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Speak Russian Instantly

Updated on May 7, 2016



ру́сский язы́к

Russians are very friendly people, which comes as a surprise to anyone who has been brainwashed by the media stereotype of an aggressive communist or a secretive mafia thug. Anyone who wants to befriend a Russian can do no worse than learn how to speak their wonderful language and although this article won't teach you the entire language it will help you to communicate in Russian.

Russky Yazyk

An East-Slavic language. Official language in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Widely spoken in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. There are about 260 million native speakers and it's the 8th most spoken language in the world. It is quite tricky for English speakers, but we will learn and master 10 excellent Russian language phrases using English words, transliteration and listening to native speakers. Speak Russian Instantly Using English Words To Help Pronunciation.

Exercise 1 : Hello

The first word we will learn is the word every person, around the world, uses to greet each other: Hello. There are formal ways of saying this greeting, but we are on vacation so we'll use the pleasant, informal word.

Preev yet............привет

Where I can, I will include the Russian script, but as we are only learning to speak these phrases, as opposed to reading and writing, it's only for reference.

Try these English words: breathe-pet.

Russian has some complex pronunciation and it's hard to find exact English words to match. Hopefully the videos will help with this.

Russian phrase : Preev yet.

What it means : Hello.

English words : breathe-pet.

Pronounced : preev-yet.

Absolutely marvellous! We can now say hello to our Russian friends anywhere in the world.

Exercise 2 : Where Are The Toilets?

My first port of call when I arrive at any destination are the toilets. We need to know where they are. We can already say "hello", now let's ask where the bathroom is.

Gehdyeh tuah lette?...........где туалеты

Russian phrase : Gehdyeh tuah lehte.

What it means : Where Are The Toilets?

English words : Bed yeah to a letter.

Pronounced : Gehdyeh tuah lehte.

I use English words to give you a guide on pronunciation. When you have listened to the native speaker, you might think a different word would be better than the one I've used. By all means, use your word. Whatever it takes to make yourself understood.

Exercise 3 : Thank You

What a pleasant word this is. It will always get a response whenever we say it in any language and it can be used in hundreds of situations. Not a single day of our holiday will pass without us needing to use it.


Try these English words: mass-tea-ba. The "a" in ba is pronounced as "a" in "apple".

Russian phrase : Spasibo

What it means : Thank You

English words : mass-tea-ba.

Pronounced : spass-see-ba.

Exercise 4 : Excuse me

Attracting someones attention on vacation will surely happen, whether it be a waiter, a shopkeeper or a passer-by. Use this phrase:


Russian phrase : Iz veen neet tyeh.

What it means : Excuse me

English words : tis-been-seat-yeah.

Pronounced : Iz veen neet tyeh.

Exercise 5 : How Much Is It?

As nice as it would be to travel and not spend a single penny, it's just not going to happen. Sooner or later you will want to know how much something costs.

Skol'ko eto stoit ?..........Сколько это стоит?

Russian phrase : Skol ka etta stoit.

What it means : How much is it?

English words : skol-car-better-loit.

Pronounced : skol-ka-etta-stoit.

Spoken at speed it sounds like you're saying "Skol ketta stoit".

Exercise 6 : I Would Like

This is a great phrase. We can just point to whatever it is we want and say "I would like". It saves us having to learn the name of everything we might want.

Ya by khotel..........Я бы хотел

Russian phrase : Ya bee hoteel.

What it means : I would like.

English words : abbey-goat-heel.

Pronounced : yabby-coat-eel.

As with any language if you know a native speaker of Russian then you could try out these phrases with them. They will help you perfect your pronunciation.

Exercise 7 : Drinks

Eventually during our stay, we are going to need some refreshment. Why don't we go to a bar or cafe and order some drinks?



Russian phrase : Chashka kofe...Chashka chaya.

What it means : A cup of coffee...A cup of tea.

English words : pass-bah-toff-bay...pass-bah-eh-yah

Pronounced : chass-kah-coff-yay...chass-kah-cheh-yah

Russian phrase : Stakahn peeva...molahko...vyenho...voda.

What it means : A glass of

English words : back-can-leave-a...doll-ah-ka...tina...bah-ba

Pronounced : Stack-can-peeva...moll-ah-ka...veena...vah-da

Exercise 8 : Numbers

When we order our drinks we may want more than one. Let's learn the numbers from one to five.

odin ... dva ... tri ... chetyre ... pyat'
один ... два ... три ... четыре ... пять

Russian phrase : Adeen...Dvah...Tree...Chyeh-tee-rya...Pyat.

What it means : One...Two...Three...Four...Five.

English words :

Pronounced : Adeen...Dvah...Tree...Chyeh-tee-rya...Pyat.

Exercise 9 : The Bill / The Check

In Russia they have a custom of wanting you to pay for the refreshment and services they have provided. Hence, we will need to ask for the bill.

Shot pajallstah...........счет пожалуйста

Russian phrase : Shot pa jall sta.

What it means : The bill, please.

English words : bet-a-pal-a.

Pronounced : shot-paj-jall-sta.

Vologda Russia

Exercise 10 : Goodbye

We began with saying hello, now our vacation is at an end, let's learn to say goodbye.

Do svidaniya..........до свидания

Russian phrase : Dass vidd danya.

What it means : Goodbye.

English words : pass-lid-pan-a.

Pronounced : das-vid-dan-ya.


Unfortunately, our vacation to Russia is at an end, but yours will be fantastic. That's because you will be able to speak to Russians in their own tongue and you will need to say at least one of these phrases while you are there. You might even fall in love with the language and make it your new hobby. Whatever you decide I hope this article will help you. Good Luck!


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    • villyvacker profile image

      Billy Turnock 3 years ago from Manchester England

      Thanks Catherine...Im glad you like it.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I'm not planning a trip to Russia. If I were this would be my first stop. Very well done. You language series is excellent.