Russian talking phrasebook

Here, SRAS students are dressed in traditional clothes while on a cultural excursion abroad.

The Talking Russian Phrasebook

Published: April 16, 2023

Learn Russian with this free phrasebook and its recordings made by a native Russian language speaker. For a deeper learning experience, see these online and study abroad experiences from SRAS!

Today, Russian is spoken by approximately 258 million people worldwide, making it the eighth most spoken language in the world. Russian was spread by the colonial efforts of the expanding Russian Empire and later under the Russification efforts by the Soviets. Russian is now in decline in many areas formerly ruled by Russia and the USSR, but it remains an important language internationally. Russian is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, along with English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. It is also, along with English, one of two language that astronauts are expected to know for space travel. Lastly, it is also among the languages that many security and intelligence forces around the world consider to be important.

Russian in written in the Cyrillic alphabet, first developed in the 9th century by brothers Cyril and Methodius as part of their efforts to spread Christianity in what was then the First Bulgarian Empire. It has gone through many changes, but the modern Cyrillic script used by Russian today was mostly finalized in the 18th century, under reforms led by Tsar Peter the Great. The Soviets later further simplified the alphabet by dropping several letters in an attempt to make it easier to learn and further spread literacy and education. The Russian language overall has been heavily influenced throughout its history by Mongolian, French, and English, making it a unique Slavic language.

The Talking Phrasebook Series presents useful phrases and words in side-by-side translation and with audio files specifically geared to help students work on listening skills and pronunciation. Each entry below, divided by category, features an English word or phrase in the left column and its Russian translation in the right. The Russian is presented in in English transliteration on top and in the original Cyrillic below that.

In the center column for each row is a play button. The recorded file will feature first English, then the Russian in three versions: one slow, one with each syllable broken out, and a last version that will be spoken as it might be overheard in a conversation between native speakers.

For lots more free resources for learning Russian, make sure to check out this huge list on our site!


Survival Basics for Russian

*informal, conversational – to greet a friend
*more formal – to greet a teacher/passer-by
Good morning!
Dobroe utro!
(Доброе утро!)
Good afternoon!
Dobryi den’!
(Добрый день!)
Good evening!
Dobryi vecher!
(Добрый вечер!)
What’s up?
Kak dela?
(Как дела?)
What’s up?
Kak pozhivaesh (sing.) or kak pozhivaete? (pl./formal)
(Как поживаешь? Как поживаете?)
How are you?
Kak ty? (sing.) or Kak vy? (pl./formal)
(Как ты? Как вы?)
Good, thanks, and you?
Khorosho, spasibo, a ty?
(Хорошо, спасибо, а ты?)
Good bye!
*infomal, conversational
Good bye!
Do svidaniya or Vsego dobrogo!
(До свидания! Всего доброго!)
*more formal
See you later!
Na sebya/ot sebya
(На себя/от себя)
*when referring to a door
Do you speak English?
Ty govorish po-angliyski (sing.) or Vy govorite po-angliyski? (pl./formal)
(Ты говоришь по-английски? Вы говорите по-английски?)
I don’t speak English.
Ya ne govor’u po-angliyski.
(Я не говорю по-английски.)
I only speak a little Russian.
Ya chut’-chut’ govor’u po-russki.
(Я чуть-чуть говорю по-русски)
I understand/I don’t understand.
Ya ponimayu.
(Я понимаю.)/Ya ne ponimayu.
(Я не понимаю.)
Thank you!/Thank you very much!
(Спасибо!)/Bol’shoe spasibo or spasibo bol’shoe!
(Большое спасибо!)
Very well, thanks!
Ochen’ khorosho, spasibo!
(Очень хорошо, спасибо!)
Khorosho (adv.)/khoroshiy/aya (adj. m/f)
(Хорошо, хороший/ая)
Plokho (adv.)/plokhoy/aya (adj. m/f)
(плохо, плохой/ая)
*When asking for something politely
You’re welcome!
Pozhaluysta! or Ne za chto!
(Пожалуйста! Не за что!)
*when responding to “Спасибо!”
Excuse me!
Izvinite, pozhaluysta!
(Извините, пожалуйста!)
A little
Could you speak more slowly?
Vy ne mogli by govorit’ pomedlennee?
(Вы не могли бы говорить помедленнее?)
Could you repeat, please?
Povtorite, pozhaluysta!
(Повторите, пожалуйста!)
Could you write that down?
Vy ne mogli by eto napisat’?
(Вы не могли бы это написать?)
My bag/wallet/passport was stolen
Moyu sumku/moi koshelek/pasport ukrali.
(Мою сумку/мой кошелек/паспорт украли).
Note that in Russian “сумка” is feminine (hence, the use of feminine pronoun, and both “кошелек” and “паспорт” are masculine).
I need a doctor!
Mne nuzhno ko vrachu!
(Мне нужно ко врачу).
Call the police!
Vyzovite politsiyu (pl./formal)
(Вызовите полицию!)


