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Top 10 Russian Movies on Netflix to Improve Your Russian!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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


1. Фарца (Fartsa)—Fartsa, 2015

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

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

Interesting fact:

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

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

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

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

The vocabulary.

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


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

Best Ways to Learn

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

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

The vocabulary.

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


3. Спарта (Sparta)—Sparta, 2018

Improve Pronunciation

Genre: Mystery; Thriller
This show is: Dark

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

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

The vocabulary.

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

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


4. Троцкий (Trotsky)—Trotsky, 2017

Genre: Political drama
This show is: Cerebral

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

The vocabulary.

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


5. Нюхач (Nyukhach)—The Sniffer, 2017

Genre: Mystery; Thriller
This show is: Dark

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

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

The vocabulary.

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


6. Смешарики (Smeshariki)—Kikoriki, 2010

Genre: Kids’ cartoon
This show is: Funny

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

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

The vocabulary.

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


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

Genre: Kids’ cartoon
This show is: Funny

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

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

The vocabulary.

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


8. Саранча (Sarancha)—Locust, 2014

Movie Genres

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

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

The vocabulary.

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


9. Метод (Method)—Method, 2015

Genre: Crime drama
This show is: Emotional; suspenseful

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

The vocabulary.

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


10. Мажор (Mazhor)—Silver Spoon, 2015

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

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

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

The vocabulary.

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


11. Conclusion

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

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

If you’ve watched one or several series and realized that you want to learn Russian more profoundly with professional tutors, check out our MyTeacher program for Russian learners. Our teachers are all native speakers with an impressive teaching background. They’ll make sure that you start talking in Russian very soon. ;-) And Russian series on Netflix will be a great help in the learning process.

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

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Масленица: Celebrating Maslenitsa in Russia

Each year, Russians celebrate Масленица (Maslenitsa), or Maslenitsa’s Day, near the beginning of springtime. Today, due to the popularity of Christianity in Russia, this celebration is also referred to as Shrovetide and celebrated as a religious holiday.

In this article, you’ll learn about the Maslenitsa festival in Russia, from modern-day traditions to what “Maslenitsa” actually refers to. Let’s get started!

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1. What is Maslenitsa?

Maslenitsa is an old Slavic holiday, and came to be long before Christianity. The Maslenitsa holiday symbolizes bidding farewell to the winter and welcoming the spring. Maslenitsa is also called “crepe week” because the main dish eaten during this time is crepes.

Nowadays, Maslenitsa is also considered a time of подготовка к Великому посту (padgatofka k Velikamu pastu), or “preparation for the Great Fast.”

Each day of Maslenitsa has its own name and meaning:

  • Monday is called “Welcoming.”
  • Tuesday is called “Merrymaking.”
  • Wednesday is called “Sweet-Tooth Day.”
  • Thursday is called “Wide Maslenitsa” (AKA “Revelry”).
  • Friday is called “Mother-in-Law’s Eve.”
  • Saturday is called “Sister-in-Law’s Gathering.”
  • Sunday is called “Forgiveness Day.”

Keep reading to learn more about what takes place on each day of Maslenitsa!

2. When Does the Maslenitsa Festival Start?

A Married Couple with Their Two Children

The start date of Maslenitsa changes every year because it depends on the start date of Lent. For your convenience, here’s a list of this holiday’s start and end dates for the next ten years.

Start Date End Date
2020 February 24 March 1
2021 March 8 March 14
2022 February 28 March 6
2023 February 20 February 26
2024 March 11 March 17
2025 February 24 March 2
2026 February 16 February 22
2027 March 8 March 14
2028 February 21 February 27
2029 February 12 February 18

3. Maslenitsa Celebrations & Traditions

A Woman Carrying a Large Stack of Pancakes

Traditionally, on the Monday of the Maslenitsa festival, Russian housewives began making crepes, the main Maslenitsa food. On Tuesday, young men invited young women for sleigh rides on the icy hills. Young men looked for brides, and young women looked for grooms. On Wednesday, the mother-in-law invited her son-in-law over for crepes, and on Friday, the son-in-law invited his mother-in-law over. On Thursday, various folk games and competitions began.

Nowadays, the traditions of celebrating Maslenitsa are preserved in many villages. The big cities organize different fairs, performances, competitions, and concerts. Russians enjoy playing the ancient Maslenitsa games, such as storming a snow fortress. On the last day of Maslenitsa, people burn a чучело Масленицы (chuchela Maslenitsy), or “Maslenitsa scarecrow,” which symbolizes bidding farewell to winter.

A very popular competition during Maslenitsa is climbing up a wet pole and taking the prize from the top. Climbing up is very difficult because the wet pole freezes and becomes very slippery. Doing this requires great strength and agility.

4. What’s in a Name?

Why do you think we call this holiday Maslenitsa?

The word Maslenitsa is believed to come from the word Масло (maslo), meaning “butter,” which is a favorite in eating crepes, the most popular of Maslenitsa recipes. Nowadays, crepes are fried in a skillet and served with various fillings: cottage cheese, meat, mushrooms, or condensed milk. Crepes on Maslenitsa are also eaten with honey, fruit preserves, and even caviar.

5. Must-Know Vocabulary for Maslenitsa

A Maslenitsa Scarecrow

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a list of the essential Russian vocabulary for Maslenitsa!

