Ways to Say “Hello!”

You know that we are very polite and quite distant in Russia, so the best way to say “hello” to a Russian person is long and difficult: Здравствуйте. Even if you are the same age as a person, you will still use this greeting. Perhaps you may find it a bit weird, but that's how we say “hello.”

You can also say “Hi,” or Привет to your friends or to your classmates. But you will never say this to a person whom you see for the first time or to someone who is much older than you.

Another informal way to say “Hello” is Здрассте! The word Приветики! is used more by young girls. And Здоровó! is used among guys.

Another Way to Say “How are You?” and Some Answers

You have probably learned the phrase Как дела? or Как у тебя дела?. It's very good! But if you want to use another phrase, remember Как жизнь?. Literally it means, “How is the life?”

How to Answer

  • Всё ништяк. Everything is perfect. Ништяк is slang, and you will never find this word in a dictionary. But we can translate it as “perfect.” It always means something good.
  • Лучше всех. I feel better than anyone.
  • Всё по-старому. Everything old, nothing     new.
  • Хреново. Very bad. Хреново is almost swearing. Be careful!

How to Say, “I Don't Know”

  • Я не в курсе. I don't know.
  • Понятия не имею. I don't have any idea.
  • Хрен знает. Who knows. Хрен is almost swearing. Be careful! You can use it with friends but never with older people or in a formal situation.
  • Откуда я знаю? Why should I know it? Be careful with this phrase because it gives the impression that you're rather annoyed.

How to Express Your Excitement

The most simple way to express excitement is to say Вау, which is the Russian pronunciation for the English word “wow.” It's very popular among teenagers in Russia.

Other Russian phrases to express your excitement include:

  • Ух ты!
  • Ну ты даёшь!
  • Офигеть!
  • Обалдеть!
  • Ничего себе!
  • Нифига себе!

How to Say “It's Cool”

  • Это классно!
  • Это клёво!
  • Это круто!
  • Это прикольно!

How to Say, “Damn”

  • Чёрт!
  • Блин!
  • Ё моё!
  • Чёрт возьми!
  • Ёлки палки!

You can use any of these phrases. Don't worry, it's not swearing.

How to Say That You're Very Hungry

  • Я умираю с голоду. I'm dying from starvation.   
  • Есть у тебя что-нибудь похавать? Do you have anything to eat?    
  • У нас тут хавчика навалом. We have a lot of food.
  • Я сладкоежка. I like sweets.
  • Какая вкуснятина! Mmm… it's yummy!

How to Call Boys

  • пацан
  • парень
  • чувак
  • братан
  • мужик

How to Call Girls

  • девчонка
  • девица
  • чика
  • баба

Be careful with the words девица, чика, and баба. It may sound offensive to a girl.

Another word to call a girl is мужик. Мужик literally means “man” (especially a worker in the countryside). It can be used for a girl if she did something amazingly well. For example, if she showed that she's very brave or very smart. You can say to her Ну ты мужиииик! She will likely feel proud of herself. However, this depends on the girl; another girl may not like this phrase.

Drinking Slang

  • Давай выпьем за... Let's drink to...
  • Давай за... It means the same that a previous phrase. Just don't forget to add the word of what you're drinking to. For example, любовь (love), тебя (you), родителей (parents), or праздник (holiday).
  • Пьян (пьяна) в хлам. Very drunk.
  • Бухой, бухая. Very drunk.
  • Я напился как свинья. I'm drunk as a pig.
  • Похмелье. Hangover.
  • Я завтра брошу пить. Tomorrow I will stop drinking.
  • Пора завязывать. It's time to stop drinking.