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Exploring Russia: Helpful Phrases You MUST Learn

A beautiful Russian woman.
When you travel to Russia, learning basic phrases can enhance the tour experience. | Photo by Kirill Balobanov on Unsplash

Do you know that a few English words are of Russian origin?

Or that Russian is the 6th most natively spoken language in the world?

The Russian language comes with tons of interesting facts.

Russia is known for sending the first man into space. Not just that, but it's also the country where Russian dolls come from. Indeed, it's a place you shouldn't miss for your next trip.

Studying a language, particularly Russian, can be challenging. It is, in general, regarded as one of the most difficult languages to master.

Learning a few phrases can help when you travel to Russia, especially if you want to get a better sense of the country and its culture.

Prepare your luggage, plan your itinerary, and learn these basic Russian phrases in English:

Russian Alphabet

There's a great difference between the Russian alphabet and the modern English one. Learning about these will help you read road signs, labels, and names as you get around the country.

It is derived from the Old Church Slavonic language's Cyrillic script. The current alphabet is made up of 33 letters, including:

  • 20 consonants;
  • ⟨б⟩ b ⟨з⟩ z ⟨п⟩ p ⟨х⟩ h
    ⟨в⟩ v ⟨к⟩ k ⟨р⟩ r ⟨ц⟩ c
    ⟨г⟩ g ⟨л⟩ l ⟨с⟩ s ⟨ч⟩ č
    ⟨д⟩ d ⟨м⟩ m ⟨т⟩ t ⟨ш⟩ š
    ⟨ж⟩ ž ⟨н⟩ n ⟨ф⟩ f ⟨щ⟩ šč
  • ten vowels;
  • ⟨а⟩ a ⟨е⟩ e
    ⟨ё⟩ ë ⟨и⟩ i
    ⟨о⟩ o ⟨у⟩ u
    ⟨ы⟩ y ⟨э⟩ è
    ⟨ю⟩ ju ⟨я⟩ ja
  • two modifier letters; and
  • ⟨ь⟩ ' ⟨ъ⟩ "
  • a semivowel.
  • &#⟨й⟩ j

Common Phrases

Some of the most commonly used Russian words and phrases are mentioned below. This can be extremely useful as you get around a city.

  • Saying Yes and No
    When traveling, the yes and no responses are the most useful. It provides answers to many questions and is easy to comprehend.

    1. Yes – Да (da)
    2. No – Нет (nyet)
  • Saying Please, Thank You, and You’re Welcome
    It's always better to use polite words every time you speak to strangers. Doing so helps you get proper treatment and approach from the Russian locals. It's friendly and avoids making you look arrogant.

    1. Please. – Пожалуйста (poZHAlusta)
    2. Thank you. – Спасибо (spaSIbo)
    3. You’re welcome. – Не за что. (ne za chto)
  • Saying I’m sorry and Excuse me
    You're exposed to foreign things as you travel. You still have a lot to learn and adjust to in the place you visited. During your Russian trip, maintain your politeness. Adapt and respect their culture since it's a good practice to do so.
    1. I'm sorry. – Прошу прощения. (proSHU proSHCHEniya)
    2. Excuse me. – Извините. (izviNIte)
    An image of a man reading a book.
    Russian is a fascinating language. Understand the culture by learning the language.. | Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
  • Daily phrases
    Visiting Russia gives you a lot of insight into their culture. Not only that, but you'll also get a glimpse of what life is like there.

    One of the best ways to loosen up is to travel. How could this be?

    There's just so much to look forward to. From food to music to well-known places, there's something for everyone. Why miss it?

    Here are some more phrases to remember for your trip:

    1. I don’t understand. – Я не понимаю. (YA ne poniMAyu)
    2. I can’t understand Russian. – Я не говорю по-Русски. (YA ne govoryU po RUSski)
    3. Do you speak English? – вы говорите по-Английски? (vi govoRIte po angLIYski?)
    4. Please help me. – Помогите, пожалуйста. (pomoGIte, poZHAlusta)
    5. Please give me one ticket – Один билет, пожалуйста. (oDIN biLYET, poZHAlusta)


What do you tell your roommate every morning?

When you meet a colleague along the way, what do you say?

When you need something from a stranger, how do you approach him?

Greetings are the first thing we say to each other. You greet anyone before saying something to them, regardless of whether you know them or not. It's a respectful gesture.

It wouldn't hurt to say hello or excuse me. It also improves your character. People who are not used to greeting others are often perceived as rude. Because of this, they're mostly avoided.

