Russian Language Lesson, Enigma No More!

You may have read our recent blog post about all the great ways that you can work on your foreign language skills. We thought that we would revive an old blog series of language tidbits to remind you how fun and interesting language learning can be!

Today, we’re going to focus on Russian. This Slavic language is spoken by approximately 277 million people worldwide and comes with a rich literary tradition that is cherished by people all over the world, both in translation and in the original. Not to mention the fact that all eyes are on Russia right now with the current situation in Crimea (see our blog post about that here.)

So! It’s time to govoreet po russki. The best introduction to any culture different from your own is to just spend time with people for whom it is native. This quick language tutorial will teach you the words that you need to have an informal hangout with your new Russian-speaking friend. Please be aware that all of these word forms should only be used in informal situations with someone around your own age who younger with whom you have some acquaintance. Adults tend to use the formal when meeting someone for the first time regardless, but 20-somethings and teenagers can use these forms below. (Note: the bold portion of the word is the emphasized syllable.)

Привет! – preevyet, means Hi!

Как дела? – kak dela? means What’s up? How are things with you?

Прекрасно!/Неплохо!/Нормально! – Prekrasna!/Neplohha!/Normal’na!, all good answers to Как дела?, meaning Great!/Not bad!/Fine. Don’t be surprised if a Russian answers плохо! – plohha (meaning not well/bad) to your polite How are you? Russians tend to take that question seriously and will answer you in kind.

Как тебя зовут? – Kak tebya zovoot? means What’s your name?

Чай будешь? – Chai budesh? means You want some tea?

Какая музыка тебе нравится? – Kakaya muzika tebye nravitsya? means What kind of music do you like?

Какие фильмы тебе нравится? – Kakiye filmi tebye nravitsya? means What kind of films do you like?

Other important words:
Извини! – Eezvenee, means Sorry!

Спасибо – Spaseeba, means Thank you!

Practice your Russian with a friend or a family member! Have some fun with it.