Practice in Russian

Russian language

English and Russian belong to the same family of languages - the Indo-European family. There are, however, few languages so different in their structure as these two. English words undergo very few grammatical changes as they combine in sentences. Auxiliary like articles, prepositions, auxiliary verbs and, of course, the order of words are of paramount importance in English grammar. The Russian language has no articles at all, and it does not rely on prepositions or order of words alone to show how one word is grammatically related to another. Neither are auxiliary verbs widely used to form the tenses. Grammatical relationships between words in Russian are shown by a complex system of endings and other changes in words themselves.

Pronunciation and Alphabet

a - like 'a' in 'about' or 'u' in 'unplesant', and like 'a' in 'father' if it is under stress, but I think for us there is no matter how foreighners pronounce the vowel. We will get what you tell us.
e - like 'e' in 'met'
i - like 'ee' in 'keen'
o - like 'o' in 'not'
u - like 'oo' in 'book'
j - like 'y' in 'yes'
ja - like 'ya' in 'yahoo'
je - like 'ye' in 'yes'
jo - like 'yo' in 'yo-yo'
ju - like 'u' in 'use'

ch - like 'ch' in 'chair'
sh - like 'sh' in 'ship'
shch - there is no such a sound in English, but it is too close to 's' in 'sure'. It is similar German 'ch' in 'ich' or Swedish 'k' before 'e,i,y' in 'Kisa'
zh - like 'g' in 'gym' or 's' in 'pleasure'
r - that sound is not similar to English one, it is stronger, an alveolar sound. The end of the tongue is to tremble at the top of the mouth behind the upper front teeth. Russian lion growls - P-p-p-p-p - /R-r-r-r-r/:)
g - like 'g' in 'go'
y - (Ы) there is no the sound in English, it is nessesary to draw out abnormally the sound 'i'

' - it is a stress of a word. The apostrophe goes after stressing vowel.
" - the double apostrophe going after cosonant means that the consonant should be read like soft one. In Russian the softness of a consonant may be indicated either by a special "mute" letter "ь" called soft sign or by the vowel letter which follows the consonant.


I don't speak Russian - Я не говорю по-русски - /Ja ne gavarju' pa ru'ski/

I don't understand you - Я Вас не понимаю - /Ja vas ne panima'ju/

I didn't understand you - Я Вас не понял - /Ja vas ne po'njal/

Repeat it, please - Повторите, пожалуйста - /Pavtari'te pazha'lusta/

Greetings and farewells

Hello! Hi! - Привет! - /prive't/
or you can use more formal greeting - "Здравствуйте!" /zdra'stvujte/ or its short informal form "Здрасте" /zdra'ste/

How are you? - Как поживаете? - /kak pazhiva'ite/

I'm fine, tnank you - Спасибо, прекрасно. - /spasi'ba prekra'sna/
Thank you - Спасибо - /spasi'ba/
Not so bad - Неплохо - /neplo'ha/
I'm quite well - Хорошо - /harasho'/
So-so - Так себе - /ta'ksebe/

Glad to meet you - Рад видеть вас - /rad vi'det vas/

Good-bye! - До свидания! - /dasvida'nija/
See you soon! - До скорого - /dasko'rava/
See you tommorrow! - До завтра! - /daza'vtra/
Bye! So long! - Пока! - /paka'/

Your name

What is your name? - Как вас зовут? - /kak vas zavu't/
My name is... - Меня зовут ... - /menja' zavu't.../

My sername is ... - Моя фамилия ... - /maja fami'lija .../

How old are you? - Сколько вам лет? - /sko'lka vam let/
I'm ... - Мне ... лет (год)(года) - /mne ... let (god)(go'da)/
1, 21, 31, 41, 51 and so on - год - /god/
2, 3, 4, 22, 23, 24, 32, 33, 34, 42 and so on - года - /go'da/
other figures - лет - /let/
I'm 20 - Мне 20 лет - /mne dva'tsat let/
I'm 21 - Мне 21 год - /mne dva'tsat adi'n god/
I'm 22 - Мне 22 года - /mne dva'tsat dva go'da/


1 - один m - /adi'n/ - note, that the numeral has the forms of all three genders* and a plural form
A boy (one boy) - Один мальчик - /adi'n ma'lchik/
одна f - /adna'/
A girl (one girl) - Одна девочка - /adna' de'vachka/;
одно n - /adno'/
A lake (one lake) - Одно озеро - /adno' o'zera/;
одни pl - /adni'/
Some people think that...- Одни люди думают, что...- /Adni' lju'di du'majut, shto.../
2 - два
- /dva/ - the numeral has a special form for the feminine gender
Two boys - Два мальчика - /dva' ma'lchika/
две f - /dve/
Two girls - Две девочки - /dve' de'vachki/
3 - три - /tri/
4 - четыре - /chety're/
5 - пять - /pjat"/
6 - шесть - /shest"/
7 - семь - /sem"/
8 - восемь - /vo'sem"/
9 - девять - /de'vjat"/
10 - десять - /de'sjat"/
11 - одиннадцать - /adi'natsat"/ - один над цать - one over ten
12 - двенадцать - /dvena'dsat"/
13 - тринадцать - /trina'tsat"/
14 - четырнадцать - /chety'rnatsat"/
15 - пятнадцать - /pjatna'tsat"/
16 - шестнадцать - /shesna'tsat"/
17 - семнадцать - /semna'tsat"/
18 - восемнадцать - /vosemna'tsat"/
19 - девятнадцать - /devjatna'tsat"/
20 - двадцать - /dva'tsat"/ - два дцать- twise ten
30 - тридцать - /tri'tsat"/- три дцать- thris ten
40 - сорок - /so'rak/
50 - пятьдесят - /pja't"desjat/ - пять десят - five by ten
60 - -шестьдесят - /she'st"desjat/
70 - семьдесят - /se'm"desjat/
80 - восемьдесят - /vo'sem"desjat/
90 - девяносто - /devjano'sta/
100 - сто - /sto/