Before going to Russia, know these basic greetings:

  1. Hello. (formal) – Здравствуйте (ZDRAstvuyte)
  2. Hello. (informal) – Привет (priVET)
  3. Good morning. – Доброе утро. (dObroye Utro)
  4. Good afternoon. – Добрый день. (dObriy den’)
  5. Good evening. – Добрый вечер. (dObriy VEcher)
  6. How are you doing? – Как дела? (kak deLA?)
  7. Thank you, I’m good. – Хорошо, спасибо. (haraSHO, spaSIbo)
  8. I’m alright, thank you. – Неплохо, спасибо. (nePLOho, spaSIbo)
  9. Nice to meet you. – Приятно познакомиться. (priYATno poznaKOmitsa)
  10. Goodbye. – До свидания. (do sviDAniya)
  11. Until we meet again. – До встречи (do VSTREchi)


Russia is home to some of the world's most beautiful cities and tourist destinations. It is well-known for its diverse culture and world-class museums. Because of this, the Russian citizens are extremely proud and honorable of their country's achievements in politics and astronomy. Amazingly, the Russian Federation has maintained its glory and valor over the years.

It's also home to stunning Russian women who will make you fall in love. Is there a better place to go on your next vacation?

  • Places and Direction
    When traveling, maps are a must-have. It's hard to move around without it. Make sure you have a reliable internet connection or download a map to avoid getting lost. Physical maps are also an option.

    Don't be afraid to seek guidance from the locals. They will gladly accommodate you.

    When picking a city to visit, the cities of Vladivostok, Moscow, and St. Petersburg are among the best you can visit.
    The beautiful Moscow, Russia.
    Want to get away from the city hustle? Unwind and relish the experience of Russian travel. | Photo by Egor Vitalich on Unsplash

    Here are some useful phrases:
    1. Where is...? – Где ...? (Gde...?)
    2. Can you tell where the metro is? – Где метро? (gde meTRO?)
    3. Where’s the bus? – Где автобус? (gde avTObus?)
    4. Is it a long way from here? – Это далеко? (eto daleKO?)
    5. Go straight. – Идите прямо. (iDIte PRYAmo)
    6. Turn right. – Поверните на право. (poverNIte na PRAvo)
    7. Turn left. – Поверните на лево. (poverNIte na LEvo)
    8. Please stop here. Остановитесь здесь, пожалуйста. (ostanoVItes’ zdes’, poZHAlusta)
    9. Can I have a map, please? – Карту, пожалуйста. (KARtu, poZHAlusta)
  • Shop and Dine
    When shopping and eating out, it's important to keep an eye on your personal belongings. If you have any issues, contact customer service for assistance.

    If you choose to travel outside of the area, be aware of the nearest Consulate or Embassy where you can seek assistance if problems occur.

    Make sure you're travel-ready by having your passport, visa, and immigration card with you all the time. Also, get to be familiar with these phrases:

    1. Can I see the menu, please? – Можно меню, пожалуйста? (MOzhno meNU poZHAlusta?)
    2. Salad – Салат (saLAt)
    3. Soup – Суп (sup)
    4. Chicken – Курица (KUritsa)
    5. Beef – Говядина (goVYAdina)
    6. Fish – Рыба (RIba)
    7. Can I have a glass of... (water/wine/beer) – Можно мне стакан... (вина/воды/пива) (MOzhno mne staKAN... [viNA/voDI/PIv])
    8. Can you give me the bill, please? – Можно чек, пожалуйста? (MOzhno chek, poZHAlusta?)
    9. Breakfast – Завтрак (ZAvtrak)
    10. Lunch – Обед (oBED)
    11. Dinner – Ужин (Uzhin)
    12. How much does it cost? – Сколько стоит? (skol’ko STOit?)
    13. Do you accept credit cards? – Можно заплатить кредитной карточкой? (MOzhno zaplaTIT’ kreDItnoi KARtochkoi?)
    14. Cash – Наличные (naLICHnie)

Loving the Country of Russia

Being in Russia gives you so many things to see and do! This country is truly incredible. Russia has it all for you, so don't miss visiting this place.

We are a part of society because of culture. We become citizens of a country as we belong to a society. Our identity is intrinsically tied to the country in which we were born, so it's only natural that we honor our roots.

We become unique and distinctive because of language.

Try learning Russian phrases while you’re in Russia. You’ll have a great travel experience. Most certainly, you’ll know what to say come the next family reunion.

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