  • Масло (maslo) — “butter”
  • Масленица (Maslenitsa) — “Maslennitsa’s Day”
  • катание на санках (kataniye na sankakh) — “sledding”
  • массовое гуляние (massavaye gulyaniye) — “public celebration”
  • Прощённое воскресение (Proshchyonnoye voskreseniye) — “Shrove Sunday”
  • подготовка к Великому посту (padgatofka k Velikamu pastu) — “preparation for the Great Fast”
  • фаршированный блин (farshirovannyy blin) — “farshirovanniye blini
  • чучело Масленицы (chuchela Maslenitsy) — “Maslenitsa scarecrow”
  • Прощение (prashcheniye) — “forgiveness”
  • семейный праздник (semeynyy praznik) — “family holiday”
  • Православный (Pravaslavnyi) — “Orthodox”
  • Блин (blin) — “thin pancake”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Russian Maslenitsa vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about Maslenitsa in Russia with us! Do you have a celebration for the beginning of spring in your country? Tell us about it in the comments!

If you’re curious to learn more about Russian culture and holidays, check out the following pages on RussianPod101.com:

Whatever your reasons for developing an interest in Russian culture or the language, RussianPod101.com is the best way to expand your knowledge and increase your skills. With tons of fun lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students, there’s something for everyone!

Create your free lifetime account today, and start learning Russian like never before.

Happy Maslenitsa! Enjoy some crepes for us. ;)

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Russian Conjunctions List: Build Brilliant Russian Sentences

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Compared to verbs, nouns, and adjectives, conjunctions in Russian don’t decline, agree, or conjugate. Yaaaay! Moreover, they’re very similar to those in English. Once you learn the top ten (well, the top twelve) conjunctions—if you’ve set your mind seriously—your Russian language skills will become undeniably better.

Ready to start learning the most basic conjunctions in Russian? Let’s get to our Russian conjunctions list!

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Table of Contents

  1. What is a Russian Conjunction?
  2. Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts: И (I) — “And”
  3. Conjunctions to Express Opposition: Но (No) — “But”
  4. Conjunctions to Express Choice: Или (Ili) — “Or”
  5. Conjunctions to Express Condition: Если (Yesli) — “If”
  6. Conjunction for Comparison: Как (Kak) — “As”; “Like”
  7. Conjunctions to Express Similarity: Тоже (Tozhe) — “Also”; “Too”
  8. Conjunction to Express Purpose: Чтобы (Chtoby) — “So that”; “In order to”
  9. Conjunction to Express Cause: Потому что (Potomu chto) — “Because”
  10. Conjunctions to Express Consequence: Поэтому (Poetomu) — “So”; “That’s why”
  11. Conjunctions for Clarification: То есть (To yest’) — “In other words”; “So”
  12. Conjunction of Time: Когда (Kogda) — “When”
  13. Conjunction of Place: Где (Gde) — “Where”
  14. Conclusion


1. What is a Russian Conjunction?

Sentence Patterns

Conjunctions connect words, phrases, and even sentences. That’s why knowing Russian grammar conjunctions will let you express more complicated thoughts and sound much more natural. In the Russian language, conjunctions don’t change and aren’t counted as a part of the sentence.

To warm up, check out our list of must-know adverbs and phrases for connecting thoughts in Russian, and listen to our audio lesson about the six most-used Russian conjunctions.


2. Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts: И (I) — “And”

Improve Listening

1. И (I) — “And”

This is the most-used of all Russian language conjunctions. It can connect nouns, verbs, adjectives, parts of sentences, and even whole sentences.

Remember, if you connect similar words with и (i), you don’t need to put a comma. If you connect two sentences, then put a comma before и (i). Take a look at these examples:

  • Я люблю петь и танцевать
    Ya lyublyu pet’ i tantsevat’
    “I love singing and dancing.”
  • Ешь суп и картошку
    Yesh’ sup i kartoshku
    “Eat soup and a potato.”
  • Она забыла дома кошелёк, и он заплатил за неё в кафе
    Ona zabyla doma koshelyok, i on zaplatil za neyo v kafe
    “She’d left her purse at home, and (so) he paid for her in the restaurant.”

2. Да (Da) — “And”

This is one of those Russian conjunction words that’s seldom used in speech. But you can come across it in fables and fairytales quite often:

  • Ешь яблоки да груши
    Yesh’ yabloki da grushi
    “Eat apples and pears.”
  • Ты да я – хорошие друзья
    Ty da ya – khoroshiye druz’ya
    “You and I are good friends.”

Don’t use the last sentence with your friends though, as it’s more suitable to use when talking to kids.


3. Conjunctions to Express Opposition: Но (No) — “But”

Improve Listening Part 2

1. но () — “But”

This conjunction is used to express any opposition. You can oppose single words, phrases, and even sentences. Remember to put a comma before но (no) if it doesn’t stand at the beginning of the sentence:

  • Она красивая, но глупая
    Ona krasivaya, no glupaya
    “She is beautiful but stupid.”
  • Он хотел поехать в путешествие, но заболел и остался дома
    On khotel poyekhat’ v puteshestviye, no zabolel i ostalsya doma
    “He wanted to travel, but caught a cold and stayed at home.”
  • Я был бы рад, но…
    Ya byl by rad, no…
    “I’d be glad to but…”

Leave a meaningful pause when using the last sentence to imply that an undeniable circumstance prevents you from doing something.

2. А (А) — “But”

This one gives a slight contrast in order to specify the description:

  • Он не просто умный, а самый умный в классе
    On ne prosto umnyy, a samyy umnyy v klasse
    “He isn’t just smart, but the smartest one in the class.”
  • Я не Коля, a Толя
    Ya ne Kolya, a Tolya
    “I’m not Kolya, (but) I’m Tolya.”
  • Она не из Америки, а из Франции
    Ona ne iz Ameriki, a iz Frantsii
    “She is not from America, (but) she is from France.”

