Russian phrasebook
Phrases in Russian with audio and video

I don't speak Russian

I doesn't seem logical to say "I don't speak Russian" when you do it using that language. However, this is a very useful phrase, because you're explaining in easy words that you can't understand everything they're telling you. We're going to learn phrases that will help you understand better: we'll see how to ask someone to repeat what they've just said, to speak more slowly, to write down what they've said,...

Part 1: Video

Summary of this topic with images and sound:

Watch the most important words and phrases of this topic below.

Part 2: Audio and explanations

Listen to the audio, read the explanations and get ready to learn real Russian.

Do you speak Russian?

Do you speak Russian?

We're going to see the name of different languages (Russian, English, Spanish, French,...). Below we'll find different structures that will help you say what languages you speak and ask what languages someone else speaks:

Вы говори́те по-...?
vy ga-va-rí-tye pa...?
Do you speak...?

Ты говори́шь по-...?
ty ga-va-rísh pa...?
Do you speak...? (informal: Use this only with friends)

Вы говори́те по-ру́сски?
vy ga-va-rí-tye pa-rús-ki?
Do you speak Russian?

Вы говори́те по-англи́йски?
vy ga-va-rí-tye pa-an-glíjs-ki?
Do you speak English?

Вы говори́те по-испа́нски?
vy ga-va-rí-tye pa-is-páns-ki?
Do you speak Spanish?

Я говорю́... по-ру́сски / по-англи́йски / по-испа́нски.
ya ga-va-ryú... pa-rús-ki / pa-an-glíjs-ki / pa-is-páns-ki
I speak... Russian / English / Spanish.

Я не говорю́... по-францу́зски / по-неме́цки / по-кита́йски.
ya nye ga-va-ryú... pa-fran-tsús-ki / pa-nye-myéts-ki / pa-ki-tájs-ki
I don't speak... French / German / Chinese.

Do you understand? Yes, I do

Do you understand? Yes, I do

Try to memorize the following sentences. They'll help you express and ask about something important: Do you understand what they've told you? Do they understand what you've told them? This will avoid many misunderstandings:

Вы понима́ете?
vy pa-ni-má-ye-tye?
Do you understand?

Ты понима́ешь?
ty pa-ni-má-yesh?
Do you understand? (Informal: Use this only with friends)

Да, я понима́ю.
da, ya pa-ni-má-yu
Yes, I understand.

Нет, я не понима́ю.
nyet, ya nye pa-ni-má-yu
No, I don't understand.

How do you say this in Russian?

How do you say this in Russian?

Now we're going to see phrases that we'll use to learn new words in Russian. Listen carefully to the recordings, because thanks to this you'll also be able to teach a Russian speaker how to say things in your language:

Как э́то по-ру́сски?
kak é-ta pa-rús-ki?
How do you say this in Russian?

Я не зна́ю, как э́то по-ру́сски.
ya nye zná-yu, kak é-ta pa-rús-ki
I don't know how to say it/this in Russian.

Э́то по-ру́сски...
é-ta pa-rús-ki...
In Russian we call this...

Э́то по-англи́йски...
é-ta pa-an-glíjs-ki...
In English we call this...

Э́то по-испа́нски...
é-ta pa-is-páns-ki...
In Spanish we call this...

"Table" по-ру́сски - "стол".
mesa pa-rús-ki stol
"Table" in Russian is called "стол".

Repeat, please

Repeat, please

Below you'll find some extra help for your conversations. With these easy phrases you'll let everyone see that your Russian isn't the best in the world. But this isn't the end of the world either: with a little bit of patience you'll understand everything:

Извини́те, я не понима́ю.
iz-vi-ní-tye, ya nye pa-ni-má-yu
Sorry, I don't understand.

Повтори́те, пожа́луйста.
paf-ta-rí-tye, pa-zhá-lus-ta
Can you repeat, please?

Говори́те ме́дленнее, пожа́луйста.
ga-va-rí-tye myéd-lye-nye-ye, pa-zhá-lus-ta
Can you speak more slowly, please?

Напиши́те э́то, пожа́луйста.
na-pi-shý-tye é-ta pa-zhá-lus-ta
Can you write it down, please?


We're going to see the same phrases but in informal speech. In Russian (like in many other languages) there are two ways of addressing someone: informally (to use only with friends) and formally (to use in any other case). Your common sense will tell you when it's right to use one form or the other:

Извини́, я не понима́ю.
iz-vi-ní, ya nye pa-ni-má-yu
Sorry, I don't understand.

Повтори́, пожа́луйста.
paf-ta-rí, pa-zhá-lus-ta
Can you repeat, please?

Говори́ ме́дленнее, пожа́луйста.
ga-va-rí myéd-lye-nye-ye, pa-zhá-lus-ta
Can you speak more slowly, please?

Напиши́ э́то, пожа́луйста.
na-pi-shý é-ta pa-zhá-lus-ta
Can you write it down, please?

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