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Russian language distribution

Russian is a Slavic language spoken by 300+ million people world-wide. Most people living in Russia use it as a first language, and many other people in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe know it as a second language. It holds official status in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, as well as the unrecognized states of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria.

In countries lacking official designation for Russian, such as Ukraine and the Baltic States (where schooling in Russian was mandatory under the Soviet regime), a solid majority of residents may speak it as a second language, in addition to having significant native-speaker minorities. Russian also remains the lingua franca of choice throughout the rest of the former Soviet Central Asian states and the Caucasus, where it is effectively the language of commerce, government, and travel (despite lacking official status).

It is, to a lesser extent, an important language in Mongolia, where it is a compulsory second language in schools, and is the most widely spoken foreign language, and where signs remain in Cyrillic. Surprisingly enough, Russian has also become the third most widely spoken language in Israel, owing to a massive exodus of Jews from Eastern Europe in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Russian remains perhaps the most important Eurasian travel language because English is very rarely spoken throughout the Russophone countries.

Pronunciation guide

Russian print and cursive

Consonants and vowels in Russian (and Slavic generally) are soft (palatalized) or hard. Consonants are pronounced soft if followed by a soft vowel or the soft sign, else hard. Some consonants are always soft or always hard, regardless of the following vowel.

One important note: the cursive Russian alphabet looks very different from the printed alphabet. The printed alphabet is rarely used when writing by hand. (The same goes to other Cyrillic-written languages.) On the upside, though, as a traveler, you are quite unlikely to have to read much handwritten Russian!


a ah
like father if stressed; if not, pronounced like 'u' as in hut
e yeh
like yesterday if stressed, before a stressed syllable pronounced as "ee" as in eel, or if after a stressed syllable and in only one syllable, pronounced like "eh" as in "tell"
ё yoh
like yore; always stressed; pronounced "o" only after ч, ш, щ and ж.
и ee
like seen or the i in Machine
o oh
like score when stressed; when unstressed, it is a hard a in Hakeem (syllable before stress) or the o in Gibson (elsewhere).
у oo
like cartoon, lips rounded as with French ou
ы yh
like sit, hit, but pronounced far further down the throat, as if being punched in the stomach
э eh
like end (also pronounced further down the throat, as if being punched in the stomach)
ю yoo
like you or Yugoslavia if stressed; if not, pronounced "oo" like cartoon
я yah
like Yacht when stressed; before a stressed syllable pronounced as "ee" as in eel, or if after a stressed syllable and in only one syllable, pronounced like "eh" as in "tell"

The vowels are listed in alphabetical order. Please notice that these vowels also occur in hard/soft pairs: a/я, э/e, o/ё, ы/и, y/ю.

Unfortunately, vowel ё is very often written as е, which can cause problems for non-native speakers, since some Russian words have a different meaning depending on е or ё usage. Fortunately special books (like dictionaries, grammar books, literature for foreigners, etc.) always include ё.


б b
like boy
в v
like very
г g
like go; in genitive (possessive) endings ого/его like avoid, e.g., "Dostoevsky's" = Достоевского (duh-stah-YEHV-skuh-vuh)
д d
like do
ж zh
like measure; always hard
з z
like zoo
й y
like boy
к k
like keep
л l
like leak or look
м m
like seem
н n
like noodle; pronounced ny (palatalized, like a Spanish ñ) before ь, и, e, я, and ю.
п p
like spigot
р r
heavily rolled as in Spanish rr in perro
с s
like seem
т t
like tattoo
ф f
like French
х kh
voiceless velar fricative as in the Scottish loch or German Bach
ц ts
like boots; always hard
ч ch
like cheap; always soft
ш sh
like shot; always hard (pronounced with the tip of the tongue further back in the mouth, almost a retroflex)
щ sh
similar to sheet; always soft: unlike ш, щ is palatalized, meaning that the tip of the tongue rests on the back of the lower teeth, and the sh sound is pronounced with the middle of the tongue. Don't worry about this too much, as you'll be understood in context. (Note that though щ is often transliterated as shch, it is not pronounced similar to "harsh choice"—there is no ch sound in this Russian consonant)

When consonants are soft (they are either always soft or are soft because they are followed by a soft vowel), they become palatalized. This means that the consonant is pronounced while sticking the tip of your tongue behind your lower front teeth while raising the middle of your tongue to your palate.

Although Russian is pronounced as it is spelled, stress is very unpredictable and stressing the wrong syllable (or even missing a soft/hard sign) can lead to misinterpretation; for that reason, almost every book and dictionary concerning the Russian language put an accent on the tonic syllable, so read the phrases carefully, and then try to re-write them by putting an accent mark. the same rule applies for others that use the Cyrillic script such as Ukrainian and Bulgarian.


In the Middle Ages, these two characters (known as the yer) used to represent reduced vowels (pronounced like the unstressed vowels above), but now they merely indicate whether the preceding consonant is palatalized ("soft") or not ("hard").

ъ ’’
the hard sign (very rarely used since 1918) - used to indicate that the preceding consonant is not palatalized (in a position where it otherwise would). Mostly used after prefixes v- ("in") and s- ("out"). For example:
  • съёмка (s-yawm-kah) - making a film
  • Сёмка (syawm-kah) - familiar form for Simon
  • въезд (v-yezd) - vehicular entrance (not vyezd).
ь ’
the soft sign - used to indicate that the preceding consonant is palatalized (in a position where it otherwise would not)
  • полька (PAUL-kah) - a female Polish person (also, the name of dance)
  • полка (POW-kah) - a shelf
  • уголь (OO-gol') - coal
  • угол (OO-gol, OO-gow) - corner
  • каньон (kan'-YAWN) - canyon
  • канон (ka-NAWN) - canon


There is no fixed stress in Russian, except one case: a syllable with ё is always stressed. Stressed vowels in Russian dictionaries are always marked by an acute accent (a kind of diacritical marks), e.g. трамва́й.


Unless you intend to seriously study the language, learning Russian grammar on your trip is not realistic. But it can help to at least recognize that the following verb conjugations and noun/adjective declensions are used.

