Russian Phrases: How to Sound Like a Local

Visiting Russia can be an experience of a lifetime. The unique culture, friendly people, and KGB agents following you everywhere. We are joking about the latter, of course. Even if you don’t get a chance to travel there, there is a high probability you can come across a business partner who speaks Russian. The Russian language is widely spoken outside the borders of the former Soviet Union and you can practice your skills with native speakers living in the US. Look at the common Russian phrases that might come in hand during your long conversations.

russian phrases

Basic Russian Phrases

Hello. – Приве́т! (Privet!)
How are you? – Как дела́? (Kak dela?)/ Чё, как сам(а)? (Ch’o kak sam(a)?)
Pleased to meet you. – О́чень прия́тно (Ochen’ prijatno).
Where are you from? – Ты откуда? (Ty otkuda?)
Will Putin win the elections again? – Путин выиграет на выборах снова? (Putin vyigraet na vyborakh snova?)

Advanced Russian Phrases

That’s gross! – Это жесть! (Eto zhest!)
I can’t believe I’m in Russia. – Не верится, что я в России. (Ne veritsa chto ja v Rosii.)
It’s an awesome borsch, thank you. – Классный борщ, спасибо! (Klasnyj borsch, spasibo).
It’s much more beautiful here than I expected. – Здесь намного красивее, чем я ожидал. (Zdes’ namnogo krasivee, chem ja ozhidal.)

Phrases to Use When You Are Angry

Get lost, dude! – Потеряйся, чувак!
I’m this close to punching you. – Еще чуть-чуть и я ударю. (Esche chut’-chut’ i ja udarju.)
Can you back off? – Ты можешь отстать? (Ty mozhesh’ otstat’?)

Essentials for Tourists

Do you have this menu in English? – У вас есть меню на английском? (U vas est’ menju na anglijskom?)
Where is the restroom? – Где уборная? (Gde ubornaja?)
How much does this cost? – Сколько это стоит? (Skolko eto stoit?)
One ticket, please. – Остановитесь здесь, пожалуйста. (Ostanovites’ zdes’, pozhalujsta.)
Airport – Аэропорт (Aeroport)
Railway station – Вокзал (Vokzal)
Hospital – Больница (Bol’nitsa)
Subway – Метро (Metro)

Phrases to Use When Talking to a Friend

Let’s go party! – Го тусить! (Go tusit’)
I’m sick of it. – Меня это достало. (Men’a eto dostalo)
This dude is getting on my nerves. – Этот чувак меня бесит. (Etot chuvak men’a besit)
Are you kidding me? – Ты что, прикалываешься? (Ti chto prikalivaesh’sia)
What is going on here? – Что здесь происходит? (Chto zdes’ proiskhodit)
Cool! – Прикольно! (Prikol’no)
Awesome! – Круто! (Kruto)

Russian Idioms

Don’t lie to me. – Не вешай мне лапшу на уши. (Ne veshai mne lapshu na ushi)
Literal translation: don’t put noodles on my ears.

Break a leg! (when wishing someone to succeed). – Ни пуха ни пера! (Ni pukha ni pera)
Literal translation: no down, no feathers

Why are you staring at me? (not a polite form) – Чего уставился как баран на новые ворота? (Chego ustavils’a kak baran na novie vorota)
Literal translation: Why are you staring at me like a sheep at a new gate?

Cook a hare before catching him. – Делить шкуру неубитого медведя. (Delit’ shkuru neubitogo medved’a)
Literal translation: sell the bear`s skin before one has caught the bear.

Working very hard, being busy as a bee. – Крутиться как белка в колесе. (Krutitsa kak belka v kolese)
Literal translation: to spin like a squirrel in a wheel

To be continued…

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