3. Однако (Odnako) — “But”

This is used mostly in written language as an alternative of но (no). It sounds smarter and more poetic:

  • Они расстались, однако через год снова встретились и решили возобновить отношения
    Oni rasstalis’, odnako cherez god snova vstretilis’ i reshili vozobnovit’ otnosheniya
    “They broke up, but a year later they met again and decided to start their relationship again.”
  • Внутри ей было очень страшно, однако на лице не дрогнул ни мускул
    Vnutri yey bylo ochen’ strashno, odnako na litse ne drognul ni muskul
    “She was very frightened inside, but she didn’t show it.”
    (Literally: “…but not even one muscle on her face did tremble” when translated.)

Interesting fact. In spoken language, there’s another meaning of oднако (odnako). When said by itself, it means “wow,” and expresses moderate amazement. To sound more natural, you can say Хммм, oднако ж (Khmm, odnako zh) which translates to “Well, wow.”

4. Зато (Zato) — “Instead”; “But”

This is used to specify that one thing has happened and that another thing has not, or that there isn’t one thing but there is another one. The conjunction emphasizes a thing that happened or is there:

  • Она не очень красивая, зато добрая
    Ona ne ochen’ krasivaya, zato dobraya
    “She is not very beautiful, but (instead) she is kind.”
  • Он не поехал в Германию, зато поехал в Китай
    On ne poyekhal v Germaniyu, zato poyekhal v Kitay
    “He didn’t go to Germany, but (instead) he went to China.”


4. Conjunctions to Express Choice: Или (Ili) — “Or”

Learn How to Express a Choice in Russian.

1. Или (Ili) — “Or”

This is the most basic conjunction to express choice in the Russian language. As with и (i), if you join similar words with или (ili) you don’t need to put a comma. If you connect two sentences, then put a comma before или (ili). Take a look at these examples:

  • Ты хочешь пиццу или суши?
    Ty khochesh’ pitsu ili sushi?
    “Do you want pizza or sushi?”
  • Ты ещё учишься в школе или уже поступил в университет?
    Ty eschyo uchish’sya v shkole ili uzhe postupil v universitet?
    “Do you still study at school or have you already entered the university?”
  • Ты будешь покупать себе гитару, или друг одолжит тебе свою?
    Ty budesh’ pokupat’ sebe gitaru, ili drug odolzhit tebe svoyu?
    “Will you buy yourself a guitar or will your friend lend you his?”

2. Либо…, либо… (Libo…, libo…) — “Either… or…”

This is a popular conjunction both in speech and literature. Put a comma before the second либо (libo):

  • Ты либо иди вперед, либо отойди в сторону
    Ty libo idi vpered, libo oyoudi v storonu
    “You either go, or move aside.”
  • Либо она извинится, либо я расскажу об этом её руководителю
    Libo ona izvinitsya, libo ya rasskazhu ob etom yeyo rukovoditelyu
    “She either apologizes or I will tell her boss about it.”

3. либо (libo) — “or”

This is a more poetic version of the conjunction above. You can find it in books or articles:

  • За это её могут лишить зарплаты либо даже уволить
    Za eto eyo mogut lishit’ zarplaty libo dazhe uvolit’
    “For that, she may be left without a salary or even get fired.”

4. Или…, или… (Ili…, ili…) — “Either… or…”

This is the same as либо…, либо… (libo…, libo…), but it’s used relatively more often:

  • Или тот, или другой вариант сработает
    Ili tot, ili drugoy variant srabotayet
    “Either this or that option will work.”
  • Он или сменит работу, или попросит о повышении зарплаты
    On ili smenit rabotu, ili poprosit o povyshenii zarplaty
    “He will either change his job or will ask for a salary raise.”


5. Conjunctions to Express Condition: Если (Yesli) — “If”

Learn How to Express a Condition in Russian.

1. Если (Yesli) — “If”

This conjunction can be used when you need to state a condition. It divides a sentence into two parts: the part with a condition and the part that describes what happens if the condition occurs. The “if” part can be placed either in the first or second part of the sentence:

  • Если ты не будешь заниматься спортом, у тебя будет плохое здоровье
    Esli ty ne budesh’ zanimat’sya sportom, u tebya budet plokhoye zdorovye
    “If you don’t do physical exercises, you’ll have bad health.”
  • Ты заболеешь, если не оденешься теплее
    Ty zaboleyesh’, esli ne odenesh’sya tepleye
    “You’ll catch a cold if you don’t wear warmer clothes.”
  • Она пойдёт в кафе, если ей будет лень готовить
    Ona poydyot v kafe, esli ey budet len’ gotovit’
    “She’ll go to the restaurant if she is too lazy to cook.”

Listen to the audio lesson that we made for you to practice using this conjunction.

2. Если…, то… (Esli…, to…) — “If… then”

This is another way to set a condition. As it’s longer, it’s less used in spoken language than just если (esli).

  • Если она родит сына, то назовёт его Дмитрием
    Esli ona rodit syna, to nazovyot ego Dmitriyem
    “If she gives birth to a boy, then she’ll call him Dmitriy.”
  • Если он узнает об этом, у неё будут проблемы
    Esli on uznayet ob etom, u neyo budut problemy
    “If he gets to know about it, then she’ll have problems.”

3. Если бы…, …бы… (Esli by…, …by…) — “If…”

This conjunction helps to show what would have happened (or could happen) if some event occurred:

  • Если бы ты приехал завтра, я была бы счастлива
    Esli by ty priekhal zavtra, ya byla by schastliva
    “If you could come tomorrow, I would be so happy.”
  • Если бы она не позвонила ему, он бы уже был в Корее
    Esli by ona ne pozvonila emu, on by uzhe byl v Koreye
    “If she hadn’t called him, he’d have been in Korea by now.”

