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.

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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.

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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.


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

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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.


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

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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.


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

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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.


- 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.

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Дайте мне стакан воды, пожалуйста

Pronunciation: DAItye MNE staKAN vaDY, paZHAlusta

Translation: Please give me a glass of water

Meaning: Could I please have some water/a glass of water?

This is one of the most common ways to ask for a glass of water.


-Простите, можно мне стакан воды, пожалуйста? У меня совсем пересохло во рту. (prasTEEte, MOZHna MNYE staKAN vaDY, paZHAlusta? oo meNYA saFSEYM pereSOKHla va RTOO).

-Excuse me, could I please get a glass of water? My mouth is very dry/I'm very thirsty.

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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.


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

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Pronunciation: DOZHD', DOZH'

Translation: rain

Meaning: rain

Дождь is a general term for rain and has a neutral meaning. It can be used in any social setting.


- Вчера весь день лил дождь (vchyRA vyzDYE leel DOZHD')
- Yesterday it rained all day.

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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.


- 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.

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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.

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Nikitina, Maia. "How to Say Water in Russian: Pronunciation and Examples." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Nikitina, Maia. (2020, August 28). How to Say Water in Russian: Pronunciation and Examples. Retrieved from Nikitina, Maia. "How to Say Water in Russian: Pronunciation and Examples." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 4, 2023).