Tak chto zasedanie ne sostoitsya.)
    “Annushka already bought sunflower oil, and not only bought but already spilled. So there will be no meeting.”

    Explanation: Because of the spilled oil, one of the characters dies, so the phrase Аннушка уже разлила масло (Annushka uzhe razlila maslo) means that the course of actions that one cannot change has started.

    Vocabulary:

    • Уже (uzhe)—“already”
    • Купить (kupit`)—“to buy”
    • Подсолнечное масло (podsolnechnoe maslo)—“sunflower oil” (the most commonly used Russian oil)
    • Только (tol`ko)—“only”
    • Разлить (razlit`)—“to spill”
    • Заседание (zasedanie)—“an official meeting with a lot of people” (e.g. the committee meeting)
    • Состояться (sostoyat`sya)—“to take place” (e.g. Мероприятие состоялось [meropriyatie sostoyalos`]—“the event has happened”)

    Start now: Here is the first part of the first episode with English subtitles for you to view:

    2. Идиот (Idiot) — “Idiot”

    Idiot

    What about: This series is based on the famous Russian novel of the same name, written by Dostoevsky (yes, the one who wrote The Crime and Punishment). The show follows the life of Russian Prince Myshkin (XIX century) who returns to St. Petersburg after treatment in a psycho-clinic. As Prince holds an enormous fortune, he gets into the middle of the intrigues which rule the city.

    Russian level: Advanced

    Phrases and quotes:

    1. Главная, самая сильная боль, может, не в ранах…
    (Glavnaya, samaya sil`naya bol`, mozhet, ne v ranakh.)
    “The main, the most violent pain is probably not because of the wounds…”

    Vocabulary:

    • Главный (glavnyy)—(adj.) “main”
    • Сильная боль (sil’naya bol`)—“violent pain”
    • Рана (rana)—“wound”

    2. И в тюрьме можно огромную жизнь найти…
    (I v tyur`me mozhno ogromnuyu zhizn` nayti.)
    “And in prison one can find a life…”

    Vocabulary:

    • Тюрьма (tyur`ma)—“prison”
    • Огромный (ogromnyy)—“huge”
    • Жизнь (zhizn`)—“life”
    • Найти (nayti)—“to find”

    Start now: Find the first episode with English subtitles here:

    3- Historical

    1. Бедная Настя (Bednaya Nastya)—“Poor Nastya”

    Poor Nastya

    What about: This series has been translated and shown in more than twenty countries, with a huge budget of $11.8 million. The story follows the life of a poor, parentless girl who has been raised by a kind baron as his own daughter. Everybody loves Nastya and are sure that she’ll have a great future. She is studying to become an actress and play in the Emperor Theater, as the baron wants. Prince Repnin falls in love with Nastya at first sight. But what will happen if everybody finds out that Nastya was born a poor serf?

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Совсем недавно я понял, что страсть и любовь – это разные вещи. Страсть изматывает, превращает душу в пепел… а любовь дает умиротворение и покой.
    (Sovsem nedavno ya ponyal, chto strast` I lyubov` - eto raznye veshchi. Strast` izmatyvaet, prevrashchaet dushu v pepel… a lyubov` dayot umirotvorenie i pokoy.)
    “Just recently I realized that desire and love are different. Desire exhausts, turns the soul into ashes… And love brings peace and rest.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Страсть (strast`)—“desire”
    • Любовь (lyubov`)—“love”
    • Разный (raznyy)—“different”
    • Вещь (veshch)—“thing”
    • Изматывать (izmatyvat`)—“to exhaust”
    • Превратить (в) (prevratit`)—“to turn (into)”
    • Душа (dusha)—“soul”
    • Пепел (pepel)—“ashes”
    • Давать (davat`)—“to give”
    • Умиротворение (umirotvorenie)—“peacefulness”
    • Покой (pokoy)—“rest; peace”

    Start now: This is the first episode, which can be watched with English or Russian subtitles. Check it out!

    2. Екатерина (Ekaterina)—“Ekaterina”

    Ekaterina

    What about: The Empress Elizaveta Petrovna is infertile. The only heir of the throne is her slow-witted nephew Petr III. Elizaveta can’t let Petr become an emperor, so she decides to wed him, wait for the birth of his son, and raise him to be a true Russian emperor herself. To do that she invites potential brides from all over the world.