4. Если бы только… (Esli by tol’ko…) — “If only…”

This is used to express regrets about an event that didn’t happen.

  • Если бы только он приехал на час раньше…
    Esli by tol’ko on priyekhal na chas ran’she…
    “If only he came one hour earlier…”
  • Если бы только она не забыла купить торт…
    Esli by tol’ko ona ne zabyla kupit’ tort…
    “If only she hadn’t forgotten to buy a cake…”


6. Conjunction for Comparison: Как (Kak) — “As”; “Like”

This conjunction is used to compare things. There’s a punctuation rule that set expressions with как (kak) are written without a comma, while other comparisons with как (kak) are written without it:

  • Он красный как помидор
    On krasnyy kak pomidor
    “He is red like a tomato.”

This expression is used when someone gets very red.

  • Ты ведешь себя как девочка
    Ty vedesh’ sebya kak devochka
    “You behave like a girl.”

This expression is used toward a boy who behaves moodily or cries.

  • Её волосы, как огонь, горели при солнечном свете
    Yeyo volosy, kak ogon’, goreli pri solnechnom svete
    “His hair looked like a fire in the sunlight.”


7. Conjunctions to Express Similarity: Тоже (Tozhe) — “Also”; “Too”

Learn How to Express Similarity in Russian.

1. Тоже (Tozhe) — “Also”; “Too”

So, this conjunction is perfect for saying “me too” and things like that:

  • Я тоже это хочу
    Ya tozhe eto khochu
    “I also want this.”
  • Петя умный. Коля тоже неглупый
    Petya umnyy. Kolya tozhe ne glupyy
    “Petya is clever. Kolya is also not stupid.”
  • Они тоже решили купить себе такую же микроволновку
    Oni tozhe reshili kupit’ sebe takuyu zhe mikrovolnovku
    “They also decided to buy themselves the same microwave.”
  • Я тоже
    Ya tozhe
    “Me too.”

You need to be careful not to mix the conjunction тоже (tozhe) and pronouns with the particle то же (to zhe). Listen to our audio lesson about the particle.

2. Также (Takzhe) — “Also”

This is an alternative for тоже (tozhe). It’s used most often in written language:

  • Будьте готовы к тому, что вам также не выдадут визу
    Bud’te gotovy k tomu, chto vam takzhe ne vydadut vizu
    “Be ready that you also won’t get a visa.”
  • Помимо дивана они также решили приобрести кресло
    Pomimo divana oni takzhe reshili priobresti kreslo
    “Besides a sofa, they’ve also decided to buy an armchair.”


8. Conjunction to Express Purpose: Чтобы (Chtoby) — “So that”; “In order to”

This conjunction is the most-used conjunction to express purpose, both in spoken language and in written speech:

  • Чтобы выздороветь, она купила лекарство
    Chtoby vyzdorovet’, ona kupila lekarstvo
    “In order to recover, she bought a medicine.”
  • Она начала вести трекер привычек, чтобы научиться вставать и ложиться в одно и тоже время каждый день
    Ona nachala vesti treker privychek, chtoby nauchit’sya vstavat’ I lozhit’sya v odno I to zhe vremya kazhdyy den’
    “She started a habit tracker to start going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.”
  • А что бы ты сделал, чтобы такого больше не произошло?
    A сhto by ty sdelal, chtoby takogo bol’she ne proizoshlo?
    “What will you do so that it doesn’t happen again?”

Listen to our audio lesson about the conjunction чтобы (chtoby) for additional information.


9. Conjunction to Express Cause: Потому что (Potomu chto) — “Because”

Learn How to Express Cause in Russian.

Do you like to explain yourself, or do you prefer for others to guess why you did this or that? In any case, the conjunction потому что (potomu chto) will come in handy if you’re late for work and your Russian boss asks you why you’re late. :-) Usually, the part of the sentence containing this conjunction is at the end.

  • Он опоздал, потому что попал в пробку
    On opozdal, potomu chto popal v probku
    “He was late because he got stuck in a traffic jam.”
  • Потому что я не хочу!
    Potomu chto ya ne khochu!
    “Because I don’t want to!”
  • Она начала учить русский язык, потому что захотела переехать жить в Россию
    Ona nachala uchit’ russkiy yazyk, potomu chto reshila pereyekhat’ zhit’ v Rossiyu
    “She’s started to learn Russian because she’s decided to move to Russia.”

Listen to our dialogue to learn more about conjunctions of cause. Make sure to listen to a review about the conjunctions of cause as well.


10. Conjunctions to Express Consequence: Поэтому (Poetomu) — “So”; “That’s why”

If you love to build heavy logical sentences, this conjunction is just for you. Set the statement in the first part of the sentence, add поэтому (poetomu) which means “so,” or “that’s why,” and tell what statement comes out of the first statement. Voila! A perfect sentence is ready.

In spoken language, this conjunction can be transformed into и поэтому (i poetomu), meaning “and so,” or “and that’s why,” to sound more smooth.

  • Он был сыт, поэтому отказался от десерта
    On byl syt, poetomu otkazalsya ot deserta
    “He was full, and that’s why he refused the dessert.”
  • Она не сделала домашнее задание, и поэтому получила двойку
    Ona ne sdelala domashneye zadaniye, I poetomu poluchila dvoyku
    “She didn’t do her homework, and that’s why she got a D.”
  • Солнце встает там, поэтому мы пришли с той стороны
    Solntse vstayot tam, poetomu my prishli s toy stotony
    “The sun rises there, so we came from that way.”


