Months in Russian: Pronunciation and Examples

Calendar for May 2019 in Russian
Calendar for May 2019, close-up, schedule of days with working days and holidays in Russia.

ClaireLucia / Getty Images

The names of the months in Russian come from Latin and can sound similar to English. As with all other Russian nouns, month names change according to the case they are in.

Russian months are masculine in gender. They are never capitalized unless they appear at the beginning of a sentence.

Russian Months Translation Pronunciation Example
январь January yanVAR' - Наступил январь (nastooPEEL janVAR')
- January began
февраль February fyvRAL' - Я приеду в феврале (ya priYEdu ffyevraLYEH)
- I will arrive in February
март March mart - Восьмое марта (vas'MOye MARtuh)
- 8th of March
апрель April ahpRYEL' - Первое апреля - День смеха (PYERvaye ahpRYElya - DYEN' SMYEkha)
- April 1st is April Fools' Day
май May ah - y (as in 'my') - День Победы празднуется в мае (DYEN' paBYEdy PRAZnuyetsya VMAyeh)
- Victory Day is celebrated in May
июнь June ee-YUN' - Июнь - шестой месяц года (eeYUN' - shysTOY MYEsyats GOduh)
-
 June is the 6th month of the year
июль July ee-YULE - В июле у меня отпуск (V eeYUly oo myNYA OHTpusk)
- My vacation is
 in July
август August AHVgoost - Август выдался особенно жарким (AHVgoost VYdalsya ahSOHbynuh ZHARkim)
- August was particularly hot
сентябрь September synTYABR' - В сентябре начинается учебный год (fsyntyabRYE nachyNAyytsa ooCHEBny GOHD)
- The academic year starts in Septemb
er
октябрь October akTYABR' - Они уезжают в октябре (aNEE ooyeZHAHyut v aktybRYE)
-They 
leave in October
ноябрь November naYABR' - Ноябрь - холодный месяц (naYABR' - haLODny MYEsyats)
- Novembe
r is a cold month
декабрь December dyKABR' - Снег пошел в декабре (SNYEG paSHYOL f dyekabRYE)
- It began to 
snow in December

Using Prepositions With Names of Months in Russian

в - In (Prepositional Case)

The preposition в means "in" and is used to indicate that something happens during a certain month.

  • В январе - in January
  • В феврале - in February
  • В марте - in March
  • В апреле - in April
  • В мае - in May
  • В июне - in June
  • В июле - in July
  • В августе - in August
  • В сентябре - in September
  • В октябре - in October
  • В ноябре - in November
  • В декабре - in December

Example:

- Я начал здесь работать в январе.
- I started to work here in January.

на - For (Accusative Case)

The names of all months remain unchanged when using the preposition "на."

Example: 

- Ему назначили обследование на март.
- His tests have been arranged for March.

с - From, Since and до - Until (Genitive Case)

  • с / до января - since / until January
  • с / до февраля - since / until February
  • с / до марта - since / until March
  • с / до апреля - since / until April
  • с / до мая - since / until May
  • с / до июня - since / until June
  • с / до июля - since / until July
  • с / до августа - since / until August
  • с / до сентября - since / until September
  • с / до октября - since / until October
  • с / до ноября - since / until November
  • с / до декабря - since / until December

Example:

- Я буду в отпуске с мая до июля.
- I will be on vacation from May until July.

Abbreviations

Russian names of months are often shortened in writing (such as calendars or diaries) using the following abbreviations:

  • Янв - January
  • Фев - February
  • Мар - Marcf
  • Апр - April
  • Май - May
  • Июн  -  June
  • Июл - July
  • Авг - August
  • Сен - September
  • Окт - October
  • Ноя - November
  • Дек - December

Russian Calendar

Russia has been using the Gregorian calendar since 1940, as well as for a short time from 1918 until 1923. However, the Russian Orthodox Church continues to use the Julian calendar. That is why the Russian Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7 and Easter is usually celebrated later than in the West.

During the Soviet years, two more calendars were introduced and then canceled. The first one, named The Eternal Calendar, or the Russian Revolution Calendar, abolished the official Gregorian calendar that had been brought in by Vladimir Lenin in 1918. The Eternal Calendar went into effect in the 1920s, with the exact date debated by historians. All religious celebrations were abolished and five new national public holidays were established instead. The main goal of this calendar was to increase workers' productivity, it was decided that the weeks would have five days each, with rest days staggered. However, this did not work as planned, with many families affected by the staggered weeks. T

he Eternal Calendar was replaced with another 12-month system which retained the same holidays but increased the number of days in a week to six. The rest day was now on the 6th, 12th, 18th, 24th, and 30th of each month. This calendar functioned until 1940 and was replaced by the Gregorian calendar.