    Russian level: Advanced.

    Phrases and quotes:

    - А ты что думала, милая, я долго терпеть буду?
    (A ty chto dumala, milaya? Ya dolgo terpet` budu?)

    - Но я же терплю. Вы отняли у меня сына, а я улыбаюсь вам, кланяюсь, слова говорю вежливые. Вы отняли у меня все. Моя жизнь не имеет смысла. И в этом виноваты только вы…

    (No ya zhe terplyu. Vy otnyali u menya syna, a ya ulybayus` vam, klanyayus`, slova govoryu vezhlivye. Vy otnyali u menya vsyo. Moya zhizn` ne imeet smysla. I v etom vinovaty tol`ko vy.)

    Translation:

    - “And what did you think dear? That I will tolerate that?”
    - “But I bear everything. You took away my son, and I smile, bow to you, say polite words. You took everything from me. My life is senseless. And that is your fault.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Милый (milyy)—“dear”
    • Терпеть (terpet`)—“to tolerate; bear”
    • Отнять (otnyat`)—“to take away”
    • Сын (syn)—“son”
    • Улыбаться (ulybat`sya)—“to smile”
    • Кланяться (klanyat`sya)—“to bow”
    • Слово (slovo)—“word”
    • Вежливый (vezhlivyy)—“polite”
    • Жизнь (zhizn`)—“life”
    • Смысл (smysl)—“meaning”
    • Виновен (vinoven)—“guilty”

    Start now: Here’s a link to the first episode (without subtitles):

    4- Criminal

    1. Бригада (Brigada)—“Brigade”

    Brigade

    What about: This one is about criminal Moscow at the end of XX centuries, and tells the story of four friends who grew up in one block courtyard. They decide to make some money, but an unexpected murder makes them fight for their future. With high stakes, they make their way into the criminal world and become a strong criminal group.

    Russian level: Advanced.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Пуля-дура. И я дурак…
    (Pulya - dura. I ya durak…)
    “Bullet can’t think. I am the same…”

    Vocabulary:

    • Пуля (pulya)—“bullet”
    • Дура (dura)—“fool” (about female)
    • Дурак (durak)—“fool” (about male)
    • Пуля-дура (pulya-dura)—This is a phrase which is used when the bullet behaved unexpectedly.

    Start now. Here is a link to the first episode for your viewing pleasure:

    2. Метод (Metod)—“Method”

    Method

    What about: Rodion Meglin is a brilliant investigator who solves the most mysterious crimes. Young graduate Esenya becomes his intern and has to cope with everything that this job brings. Yet in spite of this, she has a hidden motive not to leave this job: she is investigating the murder of her mother.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Чем всю жизнь таскать ребенка на спине через реку, лучше один раз научить его плавать.
    (Chem vsyu zhizn` taskat` rebyonka na spine cherez reku, luchshe odin raz nauchit` ego plavat`.)
    “Rather than carry a kid on your back across the river the whole life, better teach him how to swim.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Жизнь (zhizn`)—“life”
    • Таскать (taskat`)—“carry; drag”
    • Ребенок (rebyonok)—“kid; child”
    • Спина (spina)—“back”
    • Река (reka)—“river”
    • Научить (nauchit`)—“teach”
    • Плавать (plavat`)—“swim”

    Start now: Here is the first episode:

    3. Мажор (Mazhor)—“The Boy Born with a Silver Spoon in His Mouth”

    Mazhor

    What about: Igor Sokolovskiy is the son of rich, high-ranking parents. Kids like these are called mazhor (мажор [mazhor]) in Russia. He doesn’t have an education, has never accomplished even a day’s work. He enjoys living it up and wasting his life on meaningless pleasures. One day, he stands up for his friend and disarms a police officer. His father punishes him and sends him to work in a police division—but everyone there despises him. This is when he starts to become a man, finds his love, and discovers who killed his mother.

