50 Easiest Russian Words to Remember

Posted on 05. Feb, 2014 by in Culture, language, Russian for beginners

If you just started learning Russian, you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that you already know anywhere between 20 to 100 Russian words. How is it possible? Actually, there is a pretty simple explanation behind it. Every language has a slew of loanwords, e.g. words borrowed from one language and incorporated into another as their own. English and Russian are no exception. The good news doesn’t end here: the amount of words borrowed by Russians from English greatly supersedes the amount of words that came from Russian into the English language. The English language owes this to the advent of computers, internet and digital technology in general, as well as its excellent placement among the most spoken languages in the world. In addition to that, there are many words that were borrowed by both languages, Russian and English, from other world languages. The end result are words that sound pretty similar and, therefore, are easy to remember! Let’s take a look at some of these words.

Travel:

tourist – турист (tooRIST)

hotel – отель (aTEL’)

automobile – автомобиль (avtamaBIL’)

safari – сафари (saFari)

Examples:

В Москве огромное количество туристовавтомобилей и отелей(Moscow has a ton

of touristsautomobiles and hotels.)

Если Вам нравится сафари, езжайте в Африку. (If you like safari, go to Africa.) 

Food, Hospitality:

restaurant -ресторан (restaRAN)

cafe – кафе (kaFE)

coffee – кофе (KOfe)

bar – бар (bar)

soup – суп (soop)

cracker – крекер (KREker)

chili – чили (CHIli)

chocolate – шоколад (shakaLAT)

alcohol – алкоголь (alkaGOL’)

hot dog – хот-дог (HOT-DOG)

mixer – миксер (MIKser)

toaster – тостер (TOSter)

supermarket – супермаркет (sooperMARket)

menu – меню (meNOO)

Examples:

В России суп с крекерами не едят! (They don’t eat soup with crackers in Russia!)

Eating Soup in Russia                  Суп по-русски

Ближайший супермаркет достаточно далеко. (The nearest supermarket is pretty far away.)

Хождение по кафебарам и ресторанам – это дорогая привычка. (Going to cafesbars and restaurants is an expensive habit.) 

Business, Work, Technology:

business – бизнес (BIZnes)

businessman – бизнесмен (biznesMEN)

technology – технология (tehnaLOgiya)

manager – менеджер (MEnedzher)

calendar – календарь (kalenDAR’)

fact – факт (fakt)

computer – компьютер (kamP’Yter)

internet – интернет (interNET)

printer – принтер (PRInter)

project – проект (praEKT)

segment – сегмент (segMENT)

minimum – минимум (MInimoom)

maximum – максимум (MAKsimoom)

bank – банк (bunk)

weekend – уикенд (ooeeKENT)

rating – рейтинг (REIting)

know-how – ноу-хау (NOU-HAY)

office – офис (Ofis)

strategy – стратегия (straTEgiya)

marketing – маркетинг (marKEtink)

broker – брокер (BROker)

Art, Entertainment: 

debut – дебют (deBIYT)

ballet – балет (baLET)

tattoo – тату (taTOO)

film – фильм (fil’m)

effect – эфект (eFEKT)

parade – парад (paRAT)

casting – кастинг (KASting)

DJ – диджей (didZHEI)

present – презент (priZENT)

jazz – джаз (dzhas)

image – имидж (IMitsh)

 Examples:

-Кастинг закончился удачно. Надеюсь, и его дебют в этом фильме будет настолько же успешным. (-Casting was a success. I hope his debut in this film is just as good.) 

-Для этого ему надо немного подчистить свой имидж. (-He needs to clean up his image a bit for that to happen.) 

And there you have it: 50 Russian words you can remember in no time! Keep in mind, however, that word endings change according to case and number rules. 

Удачной практики! (Good luck practicing!) 

Заходите еще! (Come back again!)

Go Ahead and Do It

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About Jenya

Born in Russia, I spent the first twenty years of my life in Orenburg, Russia and Mogilev, Belarus. For the last eleven years, I've lived in New Hampshire and Michigan, US. While I continue to absorb and adapt to American culture, I am always thrilled to share my Russian heritage with those who find it interesting. Travel, photography and art play a special part in my life. Twitter: @iamnx2u

6 Responses to “50 Easiest Russian Words to Remember”

  1. perlino 6 February 2014 at 12:17 am #

    gracias yo soy estudiante de turismo y lengua rusa

  2. Jenya 6 February 2014 at 12:53 am #

    You are welcome! I guess I need to start learning Spanish :-)

  3. khuzama 6 February 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    Thank you so much, very useful info, nice post … spasibo :)))

  4. Jenya 6 February 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    Еще раз большое спасибо, Khuzama!

  5. Misha 18 February 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    Now wait just a sec…

    When I was in Russia, saying “отель” was considered improper. I was always corrected and told to say “гостиница.”

  6. Jenya 18 February 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    Misha,
    I can see where certain Russian people, whose national pride is at a certain level, would make that correction :-) It certainly is proper, it’s just a question of personal preference and context. I would agree that most Russian people do use the word “гостиница” but they are certainly familiar with the word “отель” as well. Thank you for sharing your experience!


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