Phrases for travelling

Useful phrases for travelling

A few very basic phrases for travelling in Russia are provided below.
We recommend also the Lonely planet Russian phrase book for travellers.

Russian English
Да Yes
Нет No
Здравствуйте Hello
Спасибо! Thank you!
До свидания Good bye
Добро пожаловать Welcome
Меня зовут… My name is…
Вы говорите по-английски? Do you speak English?
Очень приятно Nice to meet you
Мне нужна помощь I need your help
Скажите ,пожалуйста, где туалет? Where is the toilet

The Cyrillic alphabet is closely based on the Greek alphabet, with about a dozen additional letters invented to represent Slavic sounds (short history of the Russian language »). There are very few pronunciation rules in Russian, words are pronounced the way they are spelled and vice versa. An overview of the the pronunciation of all letters of the Russian alphabet is provided below:

English/Russian/English Electronic Dictionary

Letter Pronunciation Letter Pronunciation Letter Pronunciation
a ‘Ah!’ but short б ‘b’ as in ‘bet’ в ‘v’ as in ‘Vette’
г ‘g’ as in ‘Gucci’ д ‘d’ as in ‘dad’ е ‘Yay!’ but short
ё ‘Yo!’ as in ‘Yo, dude!’ ж ‘zh’ as in ‘azure’ з ‘z’ as in ‘zit’
и ‘ee’ but short й ‘y’ as in ‘Yuck!’ к ‘k’ as in ‘kit’
л ‘l’ as in ‘let’ м ‘m’ as in ‘met’ н ‘n’ as in ‘net’
о ‘Oh!’ but short п ‘p’ as in ‘pet’ р ‘r’ as in Scots ‘run’
с ‘s’ as in ‘set’ т ‘t’ as in ‘Tet’ у ‘Oo!’ but short
ф ‘f’ as in ‘fifty’ х ‘kh’ in Scots ‘loch’ ц ‘ts’ as in ‘lets’
ч ‘ch’ as in ‘church’ ш ‘sh’ as in ‘shush’ щ ‘shch’ ‘fresh cheese’
ъ hard sign ы between ‘i’ and ‘u’ ь soft sign
э ‘Eh?’ (short) ю ‘yu’ as in ‘you’ я ‘ya’ as in ‘yacht’

You may check also the BBC quickfix languages web page for other pronunciation examples.

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