Passport magazine: Russian lifestyle
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Русский язык

How to:

Just say ‘Hello!’:

Здравствуйте! Don’t be discouraged that the first word you need in conversation is such a tongue twister, forget how it’s written, it’s pronounced ‘zdrastye’!

If you really can’t get your mouth around it, opt for Добрый день – the all purpose ‘good day’.

Привет! Very informal, along the lines of ‘hi’.

You’ll always get a smile with a cheerful good morning: Доброе утро!

And if the sun’s shining, you’ll can spice it up with Доброе солнечное утро!

How are things?

Unfortunately, Russians don’t ask ‘how are you?’ as readily as the English, but try these alternatives:

Как дела? How are things?

In a business context, Как у вас дела? sounds a bit more formal.

Как вы поживаете? Как ты поживаешь? How are you getting on? (literally, how are you living?)

Как жизнь? How’s life?

Как вы провели выходные? How was your weekend?

If you haven’t seen someone in a while:

Сто лет не виделись! Long time no see (Literally: haven’t seen you for a hundred years!).

Какие люди! Who do we have here!

(Literally: what people!)

С приездом! Welcome back!

Хорошо выглядите! You look well!

If they start asking you how you are:

Всё отлично! Everything’s great!

Лучше не бывает! Never been better!

Не очень. Not so great.

Лучше не спрашивай... Better not to ask…

If you really want to sound Russian, non-committal is most convincing:

Потихоньку. I’m getting there (literally: quietly)

Нормально. Normal enough.

Ничего. Nothing much.

Courtesy of RUSLINGUA

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