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a statue of a clock tower

Russian Language day

6th June is a special day in Russia! We celebrate the birthday of Alexander Pushkin, a great writer, poet, playwright. Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) is considered to be the father of the modern Russian language. He worked almost in all genres from romantic poems to travel journals. It was he who rejected high-sounded bombastic complicated style of classic Russian poetry and he managed to unite the colloquial speech and the sublime odes of the past. Anyone who starts learn and speak Russian, knows his name for sure!

Since 2010 the United Nations established the celebration of the Day of Russian Language within the framework of the program of development of multilingualism and cultural diversity. One of the goals of this program is to maintain the equality of all six official languages of the UN: English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and French.

As you know 8 days left before the beginning of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, and we offer you to prepare and thus celebrate the Day of the Russian language learning some useful basic phrases that a foreigner should know to feel in Russia like a local.

How to be polite?

No matter what language you use, politeness and kindness will never spoil your everyday life and especially when you are travelling share your positive vibrations and you will see how quickly you will learn basic Russian.

how to be polite
Hello (formal) – Здравствуйте [zdravstvuite]

Hello (informal) – Привет [privet]

Good morning – Доброе утро [dobraye utro]

Good afternoon – Добрый день [dobriy den’]

Good evening – Добрый вечер [dobriy vyecher]

Goodbye [formal] – До свидания [do svidaniya]

Bye-bye [informal] – Пока [poka]

What is your name? – Как вас зовут? [kak vas zavut]

My name is … – Меня зовут … [Menya zavut]

Thank you – Спасибо [spaseeba]

Please – Пожалуйста [pazhalusta]

You’re welcome – Пожалуйста [pazhalusta]

Excuse me – Простите [prasteete]

Getting around

We leave in the era of mobile phones with GPS navigation so asking for directions may seem redundant. But imagine, your phone battery dies and you are coming for the game. You may ask a volunteer to help but if no volunteer on the go, so these phrases may help you.

getting around

Where is…? – Где? [gdye]

Metro – Метро [metro]

Airport – Аэропорт [airaport]

Train station – Вокзал [vakzal]

Hotel – Отель [otel]

Stadium – Стадион [stadeeon]

How do I get to the stadium/metro/bar/museum/hotel/train station? – Как пройти к стадиону/ метро/ бару/ музею/ отелю/ вокзалу [kak prai’ti k stadionu/metro/baru/muzeyu/otelyu/vokzalu]

Interaction with service staff

Buying souvenirs, having dinner at a restaurant, using public transport or shopping, you will not avoid any of this while travelling. And why avoid? These are among the most interesting things while exploring Russia.

russian waitress
How much is it? – Сколько это стоит? [skolko eto stoit]
One coffee / one beer, please. – один кофе/ одно пиво/ пожалуйста [adin kofe/ adno pivo/ pazhalusta]
Can I please have the menu? – Можно пожалуйста меню? [mozhno pazhalusta menyu?]
I will (have)… – Я буду… [ya budu]
May I have the check please? – Можно счёт пожалуйста? [mozhno schyot pazhalusta?]
Do you accept credit cards? – Вы принимаете кредитные карты? [vi prinimayete kreditniye karty]
What is your Wi-Fi password? – Какой у вас пароль от Wi-Fi? [kakoy u vas parol ot vay–fai]

Speak Russian about Football 

If you want to be a bit closer to Russian football fans and start some conversation during the match, you probably should know these words.

9 days before FIFA world cup 2018

referee – арбитр [arbitr] or судья [sudiya]

goalkeeper – вратарь [vratar]

defender (centreback, sweeper, fullback, and wingback – they all are called the same) – защитник [zaschitnik]

midfielder – полузащитник [poluzaschitnik]

forward – нападающий [napadayuschyi]

a ball – мяч [myach]

Which team do you shout for? – [Za kovo vy boleyete?] За кого вы болеете?

Match – матч [mutch]

“mustard plaster” this is what fans call a yellow card – Горчичник [Gorchichnik]

Goal! – Гол [gol]

And one more phrase in case you are not language learning enthusiast or just to remind that you are not fluent in it.

I don’t speak Russian. – Я не говорю по-русски. [ya ne gavaryu pa ruski]

And what about English? Do Russians speak English? The answer is ExploRussia do speak and all our friends too. The statistics show that the situation with English is not very impressive in Russia in general. Your typical Russian cab driver, waiter, metro employee, or cashier will not be fluent enough but still, people are open and they will try to help you using body language.

We wish you perfect Russian practice and feel free to contact our team in case you want a local tour or just to help with the Russian language during the trip!