    Russian level: Beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    - Соколовский, будешь делать все, что Жека говорит.
    (Sokolovskiy, budesh delat` vsyo, chto Zheka govorit.)
    - А если он извращенец? Я на такое не подписывался.
    (A chto esli on izvrashchenets? Ya na takoe ne podpisyvalsya.)

    Translation:

    - “Sokolovskiy, you will do everything that Zheka tells you.”
    - “What if he is a pervert? I didn’t sign up for that.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Делать (delat`)—“to do”
    • Говорить (govorit`)—“to talk”
    • Жека (Zheka)—This is one of the ways to call a person named Евгений (Yevgeniy) when speaking.
    • Извращенец (izvrashchenets)—“pervert”
    • Подписаться (podpisat`sya)—“to sign up” (here the phrasal meaning is “to agree”)

    Start now: Here is the first episode of season 2:

    5- Military

    1. Диверсант (Diversant)—“Diversionist”

    Diversionist

    What about: This show shares the story of two young boys who finish the military scout academy and work as scout saboteurs during the Second World War. They plan and carry out risky plans in the enemy rear.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Русское упрямство — из-за него немцы проиграют войну.
    (Russkoe upryamstvo — iz-za nego nemtsy proigrayut voynu.)
    “Russian stubbornness, this is the reason why Germans will lose in this war.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Упрямство (upryamstvo)—“stubbornness”
    • Немец (nemets)—“German person”
    • Проиграть (proigrat`)—“to lose”
    • Война (voyna)—“war”

    Start now: Check out the first episode below:

    2. Грозовые ворота (Grozovye Vorota)—“Storm Gates”

    Storm Gates

    What about: Senior lieutenant’s company is relocated to the pass in North Caucasus. They will need to be heroes to defend this pass when huge enemy forces try to storm through it.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    - Они что, обкуренные, раз так прут?
    (Oni chto, obkurennye, raz tak prut?)
    - А мы тогда кто, раз так стоим?
    (A my togda kto, raz tak stoim?)
    - А мы – русские, нам так положено!
    (A my russkie, nam tak polozheno!)

    Translation:

    - “Are they what… high? To assail like that?”
    - “And who are we then when we defend like that?”
    - “We are Russians, we are supposed to do that.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Обкуренный (obkurennyy)—“high” (smoked too much)
    • Переть (peret`)—“to assail; go forward” (used when you don’t like when someone moves forward, push)
    • Стоять (stoyat`)—“to stand” (means here “to defend”)
    • Так положено (tak polozheno)—This is a phrase that means that this is the way things should be.

    Start now: Here is the first episode:

    6- Fantastic

    1. Чернобыль: Зона отчуждения (Chernobyl: Zona otchuzhdeniya) – Chernobyl: exclusion zone

    exclusion zone

    What about: Five young people jump in an old car and start searching for a thief who stole eight million rubles (= $127,000) from one of them. The thief — usual Moscow IT specialist — instead of staying low, shoots a video where he states that his destination point is Chernobyl AES and Pripyat town.

    Russian level: Beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    - Пойдём, задрот, может, там жратва в холодильнике осталась.
    (Poydyom, zadrot, mozhet, tam zhratva v kholodil`nike ostalas`.)
    - Радиоактивная жратва 25-летней давности.
    (Radioaktivnaya zhratva dvadtsatipyatiletney davnosti.)

    Translation:

    - “Let’s go, geek, maybe there is some food left in the fridge.”
    - “Radioactive food twenty-five years old.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Пойти (poyti)—“to go; move out”
    • Задрот (zadrot)—“geek”
    • Жратва (zhratva)—“food” (slang word, a bit rude)
    • Холодильник (kholodil`nik)—“refrigerator”
    • Остаться (ostat`sya)—“to stay; to be left”
    • Радиоактивный (radioaktivnyy)—“radioactive”
    • Давность (davnost`)—“age” (Usually used in one of the phrases NN-летней/-месячной/-дневной давности [NN-letney/-mesyachnoy/-dnevnoy davnosti]. Instead of NN, put the number of years/months/days.)

