Category Archives: Slang

Going to World Cup in Russia Without Russian? Read This

I remember my friend observing during the Olympics in Russia:

“God help the Olympics visitor who doesn’t speak Russian. Airports = real chaos. Worst I’ve seen in five years living here.”

Communication in Russia can be very challenging if you don’t have any Russian. If you are going to work in a big international company there, it is likely that some of your colleagues will speak good English. But if you are going as a tourist, don’t expect people on the streets to speak much russian. Bus and taxi drivers, waiters, bank tellers – in other words, the people you tend to ask for help and information – don’t usually speak fluent English.

So we decided to launch a Street Smart Russian course specifically aimed at football fans travelling to Russia this summer.

We offer a program that will give you survival – or instrumental — Russian. In this program you will learn:

  • Greetings and Farewells.
  • Introducing Yourself
  • Expressions of Courtesy
  • Numbers
  • Russian Currency
  • Asking for Directions
  • Getting Around
  • Basic Health Concerns
  • Russian Menu Customized to Your Palate
  • Russian Food You Should Try
  • Useful Phrases for various situations.
  • + Customize your package to your attend to your needs

The program is customizable to attend to your goals. Already know basic Russian? Use your class time to practice through mock conversations, add vocabulary, get cultural tips, and improve your speaking and listening. This will allow you to better understand people in Russia and vice-versa.

We offer this program through one-on-one lessons via Skype. We also offer it to groups of 2 or 3 learners via Google Hangouts, offering you the convenience and flexibility your busy schedule requires.

Book a trial lesson to test-drive our classes


Fit in like a local: describing awesome and awful things in Russian

Learn Russian as it is actually spoken: Russian slang and colloquial expressions explained with examples

It’s great to know how to say good or bad in Russian, but sometimes you just need a stronger word to describe you elation or frustration.

Клёво /klyovah/ or круто /krootah/

An expression of approval or great satisfaction. E.g. Мы круто погуляли вчера.–Wr had a great time yesterday!

Отпад /atpat/

Awesome! Amazing! E.g. Отпад! Ты сам это сделал? – Awesome! Did you do it yourself! Отпадные кроссовки!- Great trainers. ‘Отпадis derived from the word ‘падать’, i.e. something that makes you fall.

в осадке/v asahtke/, or выпасть в осадок /vypast v ahsahdahk/-

The opposite to ‘отпад’ – to be guttered, shocked or extremely upset. E.g. Я выпал в осадок, когда узнал, сколько это стоит! — I was shocked when I learned how much it cost!

Прикинь /preekeen/

Check it out! Can you imagine?! E.g. Прикинь, я буду папой!-Can you imagine? I’m going to be a Dad!

Прикольно /preekol’nah/,

Funny, cool, interesting

приколист /preekahleest/

Someone with a great sense of humour, someone who jokes, a prankster

Прикалываться /preekahlyvatsah/

To make jokes, to mess about. E.g. Не обижайся, я просто я прикалываюсь. -Don’t be upset, I’m just joking.

Зачёт /zahchot/

Well done. Good job. E.g. Вы хорошо поработали! Зачёт! -You’ve done a good job. Well done!

Зачётный /zahchotnyj/

Cool, nice, great.

Уау/wow/, упс/oops/

Exclamations borrowed from English, which effectively substituted Russian Ого /ogo/ and Ой /oy/. E.g.Уау, какая тачка! –Wow, what a car!

Рулить /ruleet/

Another borrowing from English to rule. To be the main one, the most interesting, attractive, simply the best. E.g. Его фильм рулит! His movie rules!

Попасть /pahpahst/

To get into trouble. E.g. -Меня уволили. -Ну ты попал! -I’ve been fired. -Oh, you’re in trouble.

You can also say попасть на деньги- get into financial difficulty or get tricked out of money

Блин /blin/

An exclamation to express your frustration. There is hardly a more common expression to use when things don’t go your way than блин. E.g. Блин, ты снова опаздываешь! – Man, you’re late again!

Фигня /fignya/

A thing, stuff, something unimportant or slightly unpleasant. E.g. Я не знаю, что это за фигня.- I don’t know what that thing is. Что за фигня? Ты снова не в офисе? – What’s the hell? You’re not in the office again!

Фигово /figovah/

Bad, unwell. E.g. Когда мне фигово, я прихожу сюда. – When I feel down, I come here.

Фу /foo/

Yuk! Urgh! An interjection to use when you have seen, heard or tasted something that you think is extremely unpleasant. E.g. Фу, как противно. -Ugh how disgusting!

Канитель /kanitel/

Problems. У них какая-то канитель с компьютерами- They are having some problems with computers.

Кадр /kahdr/

Funny or strange person. E.g. Ну ты кадр! Рассмешил меня! -You’re a character. You made me laugh!

Валенок /valenahk/

Quite the opposite of кадр. Not a particularly clever or interesting person. E.g. И ты поверил ей? Ну ты и валенок! -And you believed her? You’re the worst! The original meaning of валенок is a traditional Russian winter felt boots.

Понты /pahnty/, понтовый /pahntovyj/

Bravado, swagger, showing off. E.g. Я тебе хорошее предложение делаю, а ты мне понты кидаешь! – I’m making you a nice offer, and you’re giving me the high-hat.

Отстой /ahtstoy/

Something that sucks, something really bad. E.g. Фильм вообще отстой! – The film really sucks.

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