: Lesson 0
Привет! Let’s learn some Russian course.
Before we begin, however, we suggest that you learn the Russian alphabet.
Russian word for I is я.
Russian for it is это.
Russians don’t really use the words for is, am, are and so on. They just skip them in the sentence. How would you thus say it is me (which in Russian comes out as it I):
Russian for Russia is Россия.
Thus we can already say:
Russian for from iz из.
If you want to put из in front of some word, you usually have to modify the ending of that word. For example, if you want to say from Russia, that я in Россия becomes и. Thus how would you say:
Some words that are pretty straightforward:
England in Russian is Англия.
America in Russian is Америка.
The same last letter changes to и tricks works for America as well.
Guess how to say:
Let’s learn a Russian word for you. I say 'a' because it is the informal word for you (a bit like thou in English):
The Russian word for informal you is ты.
This letter ы is quite interesting, isn't it?
If you need to ask a question, you just say it as a statement and raise your intonation. People informally do that in English too, for example, in sentences you hungry?. Russians always do that.
How would you say:
In Russian you don’t have to ask where from because you can say that in one single word.
Russian for where from (literally from where) is откуда.
So instead of asking where are you from? you say where from you?. That, in Russian, is something you can ask and also answer:
Finally lets learn negating things. You have two words in English: no and not. In Russian you have it backwards because:
The word for no is нет and the word for not is не.
So in English you add a t to make no into not, in Russian you remove that т instead.
Just remember the Russian word for no which is нет to remember both words.
When you use the word for not, you have to say it before the verb. Unlike in English so you say I not am from England or I not see, I not understand and so on.
How would you say:
The golden rule for getting nationalities (and also language names) from country names is to change ия to ский.
Here is the word for Russian:
Russian for Russian is русский.
So you had ия from Россия replaced with ский. You also have o change to у in the stem. That’s somewhat of an irregularity, which doesn’t really happen elsewhere. This happens because the words for nationalities are a little bit irregular in Russian (but they are very irregular in English too, as France changes to French, Germany changes to German while Russia changes to Russian).
Here is another useful one:
Russian for English is английский.
There is another й added in the middle to help the pronunciation.
Russian for tongue is язык.
Why are we learning the word for tongue, you might ask? That’s because, like in English you have the mother tongue to mean mother language, in Russian the word tongue also is the word for language.
Having in mind that there is no word for the, how would you say:
Russian for in- is по-.
If you use по- with language names, the language names drop that last й. That is because й is a masculine ending, and по- does not like the category of gender.
How would you say:
Russian for to speak is говоритъ.
The government sure does speak a lot, don’t they...
To make to speak into I speak you replace the ending (и)тъ in говоритъ with ю.
You already know all that you need to say I speak Russian which literally is I speak in-Russian:
Let’s learn another word now:
Russian for to understand is пониматъ.
Think I still don’t understand why you bought me a pony for my birthday.
Remember that to get from an infinitive to the I form, you change итъ or тъ to ю.
Let’s learn one word you already know and another one you don’t but it is still very easy:
Russian word for yes is да.
Russian for and is и.
You can say and understand the last phrase which could be the answer to a question:
Russian for I want is хочу.
If you want to say I want it you actually say I it want which would be:
If you wanted to say I don’t want it, you could not use зто for it. You would have to modify зто because the verb is a negative (it uses не):
Whenever the verb is negated by не, зто becomes зтого
Using this extra го, say:
We have also learned the informal word for you, which is ты. But we still haven’t learned how to form verbs in it.
ты verbs end in шь.
So when we have, for example, хочу for I want, we replace that у with шь. However, in this case, a чш combination would be really hard to pronounce. Therefore, a helping vowel е jumps between ч and шь. So you get to get the informal you form:
Russian for informal you is хочешь.
Also remember that the word зтого/зто likes to go between the subject and the verb.
How would you ask (saying it as a statement and just rising your intonation to make it into a question):
Remember that to speak was говорить, and I speak thus became говорю.
We had the у in хочу change to шь in хошешь. We can apply a very similar rule to говорю and have ю change to шь to get from the I to the informal you form.
Russian for you speak is говоришь.
Russian for about what is simply о.
This word о is actually called the contrasting and. It can have the sense of what about. It could also have the sentence of talking about ... or simply and. You use this word when you want to change the subject a bit. You can also you use when you want to contrast with what you talked about (for example, in phrases like I am from Russia, where are you from? - not expecting that the other person will be from Russia too).