    Start now: Here’s the trailer for the show:

    2. Маргоша (Margosha)—“Margosha”

    Margosha

    What about: Though we’ve included this one in the “fantastic” genre, Margosha is actually a Russian romantic TV series. The show starts when the editor-in-chief of the glossy magazine—a successful guy named Gosha—wakes up and finds out that he became… a woman! Why did it happen? How does he deal with the job? And how does he become a man again? While trying to figure all of that out, he has to learn how to be a woman.

    Russian level: Beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    - Борис Наумыч у себя?
    (Boris Naumych u sebya?)
    - Борис Наумыч вне себя.
    (Boris Naumych vne sebya.)

    Translation:

    - “Boris Naumych is at his place?”
    - “Boris Numych is angry.”

    Explanation: The above quote is based on the game of words. У себя (u sebya) means “to be at one’s place” (for example, the boss will be at the boss’s office). Вне себя (vne sebya) means “to be angry.” The only difference between the phrases is in the proposition.

    Start now: Check out the first part of the first episode with English subtitles:

    7- Romantic

    1. Сердца трех (Serdtsa Tryokh)—“Hearts of Three”

    Hearts of Three

    What about: Young millionaire Francis Morgan and his bankrupted distant relative Henry Morgan start a journey to find a treasure that was hidden by their pirate ancestor. The journey becomes even more exciting when a young lady—that both men have feelings for—decides to join them.

    Russian level: Advanced.

    Phrases and quotes:

    - Ты боишься смерти.
    (Ty boishsya smerti.)
    - О, великий святой человек, очень боюсь.
    (O, velikiy svyatoy chelovek, ochen’ boyus`.)
    - Не бойся. Лучше в любой момент умереть человеком, чем вечно жить скотом.
    (Ne boysya. Luchshe v lyuboy moment umeret` chelovekom, chem vechno zhit` skotom.)

    Translation:

    - “You are afraid of death.”
    - “Oh, great saint man, I am really afraid.”
    - “Don`t be. It’s better to die as a man at any moment, than live forever as cattle.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Бояться (boyat`sya)—“to be afraid”
    • Смерть (smert`)—“death”
    • Великий (velikiy)—“great”
    • Святой (svyatoy)—“saint”
    • Человек (chelovek)—“person; man; human”
    • Любой момент (lyuboy moment)—“any moment”
    • Умереть (umeret`)—“to die”
    • Вечно (vechno)—“forever; for eternity”
    • Жить (zhit`)—“to live”
    • Скот (skot)—“cattle; animal”

    Start now: Here’s the first episode, without subtitles:

    2. Не родись красивой (Ne Rodis` Krasivoy)—“Don`t Be Born Beautiful”

    Don`t Be Born Beautiful

    What about: Katya is a smart girl who gets into a huge corporation. She perfectly handles her responsibilities and job with success, but nonetheless she becomes a victim of a cruel joke that hurts her feelings.

    Russian level: Beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Я справилась со своими чувствами, а у него их никогда не было.
    (Ya spravilas` so svoimi chuvstvami, a u nego ikh nikogda ne bylo.)
    “I have handled my feelings, and he has never had them.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Справиться (spravit`sya)—“to handle; overcome”
    • Чувства (chuvstva)—“feelings”
    • Никогда (nikogda)—“never”

    Start now: Here’s the first episode:

    8- Russian Reality TV Shows

    1. Вечерний Ургант (Vecherniy Urgant)—“Evening Urgant”

    Evening Urgant

    What about: This is one of the most popular Russian TV programs. The onscreen moderator Ivan Urgant discusses the world news about films, sports, new gadgets, and art with incomparable wit and humor. In each program, he interviews guests from all over the world.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    - Скажите, почему ваша машина самая крутая?
    (Skazhite, pochemu vasha mashina samaya krutaya?)
    - О… Спасибо!
    (O… Spasibo!)
    - Нет, я так не сказала, я спросила.
    (Net, ya tak ne skazala, ya sprosila.)

