Learn Russian With Me

Learn Russian With Me

The most useful Russian words.

on September 1, 2014

Thinking about a trip to Russia? Most Russians don’t speak any foreign languages. Read on if you want to learn words foreigners use in Russia.

There are some bad (swear) words too.

Russian letters. If you are going to Russia it’s good to learn how to read Russian words. See how foreigners read Russian.

Numbers 1-10. Learn numbers.

Блин – means “pancake”, but people often use it as a connective. Russians use this word  in many different situations. The meaning is very close to the English words “shit”, “hell”, “man”, “whoa”.

Где – “where”. You will use this word a lot. If you need to go somewhere and know only the name of the place but not where it is, just say “где” + the name of the place. For example: где гостиница (where is the hotel), где аптека (where is the pharmacy), где магазин (where is the shop) and so on.

Да-да-да – “yes”. Some people repeat “yes” repeating this word several times. The meaning is the same when you say “да” only once.

Да нет, наверное – literally, “yes no, probably”. So what in the world does “yes, no, probably” mean? It’s very close to “I guess not”, “I don’t know”, “I’m not sure”, “Maybe”, “I can’t tell now” and so on. 🙂

Женщина/девушка – “woman/young woman”, мужчина/молодой человек – “man/young man”. When addressing someone, as in “Miss/Mister!” you can use the second of each, but not the first one, unless you want to sound a bit impolite.

Зажигалка – “lighter”. If you smoke you will use this word to buy or borrow a cigarette lighter.

Здесь/там – “here/there”. It’s better to learn these and other direction words before going to Russia. You will use them when going by taxi. 🙂

Конечно (Russian pronunciation: канешна – kaneshna or канечна – kanechna) – of course, sure

Ладно – “ok”, “yes”. Russians say this when they eventually agree with you, as when you try to persuade them to do what you want them to and they finally agree “Ладно” (Ok, fine).

Можно? – “is it allowed?”, “is it possible?”, “May I?” You can ask for something to do, e.g. to see or take, you can also use it when you want to attract somebody’s attention.

Молоко – milk, кефир – kefir (this is type of sour yoghurt) – so you need to know how to read the Russian for “milk”, otherwise you may get kefir which is definitely not milk. 🙂 These two products sometimes have similar packages. Look:

Ну – “so”, “and”, “well”. Russians very often say “ну да” – “well, yes”, “ну да, конечно” – “well, yes, of course”. But be careful, sometimes the expressions “ну да”, “ну да, конечно” means “NO” depending on intonation.

Пидорас (swear word) – it’s very bad word. Used a lot by football fans, e.g. when they wish to express their loud disapproval of the referee. Read more.

Похмелье – “hang-over”, закуски – “snacks”. Опохмеляться – to have an alcoholic drink for hang-over relief, the best way to treat “похмелье” in Russia. Don’t forget to eat something – закусывать. 🙂

Регистрация – “registration”. All foreigners staying in Russia should go through the procedure otherwise you may find yourself in prison. Usually the person or organization who has invited you to Russia should take care of this. For more information read here: Migration registration of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation

Сдача – “change, small amount of money”. Usually even taxi drivers don’t have change. Try to always have some coins on you to pay in small shops or for taxi.

Серьёзно? – “are you serious?” – one more expression Russians use a lot. You can say it when some one has told you a story or a joke with an interrogative intonation, like you don’t believe. This will make you sound very Russian. 🙂

Справка – “certificate”. Russia is a very bureaucratic country. Everywhere you go they ask you for some papers. For example, to use a public swimming pool you may have to show a health certificate.

Хватит бухать – “stop the booze, stop to drink alcohol”.


Хорошо – good.

Чё – “what?” – a colloquial for что (што)

Давай – “Come on!” Поехали! – Let’s go! (when you go by transport or when you start doing something) , let’s start . Пошли! – Let’s go! (when you go on foot)

Пропуск – pass, permit


If you would like to know more about Russians you can read

The Xenophobe’s Guide to the Russians.

Some funny information about Russia.

Удачи! Good luck!

Are you ready to learn Russian? Поехали!


3 responses to “The most useful Russian words.

  1. […] this euphemism (to replace taboo word) when they are angry. You can find video with taboo words here and learn some swear words, but I strictly recommend NOT to use them. My opinion, that people very […]


  2. […] Before you go to Russia read this article The most useful Russian words. […]


  3. IronMan says:

    It’s funny!


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