Russian phrasebook
Phrases in Russian with audio and video


In this section we're going to learn how to ask someone else's name, how to say your name, how to ask how are you?,... This is all about introductions and meeting new people. Maybe you (still) don't know enough Russian to hold a long conversation, but with the following phrases you'll show that you at least want to be friendly. That's enough to begin a beautiful friendship.

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.

First of all, hello

First of all, hello

In this phrasebook we already have a section on greetings in Russian (which we recommend you to visit), so here we'll see how to say a simple "hello", that we can use just before saying "my name is...". So listen and repeat:

We'll use this "hello" with strangers, old people (even if we know them) or with clients. That is, we'll use it in formal contexts.

We'll use this "hello" with friends or children. Your common sense will tell you in which other situations you can use it.


Afterwards, our name

It's very easy to say "my name is" in Russia. We're going to see that right now, along with the question to ask someone else's name. You'll learn that there are two ways of saying "what's your name?" in Russian. We explain everything below:

Меня́ зову́т...
mye-nyá za-vút...
My name is...

Как вас зову́т?
kak vas za-vút?
What's your name? (formal)

Как тебя́ зову́т?
kak tye-byá za-vút?
What's your name? (informal)
In Russian (like in many other languages) there are two ways of saying "you/your": a formal and an informal one. Use the informal way mostly with friends and children. In any other case (strangers, clients, old people,...) use the formal one. And remember that you can always make use of your common sense to understand which way you should choose.

О́чень прия́тно.
ó-chyen pri-yát-na
Pleased to meet you.

How are you?

How are you?

We understand that it's difficult to start a conversation when we don't know the language. However, it's always nice to say "how are you?", even when we don't have much to say. Besides, the answer to that question is quite easy:

Как дела́?
kak dye-lá?
How are you?

Спаси́бо, хорошо́. А у вас?
spa-sí-ba, ha-ra-shó. a u vas?
Fine, thank you. And you? (formal)

Спаси́бо, хорошо́. А у тебя́?
spa-sí-ba, ha-ra-shó. a u tye-byá?
Fine, thank you. And you? (informal)
Pay attention to this: In Russian we don't say "fine, thank you" but "thank you, fine". It's important for you to know this, so you can understand that спасибо means “thank you” and хорошо means “fine” (or "good").

How to introduce people

How to introduce people

Now it's the moment of introducing someone to one of your friends. The following phrase is quite useful, because it can be used in both formal and informal contexts and to introduce either a man or a woman:

Познако́мьтесь, э́то...
paz-na-kóm-tyes, é-ta...
Let me introduce you to...

This is...

If you are not near the person you want to meet or if you are too shy, you can ask their name to a friend. Here you'll find the questions and answers to find out the name of a woman or a man:

Кто он?
kto on?
Who is he?

Его́ зову́т...
ye-vó za-vút...
His name is...

Кто она́...?
kto a-ná?
Who is she?

Её зову́т...
ye-yó za-vút...
Her name is...

Where do you come from?

Where are you from?

This is an absolutely common question to ask when meeting someone. Maybe it's not the most original one, but it's easy to remember, the answer is never something personal and we can use it to start a nice conversation:

Отку́да вы?
at-kú-da vy?
Where are you from? (formal)

Отку́да ты?
at-kú-da ty?
Where are you from? (informal)

Я из...
ya iz...
I come from...

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