    Translation:

    - “Tell me, why your car is the coolest car?”
    - “Oh… Thanks!”
    - “No, I didn’t say that. I asked.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Сказать (skazat`)—“to tell”
    • Машина (mashina)—“car”
    • Крутой (krutoy)—“cool”
    • Спросить (sprosit`)—“to ask”

    Start now: Here’s the episode with Chris Pratt—the star of the Jurassic World movies and The Guardians of the Galaxy:

    2. КВН (KVN)—“Club of Fun and Resourceful”

    Club of Fun and Resourceful

    What about: This is a popular and humorous game where teams from different universities, companies, etc. compete in improvisations. They typically act in fun scenes, give witty answers, and so on.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Во время проезда президентского кортежа гаишник так сильно втянул живот, что повредил позвоночник.
    (Vo vremya proezda prezidentskogo kortezha gaishnik tak sil`no vtyanul zhivot, chto povredil pozvonochnik.)
    “While the president cortege was passing a traffic cop, he held his stomach muscles in so hard that it damaged his spine.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Проезд (proezd)—“a drive”
    • Президент (prezident)—“president”
    • Кортеж (kortezh)—“cortege”
    • Гаишник (gaishnik)—“traffic cop” (the worker of GAI, spoken word)
    • Сильно (sil`no)—“hard; tough”
    • Втянуть (vtyanut`)—“to hold in”
    • Живот (zhivot)—“stomach”
    • Повредить (povredit`)—“damage; harm”
    • Позвоночник (pozvonochnik)—“spine”

    Start now: Here’s of the scenes from this show with English subtitles:

    3. Comedy Club

    Comedy Club

    What about: This is one of the most popular Russian television shows. The comedians show various witty scenes on relevant topics and news.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    - Мистер Трамп, я… Я к Вам не с пустыми руками… Я вам принес в подарок большую матрёшку Трампа. Здесь в Трампе – Меркель. В Меркель – Олланд, а в Олланде – маленький Порошенко.
    (Mister Tramp, ya… Ya k vam ne s pustymi rukami… Ya vam prinyos v podarok bol`shuyu matryoshku Trampa. Zdes` v Trampe – Merkel`. V Merkel` - Olland, a v Ollande – malen`kiy Poroshenko.)
    - О-о, а в Порошенко ничего нет.
    (O-o, a v Poroshenko nichego net.)
    - Согласен.
    (Soglasen.)

    Translation:

    - “Mister Trump, I came not empty-handed… As a present, I brought you a big Trump matryoshka. Here in Trump – Merkel. In Merkel – Olland, and in Olland is tiny Poroshenko.”
    - “Oh, and nothing in Poroshenko.”
    - “I agree.”

    Vocabulary:

    • С пустыми руками (s pustymi rukami) – “with empty hands” (phrase is usually used when the one visits someone and brings or doesn’t bring a guest present)
    • Принести (prinesti) — “to bring” (somewhere or to someone)
    • Подарок (podarok) — “present”
    • Большой (bol`shoy) — “big”
    • Матрёшка (matryoshka) —“traditional Russian doll”
    • Здесь (zdes`)—“here”
    • Маленький (malen`kiy)—“small; tiny”
    • Согласиться (soglasit`sya)—“to agree”

    Start now: Here’s one of the scenes about Donald Trump’s second month on a president post:

    4. Орел и решка (Oryol I Reshka)—“Obverse and Reverse”

    Obverse and Reverse

    What about: Every weekend, two moderators go to different cities all over the world. According to the rules, once they arrive in the country, they throw a coin. The loser will have only $100 for the whole weekend and the winner can spend unlimited money from his gold card. With a lacing of humor, the show tells about traditions in different countries, places to visit, souvenirs to buy, food to eat, and much more.

    Russian level: Beginners.

    Phrases and quotes:

    Дом на воде. Представляете, живёшь и плывёшь, живёшь и плывёшь. (ГОА, Индия.)
    (Dom na vode. Predstavlyaete, zhivyosh I plyvyosh, zhivyosh I plyvyosh. [GOA, Indiya.])
    “House on water. Just imagine, living and swimming, living and swimming. (GOA, India.)”

    Vocabulary:

    • Дом (dom)—“house”
    • Вода (voda)—“water”
    • Представлять (predstavlyat`)—“to imagine”
    • Жить (zhit`)—“to live”
    • Плыть (plyt`)—“to swim”

    You can find the list of the words essential for traveling here.