11. Conjunctions for Clarification: То есть (To yest’) — “In other words”; “So”

1. То есть (To yest’) — “In other words”; “So”

If you want to clarify something, you can express the same information in different words. That’s a nice way to practice your vocabulary. Let’s look at some examples of how to use the conjunction то есть (to yest’):

  • Это она сделала всю работу, то есть я даже ей не помогал
    Eto ona sdelala vsyu rabotu, to yest’ ya dazhe ey ne pomogal
    “She did this work all along, in other words, I haven’t even helped her.”
  • Он купил себе новый компьютер. То есть, как понимаешь, денег мы снова не увидим
    On kupil sebe novyy kompyuter. To yest’, kak ponimayesh’, deneg my snova ne uvidim
    “He bought himself a new computer. So, as you understand, we won’t see our money again.”
  • Она заболела. То есть проект мы должны заканчивать самостоятельно
    Ona zabolela. To yest’ proekt my dolzhny zakanchivat’ samostoyatel’no
    “She caught a cold. So, we’ll have to finish the project by ourselves.”

2. А именно (A imenno) — “Namely”; “What/who exactly”

This is another conjunction to specify details. Use it to ask for a specified answer:

  • А именно кто это сделал?
    A imenno kto eto sdelal?
    “Who exactly did this?”
  • Что-то мне не нравится этот дизайн
    Chto-to mne ne nravitsya etot disayn
    “Hmm, seems like I don’t like this design.”
  • А именно что не нравится?
    A imenno chto ne nravitsya?
    “What exactly don’t you like?”
  • Мне не нравится вкус этого блюда, а именно мяса
    Mne ne nravitsya vkus etogo blyuda, a imenno myasa
    “I don’t like the taste of this dish, namely the meat.”


12. Conjunction of Time: Когда (Kogda) — “When”

Learn Time Conjunction in Russian.

As in English, the word когда (kogda), meaning “when,” can be both a conjunction and question word. Use it when you need to specify that some action happened right after another one:

  • Когда я вернулся с работы, я сразу лёг спать
    Kogda ya vernulsya s raboty, ya srazu lyog spat’
    “When I returned from work, I immediately fell asleep.”
  • Я не люблю, когда меня перебивают
    Ya ne lyublyu, kogda menya perebivayut
    “I don’t like when I’m being interrupted (to be interrupted).”
  • Она ещё не решила, когда поедет в отпуск
    Ona eschyo ne reshila, kogda poyedet v otpusk
    “She hasn’t decided yet when she’ll take a vacation.”


13. Conjunction of Place: Где (Gde) — “Where”

As in English, the word где (gde), meaning “where,” can be both a conjunction and question word. Use it when you need to specify the place where an action is taking place (or has taken place):

  • Она приехала в город, где еще никогда не была
    Ona priyekhala v gorod, gde eschyo nikogda ne byla
    “She arrived in the city where she had never been before.”
  • Я сижу в том кафе, где мы встречались летом
    Ya sizhu v tom kafe, gde my vstrechalis’ letom
    “I’m sitting in that café where we met in summer.”
  • В сумке, где должен был находиться ключ, его не оказалось
    V sumke, gde dolzhen byl nakhodit’sya klyuch, ego ne okazalos’
    “There was no key in the pouch where it should have been.”


14. Conclusion

So, you’ve learned the most-used Russian conjunctions. You can look through the titles once again to refresh the words in your memory. Of course, the list of Russian conjunctions is not limited to the ones shown in our article. But you need to feel confident using the most common conjunctions to start feeling the difference with their alternatives.

Also, keep in mind that in modern texting, some of the conjunctions might be shortened. Check out our article about Russian internet slang to find out more about it.

If you feel that you need some practice with what you’ve just learned, but you don’t have quite enough motivation to make the most out of your studies, consider taking some lessons with our professional Russian tutors who can help, control, and catalyze your language-learning progress.

Before you go, let us know in the comments what you thought of our Russian conjunctions list! Do you feel more confident now, or is there still something you’re struggling to understand? We look forward to hearing from you!

Smile and keep learning Russian with RussianPod101. ;-)

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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


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

1- Russian Greeting Etiquette

Someone Putting Their Hand Out to Shake

1. Cheek kiss.

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

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

2. Russian handshake etiquette.

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

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

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

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

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

3. Smile and nod.

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

4. Hug.

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

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

2- Asking for Forgiveness

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

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

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

3- Gratitude

Thanks

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

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

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

4- Forms of Address for Different People

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

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


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

Hygiene

1- Paying for Food

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

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

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

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

2- When Should You Start Eating?

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

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

3- Going to the Toilet

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

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


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

Friends Drinking at Lunch

1- Making a Toast

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

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

2- Pouring

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

3- Don’t Put Empty Bottles on the Table

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


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

Couple at Dinner

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

1- Dating a Russian Woman Etiquette

1. Bringing Flowers

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

But make sure that:

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

2. Russian Girls on the Date

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

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

3. Being a Gentleman

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

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

2- Dating a Russian Man Etiquette

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

1. Act Like a Lady

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

2. Be Ready for High Expectations

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

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

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


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

Bad Phrases

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

1- Take Your Shoes Off

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

2- Don’t Show up Empty-handed

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

3- Don’t Whistle Indoors

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

4- Offer to Help Clean Dishes After the Meal

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

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

5- Russian Food Etiquette

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

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

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


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

1- Offering a Seat

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

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

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

2- Pushing in a Crowd and Public Lines

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

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

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

3- Staring at Women

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

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


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

People Shaking Hands in a Meeting Room

1- Business and Alcohol

Business

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

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

2- Don’t Keep Your Hands in Your Pockets

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

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

3- Don’t Spread Your Legs Wide Apart

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

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

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


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

1- Gift Superstitions

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

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

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

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

2- First Refusing the Gift and Then Accepting it

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

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

3- Gifts to Women

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

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


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

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

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

Once you’ve learned Russian etiquette, it would be a great help to learn basic Russian vocabulary to be polite around Russians. Our teachers will gladly help you with that. Check out our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners. Our teachers are all native speakers with an impressive teaching background. They’ll make sure that you start talking in Russian very soon. ;-)

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Reading Russian Dates: Learn Years, Months and Days in Russian

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Just imagine that you need to make an appointment to save the world with native Russian super heroes—just for the usual international superhero meeting. :-) Well, you’d definitely need to be able to tell the date…the Russian date.

