Grab bag about travel

First Russian words learned by foreigners

Learn-Russian, учи русский

  1. Perhaps, first Russian word that is learned by every foreigner who visits Russia is the word «na zdorovye» («Cheers). Well, it is a tradition in Russia to have a welcome shot.
  2. Next word, especially for foreigners who tastes Russian vodka, usually is some obscene word. Many foreigners think that Russian obscenities are a second language for Russians, well Russians also like to have fun and to learn foreigners bad words. One time my foreigner friend who lived and worked in Moscow asked me to teach him some bad words. When I ask why he needs it he answered that he need it to speak in work.
  3. «Privet» («Hello»). Foreigners learn «Privet» instead of «Zdravstvuyte» (another way of saying hello, more formal), because for many of them is very difficult to pronounce some Russian sounds, like y, zch, sch and a combination of letters «vstv» they actually can`t pronounce. I remember the case when my German friend was very surprised about Russian sound «ы» (actually there is no similar English sound and there is no English letters to write this sound). This sound we use it, for example in word «tы» («you»). My friend told that when Russian pronounces this sound they have a face like mentally deficient has.
  4. The words «da» («yes») and «net» («no») are used for agreement or renouncement. Many foreigners are interested by Russian phrase «da net naverno» («yes no maybe»), it is very difficult phrase for foreigners because this phrase has 3 absolutely opposite in meaning words: «da» is agreement, «net» is renouncement and «naverno» is probability and all these words together mean uncertainty that you can accept but most likely the answer will be no than yes.
  5. «Spasibo» («Thank you»). This is politeness and we will not discuss it.
  6. «Chut-chut» («a little bit»). I don’t know why foreigners like this word very much but when they hear it they remember it forever and often use it in their speech. Probably it is because this word sounds very soft and beautiful.
  7. Words «Pivo» («beer») or «vodka». It depends on what you like. But word «vodka» became international and almost everybody knows it but you need to learn word «pivo» if you like this alcohol drink.
  8. «Horosho» («good») is a very useful word for foreigners. If you don’t want to tell every time «da» («yes») you can tell «horosho». In addition, it can be used as a question.
  9. «Do svidania» («good bye») is very popular word around foreigners because you have to say good bye some way.
  10. «Vklyuchit» («switch on») and «Viklyuxhit» («switch off»). For many foreigners these words sound similar. One of my friends tried to learn and repeat these words during the week, every time he asked me to pronounce it again and again to understand the difference but he could not pronounce it.

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