Introductions in Russian

What is your name?
Kak tebya zovut?
(Как тебя зовут?)
Pleased to meet you!
Priyatno poznakomit’sya!
(Приятно познакомиться!
Russians may also say “Очень приятно” in place of it and respond to that with “Взаимно” (It’s mutual).
I am 25 years old.
Mne dvadcat’ pyat’ let.
(Мне двадцать пять лет.)
How old are you?
Skol’ko tebe let?
(Сколько тебе лет?)
Where are you from?
Otkyda ty?
(Откуда ты?)
I am American.
Ya iz Ameriki.
(Я из Америки)
No, I am from Canada.
Net, ya iz Kanady.
(Нет, я из Канады)
She is Australian.
Ona Avstraliyka.
(Она австралийка)
He is Irish.
On irlandets.
(Он ирландец)
We are from New Zealand.
My iz Novoi Zelandii.
(Мы из Новой Зеландии)
They are from Wales.
Oni iz Uel’sa.
(Они из Уэльса)
How do you like Russia?
Tebe nravitsya v Rossii?
(Тебе нравится в России?)
I like Russia very much.
Mne ochen’ nravitsya v Rossii.
(Мне очень нравится в России)
Have you ever been to Novgorod?
Ty kogda-nibud’ byval(a) v Novgorode? (sg., m/f), Vy kogda-nibud’ byvali v Novgorode? (pl./formal)
(Ты когда-нибудь бывал(а) в Новгороде? Вы когда-нибудь бывали в Новгороде?)
I have never been to Saint-Petersburg before.
Ya nikogda ne byval(a) v Sankt-Peterburge.
(Я никогда не бывал(а) в Санкт-Петербурге)
This is my second time in Russia.
Ya uzhe vtoroi raz v Rossii or Eto uzhe vtoraya moya poezdka v Rossiyu.
(Я уже второй раз в России/Это уже вторая моя поездка в Россию)
What do you do?
Chem ty zanimaesh’sya?
(Чем ты занимаешься?)
I am a student/businessman/teacher/doctor.
Ya student/biznesmen/uchitel’/vrach.
(Я студент/бизнесмен/учитель/врач)
I am on vacation.
Ya v otpuske (if you’re working)/Ya na kanikulakh (if you’re a student on a holiday break),
(Я в отпуске/Я на каникулах).
I am here on business.
Ya zdes’ po rabote.
(Я здесь по работе).


Asking Directions

Where are the toilets?
Gde zdes’ tualet?
(Где здесь туалет?)
Muzhskoy (tualet)
Zhenskiy (tualet)
Where is the nearest bank?
Gde zdes’ blizhayshiy bank?
(Где здесь ближайший банк?)
Where is the nearest post office?
Gde zdes’ blizhayshee otdelenie pochty?
(Где здесь ближайшее отделение почты?)
Where is the nearest train station?
Gde zdes’ blizhayshiy vokzal?
(Где здесь ближайший вокзал?)
Where can I find Wi-Fi?
Vy ne znaete, gde zdes’ Wi-Fi?
(Вы не знаете, где здесь Wi-Fi?)
Do you know the Wi-Fi password?
Vy ne znaete, parol’ ot Wi-Fi?
(Вы не знаете пароль от Wi-Fi/от вай-фая? (Gen. can be used colloquially)
How can I order a taxi?
Kak mne zakazat’ taksi?
(Как мне заказать такси?)
Straight ahead!
Vam pryamo!
(Вам прямо!)
Take a right!/Take a left!
Povernite napravo!
(Поверните направо!)/Povernite nalevo!
(Поверните налево!)
After the stoplight
Posle svetofora
После светофора



How much does that cost?
Skol’ko eto stoit?
(Сколько это стоит?)
The menu, please!
Bud’te dobry menu!
(Будьте добры меню!)
I’d like a beer, please
Ya by khotel(a) zakazat’ pivo,
(Я бы хотел(а) заказать пиво).
I’d like the bill, please.
Mozhno shchet, pozhaluysta?
(Можно счет, пожалуйста?)
Do you accept credit cards?
Vy prinimaete kreditnye karty?
(Вы принимаете кредитные карты?)



(The audio files have been grouped into four quicker sets.)

0 nol’
1 odin
2 dva
3 tri
4 chetyre
5 pyat’
6 shest’
7 sem’
8 vosem’
9 devyat’
10 (1-10)
11 odinnatsat’
12 dvenadsat’
13 trinadsat’
14 chetyrnadsat’
15 pyatnadsat’
16 shestnadsat’
17 semnadsat’
18 vosemnadsat’
19 devyatnadsat’
20 (11-20)
21 dvadsat’ odin
(двадцать один)
22 dvadsat’ dva
(двадцать два)
30 tridsat’
40 sorok
50 pyat’desyat
60 shest’desyat
70 sem’desyat
80 vosem’desyat
90 devyanosto
100 (21-100)
111 sto odinnadsat’
(сто одиннадцать)
125 sto dvadsat’ pyat’
(сто двадцать пять )
200 dvesti
300 trista
400 chetyresta
500 pyat’sot
600 shessot
700 sem’sot
800 vosem’sot
900 devyat’sot
1000 (111-1000)


Additional Resources for Understanding Russian

For a deeper learning experience, see these online and study abroad experiences from SRAS!

For lots more free resources for learning Russian, make sure to check out this huge list on our site!


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About the author

Alex Sitnikov

Alex Sitnikov

Alex holds a BA in Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language (RFL) and an MA in Translation. He came to Moscow from Tolyatti to study at Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2013 and has been in love with the city ever since. Alex coordinates student activities in Moscow for SRAS. When he’s not occupied with that, Alex likes to play guitar, sing, read, play videogames, and make YouTube videos.

Program attended: SRAS Staff Member

View all posts by: Alex Sitnikov