Are you learning Russian and you’re still not sure how to say “I don’t care” in a polite way? No problem. You are about to learn how to do this in eleven different ways.


It is perfectly acceptable to let someone know that you don’t care about something and there are multiple ways which you can express your lack of interest. However, you must do this respectfully. Like in any other language, Russian has lots of colloquial words and expressions.


Keep in mind that different expressions can be used in different conversational situations. Remember that certain expressions are acceptable only in your dialogues with friends and should be avoided in your professional life, or important emails, etc. The first three methods to say “I don’t care” can be safely employed in all types of conversations.



1. Всё равно


  • Literal translation: “It is all the same”.


This is the most widely used Russian expression for ‘I don’t care” in everyday life. This is what you could say when your friends are discussing whether to go to a park or a café; if you don’t care where you and your friend end up going, you would say “всё равно”. For example:


  • Что будешь пить: чай или кофе? «What would you like to drink: tea of coffee?»
  • Мне всё равно. «I don’t care».
  • Знаешь, мне всё равно, что отец говорит. «You know what? I don’t care what my dad says».



2. Безразлично


  • Literal translation: “Indifferently”.


This is a short and a polite way of expressing your lack of interest. It only takes one word to let someone know of your opinion. For example:


  • Мне безразлично ваше мнение. «I don’t care about your opinion».
  • Мне безразлично, что думают соседи. «I don’t care what my neighbors think».



3. Без разницы


  • Literal translation: “Without any difference”.


This is another neutral expression and can be confidently used in a variety of situations. For example:


  • Мне без разницы почему ты так сделал. «I don’t care why you did it».
  • Мне без разницы кто виноват. «I don’t care whose fault is it».



4. По барабану


  • Literal translation: “On drum”.


The literal translation of this expression may be difficult for English speakers to understand. Nevertheless, this is more of an informal way of saying “I don’t care”. While not considered rude or disrespectful, try to refrain from using this when talking to people of higher authority. For instance, using this expression with your boss at work will probably not go too well. For example:


  • Мне по барабану, что он там говорит. «I don’t care what he is saying»
  • Пиши всё, что хочешь. Мне по барабану! «Write whatever you want. I don’t care».



5. До фонаря (до лампочки)


  • Literal translation: “Before lantern” or “Before lamp”.


The word “фонарь” translates as “the lantern”. The word “лампочка” is used as a diminutive noun in Russian; it means “a small lamp”. While a respectful statement, try to avoid using it with people who you may not know too well. For example:


  • Поверь мне, всё, что ты говорила Рейчел, ей до лампочки. «Trust me, Rachael does not care what you said to her».
  • Мне до фонаря, соврала ты ему или нет. «I don’t care whether you lied to him or not».



6. Параллельно


  • Literal translation: “Parallel”.


The word is actually an adverb. This is also a good example of how a single adverb can represent a whole statement! For example:


  • Да ему вообще параллельно на свою жизнь. «He doesn’t care about his life».
  • Ему всё параллельно. «He doesn’t care about anything».



7. Фиолетово


  • Literal translation: “Purple”.


The literal translation of this word also represents a color. You will need to be very accurate when using this word in a sentence. For example:


  • Знаешь, Рейган, а мне фиолетово веришь ты мне или нет. «You know, I don’t really care what you believe, Reagan».
  • Да мне вообще фиолетово, это же для школьной газеты. «It is just a school paper. I don’t really care».



8. До фени


  • Literal translation: “Before Fenya”.


This expression works the same way as “до фонаря”. The expression originated from “Fenya”, which is a Russian female name. However, if you keep repeating words like “фонарь” and “феня”, they will start sounding similar after a while. Therefore, many people will substitute “до фонаря” with “до фени” and vice versa. For example:


  • Ему всё до фени. «He doesn’t care about anything».



9. Плевать


  • Literal translation: “To spit”.


You can probably notice just by the literal translation that this is not the smoothest way to tell somebody that you don’t care. Once again, this is not a rude statement, but should only be used in conversational situations with close friends.


The word “плевать” can be interpreted in multiple ways. In this instance, you can say “мне плевать на” and proceed to add a noun or a pronoun in the accusative case. For example:


  • Мне плевать на твоё мнение. «I don’t care about your opinion».
  • Мне плевать на работу. «I don’t care about work».



10.Мне пофиг.


  • Literal translation: “I don’t care”.


This statement is predominantly used in Russian slang. To use this expression, begin with a noun or a pronoun and then add “пофиг”. For example:


  • Да мне глубоко пофиг, что сегодня суббота. «Well, I don’t really care that it’s a Saturday».



11. Начхать


  • Literal translation: “To sneeze”.


Here is another example of Russian slang. To use this expression, you will need a noun or a pronoun in the dative case, add “начхать на”, and add what you don’t care about in the accusative case. For example:


  • Мне начхать на него. «I don’t care about him».
  • Да мне начхать, что это такое. «I don’t care what it is».


Now you know how to say “I don’t care” in eleven different ways. As always, make sure that you use appropriate expression, depending on who you are talking to. If you find yourself in a formal conversation, you are better off using one of the following choices:


  • «мне всё равно».
  • «мне без разницы».
  • «мне безразлично».


This table will help you to remember our new words.


Neutral ways

Colloquial ways

Всё равно

По барабану


До фонаря (лампочки)

Без разницы



До фени













You now should be aware of what expression to use in most conversational situations talking in Russian. I am sure you have found something new and interesting in the article and have improved your Russian. Don’t be shy to write your own examples in the comments below.


That’s it for today. See you!


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