How to Say Water in Russian: Pronunciation and Examples

Priest pours water on the infant at baptism

Sviatlana Lazarenka / Getty Images

Water translates into Russian as вода (vaDA), however, there are several other ways to say water in Russian. While some can be used as a general synonym for water, others are only suitable for specific situations and contexts, as well as social settings. Below are ten of the most popular ways to say water in Russian.

01
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Вода

Pronunciation: vaDA

Translation: water

Meaning: water

Вода is the most common way to say water in Russian. It carries a neutral tone and is suitable for any situation and setting. Вода applies to any kind of water, including drinking water, sea water, fresh and salt water, and more generally, as a liquid.

Вода can also mean "waffle" or "chatter" when referring to someone's vague and ambiguous speech. Additionally, the word вода is present in many Russian idioms.

Example 1:

- Будет кому подать стакан воды (BOOdet kaMOO paDAT' staKAN vaDY)
- Literally: There will be someone to pass/bring a glass of water
- Meaning: Someone will be there to look after one at the end of their life

Example 2:

- Она говорила убедительно, без лишней "воды" (aNA gavaREEla oobeDEEtelna, bez LEESHnai vaDY)
- She spoke persuasively, without waffling.

02
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Водичка

Pronunciation: vaDEECHka

Translation: little water

Meaning: water (affectionate)

Водичка is a diminutive form of вода and carries an affectionate meaning. It is fine for most social situations, apart from the very formal ones.

Example:

- А можно водички холодненькой? (a MOZHna vaDEECHki haLODnenkai?)
- Could I please get some icy water?

03
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Влага

Pronunciation: VLAga

Translation: moisture, water

Meaning: moisture, water, condensation

Влага has a neutral meaning and can be used in any social setting. It is often heard in science-related speech.

Example:

- Появилась влага на окнах (payaVEElas' VLAga na OKnah)
- Condensation appeared on the windows.

04
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Жидкость

Pronunciation: ZHEETkast'

Translation: liquid, water

Meaning: liquid, water

Another neutral and science-related word, жидкость means any kind of liquid and is suitable for any setting.

Example:

- Горячая жидкость обожгла горло (gaRYAchyya ZHEETkast' abazhGLA GORla)
- The hot liquid burned the throat.

05
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Водица

Pronunciation: vaDEEtsa

Translation: water, liquid

Meaning: water (affectionate)

Водица is another affectionate term for water and can sound a little archaic. You will come across it most often in Russian literature or narrative-like speech.

Example:

- Напился сладкой водицы из ручейка, и стало легко идти. (naPEELsya SLATkay vaDEEtsy eez roocheyKA, ee STAla lyhKO eetTEE)
- (He/I) drank the sweet water from the little stream, and it became easier to keep going.

06
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Раствор

Pronunciation: rasTVOR

Translation: solution

Meaning: solution, liquid, mixture

Раствор is a term used specifically for liquid mixtures and carries a neutral or scientific meaning.

Example:

- Раствор соли в воде (rasTVOR BOli v vaDYE)
- A saline solution

07
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Кипяток

Pronunciation: keepyaTOK

Translation: boiling water

Meaning: boiling water

Originating from the word кипеть (keePYET'), meaning to boil, кипяток is a neutral word. Be careful not to confuse it with кипячёная вода (keepyaCHOnaya vaDA), which means boiled water and can be any temperature.

Example:

- Я умудрился сильно обжечься кипятком (ya oomoodREELsya SEELna abZHECHsya keepyatKOM)
- I managed to seriously scald myself with boiling water.

08
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Струя

Pronunciation: strooYA

Translation: jet, stream

Meaning: jet, stream, dribble, trickle, ray (of sunshine)

Particularly popular in literature, the word струя is very versatile and can mean all kinds of water. It is also often used to convey an impression of something resembling water, such as rays of sunshine or jets of wind.

Example:

- Лишь тонкая струя текла по стене (LEESH TONkaya strooYA tekLA pa steNYE)
- Only a thin trickle dribbled down the wall.

09
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Сырость

Pronunciation: SYrast'

Translation: moisture, humidity

Meaning: moisture, humidity, wetness

A neutral word, сырость is often used in relation to weather or conditions inside or outside.

Example:

- Из-за постоянной сырости у нас начались проблемы с легкими. (EEZ-za pastaYANnai SYrasti oo nas nachaLEES prabLYEmy s LYOHkimi)
- We began to have lung issues because of constant humidity.

10
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Морская вода and пресная вода

Pronunciation: marsKAya vaDA and PRESnaya vaDA

Translation: sea water/saltwater and freshwater

Meaning: saltwater and freshwater

Both морская вода and пресная вода have a neutral tone and are suitable for any related context or social setting.

Example 1:

- Полезные свойства морской воды (paLEZnye SVOYSTva marsKOY vaDY)
- Benefits of saltwater

Example 2:

- Запасы пресной воды под угрозой истощения (zaPAsy PRESnai vaDY pad oogROzai istaSHYEniya)
- The freshwater reserves are under threat.