Maybe you have a super ability to read other people’s minds? Well, you still need to learn the dates because Russian superheroes—and actually all other Russians—think in…yep, Russian! Surprise. :-)

So, gonna save the world? Learn how to read and tell the date in Russian. Let’s get started with the basics, and you’ll soon see that expressing dates in Russian really isn’t so hard.

Table of Contents

  1. Russian Dates: Calendar Dates in Russian
  2. Days of the Week in Russian
  3. Must-Know Phrases and Words to Talk about Dates in Russian
  4. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

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1. Russian Dates: Calendar Dates in Russian

Russian Dates

Let’s learn how to say dates in Russian. More specifically, we’ll answer the question “How are dates written in Russian?”

Russian dates are usually written in the following order: day-month-year. For example, 22.05.2025. Let’s learn how to read Russian dates and use the Russian calendar, so that you can soon start talking about dates in Russian like it’s nothing!

1- How to Say Months in Russian

Months

Let’s start with the months of the year in Russian. You may notice that Russian month names resemble the English ones. That’s because the etymology for these words is the same:

  • “January” in Russian is Январь (yanvar’). This month got its name from the ancient Roman god Janus. He was the god of time, gates, and doorways. So, metaphorically speaking, январь (yanvar’) is a doorway to the new year.
  • Февраль (fevral’) is “February.” In Russia, this month has always been the coldest month of the whole year. The month’s name comes from the name of the ancient Roman god of purification, Februus. His holy month was February.
  • Март (mart) is “March.” The first spring month was named after the god of war, Mars. But how are spring and war connected? Well, the thing is that this god also guarded agriculture. That’s why most of his festivals were held in this first spring month.
  • Апрель (aprel’) is “April.” This month was named after the ancient Greek goddess, Afrodita. During this month, the snow melts and everything starts to grow and bloom.
  • Май (may) is “May.” The warmest spring month was named after the ancient Greek pleiad Maia, who symbolized the growth and blooming of nature.
  • Июнь (iyun’) is “June.” The first summer month was named after the ancient Roman goddess Juno, who took care of soil fertility and the strength of marriage.
  • Июль (iyul‘) is “July.” The hottest summer month was named after Gaius Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor.
  • Август (avgust) is “August.” This month’s name comes from the name of another Roman emperor: Augustus.
  • Сентябрь (sentyabr’) is “September.” In ancient times, the year started not in January but in March. That is why the first autumn month was derived from the Latin word septum which means “seven.”
  • Октябрь (oktyabr’) is “October.” October was derived from the Latin word octo which means “eight.” But did the fantasy of the ancient month name-giver finish? :-)
  • Ноябрь (noyabr’) is “November.” This is from the Latin word novo which means “nine.”
  • Декабрь (dekabr’) is “December.” This month’s name is also derived from a Latin word: decem which means “ten.”

If you need to say “leap month” in Russian, use високосный месяц (visokosnyy mesyats).

Now, practice the Russian calendar months with our word list.

2- How to Say Days in Russian

Learning Dates

Dates and numbers in Russian go hand-in-hand. When telling dates in Russian, you need to use Russian ordinal numbers for the days, which behave like adjectives in sentences. “Date” or “number” in Russian is число (chislo). This noun has a neutral gender, which is why all the date numbers are used with neutral endings as well:

  • Первое (pervoye)—”the first”
  • Второе (vtoroye)—”the second”
  • Третье (tret’ye)—”the third”
  • Четвертое (chetvyortoye)—”the fourth”
  • Пятое (pyatoye)—”the fifth”
  • Шестое (shestoye)—”the sixth”
  • Седьмое (sed’moye)—”the seventh”
  • Восьмое (vos’moye)—”the eighth”
  • Девятое (devyatoye)—”the ninth”
  • Десятое (desyatoye)—”the tenth”
  • Одиннадцатое (odinnadtsatoye)—”the eleventh”
    • Please, note that the letter д (d) in the number одиннадцатый and in the following numbers is not pronounced.
  • Двенадцатое (dvenadtsatoye)—”the twelfth”
  • Тринадцатое (trinadtsatoye)—”the thirteenth”
  • Четырнадцатое (chetyrnadtsatoye)—”the fourteenth”
  • Пятнадцатое (pyatnadtsatoye)—”the fifteenth”
  • Шестнадцатое (shestnadtsatoye)—”the sixteenth”
  • Семнадцатое (semnadtsatoye)—”the seventeenth”
  • Восемнадцатое (vosemnadtsatoye)—”the eighteenth”
  • Девятнадцатое (devyatnadtsatoye)—”the nineteenth”
  • Двадцатое (dvadtsatoye)—”the twentieth”
  • Двадцать первое (dvadtsat’ pervoye)—”the twenty-first”
  • Двадцать второе (dvadtsat’ vtotoye)—”the twenty-second”
  • Двадцать третье (dvadtsat’ tret’ye)—”the twenty-third”
  • Двадцать четвертое (dvadtsat’ chetvyortoye)—”the twenty-fourth”
  • Двадцать пятое (dvadtsat’ pyatoye)—”the twenty-fifth”
  • Двадцать шестое (dvadtsat’ shestoye)—”the twenty-sixth”
  • Двадцать седьмое (dvadtsat’ sed’moye)—”the twenty-seventh”
  • Двадцать восьмое (dvadtsat’ vos’moye)—”the twenty-eighth”
  • Двадцать девятое (dvadtsat’ devyatoye)—”the twenty-ninth”
  • Тридцатое (tridtsatoye)—”the thirtieth”
  • Тридцать первое (tridtsat’ pervoye)—”the thirty-first”

