Russian Lesson: Learn 20 Useful Russian Phrases for Beginners

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Hello Junkies,

If you’re learning Russian, you probably thought about the most useful Russian phrases that will help you 1) learn MORE Russian and 2) communicate with the lowest level of language knowledge. That’s the point of today’s lesson.

So, take this lesson:

  • Review & read out loud
  • Print out to keep for yourself

…Oh, if you want to learn Russian with a complete Russian learning program — 1000+ audio/video lessons by real teachers – click here to visit RussianPod101 and try them for yourself. I recommend the site.


Lesson: 20 Useful Russian Phrases You Should Know


1. Hello! How are you? Welcome!

Здравствуйте! Как ваши дела? Добро пожаловать!

Pronunciation: Zdravstvuyte! Kak vashi dela? Dobro pozhalovat’!

Greetings are the first words that you should learn, even if you have nothing to do with Russia at all. 

useful russian phrases

2. How do you say _____? 

Как вы говорите _____? 

  Kak vi govorite…? 

Another variation is…

◈ Как сказать ____ по английски?

◈ Kak skazat _____ po Angliskiy?

Literally, it means “How do you say ____ in English?”

useful russian phrases

3. What does… mean?

Что значит….?

◈ Chto znachit….?

The best way to improve your Russian knowledge is to communicate with natives. In the process, you will have a huge number of different questions. The most popular of these are precisely these phrases: “How do you say…?” “What does… mean?”, we can translate them as “Как вы говорите…?” “Что значит….?”; these phrases will help you to improve your Russian  and to learn new information.

useful russian phrases

4. Do you speak English?

 Вы говорите по-английски?

 Vi govorite po-angliyski?

Sometimes, you can only express yourself in English which makes this phrase important. If they don’t speak it, they’ll definitely try to find someone that does speak English. At least, you make your situation known.

useful russian phrases

5. My Russian is bad

 Мой русский плох

Moy russkiy ploh

useful russian phrases

6.  Sorry, I speak Russian poorly

Izvinite, ya ploho govoryu po-russki

 Извините, я очень плохо говорю по-русски

These useful Russian phrases will save you from embarrassing situations. If you do not understand something, just explain to the person that you do not speak Russian well and you will be understood. 

useful russian phrases

7. Please speak slowly. 

Говорите, пожалуйста, медленнее. 

Govorite, pozhaluysta, medlenneye. 

useful russian phrases

8. Could you repeat, please?

Вы не могли бы повторить?

Vi ne mogli by povtorit’?

Phrases 7 and 8, “Говорите, пожалуйста, медленнее” and “Вы не могли бы повторить?” are two more useful Russian phrases that will save you from a difficult situation. Use them when you do not understand what a person is trying to tell you.

useful russian phrases

9. Nice to meet you! What’s your name? My name is ___.

Приятно познакомиться! Как вас зовут? Меня зовут___.

Priyatno paznakomit’sya! Kak vas zavut? Menya zoavut ___.

Naturally, getting to know others and introducing yourself in Russian is always useful! 

useful russian phrases

10. Do you mind me asking…?

Вы не возражаете, если я спрошу …? 

 Vi ne vozrazhayete, yesli ya sproshu …? 

useful russian phrases

11. Could you help me please?

◈ Не могли бы вы мне помочь, пожалуйста?

◈ Ne mogli by vy mne pomoch’, pozhaluysta?

Phrases 10 and 11 — “Вы не возражаете, если я спрошу …?” and “Не могли бы вы мне помочь, пожалуйста?” These serve as a great prelude to any question. By using them, you get a person’s attention and set the context that you need help of some sort.

useful russian phrases

12. Frankly speaking…  Well, to be honest with you…

Честно говоря

Chestno govorya

Try to begin your answers or statements with these words. It`s a great way to establish a trusting relationship. However, as a common and obvious rule, don’t overuse them!

13. No problem

нет проблем/ без проблем

net problem/ bez problem

As you can see, there are 2 phrases here. The only difference is the usage of the words нет (no) and без (without). So, with the first variation, you’re saying no problem. With the second, you say without a problem. This phrase is more enthusiastic than simple “Sure” or “OK”.

useful russian phrases

14. Excuse me, where’s the toilet?

Извините, где здесь туалет?

Izvinite, gde zdes’ tualet

It is not necessary to explain why this phrase is useful. I mean, have you ever had a time when you REALLY needed to go? Yes? That’s why. We’re all human beings, we all get the runs sometimes, we all need this phrase and a toilet.

useful russian phrases

15. Good day

Доброго времени суток

Dobrogo vremeni sutok

This is a universal phrase that is used online. For example, you would often see this in emails. You do not know when a person reads this letter, so it’s easiest to write “Доброго времени суток”.

useful russian phrases

16. What’s new? Anything new going on?

Что новенького?

Chto noven’kogo

The phrase is good for establishing small talk; especially after a weekend or a day off. 

useful russian phrases

17. Greetings! Glad to see you!

Приветствую! Рад видеть Вас!

Privetstvuyu! Rad videt’ vas!

“Приветствую”, “Рад видеть Вас!” are universal phrases that can be used in any life situation. This is a formal phrase so use it on new people or those you’ve met recently and still don’t know too well.

useful russian phrases

18. It’s so boring!

Скукотища!

Skukotishcha!

The phrase speaks for itself: you are bored. Also “Скукотища!” can be at the beginning of the conversation. If someone near you does the same job and you see that he is also bored, exclaim: “It’s so boring!” and the emotional response will not take long.

useful russian phrases

19. I really gotta go.

Мне правда пора.

Mne pravda pora

Just like greetings are useful, parting greetings and saying bye are important too. This is the best way to end the conversation between two friends! Sometimes, you really have to go! 

useful russian phrases

20. See you later/See you around!

Увидимся!

 Oovidimsya!

“Увидимся” – say it when you know, that you will see each other in a short time. Literally though, this means “we will see each other again later.”

useful russian phrases

Now, you know 20 useful Russian phrases.

Of course, 20 is not the end. There are a lot more useful Russian phrases in the Russian language. Want to learn more? Just leave a comment! I read them all.

– The Main Junkie

P.S. If you REALLY want to learn Russian with effective Audio & Video lessons by real teachers – Sign up for free at RussianPod101.com (click here) and start learning!

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