Top 10 Russian Words and Phrases to Know

As I prepare to head off to Russia in just a few days (yay!), I’m doing my best to be prepared in every way possible. Because I’m going to a foreign place where I don’t speak the native language, I’m a little worried about being able to communicate with people. Even though we’ll be accompanied by a guide who knows Russian fluently, I still think it’s important to have a few Russian words and phrases ready to whip out just in case! Language is such an important thing – and something we take for granted when we don’t have to think about interacting with someone who doesn’t speak our language.

At one point someone online suggested I try to learn ten basic phrases so that I could communicate and also to show the Russian people that I was trying (that’s important). Here are a few basic Russian words and phrases that with the help of others I decided would be good to know. Please let me know if something is not correct or you have other phrases to suggest ti Learn!

1. Здравствуйте! (STRASS-vee-tyeh): Hello (This is the preferred way to greet people in Russia – it’s a little more formal than just saying “hi” in English.)

2. до свидания (da svee-DAH-nya): Goodbye

3. как дела (kahk dyeh-LAH): How are you?

4. Вы говорите по-английски (vih gah-va-REE-tyeh pah ahn-GLEES-kee): Do you speak English?

5. Спасибо! (spa-SEE-ba): Thank you!

6. Извините! (eez-vee-NEE-tyeh): Excuse me

7. я не понимаю (ya ne pa-ee-my-oh): I don’t understand.

8. Меня зовут (mehn-yeh-zau-voot) :My name is…

9. Вы можете мне помочь (Vy-mozhete-mne-pomoch): Can you help me?

10. Где туалет? (g-DHEY-na-HOH-dee-tsa VAHN-na-yah KOM-na-tah): Where’s the restroom?

Check out the video below to hear the correct pronunciations of some of these Russian words and phrases!

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