    Start now: Check out the episode when moderators visit Tokyo:

    5. Уральские пельмени (Uralskie Pelmeni)—“Ural Dumplings”

    Ural Dumplings

    What about: This is a comedy show created by one of the KVN teams; it has seen great success among Russians.

    Russian level: Intermediate.

    Phrases and quotes:

    - Сама ищи!
    (Sama ishchi!)
    - Я не могу, я грязью лицо чищу.
    (Ya ne mogu, ya gryaz`yu litso chishchu.)
    - Аккуратней там, об мыло не испачкайся.
    (Akkuratney tam, ob mylo ne ispachkaysya.)

    Translation:

    - “Search it yourself!”
    - “I can`t, I am cleaning my face with a mud.”
    - “Be careful, don’t get dabbled with soap.”

    Vocabulary:

    • Искать (iskat`)—“search”
    • Грязь (gryaz`)—“mud”
    • Лицо (litso)—“face”
    • Чистить (chistit`)—“to clean”
    • Аккуратный (akkuratnyy)—“accurate; careful”
    • Мыло (mylo)—“soap”
    • Испачкаться (ispachkat`sya)—“to get dabbled”

    Start now: Check out one of the most humorous pieces from this show (with English subtitles) that tells about a typical Russian supermarket:

    Find the vocabulary list for a supermarket visit here.

    3. Where to Watch

    Here’s the list of the best sources to find Russian TV shows:

    1. You can find Russian TV shows on Amazon Prime.
    2. A lot of series — even with subtitles — are on YouTube. Search for Russian TV shows on YouTube by their English-spelled name plus “with English subtitles” if you’re a beginner. If you don’t see the subtitles right away, don’t worry — they are usually hidden under the button “Subtitles” in the bottom-right corner of the video. If you click on “Settings” to the right of this button, you can find subtitles in other languages (if they were created for this video).
    3. Vkontakte — a Russian social network — is a great source for all kinds of shows. You’ll find a huge list of Russian TV shows if you input Русский сериал (russkiy serial) or “Russian series” in a video search.
    4. Also, you can find some of the most popular Russian TV shows on Netflix. The list of Russian TV series on Netflix is pretty lengthy, so you’ll definitely find something great to watch.

    4. Conclusion

    So, as you can see, there are a lot of interesting Russian TV shows online to benefit your learning process with. There are great Russian TV shows for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students. We’ve told you about the best Russian TV shows, but you can find more using the most popular Russian review website: Kinopoisk. Learn Russian TV show words in order to enrich your vocabulary and your Russian skill level.

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

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    International Women’s Day in Russia: Happy Women’s Day!

    Do you know what is the favorite holiday of all members of the fairer sex in Russia is? Naturally, it is March 8, the International Women’s Day, when men lavish care and attention on all women and give them presents to get them in a good mood. (Though this is also the day of the International Women’s Day protest in Russia!) In this lesson, we’ll tell you exactly how this spring holiday is celebrated in Russia here at RussianPod101.com!

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    1. What is International Women’s Day in Russia?

    International Women’s Day in Russia was celebrated for the first time on March 3, 1913. On March 8, 1917, striking workers and ordinary women took to the streets of Petrograd, marking in this way the actual start of the February revolution. In memory of that day, in 1921, the Soviet Union established the holiday of March 8 as an International Women’s Day. Since 1965, March 8 has been a non-working day as well.

    2. When is International Women’s Day?

    March 8 is International Women's Day

    On March 8th, Women’s Day is celebrated throughout Russia as it is around the world.

    3. Reading Practice: Women’s Day Celebrations

    Read the Russian text below to find out about Women’s Day Russian traditions. You can find the English translation directly below it.

    —–

    В этот день все мужчины поздравляют женщин и дарят им подарки и цветы. При чем поздравлять можно не только своих любимых, но так же друзей, коллег, да и просто незнакомых женщин. 8 марта проходят различные мероприятия и концерты, а по телевидению традиционно показывают фильм “Служебный роман”. В качестве подарков дарят цветы, шоколад, ювелирные украшения и даже романтические поездки.