In order to write the day in Russian dates with numerals, write a number, add a hyphen, and add the last two letters of the last number-word. For example:

  • Первое (pervoye)
    1-ое
    “the first”
  • Второе (vtoroye)
    2-ое
    “the second”
  • Третье (tret’ye)
    3-ье
    “the third”
  • Четвертое (chetvyortoye)
    4-ое
    “the fourth”
  • Пятое (pyatoye)
    5-ое
    “the fifth”
  • Двадцать восьмое (dvadtsat’ vos’moye)
    28-ое
    “the twenty-eighth”
  • Тридцатое (tridtsatoye)
    30-ое
    “the thirtieth”

You can learn more about Russian ordinal and cardinal numbers from our article about Russian numbers, and practice naming numbers with our word list.

3- How to Say the Years in Russian

Learning Years in Russian

Now, onto dates and years in Russian. The numbers of the year in Russian are also ordinal numbers. “Year” in Russian is год (god). This noun has a masculine gender, which is why all year numbers are used with masculine endings as well. For example:

  • 1876: тысяча восемьсот семдесят шестой (tysyacha vosem’sot semdesyat shestoy)
  • 1925: тысяча девятьсот двадцать пятый (tysyacha devyat’sot dvadtsat’ pyatyy)
  • 2012: две тысячи двенадцатый (dve tysyachi dvenadtsatyy)

Please, note that there’s more than one way to read 1000 in Russian: тысяча (tysyacha or tyshcha) or одна тысяча (odna tysyacha). The shorter version is used in spoken language.

4- How to Say Dates in Russian: Putting it Together

Numbers

Now you know how to tell days, months, and years in Russian. Let’s see how they work together, and how to write dates in Russian in full.

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

  • 08.03.2007
    восьмое марта две тысячи седьмого года
    vos’moye marta dve tysyachi sed’mogo goda
    “The 8th of March, 2007.”

By the way, the 8th of March is an official holiday in Russia: International Women’s Day. To learn more about important dates in Russia, listen to our audio.

  • 23.04.1991
    двадцать третье апреля тысяча девятьсот девяносто первого года
    dvadtsat’ tret’ye aprelya tysyacha devyat’sot devyanosto pervogo goda
    “The 23d of April, 1991.”

Now, to practice writing dates in Russian yourself, write down your birthday in Russian in the comments section below. ;)

Now you’re ready to learn how to ask “When is your birthday?” in Russian.


2. Days of the Week in Russian

Weekdays

The first day of the Russian week is usually Monday. “Weekdays” are called будни (budni). If you want to say “weekday,” use будний день (budniy den’).

“Weekend” is выходные (vykhodnyye). To say “weekend day,” use выходной день (vykhodnoy den’).

1- Monday

So, let’s start with how to say “Monday” in Russian. First, you need to know that there’s a Russian tradition of not doing anything on Sunday. In Russian, this is called не делать (ne delat’) or “not to do.” That’s why “Monday” in Russian language is called понедельник (ponedel’nik). It’s the day after not doing anything.

2- Tuesday

“Tuesday” in Russian is вторник (vtornik). You can see that it starts similarly to the word второй (vtoroy) which means “the second.” That was actually how this weekday was named; it’s the second day of the week.

3- Wednesday

“Wednesday” in Russian is среда (sreda). Wednesday in Russia is usually considered to be the middle of the week (at least, the middle of the working week). That’s why the name was created from the word середина (seredina) meaning “the middle.”

4- Thursday

“Thursday” in Russian is четверг (chetverg). Thursday is the fourth day of a Russian week, so the name comes from the number четыре (chetyre) which means “four.” If you want to know more about Russian numbers, check out our article.

5- Friday

“Friday” in Russian is пятница (pyatnitsa). In Russian, “five” is пять (pyat’), hence the name of the weekday.

6- Saturday

So, now let’s learn how to say “Saturday” in Russian: суббота (subbota). The name has an interesting history. It comes from the Jewish word Sabbath which means “to rest.”

7- Sunday

“Sunday” in Russian is воскресенье (voskresen’ye). The name comes from the Russian Christian tradition and means the day of the resurrection of Jesus. In Russian, “resurrection” is воскресение (voskreseniye). As you can see, only one letter is different. Make sure that you don’t mix the words up!

Now practice Russian days of the week with our word list.


3. Must-Know Phrases and Words to Talk about Dates in Russian

Let’s Learn How to Make an Appointment in Russian

Now you know how to give the dates and days of the week in Russian. Let’s enrich your vocabulary so that you can learn how to use these words in a sentence and build a proper dialogue about the dates. By the end of this section, you should also have a better idea about how to read dates in Russian.