  • Russian nouns belong to one of three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. However, like most other European languages but unlike English, inanimate objects are often assigned a gender other than neuter.
  • The second person pronoun вы is the plural of ты and is also used, as in French, for polite address to one person.
  • Russian verbs and verb conjugation differ along three axes:
1) Verbs come in perfective and imperfective pairs (e.g., думать | подумать). Imperfective verbs indicate ongoing or uncompleted action; Perfective verbs indicated one-off or completed action. Conjugated perfective verbs are also used to indicated the future tense (future imperfective requires conjugation of the verb to be (быть) + imperfective infinitive). As a general rule (but only a very general rule), perfective verb forms are created by adding a prefix to the relevant imperfective verb.
Singular Plural
1st Person Я думаю Мы думаем
2nd Person Ты думаешь Вы думаете
3rd Person Он думает Они думают
2) Verbs follow a simple pattern of temporal conjugation: past, present, and future, (e.g., подумал | думаю | подумаю). In the past tense, verbs also conjugate by gender, male, female, and neuter (e.g., подумал | подумала | подумало).
3) In the present and future tenses, pronouns can and are often omitted due to context; however, the same is hardly said in the past tense, as the latter changes according to gender (masculine, feminine and neutral) and number (singular and plural). (Example at right)

  • Nouns and adjectives have six cases, depending on their general grammatical role in a sentence:
Case Nominative Accusative Genitive Dative Prepositional Instrumental
Use Subject of sentence Direct object Possessive (of) Indirect object (to/for) Location (at) Instrumental (by/with)
Example Город красив Я читал книгу Центр города Я дал ему еду Музей в городе Я шёл с ним
Translation The city is pretty I read the book Center of the city I gave him food A museum in the city I walked with him

Phrase list

See Project:Pseudo-phoneticization guide for guidance on the phoneticizations below


Common signs

Открыто / Работает
Закрыто / Не работает
От себя
К себе / На себя
Входа нет / Вход воспрещён
Проход воспрещён / Проход закрыт
Без стука не входить
Не курить
Не влезай - убьёт!

How many names!

Russians take three names, a first name (имя), patronymic (отечество), and last name (фамилия). The unfamiliar patronymic is the name of one's father plus an ending of -ovich, -yevich, or -yich for men, -yevna, -ovna or -ichna for women. For example, if the father's name is Пётр (Peter), the patronymic would be Петрович (Petrovich) for a man, and Петровна (Petrovna) for a woman. To use someone's name informally, you can refer to them using the first or (less commonly) last name, while to do so formally would require either first name + patronymic, or a title + last name. For example, you can refer to President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (Президент Владимир Владимирович Путин) informally as Vladimir (if you know him personally) or just Putin. To refer to him more formally—and you generally should use the formal name in Russian—you would need to refer to him as Vladimir Vladimirovich or President Putin.

But it gets even harder! Russians love diminutives, which are essentially nicknames or "shortenings," for just about everything, including names. Most names can be shortened into three or four variants—"cute" nicknames usually have an insert like -en'k, -echk, -ochk, -ushk, or -yush, like Sara → Sarochka (Сарочка) or Katya → Katyusha (Катюша). Here are some of the most common ones that might give you trouble:

Male names

  • Aleksander (Александр) → Sasha (Саша), Sanya (Саня), Shura (Шура)
  • Aleksei (Алексей) → Alyosha (Алёша), Lyosha (Лёша), Lyokha (Лёха)
  • Anatolii (Анатолий) → Tolya (Толя)
  • Vasilii (Василий) → Vasya (Вася)
  • Vladimir (Владимир) → Volodya (Володя), Vova (Вова)
  • Vladislav (Владислав) → Vlad (Влад), Vladik (Владик)
  • Gennadii (Геннадий) → Gena (Гена)
  • Georgii (Георгий) → Zhora (Жора), Gosha (Гоша)
  • Dmitrii (Дмитрий) → Dima (Дима), Mitya (Митя)
  • Evgenii (Евгений) → Zhenya (Женя)
  • Ivan (Иван) → Vanya (Ваня)
  • Konstantin (Константин) → Kostya (Костя)
  • Mikhail (Михаил) → Misha (Миша)
  • Nikolai (Николай) → Kolya (Коля)
  • Pavel (Павел) → Pasha (Паша), Pavlik (Павлик)
  • Pyotr (Пётр) → Petya (Петя)
  • Sergei (Сергей) → Seryozha (Серёжа), Seryoga (Серёга), Seryi (Серый)
  • Fyodor (Фёдор) → Fedya (Фе́дя)
  • Yurii (Юрий) → Yura (Юра)