34 - тридцать четыре - /tri'tsat" chety're/
87 - восемьдесят семь - /vo'sem"desjat sem"/
and so on.

*- In Russian as in English nouns denoting human beings and sometimes animals are eather masculine or feminine. One of the features which Russian shares with many other languages but not with English is that Russian words for things and abstract notions are regarded as masculine, feminine or neuter. Thus referring to a table we use the pronoun OH - [on] - he. A door is referred to as OHA - [ana'] - she. A window is spoken of as OHO - [ano'] - it. This grammatical classes of nouns are called genders.

Love and feelings:)

I love you - Я люблю тебя - /Ja ljublju' tebja'/
or more polite form - Я люблю Вас - /Ja liublju' vas/

Making a call

Hello - Алло - /alo'/
May I speak to (name)? - Можно попросить ... - /Mo'zhno paprasi't" .../
Who's speaking? - А кто говорит?- /a kto' gavari't?/ or А кто спрашивает? - /a kto' spra'shivaet?/
This is (name) (calling) - Это (говорит) ... - /E'to (gavari't) .../
Speaking - Слушаю - /slu'shaju/
Can you hold on? - Вы можете подождать? - /Vy mo'zhite padazhda't"?/
You've got the wrong number - Вы ошиблись номером - /Vy ashi'blis" no'meram/
My home (office) number is ... - Мой домашний (рабочий) номер ... - /Moj dama'shnij (rabo'chij) no'mer ...'/
The number of my cell telephone is ... - Номер моего мобильного ... - /No'mer maego' mabi'l"nogo telefo'na ...'/

Asking for directions

Excuse me. Can you tell me the way to ...? - Извините. Вы не подскажите, как пройти к ...? - /Izvini'te. Vy nepadska'zhite kak prajti' k ...?/
Excuse me. Can you tell me where ...(Timme) street is? - Извините. Вы не подскажите, где улица ...(Тимме)?- /Izvini'te. Vy ne padska'zhite, gde u'litsa ...(Ti'me)?/
Could you, please, show me where it is on the city map? - Покажите мне, пожалуйста, это на карте города - /Pakazhi'te mne, pazha'lusta, e'to na ka'rte go'rada/
Turn right (left) on ... (Timme) street - Сверните направо (налево) на улицу ... (Тимме)- /Svern'te napra'va (nale'va) na u'litsu ... (Ti'me)

The pronun

I - я - /ja/
You - ты - /ty/
He - он - /on/
She - она - /ana'/
It - он - /on/, она - /ana'/, оно - /ano'/
They - они - /ani'/
We - мы - /my/
You - вы - /vy/ (The pronun ВЫ /vy/ - may refer to one or more persons the same as in English you. The Russians however often usen the pronun ТЫ /ty/ in addressing friends, relatives and children. /vy/ - is polite form of refering to one person.)

The noun: gender

There are no articles - either definite or indefinite in Russian. The noun "город" - /go'rad/ may stand for city, the city or a city.
Russian nouns are of three genders: masculine - m, feminine - f and neuter - n. The gender of a noun is often shown by its ending.
The commonest masculine endings:
1) All Russian nouns ending in a hard consonant (without the soft sign "ь") are masculine, for example: "город" - /go'rad/ - city, "клуб" - /klup/ - club.
2) many of the Russian nouns ending in a soft consonant with the soft sigh "ь" are musculine: "день" - /den"/ - day, "словарь" - /slava'r"/ - dictionary.
The commonest feminine endings:
1) Most nouns ending in -a are feminine: "дама" - /da'ma/ - lady, "карта" - /ka'rta/ - map.
2) Many of the nouns ending in a soft consonant with the soft sign "ь" are feminine: "мать" - /mat"/ - mother, "тетрадь" - /tetra't"/ - notebook.
(YOU HAVE TO LEARN nouns ending in soft sign and their gender, because there is no any rule to devide these words on two group - masculine and feminine)
3) Most nouns ending in /ja/ are feminine: "земля" - /zemlja'/ - earth, "семья" - /sem"ja'/ - family.
The commonest neuter endings:
Almost all nouns ending in -o or -e are neuter: "слово" - /slo'va/ - word, "озеро" - /o'zera/ - lake, "поле" - /po'le/ - field.

READ the little poem of Russian poetess Agnija Barto

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