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Learning Russian Lesson 4 (Common Greetings)

Updated on December 7, 2009

Saying Hello

OK, now that you've got a bit of a grasp of the letters/sounds and how they are used - lets go into some small sentences and greetings.

Note: If you've forgotten the letters and sounds see here for a refresher.

Эдрáвствуйте! (Spelled out = Zdravstvujte but pronounced Zdrastvujte (notice the missing ‘v’) and meaning Hello!) ... you can also say ... Эдрáвствуйте Горис (this would be Hello Горис (Boris) ... so Hello Boris. Obviously it can be anyone’s name here!

  • Эдрáвствуйте __[NAME]__

Эдрáвствуйте is the normal polite way to greet someone.

Меня зовýт Вéра. Как вас зовýт? (Mena zavut (my name is) [Vera]. Kak vas zavut (Who are you?))

  • Меня зовýт Вéра. Как вас зовýт?

Now ... something important to note ... it seems that in most interactions, the starting point of a response to a question, is simply a reiteration of the question in the first place. So, in the case above - the question is "Who are you?" (Как вас зовýт?) ... the response would be ...

  • Меня зовýт Горис.

Óчень приятно, Вéра (Ochen prijatna (notice "a" sound and not "o" sound), Vera) ...

Óчень приятно - literally means 'very pleasant', but is used to convey the meaning, Pleased to meet you.

Kak Делá? (Kak Dela = How are you?)

Generally 4 Positive responses (varying in strength of feeling) and 1 negative response to this question when asked.  Fairly simple if you can remember these as they will be used frequently in responses to your questions and in your responses to other people's questions.

The Positives

  • oтлично (Otlichno = Excellent!!!)
  • хорошó (Horosho = Good!! ... this one is used quite frequently)
  • нормáльно (Normal-no! ... Normal - hopefully that was pretty self evident?)
  • ничего (Nichego (pronounced Nichevo) ... OK)
  • неплóхо (Neploho ... Not Bad)

The Negative

  • плóхо (Ploho ... Bad ... Notice that the word above "неплóхо" is the same as this one, with the small addition of the letters - "не" which convert this from Bad to Not Bad ... this convention is used fairly frequently).

Continuing the Greets!

  • Эдрáвствуйте Джон! (Hello John)
  • Дóбрый день Анна! (dóbryj den (Good Day) Anna)
  • Как делá? (kak delá = how are you)
  • Хорошó, спаси́бо. А у вас? (Harasho (notice that since only the last ”o” is accented, the other two are pronounced as “a’s” ... see rule 1 ... ) spasibo = I’m fine thank you OR I’m good thank you. А у вас = and you?)
  • Нормáльно (Normal-no! ... Normal)

Informal Greetings

  • Привéт Джон! (privét ... Hi! (informal) John)
  • Привéт Анна! (Hi Anna!)
  • Cпаси́бо, отли́чно.  А у тебя? (Great/excellent thanks!)
  • Тóже хорошó (Also good)

Saying Goodbye

  • До свидáия (Da svidanja = Goodbye)
  • Пока (Pronounced 'Paka' = So Long ... Informal)
  • Всегó дóброго ("All the best")


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    • My SciFi Life profile image

      My SciFi Life 7 years ago from London, UK

      Hi Victor - thx for the visit and comments!

    • profile image

      Victor 7 years ago

      Thank you for the interesting site.

      I know a very good site for learning Russian."language101"

      Video lessons, audio lessons, word by word, frase by frase, very interesting approach to learning using popular Russian songs. A lot of great tips for learner.