Female names

  • Aleksandra (Александра) → Sasha (Саша)
  • Anastasiya (Анастасия) → Nastya (Настя)
  • Anna (Анна) → Anya (Аня)
  • Valeriya (Валерия) → Lera (Лера)
  • Viktoriya (Виктория) → Vika (Вика), Vita (Вита)
  • Evgeniya (Евгения) → Zhenya (Женя)
  • Ekaterina (Екатерина) → Katya (Катя)
  • Irina (Ирина) → Ira (Ира)
  • Lyubov (Любовь) → Lyuba (Люба)
  • Lyudmila (Людмила) → Lyuda (Люда), Lyucya (Люся)
  • Magdalina (Магдалина) → Magda (Магда)
  • Mariya (Мария) → Masha (Маша)
  • Nadezhda (Надежда) → Nadya (Надя)
  • Natasha (Наташа) → Tasha (Таша)
  • Oksana (Оксана) → Ksyusha (Ксюша), Ksenya (Ксеня)
  • Olga (Ольга) → Olya (Оля)
  • Svetlana (Светлана) → Sveta (Света)
Hello. (formal)
Здравствуйте. (ZDRAHST-vooy-tyeh) (Sometimes considered bad luck to say this to the same person twice in one day.)
Hello. (informal)
Здравствуй. (ZDRAHST-vooy)
Привет. (pree-VYEHT), Здорово. (Zduh-ROH-vuh) (Shorter version of the above greeting.)
How are you?
Как дела? (kahg dee-LAH?)
Fine, thank you.
Хорошо, спасибо. (khah-rah-SHOH spah-SEE-buh)
What is your name?
Как Вас зовут? (kahk vahs zah-VOOT?)
My name is ______ .
Меня зовут ______ . (mee-NYAH zah-VOOT ___)
Nice to meet you.
Очень приятно. (OH-cheen' pree-YAHT-nuh)
Пожалуйста. (pah-ZHAH-luh-stuh)
Thank you.
Спасибо. (spuh-SEE-buh)
You're welcome.
Не за что. (NYEH-zuh-shtoh) (Literally "It's nothing", can use "Пожалуйста" again)
Да. (dah)
Нет. (nyeht)
Excuse me. (getting attention)
Извините. (eez-vee-NEET-yeh)
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
Простите. (prah-STEET-yeh)
I'm sorry.
Простите. (prah-STEET-yeh)
До свидания. (duh svee-DAH-nyah.)
Goodbye (informal)
Пока. (pah-KAH)
I can't speak Russian [well].
Я не говорю по-русски (хорошо). (yah nee guh-vah-RYOO pah ROO-skee [khah-rah-SHOH])
Do you speak English?
Вы говорите по-английски? (vyh guh-vah-REE-tyeh pah ahn-GLEES-kee?)
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Кто-нибудь здесь говорит по-английски? (KTOH-nee-bood' zdyehs guh-vah-REET pah an-GLEES-kee?)
Помогите! (puh-mah-GEE-tyeh!)
Look out!
Осторожно!! (uhs-tah-ROH-zhnuh!)
Good morning.
Доброе утро. (DOH-bruh-yeh OO-truh)
Good evening.
Добрый вечер. (DOH-bryh VYEH-chuhr)
Good night (to sleep)
Спокойной ночи! (spah-KOY-nuy NOH-chee)
I don't understand.
Я не понимаю. (yah nee puh-nee-MIGH-yoo)
I don't know.
Я не знаю. (yah nee ZNAH-yoo)
I can't.
Я не могу. (yah nee mah-GOO)
Where is the toilet?
Где туалет? (gdyeh too-ah-LYEHT?)
Хороший (khah-ROH-shee)
Плохой (plah-KHOY)
Большой (bahl'-SHOY)
Маленький (MAH-leen-kee)
Горячий (gahr-YAH-chee)
Холодный (khah-LOHD-nyh)
Быстро (BYH-struh)
Медленно (MYEHD-lee-nuh)
Дорогой (duh-rah-GOY)
Дешёвый (dyee-SHYOH-vyh)
Богатый (bah-GAH-tyh)
Бедный (BYEHD-nyh)


Emergency numbers

In most areas, emergency telephone numbers are as follows:

  • 101 : Fire department
  • 102 : Police
  • 103 : Ambulance
  • 104 : Gas leaks

It is essential to be able to provide emergency responders with your correct street address. Depending on how busy they are, and how serious the medical emergency appears, it may take from a few minutes to an hour for an ambulance to arrive.

Leave me alone.
Отстань. (aht-STAHN’!)
Don't touch me!
Не трогай меня! (nee-TROH-guy mee-NYAH!)
I'll call the police!
Я вызову полицию! (yah VYH-zah-voo poh-LEE-tsyh-yoo!)
Полиция! (poh-LEE-tsyh-yah!)
Stop! Thief!
Держите вора! (deer-ZHEE-tyeh VOH-rah!)
I need your help.
Мне нужна ваша помощь. (mnyeh noozh-NAH VAH-shah POH-muhsh)
It's an emergency.
Это срочно!. (EH-tuh SROHCH-nuh)
I'm lost.
Я заблудился/заблудилась - (m/f). (yah zah-bloo-DEEL-suh / zah-bloo-DEE-luhs’)

In the examples below, the extra suffix (а) is for the feminine gender:

I lost my bag.
Я потерял(а) свою сумку. (yah puh-teer-YAHL(-ah) svah-YOOH SOOM-kooh)
I lost my wallet.
Я потерял(а) свой бумажник. (yah puh-teer-YAHL(-ah) svoy boo-MAHZH-neek)
My things have been stolen.
Меня обокрали. (me-NYAH oh-buh-KRAH-lee)
I'm sick.
Я болен (m.) / Я больна (f.) (yah-BOH-leen (masculine) / yah-bahl’-NAH (feminine))
I've been injured.
Я ранен(а) (yah RAH-neen(-ah))
I've been bitten by a dog.
Меня укусила собака (me-NYAH oo-koo-SEE-lah suh-BAH-kuh)
I need a doctor.
Мне нужен врач. (mnyeh NOO-zhyhn vrahch)
Please call an ambulance.
Пожалуйста, вызовите Скорую помощь. (Puh-ZHAH-looy-stuh VYH-zaw-vee-teh SKAW-roo-yoo PAW-mushch)
Can I use your phone?
Можно от вас позвонить? (MOH-zhnuh aht vahs puhz-vah-NEET’?)
(this can be used only for stationary phone, not for mobile. Asking a mobile phone from unknown person is generally not polite, as this is commonly done by con artists. In some cases a person may allow you to make a call from his cell phone to another cell phone number in the same province, but not to a landline phone number or to a non-local cell phone number.)


Russian nouns have a dual form, used with 2, 3, and 4, as well as singular and plural. Singular quantities and any quantities that end in 1 (21, 301, etc.) use the nominative singular: одна минута, двадцать один час. Quantities 2–4 use the genitive singular: две минуты, три минуты, четыре минуты. Quantities greater than four use the genitive plural: пять минут, одиннадцать минут, тринадцать минут, etc.

