What are some basic Russian vocabulary words and phrases that learners should know?

A strong foundation in basic vocabulary and phrases is essential for communication in any language. Here are some of the basic Russian vocabulary words and phrases that learners should aim to know early on in their studies:

Greetings and Basic Courtesies

  • Привет (Privet) – Hi/Hello (informal)
  • Здравствуйте (Zdravstvuyte) – Hello (formal)
  • До свидания (Do svidaniya) – Goodbye
  • Спасибо (Spasibo) – Thank you
  • Пожалуйста (Pozhaluysta) – Please/You’re welcome
  • Извините (Izvinite) – Excuse me/Sorry
  • Да (Da) – Yes
  • Нет (Net) – No
  • Как Вас зовут? (Kak Vas zovut?) – What’s your name?
  • Меня зовут… (Menya zovut…) – My name is…

Basic Questions and Responses

  • Как дела? (Kak dela?) – How are you?
  • Хорошо (Khorosho) – Good/Well
  • Так себе (Tak sebe) – So-so
  • Плохо (Plokho) – Badly
  • Где туалет? (Gde tualet?) – Where is the bathroom?
  • Сколько это стоит? (Skol’ko eto stoit?) – How much does it cost?
  • Вы говорите по-английски? (Vy govorite po-angliyski?) – Do you speak English?

Numbers

  • Ноль (Nol’) – Zero
  • Один (Odin) – One
  • Два (Dva) – Two
  • Три (Tri) – Three
  • Четыре (Chetyre) – Four
  • Пять (Pyat’) – Five
  • Десять (Desyat’) – Ten

Days of the Week

  • Понедельник (Ponedel’nik) – Monday
  • Вторник (Vtornik) – Tuesday
  • Среда (Sreda) – Wednesday
  • Четверг (Chetverg) – Thursday
  • Пятница (Pyatnitsa) – Friday
  • Суббота (Subbota) – Saturday
  • Воскресенье (Voskresen’ye) – Sunday

Time and Directions

  • Сейчас (Seychas) – Now
  • Сегодня (Segodnya) – Today
  • Завтра (Zavtra) – Tomorrow
  • Вчера (Vchera) – Yesterday
  • Время (Vremya) – Time
  • Час (Chas) – Hour
  • Направо (Napravo) – To the right
  • Налево (Nalevo) – To the left
  • Прямо (Pryamo) – Straight ahead

Food and Eating Out

  • Меню (Menyu) – Menu
  • Вода (Voda) – Water
  • Чай (Chay) – Tea
  • Кофе (Kofe) – Coffee
  • Сок (Sok) – Juice
  • Пиво (Pivo) – Beer
  • Вино (Vino) – Wine
  • Суп (Sup) – Soup
  • Салат (Salat) – Salad
  • Мясо (Myaso) – Meat
  • Хлеб (Khleb) – Bread
  • Счет, пожалуйста (Schet, pozhaluysta) – The bill, please

Transport and Accommodation

  • Автобус (Avtobus) – Bus
  • Поезд (Poezd) – Train
  • Аэропорт (Aeroport) – Airport
  • Вокзал (Vokzal) – Train Station
  • Такси (Taksi) – Taxi
  • Отель (Otel’) – Hotel
  • Номер (Nomer) – Room
  • Бронь (Bron’) – Reservation
  • Заселение (Zaselenie) – Check-in
  • Выселение (Vyselenie) – Check-out

Shopping and Transactions

  • Магазин (Magazin) – Shop/Store
  • Рынок (Rynok) – Market
  • Покупки (Pokupki) – Shopping
  • Цена (Tsena) – Price
  • Скидка (Skidka) – Discount
  • Размер (Razmer) – Size
  • Примерочная (Primerochnaya) – Fitting Room
  • Касса (Kassa) – Cashier
  • Кредитная карта (Kreditnaya karta) – Credit card
  • Наличные (Nalichnye) – Cash

Emergency and Health

  • Помощь (Pomoshch’) – Help
  • Врач (Vrach) – Doctor
  • Аптека (Apteka) – Pharmacy
  • Боль (Bol’) – Pain
  • Травма (Travma) – Injury
  • Полиция (Politsiya) – Police
  • Скорая помощь (Skoraya pomoshch’) – Ambulance
  • Опасность (Opasnost’) – Danger

These basic words and phrases form an essential foundation for beginners in the Russian language, providing tools for common daily situations. As learners progress, they can expand upon these basics with more specific and complex vocabulary to suit their needs and interests.


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