    Так как 8 марта является выходным днём, то поздравлять и праздновать его начинают уже с 7 марта. На работе мужчины-коллеги поздравляют и дарят женщинам цветы, и, как правило, после работы накрывают небольшой праздничный стол. В некоторых компаниях даже устраивают корпоратив.

    В России количество цветов в букете всегда должно быть нечетным. Четное количество цветов приносят только на похороны. Поэтому мужчинам следует быть очень внимательными, если они самостоятельно составляют букет.

    —–

    On this day, all men congratulate women and give them presents and flowers. Notably, congratulations can be given not only to your beloveds but also to friends, coworkers, and to unknown women as well. Many events and concerts take place on March 8, and the movie Office Romance (“Sluzhebny Roman”) is traditionally shown on TV. The presents can be flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and even romantic trips.

    As March 8 is a non-working day, congratulations and celebrations begin as early as March 7. At the office, men congratulate their female coworkers and give them flowers; as a rule, after work, they lay a small festive table. Some companies even arrange a company party.

    Bouquets in Russia should always be composed of an odd number of flowers. Even numbers of flowers are brought only to funerals. For that reason, men need to be very careful if they arrange a bouquet themselves.

    4. Additional Information: Flowers

    Breakfast Tray and Flower

    What kind of flowers do you think women are given most often on March 8?

    The undisputed leaders among the flowers most commonly given on March 8 are tulips or roses. It has recently become popular to give live flowers in pots.

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Male and Female Colleagues

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

    • Завтрак (zaftrak) — “Breakfast
    • Женщина (zhenschina) — “Woman”
    • Мужчина (muschina) — “Man”
    • Девушка (devushka) — “Girlfriend”
    • Цветок (tsvetok) — “Flower”
    • Конфета (konfeta) — “Candy
    • Коллега (kollega) — “Colleague”
    • Подарок (podarok) — “Present”
    • Девочка (devochka) — “Girl”
    • Международный женский день (Mezhdunarodnyy zhenskiy den’) — “International Women’s Day”
    • Восьмое марта (Vas’moye marta) — “March 8th”
    • Букет (buket) — “Bouquet”
    • Внимание (vnimaniye) — “Attention”

    If you want to hear each vocabulary word pronounced, visit our Russian International Women’s Day vocabulary list. Here you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio with its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    Now you know more about International Women’s Day in Russia. Does your country celebrate International Women’s Day as well, or a similar holiday that honors and celebrates women? Let us know in the comments!

    To learn more about Russian culture and the language, visit us at RussianPod101.com! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Russian learners. You can also check out our MyTeacher program if you’re interested in a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Russian teacher!

    We hope you enjoyed learning about International Women’s Day in Russia with us! Know that all of your hard work and practice will pay off, and you’ll be speaking Russian like a pro before you know it! Until next time, we wish you much success!

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    Russian Men’s Day: Defender of the Fatherland Day in Russia

    Defender of the Fatherland Day (or День защитника Отечества) is a significant celebration to the Russian people. Formerly known as Red Army Day, Defender of the Fatherland Day is set aside to honor and celebrate those who serve (or have served) in the Russian army.

    Learn the Russian language in context by exploring the country’s various holidays. By learning about Defender’s Day in Russia, you’re also allowing yourself to better understand the Russian culture and showing respect for its defenders as well.

    Let RussianPod101.com guide you through the various aspects of Russian Army Day, including Defender of the Fatherland Day traditions.

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    1. What is Russian Defender of the Fatherland Day?

    Defender of the Fatherland Day, or in Russian, День защитника Отечества (Den’ zashchitnika atechestva), is the day reserved to celebrate those who defend the peace of Russia.

    This holiday emerged after the 1918 Revolution and was initially called “Red Army Day” or in Russian День красной армии (Den’ krasnay armii). In the 1940s it was renamed “the Day of the Soviet Army,” or День советской армии (Den’ savetskay armii), then the holiday received its present name in 1995.

    Nowadays most Russians consider this holiday a “men’s day.” This is related to the existence of a conscription law in Russia. Consequently, every young man who has served in the army, or в армии (v armii) in Russian, is already considered “a defender of his Fatherland.” “Fatherland” in Russian is Отечество (Atechestva).