один (ah-DEEN) m, одна (ahd-NAH) f, одно (ahd-NOH) n (one can say раз (raz) when counting smthng)
два (dvah) mn, две (dvyeh) f
три (tree)
четыре (chee-TYH-ree)
пять (pyaht’)
шесть (shehst’)
семь (syeem’)
восемь (VOH-seem’)
девять (DYEH-veet’)
десять (DYEH-suht’)
одиннадцать (ah-DEEN-nuhd-zuht’)
двенадцать (dvee-NAHD-zuht’)
тринадцать (tree-NAHD-zuht’)
четырнадцать (chee-TYHR-nuhd-zuht’)
пятнадцать (peet-NAHD-zuht’)
шестнадцать (shyhst-NAHD-zuht’)
семнадцать (seem-NAHD-zuht’)
восемнадцать (vuh-seem-NAHD-zuht’)
девятнадцать (dee-veet-NAHD-zuht’)
двадцать (DVAHD-zuht’)
двадцать один (DVAHD-zuht’ ah-DEEN)
двадцать два (DVAHD-zuht’ dvah)
двадцать три (DVAHD-zuht’ tree)
тридцать (TREED-zuht’)
сорок (SOH-ruhk)
пятьдесят (pee-dee-SYAHT)
шестьдесят (shyhs-dee-SYAHT)
семьдесят (SYEM’-dee-syet)
восемьдесят (VOH-seem-deeh-syet’)
девяносто (dee-vee-NOH-stuh)
сто (stoh)
полтораста (puhl-tuh-RAHS-tuh)
двести (DVYEH-stee)
триста (TREE-stuh)
четыреста (chee-TYHR-ee-stuh)
тысяча (TYH-see-chuh)
две тысячи (dvyeh TYH-see-chee)
пять тысяч (pyaht’ TYH-seech)
миллион (mee-lee-OHN)
миллиард (mee-lee-ART)
Number _____ (train, bus, etc.)
номер _____ (NOH-meer)
половина (puh-lah-VEE-nuh)
меньше (MYEHN’-sheh)
больше (BOHL’-sheh)


сейчас (see-CHAHS)
позже (POH-zhuh)
раньше (RAHN’-shyeh)
утро (OOH-truh)
день (dyehn’) (literally 'day')
вечер (VYEH-chuhr)
ночь (nohch)

Clock time

What time is it? (formal)
Не подскажете, который час? (nyee pahd-SKAH-zhy-tyee kah-TOHR-yh see-CHAHS chahs)
What time is it? (informal)
Который сейчас час? (kah-TOHR-yh see-CHAHS chahs)
one o'clock
час (chahs)
two o'clock
два часа (dvah chuh-SAH)
three o'clock
три часа (TREE chuh-SAH)
four o'clock
четыре часа (chee-TYHR-ree chuh-SA)
five o'clock
пять часов (pyaht’ chuh-SOHV)
six o'clock
шесть часов (shest’ chuh-SOHV)
seven o'clock
семь часов (syem’ chuh-SOHV)
eight o'clock
восемь часов (VOH-seem’ chuh-SOHV)
nine o'clock
девять часов (DYEH-veet’ chuh-SOHV)
ten o'clock
десять часов (DYEH-syuht’ chuh-SOV)
eleven o'clock
одинадцать часов (ah-DEEN-nad-zut’ chuh-SOV)
twelve o'clock
двенадцать часов (dvee-NAHD-zut’ chuh-SOV)
полдень (POHL-dyehn’)
полночь (POHL-nohch)
half an hour
полчаса (pohl-chuh-SAH)

Russians do not use A.M. and P.M. Instead they divide the day up roughly as follows:

утро (OOH-truh) (5 a.m. to noon)
день (dyehn’) (noon to 5 p.m.)
вечер (VYEH-chuhr) (5 p.m. to midnight)
ночь (nohch) (midnight to 5 a.m.)


Note: Russian uses different endings depending on the quantity. The first is for quantities ending in one (e.g. 1, 21, 31), the second for quantities ending in 2–4 (e.g. 2, 3, 4, 22, 23, 24), and the third for quantities ending in 5–9 and zero, including the teens (e.g. 5, 10, 12, 20, 25).

_____ minute
_____ минута/минуты/минут (mee-NOOT-ah / mee-NOOT-yh / mee-NOOT)
_____ hour(s)
_____ час/часа/часов (chahs / chuh-SAH / chuh-SOHF)
_____ day(s)
_____ день/дня/дней (dyehn’ / dnyah / dnyay)
_____ week(s)
_____ неделя/неделю/недель (nee-DYEHL-yuh / nee-DYEHL-yee / nee-DYEHL’)
_____ month(s)
_____ месяц/месяца/месяцев (MYEH-seets / MYEH-seets-ah / MYEH-seets-ohf)
_____ year(s)
_____ год/года/лет (goht / GOH-duh / lyeht) (лет also means "summers")


Note: A week starts with Monday and ends with Sunday.
сегодня (see-VOHD-nyuh)
вчера (fcheeh-RAH)
завтра (ZAHF-truh)
this week
на этой неделе (nah EH-tuy nee-DYEHL-yee)
last week
на прошлой неделе (nah PROSH-luy nee-DYEHL-yee)
next week
на следующей неделе (nah SLYED-oo-yoo-shee nee-DYEHL-yeh)
воскресенье (vuhs-kree-SYEHN’-yuh)
понедельник (puh-nee-DYEHL’-neek)
вторник (VTOHR-neek)
среда (sree-DAH)
четверг (cheet-VYEHRK)
пятница (PYAHT-nee-tsuh)
суббота (soo-BOHT-uh)


январь (yeen-VAHR’)
февраль (feev-RAHL’)
март (mahrt)
апрель (ahp-RYEHL’)
май (migh)
июнь (ee-YOON’)
июль (ee-YOOL’)
август (AHV-goost)
сентябрь (seen-TYABR’)
октябрь (ahk-TYABR’)
ноябpь (nah-YABR’)
декабрь (dee-KAHBR’)

Writing time and date

Dates are written as day.month.year (where day, month and year are numbers) or as day month year (where day and year are numbers and month is written in the genitive). E.g., May 24, 2009 should be writed as 24.05.2009 or as 24 мая 2009 года. Times always use the 24-hour format, e.g., 5:20PM should be written as 17:20.


