Twelve Days of Christmas - How to Count in the Russian Language
Count and Laugh Along With Us In Russian
In middle schools some of us learned to count from 1 to 10 in Russian and we had a good time learning the language and the history and culture of Russia, especially the arts and the music.
In high school Russian Class, we learned to sing the Russian lyrics to The Twelve Days of Christmas.
This means that we at least learned to count from one through twelve in this great language. Actually, we learned to count to a thousand and higher in Russian, and I will show you some of the numbers below.
We had a lot of fun with Russian language numbers and even held a bingo game for an entire class hour one day. Another time, we translated old TV shows into Russian - I did an old episode of The Honeymooners.
In addition, I have provided some fun videos that let you hear the language in numbers and also a Russian group singing the Twelve Days of Christmas in English.
I hope you enjoy these displays and wish them to bring you a smile or a laugh.
Click here for the entire lyric for the Russian Language version of the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Russian Numbers 1 to 10
1 - один ("uh-deen")
2 - два ("dva"): The "a" is like that in "Ah."
3 - три ("tree")
4 - четыре ("chye-tir-ye"): The first "e" is like our "short e" or "eh" sounds and the last "e" is almost "ee."
5 - пять ("pyat' "): "A' like "Ah." The (') means a soft-sign (ь) is in place, meaning to cut off the last letter partially by lifting your tongue to behind your front teeth.
6 - шесть ("shest' "): The "e" is like the American "short e" or "eh."
7 - семь ("syem' "): Same type of American "short e." Don't spend much time on the "m", because it has a soft-sign after it.
8 - восемь ("vo-syem' ") : The "o" should have umlauts ( ¨ ) over it and be pronounced like the o in oracle. There are no "long o" sounds in Russian. Remember the soft-sign at the end.
9 - девять ("dyev-yat' "): The "a" sounds like that in "Ah".
10 -десять ("dyes-yat' "): again, "a" like "Ah."
Russia in Music
The Don Cossack choir singers are my favorite Russian musical group.
Matryoshka Dolls Counting To 10
Russian Numbers 11 to 20
Try to guess these pronunciations before you reach the video below!
Give up? Do not feel band. The video tells you how to say each number in Russian, with a human demonstrator pronouncing each word clearly, for your enjoyment.
11 - одиннадцать: один-над-цать. The first syllable is the same as for "1" above. The second syllable is like "n - Ah - d". The last syllable "tsaht'." The rest of the words this list work in a very similar manner of pronunciation.
How Hard are the Russian Numbers?
Which set of numbers was more difficult for you to learn?
12 - две-над-цать
13 - три-над-цать
14 - че-тыр-над-цать
15 - пят-над-цать
16 - шест-над-цать
17 - сем-надцать
18 - восем-надцать
19 - девятнадцать
How To Count 1-20 in Russian
Russian Icon - King Solomon, Known for Counting
Comparison of Roman and Cyrillic Alphabets For Russian Numbers
Moscow Boys Choir - 12 Days of Christmas
Matryoshka Dolls = 8 (Vocem') In This Set
Russian Language Links
Russian in the 1960s
The 1960s in Russian is written as "1960-е годы", meaning roughly "the one thousandth, nine hundredth, 60th through 60th years."
In 1960s America, it was illegal to have items written in the Russian language within our borders, particularly Soviet newspapers. However, in an experimental language class for youth, we saw Pravda in Russian and a copy of Oktabriana.
Oktyabrina or Octyobriana Is a female Russian name, which is in use since the 1920s is related to the month name (Oktyabr = October), symbolizing the Great October Revolution. There is much legend surrounding the original comics of the same name.
A cult following has grown up around the newer version created in the 1980s and a live film version has been done.
You might find a rare copy of the 1950s-1960s comic at a comics convention, or even a science fiction convention, by a slim chance.
Bonus: Twelve Months In Russian
January: январь = yahn-vahr’
February: февраль = feh-vrahl (Bold indicates stress or emphasis)
March: март = mahrt’
April: апрель = ah-prehl’
May: май = mai (As in the drink "Mai Tai")
June: июнь = eeyun’
July: июль = eeyul’
August: август = ahv-goost or ahf-goost
September: сентябрь = sehn-tyah-br’
October: октябрь ok-tyah-br’
November: ноябрь no-yah-br’
December: декабрь de-kah-br’
The video below is a Russian cartoon about the 12 months of the year, in the Russian language.
© 2007 Patty Inglish MS