Here's an example of how it is used:
I speak Russian. What about you? would be Я говорю по-русски. О ты?
I am from England. And you? would be Я из Англии. О ты?
Let's try applying this:
Let’s get back to learning more Russian.
Russian for well is хорошо.
Before learning the next bit, however, let’s first remember quickly how we said I want it:
Russian for I want it is Я зто хочу.
The word хорошо follows the same position in the sentence as the word зто and it goes before the verb. Can you guess intuitively how you would go about saying:
Russian for he is он.
Should you want to make it into she, you just add the letter that is pertaining to the feminine gender in Russian to the end: а. Thus:
she is она
Both words он and она have the same form which is:
To make you do into he/she does, you change шь to т.
So, for example, хочешь. You change шь into т and you get:
Russian for wants is хочет.
Try this yourself with changing говоришь (you speak) and понимаешь (you understand):
Russian for you can is можешь.
If you still remember, to speak was говорить.
Russian for possible is можно.
It has the same root мож as можешь (you can), and it is a very useful little word. It means it can be, it is possible. It can also be used as can I have!
Russian for cheese is сыр.
The word можно has many other uses as well. For example, you could point to a door and ask if you can enter by asking можно? or you could point at a seat and ask if it’s free by using the same word.
Let’s learn another word of high similarity and importance:
Russian for necessary is нужно.
Both possible and necessary are just approximations and not exact translations for these words. As for нужно, it is used in the sense of it is necessary or it is needed. For example, you could say is it necessary to go? (нужно идти?), is it necessary to give documents (to you)? нужно дать документы?) and so on.
We have infinitives (to do) ending in ть and then you have the first person (I do) ending in ю. From that you can have the second person (you do) because it ends in шь, and then the third person (he does, she does) ending in т.
You should be able to remember these naturally with practice.
Russian for here is тут.
I think I heard a toot here.
This word follows the same position as the words это and хорошо in Russian: it goes in the middle.
Russian for to work is работать.
It is interesting that the word работать is somehow very similar to the Russian word раб, which means a slave. Perhaps Russians used to relate work with slavery in their language. The word robot is also often said to have the same Slavic root.
Anyway, since you have this ть for to work, you know that if you changed it into ю, it would become I work. Then you could go further by changing ю to шь to get you work (although you may need a helping vowel е before the шь). If you changed шь to т you would get the he/she form which is:
How would you thus say:
Great work! Let's learn some more.
Russian for there is там.
Там it follows the position of это, этого, хорошо, тут and other alike words in the sentence.
The Russian word for a student is practically the same as in English:
Russian for student is студент.
How would you assert:
You only say студент if you are a male though. Do you remember the letter а pertaining to feminine forms in Russian?
Well, it also works for the word студент but you also need another к before that а to make it into студентка. You only need the к in this word, but in many other words merely adding an а is sufficient.
How would you thus say to a female:
Could you take a guess what physics is in Russian?
Russian for Physics is физика.
It is very easy to guess. Mathematics is математика, Biology is биология, History is история (because Russians don't really have an H), and so on. As a bonus, история not only means history, but also a story.
Do you remember how in the first lesson we had words such as Америка, and if we wanted to have the word из in front of Америка, we would turn that а into и: из Америки?
If you wanted to say of Physics, you would also simply turn that а into и. Try that:
Let’s now talk more about words which are so similar in English in Russian. You saw how student is студент. Airport, for example, is also practically the same:
Russian for airport is аеропорт.
Words like park or bank are also the same. Guess what they are:
Let's learn how to ask and talk about things.
Russian for где is where.
The word где is not to be confused with откуда, because где means where while откуда means from where.
How would you ask and answer:
Let’s even do another word that no Russian course will teach you, because it is not very official and not very widely-used. But you can hear it said sometimes, and people would still probably understand it.
Russian for pardon is пардон.
You could use this to mean sorry if you don’t know any other words. For example, how would you ask:
The point is that some international words are very easy to guess: they are just simple transliterations. There are words like автограф (autograph), телефон (telephone) and a lot more.
This one word is not so intuitive but very important:
Russian for a station is вогзал.
Finally, let’s learn one last Russian word:
?Russian for what* is што.
Armed with this word, you can ask a lot of things to people. For three examples, ask:
That wraps up the course. Let’s have a conversation to practice just some of what we have learned. Imagine talking to a stranger and getting into a conversation in Russian: