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Things to Know About the Russian Language

Things to Know About the Russian Language So you’re thinking about going to Russia. Great! Although due to the straightforward character of most Russian people and somewhat harshly sounding language many people think otherwise, the country is ... Read More

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Things to Know About the Russian Language

Things to Know About the Russian Language

By on March 23, 2020 in Kamexplore

So you’re thinking about going to Russia. Great! Although due to the straightforward character of most Russian people and somewhat harshly sounding language many people think otherwise, the country is actually very welcoming when it comes to visitors. There are things you should remember for your own sake; it’s not really great to look ignorant in terms of the culture you’re visiting, regardless of where you go. We’ve covered many aspects of the Russian culture in the previous articles, so let’s take a look at some interesting facts and useful-to-know phrases when it come to the language of the country.

It might seem you’re in a different universe

Many people try and look up words and expressions of the language of the country they are visiting, and that is awesome. Not only will you have an easier time orienting around and getting places if you know a word or two, the locals will be a lot more willing to help and friendlier if you approach them with what at least remotely reminds them of their native language (let’s be honest, your accent will probably present some challenges for understanding, unless you speak a similar language already).

The thing with Russian is that unless you already speak one of the Slavic languages, no matter how much you prepare, you fill find yourself in somewhat of a shock once you arrive. Not only will the sounds be completely alien, literally everything you will be able to see in the written form will seem like gibberish. You see, Russian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet, the letters of which do not even closely resemble what you’re probably used to reading (considering you’re reading this right now, in English). In this case, learning a couple of words that should help you navigate or find things you need, such as a supermarket or a gas station, might be completely useless if you cannot actually read them. Word of advice – write them down on a piece of paper with pronunciation and translation on the side. That way you can at least compare the visual similarity or show the word to the local and hope they point you towards the right direction. That’s kind of the fun part of travelling in a country in which you feel completely helpless when it comes to language!

Useful words and phrases to know

Let’s face it – if we see tourists who cannot even say hi or thank you in the local language of the country they’re visiting, we might not necessarily think poorly about them, but the fact that they haven’t really done their homework will surely slip through our mind. Here are several words that will come in handy while in Russia:

  • Hello – Здравствуйте (ZDRAstvuyte). It’s the formal version of hello, and it’s certainly the more difficult one to pronounce than the others, but it’s also the one you want to use. Don’t forget that most Russian people are a lot more formal when it comes to communicating with strangers than let’s say Americans or those from the European South, so a formal hello is usually expected.
  • Thank you – Спасибо (spaSIbo). Use it everywhere, people will appreciate it.
  • Excuse me. – Извините. (izviNIte). Use this as you approach people on the street.

Not enough? Check out a longer list and gear up in phrases before your trip!

Useful words and phrases to know
Useful words and phrases to know

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