чёрный (CHOHR-nyh)
белый (BYEH-lyh)
серый (SYEH-ryh)
красный (KRAHS-nyh)
blue (dark-blue or navy)
синий (SEE-nyh)
blue (light-blue or cyan)
голубой (guh-loo-BOY) - use carefully; in Russian slang, this also means "homosexual"!
жёлтый (ZHOL-tyh)
зелёный (zee-LYOH-nyh)
оранжевый (ah-RAHN-zhee-vy)
фиолетовый (fee-ah-LYET-uh-vyh)
коричневый (kah-REECH-nee-vyh)
розовый (ROH-zuh-vyh)


Bus and train

How much is a ticket to _____?
Сколько стоит билет в _____? (SKOL’-kuh STOH-eet bee-LYEHT v _____?)
One ticket to _____, please.
Один билет в _____, пожалуйста. (ah-DEEN bee-LYEHT v_____ puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh)
Where does this train/bus go?
Куда идёт этот поезд/автобус? (koo-DAH ee-DYOHT EH-tuht POH-eest / ahf-TOH-boos?)
Where is the train/bus to _____?
Где поезд/автобус до_____? (gdyeh POH-eest / ahf-TOH-boos duh _____)
Does this train/bus stop in _____?
Этот поезд/автобус останавливается в _____? (EH-tuht POH-eest / ahf-TOH-boos uhs-tuh-NAHV-lee-vuh-eet-suh v _____?)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave?
Когда отходит поезд/автобус в _____ ? (kahg-DAH aht-KHOH-deet POH-eest / ahf-TOH-boos v _____?)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____?
Во сколько этот поезд/автобус приходит в_____? (vah SKOHL’-kuh EH-tuht POH-eest / ahf-TOH-boos pree-KHOH-deet v _____?)


Name changing

A lot of city, street, and other names changed following the fall of the Soviet Union. Sometimes for nationalist reasons in the former Soviet Republics, sometimes because the Soviet names seemed too weird and ideological, sometimes because names like "Stalin" no longer had such a good ring to them, and often because people wanted the old historic names back. This can present problems for travelers, especially when the street names have changed, and locals still sometimes refer to them by the old names. There isn't much to be done about this, but be sure to at least get your major city names straight:

где (gdyeh)
здесь (zdyehs)
там (tahm)
To where
куда (koo-DAH)
To here
сюда (syoo-DAH)
To there
туда (too-DAH)
How do I get to _____ ?
Как добраться до_____ ? (kahk dah-BRAH-tsuh duh ___?)
...the train station?
...вокзала? (vahg-ZAH-luh)
...the bus station?
...автовокзала? (ahf-tuh-vahg-ZAH-luh)
...the airport?
...аэропорта? (ah-ehr-ah-POHR-tuh)
...the Metro (subway)
...метро (mee-TROH)
...центра? (TSEHN-truh)
...the youth hostel?
...молодёжного общежития? (muh-lah-DYOH-zhnuh-vuh ahp-shee-ZHYH-tee-yuh)
...the _____ hotel?
...гостиницы ______? (gahs-TEE-nee-tsyh)


...the Mosfilm hotel?
...гостиницы Мосфильм? (gahs-TEE-nee-tsyh MOHS-feel’m)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate?
...американского/канадского/австралийского/английского консульства? (uh-mee-ree-KAHNS-kuh-vuh / kuh-NAHTS-kuh-vuh / uhfs-truh-LEES-kuh-vuh / ahng-LEES-kuh-vuh KOHN-sool’-stvuh)
Where are there a lot of...
Где есть много... (gdyeh yehst’ MNOH-guh)
...гостиниц? (gahs-TEE-neets?)
...ресторанов? (rees-tah-RAHN-uhf?)
...баров? (BAHR-uhf)
...sites to see?
...достопримечательностей? (duhs-tuh-pree-mee-CHAH-teel’-nuhs-tyay)
Where is a good, cheap...
Где хороший дешёвый... (gdyeh khah-ROH-shyh dee-SHYOH-vyh)
ресторан? (ree-stah-RAHN)
бар? (bahr)
Please can you show me on the map?
Пожалуйста Вы можете показать на карте? (puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh vyh MOH-zhyh-tee puh-kuh-ZAHT’ nuh KAHR-tyeh)
Is it far?
Далеко? (dah-lee-KOH)
улица (OO-lee-tsuh)
Turn left.
Поверните налево. (puh-veer-NEE-tyeh nuh-LYEH-vuh)
Turn right.
Поверните направо. (puh-veer-NEE-tyeh nuh-PRAH-vuh)
налево (nuh-LYEH-vuh)
направо (nuh-PRAH-vuh...)
straight ahead
прямо (PRYAH-muh)
towards the _____
к _____ (k)
past the _____
мимо _____ (MEEH-mah)
before the _____
перед _____ (PYEH-reet)
Watch for the _____.
Ищите _____. (ee-SHEE-tyeh)
перекрёсток (pee-ree-KRYOH-stuhk)
север (SYEH-veer)
юг (yook)
восток (vahs-TOHK)
запад (ZAH-puht)
вверх (VVYEHR-kh)
вниз (vnees)


Такси! (Tahk-SEE!)
Take me to _____, please.
Довезите меня до _____, пожалуйста. (duh-vee-ZEE-tyeh mee-NYAH duh _____, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh.')
How much does it cost to get to _____?
Сколько стоит доехать до ______? (SKOHL’-kuh STOH-eet dah-YEH-khut’ duh ____?)
Take me there, please.
Довезите меня туда, пожалуйста. (duh-vee-ZEE-tyeh meenyah too-DAH, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh.)
[Please] stop here.
Остановите здесь[, пожалуйста]. (us-tuh-naw-VEE-tyeh zdes[, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh].')


Do you have any rooms available?
У вас есть свободные комнаты? (oo vash YEHST’ svah-BOD-nyh-yeh KOHM-nuh-tyh)
How much is a room for one person/two people?
Сколько стоит комната на одного человека/двух человек? (SKOHL’-kuh STOH-eet KOM-nuh-tuh nah uhd-nah-VOH chee-lah-VYEH-kuh / dvookh chee-lah-VYEHK )
Does the room come with...
В этой комнате есть... (VEH-tuy KOHM-nuh-tyeh yest’...)
...простыни? (...PROHS-tee-nee)
...a bathroom?
...ванная? (...VAHN-nah-yuh)
...a telephone?
...телефон? (...tee-lee-FOHN)
...a TV?
...телевизор? (...tee-lee-VEE-zuhr)
...a refrigerator?
...холодильник ? (...ho-luh-DIL-nik)
...electric kettle?
...электрический чайник ? ( CHI-nik)
May I see the room first?
Могу я сначала посмотреть комнату? (mah-GOOH yah znuh-CHAH-luh puhs-mah-TRYEHT’ KOHM-nah-too)
Do you have anything quieter?
У вас есть что-нибудь потише? (oo vah yehst’ CHTOH-nee-boot’ pah-TEE-shyh?)
...побольше? (pah-BOHL’-shyh)
...почище? (pah-CHEE-sheh)
...подешевле? (puh-dee-SHEHV-lyeh)
OK, I'll take it.
Хорошо, я беру. (khah-rah-SHOH yah bee-ROO)
I will stay for _____ night(s).
Я останусь на _____ ночь (ночи/ночей). (yah ahs-TAH-noos’ nah _____ nohch’ (NOH-chee/nah-CHYAY)
Can you suggest another hotel?
Вы можете предложить другую гостиницу? (vy MOH-zhee-te pred-la-ZHYHT’ droo-GOO-yoo gahs-TEE-nee-tsoo)
Do you have a safe?
У вас есть сейф? (oo vahs yest’ syayf)
...индивидуальные сейфы? (een-dee-vee-doo-AHL’-nyh-yeh SYAY-fee)
Is breakfast/supper included?
Завтрак/ужин включен? (ZAHF-truhk / OO-zhyhn fklyoo-CHON)
What time is breakfast/supper?
Во сколько завтрак/ужин? (vuh SKOHL’-kuh ZAH-ftruhk / OO-zhyhn)
Please clean my room.
Уберите в моей комнате, пожалуйста. (oo-bee-REE-tyeh vmah-YAY KOHM-nuh-tyeh, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh)
Can you wake me at _____?
Не могли бы вы разбудить меня в _____? (nee mah-GLEE byh vyh rahz-boo-DEET’ mee-NYAH v _____? )
You have a bedbug infestation here.
У вас водятся клопы. (oo VAS VAWD-yats-ya klaw-PYH)
I want to check out.
Дайте счёт. (DIGH-tyeh shyoht)


Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?
Вы принимаете американские/австралийские/канадские доллары? (vyh pree-nee-MAH-ee-tyeh uh-mee-ree-KAHN-skee-yeh / uhv-struh-LEE-skee-yeh / kuh-NAHD-skee-yeh DOH-luhr-yh)
Do you accept British pounds?
Вы принимаете английские фунты? (vyh pree-nee-MAH-ee-tyeh ahn-GLEE-skee-yeh FOON-tyh)
Do you accept credit cards?
Вы принимаете кредитные карты? (vyh pree-nee-MAH-ee-tyeh kree-DEET-nyh-yeh KAHR-tyh)
Can you change money for me?
Не могли бы вы обменять мне деньги? (nyeh mah-GLEE byh vyh uhb-meen-YAHT’ mnyeh DYEHN’-gee)
Where can I get money changed?
Где я могу обменять деньги? (gdyeh yah mah-GOO uhb-meen-YAHT’ DYEHN’-gee)
Can you change a traveler's check for me?
Вы можете обменять мне дорожный чек? (vyh MOH-zhyh-tyeh uhb-meen-YAHT’ mnyeh dah-ROHZH-nyh chyehk)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed?
Где я могу обменять дорожный чек? (gdyeh yah mah-GOO uhb-meen-YAHT’ dah-ROHZH-nyh chyehk)
What is the exchange rate?
Какой курс обмена? (kah-KOY koors ahb-MYEHN-uh)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?
Где здесь банкомат? (gdyeh zdyes’ bahn-kuh-MAHT)


A table for one person/two people, please.
Столик на одного человека/двух человек, пожалуйста. (STOH-leek nah uhd-nah-VOH chee-lah-VYEH-kah/dvookh chee-lah-VYEHK)
Can I look at the menu, please?
Могу я посмотреть меню? (mah-GOO yah puhs-mah-TRYEHT’ meen-YOO'')
Can I look in the kitchen?
Я могу посмотреть на кухню? (yah mah-GOO puh-smah-TRYEHT’ nah KOOKH-nee-yoo)
Is there a house specialty?
Какое у вас фирменное блюдо? (kah-KOY-yeh oo vahs feer-MYEHN-noy-yeh BLYOO-duh)
Is there a local specialty?
Какое у вас местное фирменное блюдо? (kah-KOY-yeh oo vahs myehst-NOY-yeh feer-MYEHN-noy-yeh BLYOO-duh)
I'm a vegetarian.
Я вегетарианец/вегетарианка. (yah vee-gee-tuh-ree-YAHN-eets/vee-gee-tuh-ree-YAHN-kah)
I don't eat pork.
Я не ем свинину. (yah nee yehm svee-NEEN-oo)
I don't eat beef.
Я не ем говядину. (yah nee yehm gahv-YAH-deen-oo)
I only eat kosher food.
Я принимаю только кошерную пищу. (yah pree-nee-MAH-yoo TOHL’-kuh kah-SHERH-noo-yoo PEE-shoo.)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard)
Сделайте, пожалуйста, поменьше жира. (SDYEH-ligh-tyeh, puh-zhahl-uh-stuh, pah-MYEHN'-shyh zhyh-RAH)
fixed-price meal
комплексный обед (KOHM-plyehks-nyh ah-BYEHT)
à la carte
карта вин (KAHR-tah veen)
завтрак (ZAHF-truhk)
обед (ah-BYEHT)
tea (meal)
полдник (POHLD-neek)
ужин (OO-zhyhn)
I want _____.
Я хочу _____. (yah khah-CHOO) (use first form below)
I want a dish containing _____.
Я хочу блюдо с _____. (yah khah-CHOO BLYOO-duh s _____) (use second form)
курицу/ой (KOO-reet-soo / KOO-reet-suy)
говядину/ой (gahv-YAH-dee-noo / gahv-YAH-dee-nuy)
рыбу/ой (RYH-boo / RYH-boy)
свинину/ой (svee-NEE-noo / svee-NEE-nuy)
говядина (gahv-YAH-deen-uh)
колбасу/ой (kuhl-bah-SOO / kuhl-bah-SOY)
сыр/ом (syhr / SYH-ruhm)
яйца/ами (YIGH-tsah / YIGH-tsah-mee)
салат/ом (sah-LAHT / sah-LAHT-ohm)
картофель (kahr-TOH-fehl')
(fresh) vegetables
(свежие/ими) овощи/ами ((SVYEH-zhyh-yeh / SVYEH-zhyh-mee OH-vuh-shee/ uh-vuh-SHAH-mee)
помидор (puh-mee-DOHR)
капуста (kah-POOS-tuh)
морковь (mahr-KOHF)
свёкла (SVYOHL-kuh)
(fresh) fruit
(свежие/ими) фрукты/ами ((SVYEH-zhyh-yeh / SVYEH-zhyh-mee FROOK-tyh / FROOK-tuh-mee)
ягоды (YAH-guh-dyh)
клубинка (kloo-BEEN-kuh)
банан (bah-NAHN)
яблоко (YAH-bluh-kuh)
виноград (vee-nah-GRAHD)
смородина (smah-ROH-dee-nuh)
апельсин (uh-peel-SEEN)
хлеб/ом (khlyep / KHLYEH-buhm)
тост/ом (tohst / TOHST-uhhm))
лапша/ой (LAHP-shuh / lahp-SHOY)
макароны/онами (mah-kah-ROH-nyh / mah-kah-ROH-nah-mee)
рис/ом (rees / REE-suhm)
гречка/гречкой (GRECH-kuh / GRECH-koy)
фасоль/фасолью (fah-SOHL’ / fah-SOHL-yoo)
May I have a glass of _____?
Дайте, пожалуйста, стакан _____? (DIGH-tyeh, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh, stah-KAHN _____?)
May I have a cup of _____?
Дайте, пожалуйста, чашку _____? (DIGH-tyeh, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh, CHAHSH-koo)
May I have a bottle of _____?
Дайте, пожалуйста, бутылку _____? (DIGH-tyeh, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh, boo-TYHL-koo)
...кофе (KOH-feh)
...tea (drink)
...чая (CHAH-yuh)
...сока (SOH-kah)
...(bubbly) water
...минеральной воды (mee-nee-RAHL'-nuy vah-DYH)
...воды (vah-DYH)
...пива (PEE-vuh) wine
...красного/белого вина (KRAH-snuh-vuh / BYEH-luh-vuh vee-NAH)
...sparkling wine
...шампанского (shum-PAHN-skuh-guh)
...водки (VOT-kee)
May I have some _____?
Дайте, пожалуйста _____. (DIGH-tyeh, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh)
соль (sohl’)
black pepper
чёрный перец (CHYOHR-nyh PYEH-reets)
масло (MAHS-luh)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Официант!/Девушка! (uh-fee-TSAHNT! / DYEH-voosh-kuh!) The former is very polite and gender neutral, the latter only for female servers, and should not be used in a nice restaurant.
I'm finished.
Я наелся/наелась. (yah nah-YEHL-syuh/yah nah-YEH-las’)
It was delicious.
Это было великолепно. (EH-tuh BYH-luh vyeh-lee-kah-LYEHP-nuh)
Please clear the plates.
Можете убрать со стола. (MOH-zhyh-tyeh oo-BRAHT’ suh stuh-LAH)
The check, please.
Счёт, пожалуйста. (shyoht, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh)


Do you serve alcohol?
Вы продаёте алкогольные напитки? (VYH pruh-dah-YOH-tyeh ahl-kuh-GOHL’-nyh-yeh nah-PEET-kee?)
Is there table service?
Здесь есть официант? (zdyehs’ yehst’ ah-fee-TSANT)
A beer/two beers, please.
Будьте добры, одно пиво/два пива. (BOOT’-tyeh dah-BRYH, ad-noh PEE-vuh / dvah PEE-vah)
A glass of red/white wine, please.
Будьте добры, бокал красного/белого вина. (BOOT'-tyeh dah-BRYH, bah-KAHL KRAHZ-nuh-vuh / BYEH-luh-vuh vee-NAH)
A bottle, please.
Будьте добры, одну бутылку. (BOOT’-tyeh dah-BRYH, ahd-NOO boo-TYHL-koo)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please.
Будьте добры, _____ (hard liquor) с _____ (mixer in ablative form). (...)
виски (VEE-skee)
водка (VOHT-kah)
poм (rohm)
вода/ой (vah-DAH / vah-DOY)
club soda
газированная/ой вода/ой (газировка/ой) (guh-zee-ROH-vuhn-nuh-yuh / guh-zee-ROH-vuhn-nuy vah-DAH / vah-DOY)
tonic water
тоник/ом (TOH-neek/TOH-neek-uhm)
orange juice
апельсиновый/ым сок/ом (uh-peel’-SEE-nuh-vyh / uh-peel’-SEE-nuh-vyhm sohk / SOHK-uhm)
Coke (soda)
кола/ой (лимонад/ом) (KOH-lah / KOH-luy)
Do you have any bar snacks?
Здесь есть буфет? (zdyehs’ yehst’ boo-FYEHT)
One more, please.
Ещё одну, пожалуйста. (yee-SHYOH ahd-NOOH, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh)
Another round, please.
Повторите, пожалуйста. (puhf-tah-REEH-tye, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh)
When is closing time?
Когда вы закрываетесь? (kahg-DAH vyh zuh-kryh-VAH-ee-tyehs’?)
I don't drink.
Я вообще не пью. (yah vahb-SHYEH nee pyoo)
I'm an alcoholic.
Я алкоголик. (yah ahl-kah-GOH-leek)
I cannot drink because of medication.
Мне нельзя пить из-за лекарства, которое я сейчас принимаю. (mnyee neel-ZYAH peet' eez-zah lee-KAHRST-vuh kah-TOHR-uh-yuh yah see-CHAHS pree-nee-MAH-yoo)


