75 Russian Phrases Every Language Learner Should Know

Izmaylovo District (or Izmailovo District), Izmaylovo Kremlin (or Izmailovo Kremlin), a Matryoshka dolls (or Matrioska) seller in the flea market
Matryoshka doll seller in the flea market in Izmaylovo District. Massimo Borchi/Atlantide Phototravel / Getty Images

Consider the following 75 Russian phrases a survival guide for your time in Russia. Our lists include everything you need to know to greet people, ask for directions, order at a restaurant, shop, and get around.

Basic Phrases

English Phrase Russian Phrase Pronunciation
My name is Меня зовут MiNYA zaVUT
What’s your name (formal)? Как тебя зовут? Kak tiBYA zaVUT?
What’s your name (informal)? Как тебя зовут? Kak tiBYA zaVUT?
Pleased to meet you Очень рад / рада (masculine / feminine) Ochen’ rad / radah
Excuse me / Sorry? Простите? * PrasTEEtye?
Excuse me / Sorry Извините IzviNEEti
Thank you Спасибо SpaSEEba
You’re welcome Пожалуйста PaZHALsta
Please Пожалуйста PaZHALsta
That’s fine / okay / great Хорошо HaraSHOH
How are you? Как дела (informal) / Как у вас дела? (formal) Kak diLAH / Kak u vas diLAH?

(*) Note that Простите? can be used if you didn’t quite catch what has been said. Without a question mark, Простите is used as "excuse me" if you need to leave or are trying to get past someone.

Greetings

The most common way to say hello is Здравствуйте, sometimes pronounced as Здрасте (ZDRAStye). While Здравствуйте is much more formal, the shortened version is used in situations when the speaker wants to be less formal, yet not quite informal. You may also hear Здрасте as part of several Russian idioms that all mean that something has arrived in a surprising and not always welcome way. Stick to Здравствуйте to be on the safe side.

English Phrase Russian Phrase Pronunciation
Hello Здравствуйте ZDRASTvooytye
Good morning Доброе утро DOBraye OOTra
Good day / good afternoon Добрый день DObry DYEN’
Good evening Добрый вечер DOBry VYEcher
Hi, Hello Привет PreeVYET
Hey Здорово (very informal) ZdaROva
Goodbye До свидания Da sveeDAnya
Good night Доброй ночи DOBray NOchi
Good night Спокойной ночи SpaKOYnay NOchi
Bye Пока PaKAH
See you soon До встречи Da VSTRYEchi
See you later / bye Счастливо! ShasLEEva!
See you later / bye Удачи! OoDAHchi!

Счастливо and Удачи are used interchangeably and literally mean "with happiness" (Счастливо) and "good luck" (Удачи). They are used in the same way as you would use the expression "good luck" in English.

At a Restaurant or Café

English Phrase Russian Phrase Pronunciation
May I have the menu? Дайте, пожалуйста, меню DAYtye, paZHALsta, myeNUY
Do you have a menu in English? У вас есть меню на английском? U vas YEST’ myeNYU na angLEEskam?
What do you recommend? Что вы рекомендуете? CHTO vy rekaminDOOyetye?
Can I please have Дайте мне, пожалуйста DAYtye mnye, paZHALsta
This is delicious Это очень вкусно EHtah Ochen’ VKUSna
The bill, please Счет, пожалуйста Shyot, paZHALsta
Coffee, please Кофе, пожалуйста KOfe, paZHALsta
Tea, please Чай, пожалуйста CHAI, paZHALsta
No, thank you Нет, спасибо NYET, spasEEba
Enjoy your meal Приятного аппетита PreeYATnava ahpyeTEEta
I will have... Я буду... Ya BUdu

Getting Around

English Phrase Russian Phrase Pronunciation
Could you please tell me Скажите, пожалуйста SkaZHEEtye, paZHALsta
Excuse me, please Извините, пожалуйста / простите, пожалуйста IzviNEEtye, paZHALsta / prasTEEtye, paZHALsta
Where is the hotel? Где гостиница? Gdye gasTEEnitsa?
Where is the restaurant? Где ресторан? Gdye ristaRAN?
Where is the subway? Где метро? Gdye metROH?
Where is the taxi stand? Где стоянка такси? Gdye staYANka takSEE?
Is it far? Это далеко? EHta daliKOH?
It is not far Это недалеко Ehta nidaliKOH
Turn left / go left Поверните налево / идите налево PaverNEETye naLYEva / eeDEEtye naLYEva
Turn right / go right Поверните направо / идите направо PaverNEETye naPRAva / eeDEEtye naPRAva
Around the corner За углом Za ugLOM
Keep straight on and don’t turn Идите прямо и никуда не сворачивайте EeDEEtye PRYAma ee nikuDAH ni svaRAchivaytye
How do I get to the airport? Как добраться до аэропорта? Kak dabRATsa da aeroPORta?
How do I get to the train station? Как доехать до вокзала? Kak daYEhat’ da vakZAla?
Stop here Остановите здесь AstanaVEEtye SDYES’
Which bus... Какой автобус... KaKOY avTOboos
When does it leave? Когда отходит? Kagda atKHOHdit?
Next station / stop Следующая станция / остановка SlyeduSHAya STANciya / astaNOVka
Which platform does the train leave from? С какой платформы отходит поезд? S kaKOY platFORmy atKHOdit POyezd?
One ticket to / two tickets to Один билет до / два билета до aDEEN biLYET da / DVA biLYEta da

Shopping

English Phrase Russian Phrase Pronunciation
Do you have...? У вас есть...? U vas YEST’?
How much is it? Сколько это стоит? SKOL’ka EHta STOeet?
How much is...? Сколько стоит...? SKOL’ka STOeet...?
Can I have..., please Дайте, пожалуйста... DAYtye, paZHALsta...
May I / May I have a look? Можно? / Можно посмотреть? MOZHna? / MOZHna pasmatRYET’?
I’ll take... / I'll take it Я возьму... / я возьму это Ya vaz’MOO... / Ya vaz’MOO EHta
Could you wrap it, please? Заверните, пожалуйста ZavyrNEEtye, paZHALsta
I’m just looking / browsing Я только смотрю Ya TOL’ka smatRYU
Do you have it in a larger size? Есть на размер больше? YEST’ na razMYER BOL’she?
Do you have it in a smaller size? Есть на размер меньше? YEST’ na razMYER MYEN’she?
I’d like to return this and get a refund Я хочу вернуть покупку и получить деньги обратно Ya haCHU vyerNUT’ paKUPku ee paluCHIT’ DYENgi abRATna

When You Don't Quite Understand

Even armed with all these phrases, you may sometimes find yourself not quite understanding what is being said. Use the suggestions below to get yourself out those tricky situations.

English Phrase Russian Phrase Pronunciation
I don’t understand Я не понимаю Ya ni paniMAyu
Could you please say it again? Повторите, пожалуйста PavtaREEtye, paZHALsta
I don’t speak Russian very well Я плохо говорю по-русски Ya PLOkha gavaRYU pa RUSky
Do you speak English? Вы говорите по-английски? Vy gavaREEtye pa angLYsky?
I don’t know Я не знаю Ya ni ZNAyu
Help me, please Помогите мне, пожалуйста PamaGHEEtye mnye, paZHALsta
Everything is fine Всё нормально VSYO narMAL’na
Don’t worry Не волнуйтесь Nye valNUYtis