RUSSIAN PHRASEBOOK (with audio and video)


It's very easy to get lost in a city we're not familiar with, even when we have map. Here we're going to learn phrases to ask for directions and also to give them. Knowing how to give directions will be specially useful to those working in tourist areas, so you can help Russian speaking tourists. You can start this section by watching the videos below. Afterwards, read and listen to the phrases we've prepared.

Summary with images and sound:
We've put together in video the most important words and phrases to help you memorize them.
After watching it, you can read and listen to all the vocabulary we've prepared for this topic.

Asking for directions when you're lost:
Giving directions when someone is lost:

I'm lost

We're in a place we don't know and we don't know the right direction to take: We're lost, so we go and ask for help. Or maybe the situation is different and it's someone asking us for help. In either case we need to know what to say in Russian:

  Вы потеря́лись?
Are you lost?
vy pa-tye-ryá-lis?

  Я потеря́лся (mas.) / Я потеря́лась (fem.)
I got lost.
ya pa-tye-ryál-sya / ya pa-tye-ryá-las
In Russian the past tense is different when it's said by a man or a woman. That's why when saying "I got lost" there are two possibilities: If you're a man, you should say "Я потерялся". If you're a woman, you'll say "Я потерялась".
  Мы потеря́лись.
We got lost.
my pa-tye-ryá-lis

I need to go to...

Clearly we're lost. Now we have to explain where we want to go to. It's important to know whether or not the place is far from here. If the person we talk to shows us the right direction on a map, that'd be even better:

  Мне ну́жно в...
I need to go to...
mnye núzh-na v…

  Вы зна́ете, как попа́сть в...?
Do you know how to get to...?
vy zná-ye-tye, kak pa-pást v...?

  Э́то недалеко́? / Э́то далеко́?
Is it near? / Is it far?
é-ta nye-da-lye-kó? / é-ta da-lye-kó?

  Ско́лько мину́т э́то займёт?
How many minutes will it take (to get there)?
skól-ka mi-nút é-ta zaj-myót?

  Кака́я э́то у́лица?
What street is this?
ka-ká-ya é-ta ú-li-tsa?

  Покажи́те на ка́рте, пожа́луйста.
Can you show it on the map, please?
pa-ka-zhý-tye na kár-tye, pa-zhá-lus-ta

Now we're going to see phrases to use when helping a person that is lost. We'll ask where they what to go to and we'll let them now if the place is far. Also, we'll show them the place on a map:

  Куда́ вам ну́жно?
Where do you need to go to?
ku-dá vam núzh-na?

  Э́то недалеко́ / Э́то далеко́.
It's near here / It's far from here.
e-ta nye-da-lye-kó / e-ta da-lye-kó

  Я покажу́ вам на ка́рте.
I'll show you on the map.
ya pa-ka-zhú vam na kár-tye

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Means of transport

How can we get there? On foot, by taxi, by metro,...? It's not enough to know, for example, that the museum is five minutes away from here. Naturally, it's not the same 5 minutes on foot than 5 minutes driving:

  Мо́жно дойти́ пешко́м?
Can I go on foot?
mózh-na daj-tí pyesh-kóm?

  Мо́жно пешко́м /
Пешко́м сли́шком далеко́.

You can go on foot / It's to far to go on foot.
mózh-na pyesh-kóm /
pyesh-kóm slísh-kam da-lye-kó

  На́до е́хать на...
авто́бусе / такси́ / метро́?

Do I need to go by... bus / taxi / metro?
ná-da yé-hat na...
af-tó-bu-sye / ta-ksí / mye-tró?

  Вам на́до е́хать на...
авто́бусе / такси́ / метро́.

You need to go by... bus / taxi / metro.
vam ná-da yé-hat na...
af-tó-bu-sye / ta-ksí / mye-tró

  Вам ну́жен авто́бус но́мер...
You need the bus number...
vam nú-zhen af-tó-bus nó-myer...

  Како́й авто́бус мне ну́жен?
Which bus do I need?
ka-kój af-tó-bus mnye nú-zhen?

To the right or to the left?

We're going to explain in a few phrases the difficult process of giving and asking for directions. Even using our own native language we all find it hard sometimes to explain how to get somewhere. Doing it in Russian is only a bit more difficult:

  На́до идти́ туда́? Ско́лько кварта́лов?
Do I need to walk in this direction? How many blocks?
ná-da it-tí tu-dá? Skól-ka kvar-tá-laf?

We know that we have to go straight on. In the following three phrases we see how to build sentences like "Walk straight on for ten minutes" or "Walk straight on three blocks":

  Иди́те пря́мо...
Walk straight on...
i-dí-tye pryá-ma...

  ...оди́н кварта́л /
два, три, четы́ре... кварта́ла. block / two, three, four... blocks.
...a-dín kvar-tál /
dva, tri, chye-tý-rye... kvar-tá-la

  ...пять / де́сять / пятна́дцать... мину́т.
...for five / ten / fifteen... minutes.
...pyat / dyé-syet / pyet-ná-tset... mi-nút

After walking straight on it's time to turn. Let's see how to build sentences such as "Afterwards go to the left for five minutes" or "Afterwards go to the right one block":

  Пото́м напра́во и́ли нале́во?
Afterwards, to the right or to the left?
pa-tóm na-prá-va í-li na-lyé-va?

  Пото́м напра́во / Пото́м нале́во...
Afterwards go to the right / go to the left...
pa-tóm na-prá-va / pa-tóm na-lyé-va

  ...оди́н кварта́л /
два, три, четы́ре... кварта́ла. block / two, three, four... blocks.
...a-dín kvar-tál /
dva, tri, chye-tý-rye... kvar-tá-la

  ...пять / де́сять / пятна́дцать... мину́т.
...for five / ten / fifteen... minutes.
...pyat / dyé-syet / pyet-ná-tset... mi-nút

Now we only have to add "afterwards" to our description of the route until we reach our destination. With a little bit of luck no one gets lost and we all arrive safe, sound and on time:


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