For Beginners: 20 Unique Ways to Say Hello in Russian

Want to say hello in Russian?

That’s good. Real good. Hey, this is the first phrase you should KNOW if you’re learning Russian. And if you’re not learning… leave! So, today, you’ll learn 20 unique ways to say Hello in Russian. Why so many? Why not? Some are only used in certain situations. And you’ll know more Russian. So….

Here’s what you can do with this lesson…

  • Read, review, and read out loud
  • Print it out as physical review material (I like printing stuff)
  • Save images for your personal use (as flashcards)

Hey, if you REALLY want to learn & speak Russian, I suggest RussianPod101. You get 1,000+ audio/video courses, lessons by Russian teachers and a whole learning system. Sign up at RussianPod101 (click here) and start learning! I recommend ’em as a teacher & learner.

 1. Hello in Russian (casual) – Привет

  • Привет
  • Pronunciation: Privet

say hello in russian

This is the most popular word in Russian language. And the most important word in this lesson. If you need to know JUST ONE way to say hello in Russian… it’s privet.  It’s not a formal way to greet a person – you should not say [privet] to a boss, but if you see your friend – it’s the best word to use. When you say it, try to make {i} and {e} very soft.

Now, there’s a variation of this word. It’s the next one.

2. Hello (super casual) – privetik

  • privetik
  • приветик

Young people, especially girls, like to upgrade this word saying [privetik]. Basically, in Russian, you can adjust words for various levels of formality. In this case, it becomes much more casual, nicer, friendlier and endearing. Surprising for a seemingly “rough” language, huh?

 3. Hello (formal) – Здравствуйте

  • Здравствуйте
  • zdrastvooyte

say hello in russian

This is general, formal way to say hello in Russian. If you meet your boss or professor and you want to be polite – just say {Здравствуйте}. You can use this word in everyday life greeting your friends, but it’s kind of strange. Why? Well, why use such polite language with someone that’s a close friend? So… read on!

4. Hello – Здравствуй

  • Здравствуй
  • Zdrastvooy

say hello in russian

You can cut  down the word and say just {Здравствуй} [Zdrastvooy]. Now it`s ok to use with people that you know well, but with friends it’s still better to say {Privet}.

 5. Good morning – Доброе утро

  • Доброе утро
  • Dobroye ootro

say hello in russian

Common greeting and a must-know phrase for all learners. You can say this phrase to everybody (doesn’t matter you meet the boss or your close fiend) in the morning. Just make sure you say it before 11:59AM!

Now, there are some more variations of Good Morning in Russian.

6. Good morning – Утро доброе

  • Утро доброе
  • Ootro dobroye

say hello in russian

Yes, the word order was switched and the meaning is 100% the same. Russian’s a fairly flexible language in that sense.

7. Good morning – С добрым утром

  • С добрым утром
  • S dobrim ootrom

say hello in russian

S” means “with.” So, this literally means “with good morning” but you know, you shouldn’t translate languages literally. Very common morning greeting as well.


8. Good afternoon – Добрый день

  • Добрый день
  • Dobriy den

say hello in russian

Alright, it’s 12PM. What do you say? This phrase of course! This is also frequently used form of greeting in Russia. You can say it to everybody and everywhere. No special rules of formalities. It’s is also used in formal occasions – on TV, radio, business-meetings and so on. And… there are some variations!

9. Good Afternoon – день добрый

  • день добрый
  • den dobriy

Yep, just switched the word order!

say hello in russian

10. Good day/Good afternoon – хорошего дня

  • хорошего дня
  • horoshevo dnya

say hello in russian

11. Good evening – Добрый вечер

  • Добрый вечер
  • Dobriy vecher

say hello in russian

Okay, it’s 6PM. This is the greeting to use for the evening (until night). It’s a bit formal which young people (and friends) don’t use much. But, if you turn on the TV (news or some sport events), you’ll hear it.

12. Good evening – вечер добрый

  • вечер добрый
  • vecher dobriy

say hello in russian

And again! Word re-order! Here you can also replace words and say {vecher dobriy}. Try to say the {ve} very softly like you are saying {vie}.

 13. Good night – Доброй ночи

  • Доброй ночи
  • Dobroy nochi

say hello in russian

You can use it only at night or in early morning. Remember, that this is a GREETING for the night. If you want to use {Good night} saying to somebody who is going to sleep – you’re using the wrong phrase! Instead of that, you have to say {Спокойной ночи} – [Spokoynoy nochi]. You can’t re-order words in both these phrases.

14. Hello (the military way)  – Здравия желаю

  • Здравия желаю
  • Zdraviya zhelayu

say hello in russian

This is a greeting used in the military. If translated, it means “Good health” or “I wish you good health.” Elderly people say it sometimes. And it’s not a problem if you use it too, even if you are not a soldier. It sounds nice and polite.

15. Hello (on the phone) – Алло

  • Алло
  • Allo

say hello in russian

This is how you say hello in Russian… on the phone only. That’s it. Be careful – if you say it to somebody in real life, it means [wake up], or [can you hear me?]. This can be rude or somewhat scolding if they’re not paying attention.

Now, let’s move onto the slang.

16. Hello (slang) – Здарова

  • Здарова
  • Zdarova

This is the most popular slang way of greeting – young people use it all the time (especially boys/men).  If you see your close friend – you can say [Zdarova] – it`s modern and fun. When you say [Zdarova], the {o} is stressed.

say hello in russian

And onto some borrowed words from English!

17. Hello (borrowed from English) – Хеллоу

  • Хеллоу
  • Hellou

say hello in russian

18. Hi (borrowed from English) – Хай

  • Хай
  • Hai

say hello in russian

19. Hey (borrowed from English) – Хей

  • Хей
  • Hey

say hello in russian

20. Salute (borrowed from English) – Салют

  • Салют
  • Salyoot

say hello in russian

All Russians know these words but don’t really use them. So, if you say [Hi] in Russia it’s ok – you will not shock nobody. Who uses them? Typically Russian Youtube-vloggers and people with English speaking friends.


And that’s it!

Now that you know Russian greetings, you should also learn to say bye in Russian… or how to say how are you in Russian. Just click the links.

Do you know of other unique ways to say Hello in Russian?

Leave a comment below and I’ll add it to this list. I read all the comments!

Feel free to print this article for your own review!

– the Main Junkie

P.S. I highly recommend this for Russian learners. If you REALLY want to learn Russian with 1,000s of fun, easy audio/video lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at RussianPod101 (click here) and start learning!


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

“you will not shock nobody” is a double negative, so you are actually saying “you will shock somebody”

[…] For Beginners: 20 Unique Ways to Say Hello in Russian […]