Do you have this in my size?
У вас есть это моего размера? (oo vahs yehst’ EH-tuh ma-ee-VOH rahz-MYEH-ruh)
How much is this?
Сколько это стоит? (SKOHL’-kuh EH-tuh STOH-eet)
That's too expensive.
Это слишком дорого. (EH-tuh SLEESH-kuhm DOH-ruh-guh)
Would you take _____?
Вы примете _____? (vyh PREE-mee-tyeh _____?)
дорого (DOH-ruh-guh)
дёшево (DYOH-shyh-vuh)
I can't afford it.
Я не могу себе этого позволить. (yah nee mah-GOOH see-BYEH EH-tuh-vuh paz-VOH-leet’)
I don't want it.
Я это не хочу. (yah EH-tuh nee khah-CHOO)
You're cheating me.
Вы меня обманываете. (vyh mee-NYAH ab-MAH-nyh-vah-ee-tyeh)
I'm not interested.
Мне это не интересно.. (mnyeh EH-tuh nee een-tee-RYEHS-nuh)
OK, I'll take it.
Хорошо, я возьму. (khah-rah-SHOH, yah vahz’-MOO)
Can I have a bag?
Дайте, пожалуйста, пакет. (DIGH-tyeh, puh-ZHAH-luh-stuh, pah-KYEHT)
Do you ship (overseas)?
У вас есть доставка (за границу)? (oo vahs yehst’ dahs-TAHF-kah (zah grah-NEET-sooh)
Give me two (items of something).
Давайте две. (dah-VIGH-tyeh DVYEH)
I need...
Мне нужен/нужна/нужно/нужны... (mnyeh NOO-zhehn / nooh-ZHNAH / NOOZH-nuh / nooh-ZHNYH)
...зубная паста. (ZOOB-nuh-yuh PAHS-tuh)
...a toothbrush.
...зубная щётка. (ZOOB-nuh-yuh SHYOHT-kuh)
...тампоны. (tahm-POH-nyh)
...мыло. (MYH-luh)
...шампунь. (shahm-POON’)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen)
...обезболивающее. (ah-beez-BOH-lee-vah-yoo-shee-yeh)
...cold medicine.
...лекарство от простуды. (lee-KAHR-stvah aht prah-STOO-dyh)
...stomach medicine.
...лекарство от живота. (lee-KAHR-stvah aht zhyh-VOH-tuh)
...a razor.
...бритва. (BREET-vuh) umbrella.
...зонтик. (ZOHN-teek)
...sunblock lotion.
...лосьон от загара. (luhs’-YOHN ahd zah-GAH-ruh)
...a postcard.
...открытка. (aht-KRYHT-kah)
...postage stamps.
...почтовые марки. (pahtch-TOH-vyh-yeh MAHR-kee)
...батарейки. (bah-tah-RAY-kee)
...writing paper.
...бумага. (boo-MAH-guh)
...a pen.
...ручка. (ROOCH-kuh)
...English-language books.
...книги на английском языке. (KNEE-gee nah ahn-GLEE-skuhm yuh-zee-KYEH)
...English-language magazines.
...журналы на английском языке. (zhoor-NAH-lyh nah ahn-GLEE-skuhm yuh-zyh-KYEH) English-language newspaper.
...газета на английском языке. (gah-ZYEH-tah nah ahn-GLEE-skuhm yuh-zyh-KYEH)
...a Russian-English dictionary.
...русско-английский словарь. (ROO-skuh ahn-GLEE-skee slah-VAHR’)


I want to rent a car.
Я хочу взять машину напрокат. (yah khah-CHOO vzyaht’ mah-SHYH-noo nuh-prah-KAHT)
Can I get insurance?
Я могу взять страховку? (yah mah-GOO vzyaht’ strah-KHOHF-koo)
Stop (on a street sign)
СТОП (stohp)
One way
одностороннее движение (uhd-nuh-stah-ROHN-nee-yeh dvee-ZHEH-nee-yeh)
уступите дорогу (oo-stoo-PEE-tyeh dah-ROH-goo)
No parking
парковки нет (pahr-KOHF-kee nyeht)
Speed limit
ограничение скорости (ah-grah-nee-CHEH-nyh-yeh SKOH-ruh-stee)
Gas (petrol) station
(авто)заправка ((AHF-tuh) zah-PRAHF-kuh)
бензин (been-ZEEN)
ДТ (дизельное топливо) (deh teh (DEE-zehl’-nuh-yeh TOH-plee-vuh)


I haven't done anything wrong.
Я ничего плохого не делал(а). (yah nee-chee-VOH plah-KHOH-vuh nee DYEH-luhl/luh-luh)
My papers are in order
Мои документы в порядке. (muh-yee duh-koo-MYEHN-tyh fpahr-YAHD-kee) (intonation must fall, otherwise you might be asking a question!)
It was a misunderstanding.
Мы друг друга не поняли. (myh droog DROO-guh nyee POHN-yuh-lee)
Take me to the police.
Везите меня в полицию. (vee-ZEE-tyeh meen-YAH fpuh-LEE-tsyh-yuh)
Where are you taking me?
Куда вы меня везёте? (koo-DAH vyh meen-YAH vee-ZYOH-tyeh?)
To the police
К полиции. (kpuh-LEE-tsyh)
To my house
К моему дому. (kmuh-yuh-MOO DOH-moo)
Am I under arrest?
Я арестован(а)? (yah ah-ryees-TOH-vuhn/vuh-nah?)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen.
Я гражданин/гражданка Америки/Австралии/Великобритании/Канады. (yah grazh-dah-NEEN/grazh-DAHN-kah ah-MYEH-ree-kee / ahf-STRAH-lee-yeh / vee-lee-kuh-bree-TAH-nee-yeh / kah-NAH-dyh)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate.
Я хочу поговорить с посольством/консульством Америки/Австралии/Великобритании/Канады. (yah khah-CHOO puh-guh-vah-REET s pah-SOL’ST-vuhm / s KOHN-sool’-stvuhm ah-MEH-ree-kee / ahf-STRAH-lee-yeh/ vee-lee-kuh-bree-TAH-nee-yeh / kah-NAH-dyh)
I want to talk to a lawyer.
Я хочу поговорить с адвокатом. (yah hah-CHOO puh-guh-vah-REET s ahd-vuh-KAH-tuhm)
Can I just pay a fine now?
Я могу заплатить штраф сейчас? (yah mah-GOO zah-plah-TEET’ shtrahf say-CHAHS?) (This phrase indicates that you want to pay a bribe to get out of trouble.)
I need a receipt
Мне нужна квитанция. (mnyee noozh-NAH kvee-TAHN-tsyh-yuh) (In the context of interactions with police, this phrase indicates that you aren't willing to pay a bribe.)

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