  • Вчера (vchera)—”yesterday”
    Вчера шёл дождь (Vchera shyol dozhd’)—”It was raining yesterday.”
  • Сегодня (segodnya)—”today”
    Сегодня плохая погода (Segodnya plokhaya pogoda)—”The weather is bad today.”
  • Завтра (zavtra)—”tomorrow”
    Завтра будет солнечно (Zavtra budet solnechno)—”It will be sunny tomorrow.”
    Давай встретимся завтра (Davay vstretimsya zavtra)—”Let’s meet tomorrow.”

    The answer to that suggestion can be:
              Давай! (Davay!)—”Sure!”

  • Позавчера (pozavchera)—”the day before yesterday”
    Позавчера я встретился с русским другом (Pozavchera ya vstretilsya s russkim drugom)—”The day before yesterday, I met up with my Russian friend.”
  • Послезавтра (poslezavtra)—”the day after tomorrow”
    Послезавтра я собираюсь в больницу (Poslezavtra ya sobirayus’ v bol’nitsu)—”The day after tomorrow, I’m going to a hospital.”
  • Квартал (kvartal)—”quarter”
    This word is seldom used in actual conversations, but you’ll come across it if you work with Russian-speaking colleagues. Business goals are usually set for a quarter (among monthly and yearly goals).
  • Какое сегодня число? (Kakoye segodnya chislo?)—”What date is it today?”
    The answer could be:

    • Сегодня двадцать девятое июня (Segodnya dvadtsat’ devyatoye iyunya)—”Today is the 29th of June.”
  • Какого числа начинаются занятия? (Kakogo chisla nachinayutsya zanyatiya?)—”When does the study start?”

    The answer could be:

    • Занятия начинаются первого сентября (Zanyatiya nachinayutsya pervogo sentyabrya)—”The study starts on the 1st of September.”

      Interesting fact. The 1st of September is called День Знаний (Den’ Znaniy) which means “Knowledge Day.” Every year on the 1st of September, Russian students have the first school/university day. If you’re lucky to be in Russia on this day, you’ll probably see a lot of school children formally dressed and with flowers to give to their teachers.

  • Какого числа ты выходишь на работу? (Kakogo chisla ty vykhodish’ na rabotu?)—”When will you get back to work?” or “When is your first day at work?” depending on the context.

    The answer could be:

    • Я выхожу на работу тридцать первого ноября (Ya vykhozhu na rabotu tridtsat’ pervogo noyabrya)—”I will start working on the 31st of November.”
  • Когда у тебя день рождения? (Kogda u tebya den’ rozhdeniya?)—”When is your birthday?”

    The answer could be:

    • Мой день рождения одиннадцатого апреля (Moy den’ rozhdeniya odinnadtsatogo aprelya)—”My birthday is on the 11th of April.”
    • Семнадцатого января (Semnadtsatogo yanvarya)—”On the 17th of January.”
  • Какой сегодня день недели? (Kakoy segodnya den’ nedeli?)—”What weekday is it today?”

    The answer could be:

    • Сегодня вторник (Segodnya vtornik)—”Today is Tuesday.”
  • В каком месяце ты собираешься приехать? (V kakom mesyatse ty sobirayesh’sya priyekhat’?)—”What month are you planning to come?”

    The answer could be:

    • В феврале (V fevrale)—”In February.”

If you wanna dig even deeper, you can learn how to reschedule an appointment or what to do when you arrive late for the appointment.


4. Conclusion: How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

So, now you know how to talk about dates, how to make appointments, and how to tell someone when your birthday is (so no one has an excuse not to prepare a gift for you). ;-)

If the Russian language and Russian culture make you excited and you wanna tell more about yourself in Russian, check out our MyTeacher program for Russian-learners. You can set your own goals and reach them fast with our professional native Russian teachers. You can also choose a specially prepared program to pass Russian language exams and to achieve the level of Russian you need.

And remember, keep the learning process fun and exciting—that way, you’ll keep moving forward no matter what difficulties you meet on your way.

Before you go, let us know how you feel about reading dates in Russian now. And why not practice Russian dates by telling us today’s date in Russian in the comments section? ;) We look forward to hearing from you!

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Russian Family: Guide on Talking about Relatives in Russian

Thumbnails

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

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


    1. Body Language for Apology

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

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

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

    Child Kneeling


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

    3 Ways to Say Sorry

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

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

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

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


    3. Formal Apologies

    Woman Refusing a Handshake

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

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

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

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

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


    4. Informal Apologies

    Woman Apologizing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    5. Peculiar Apologies

    Say Sorry

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

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


    6. How to Reply to an Apology in Russian

    1- General Answers

    People Shaking Hands

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

    2- Informal Answers

    Child Leaning on a Shoulder

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


    7. Conclusion

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

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

    Увидимся! (Uvidimsya!)—“See you!”

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    Celebrate Teachers’ Day in Russia

    Celebrate Teachers' Day in Russia

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

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

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

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

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

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    1. What is Teachers’ Day in Russia?

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

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

    2. When is Teachers’ Day?

    October 7 is Teacher’s Day

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

    3. Teachers’ Day Celebrations & Traditions

    Chocolate

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

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

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

    4. Original Date of Teachers’ Day

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

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

    5. Essential World Teachers’ Day Russian Vocabulary

    Teacher in Front of Blackboard

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

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

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

    How RussianPod101 Can Help You Master Russian

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

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

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

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

    Best wishes, and Happy Teacher’s Day!

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    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!

    To take even more control over your Russian learning, upgrade to Premium Plus! With a Premium Plus account, you can take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Russian one-on-one with your own teacher!

    Know that your hard work will pay off, and you’ll be speaking, reading, and writing Russian like a native before you know it! And RussianPod101.com will be here with you on each step of your journey to language mastery.

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