    2. When is Defender’s Day in Russia?

    Defender of Fatherland Day on February 23

    Russia celebrates Defender of the Fatherland Day each year on February 23. The 23 of February was chosen as this holiday’s date simply because it’s the Sunday just after the two events it commemorates:

    • Red Army drafts on February 17, 1918
    • Red Army establishment on February 18, 1918

    3. Defender of the Fatherland Day Traditions

    Celebrating with Fireworks

    The holiday is celebrated at home or at a gathering at someone’s house. On that day, men not only receive presents, but there may also be parties at their places of work. While there’s not really a special Defender of the Fatherland Day food, we’re sure that men enjoy receiving a good home-cooked meal or tasty snack on this day.

    On February 23, in many Russian cities, mass public events such as military parades, stunt performances, fairs, and car races take place. In Moskva, or Moscow in English, Sankt-Peterburg, or Saint Petersburg in English, Murmansk, and Smolensk, you can see festive fireworks.

    Further, Defender of the Fatherland congratulations take place. This is a way of showing great appreciation and gratitude to those who are serving in the Russian army (or those who have served in the past).

    There’s an interesting tradition in Moscow—the President lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which in Russian is called Могила неизвестного солдата (Magila neizvesnava saldata), and this is followed by a minute of silence and the National Anthem.

    4. Additional Information

    This is considered a masculine holiday in Russia (and is even known as “Men’s Day”), but what about the women who serve in the army? Are they also recognized and celebrated on Defender of the Fatherland Day? Read the Russian text below to find out (you can find the English translation below it).

    —–

    Оказывается, мужчины ждут своих подарков и внимания на 23 февраля не меньше, чем женщины на 8 марта. По этому поводу в России даже говорят:
    “Как встретишь 23 февраля, так 8 марта и проведешь.”
    В России женщин, которые служат в вооруженных силах, тоже поздравляют с праздником 23 февраля. Ну а как? Они же тоже, получается, защитницы нашей Родины - России.

    —–
    As it turns out, men look forward to receiving presents and attention on February 23 no less than women do on March 8, which is International Women’s Day, or in Russian, Международный женский день (Mezhdunarodnyy zhenskiy den’). In Russia there’s even a saying:

    “How you celebrate February 23 shows how you’ll celebrate March 8.”

    In Russia, the women who serve in the armed forces also receive congratulations on February 23. How else should it be? They are defenders of the Fatherland as well.

    5. Must-know Vocab

    Russian Army

    Now that we’ve gone over holiday information, here’ some vocabulary you should know to better understand the day and celebrate it to the fullest.

    • Мужчина (muschina) — “man”
    • Солдат (soldat) — “soldier”
    • Подарок (podarok) — “present”
    • почтовая открытка (pachtovaya atkrytka) — “postcard”
    • Ветеран (veteran) — “veteran”
    • Салют (salyut) — “firework”
    • Патриотизм (patriatizm) — “patriotism”
    • Армия (armiya) — “army”
    • военный парад (voyennyy parad) — “military parade”
    • Родина (Rodina) — “motherland”
    • воинская служба (voinskaya sluzhba) — “military service”
    • 23 февраля (23 fevralya) — “February 23”
    • Защитник (zashchitnik) — “defender”
    • Поздравление (pazdravleniye) — “congratulation”
    • красная гвоздика (krasnaya gvazdika) — “red carnation”
    • День защитника Отечества (Den’ zashchitnika Otechestva) — “Defender of the Fatherland Day”

    If you want to hear each vocabulary word’s pronunciation, check out our Russian Defender of the Fatherland Day vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio of its pronunciation.

    Conclusion

    We hope you enjoyed learning about Defender’s Day in Russia. What do you think of День защитника Отечества or Russia’s Defender of the Fatherland Day? Is there a similar holiday in your own country? Let us know in the comments!

    For more information on Russian culture and the Russian language, visit us at RussianPod101.com. We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and an online community to discuss lessons with fellow Russian students! You can even download our MyTeacher app for a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Russian teacher.

    Until next time, keep studying hard and practicing your vocabulary. And stay tuned for more Russian holiday articles. You’ll be a master of the Russian language and the country’s culture before you know it!

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