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Author Topic: Help with Russian Greetings?  (Read 2335 times) Average Rating: 0
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Liz
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« on: July 06, 2009, 03:34:17 AM »

Hi, just posted this because I thought resurrecting an old thread might be confusing. I wondered if anyone could give me some common greetings/ phrases in Russian and spell out how they sound?

I'm just learning and I find the sounds of the Cyrillic alphabet hard to master. I'd love to know how to say a few useful things, because at the moment my vocabulary is limited to things like 'god bless', 'love you' and, for some reason, the names of a lot of animals! Let's say my partner isn't the most systematic teacher ...

I'd like to be able to speak a little to my partner's parents, so I'd like to know slightly more formal/polite greetings - all I hear from my partner is 'hi, mum!'

Thanks ;-)
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Heorhij
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2009, 10:07:54 AM »

Hi Liz,

Here are some common Russian greetings.

A. When you see someone and say hello.

1. Здравствуйте! (ZdrUH-vstvooj-tye) - literally "be well," a rather official, not very warm, said to people whom you might not know or to colleagues, etc., with whom you might not be close friends. The last syllabus, "tye," may be omitted if you are greeting a child.

2.  Привет! (Pree-vYEt) - a more personal, warm greeting, said to someone whom you know well, a friend, a family member etc.

3. Доброе утро! (DO-bro-ye OOtruh) - "good morning," said to pretty much anyone in the morning.

4. Добрый день! (DO-bryj dYEN') (the apostrophe stands here to show a "softening" of the consonant, like when you soften the "n" or another consonant when it stands before "ee," or "ye"). Literally "good day," said to anyone during the day, before dark, and only as a "hello," never as a goodbye as it is often used in English.

5. Добрый вечер! (DO-bryj vYEcher) - good evening (also said to anyone and only as a hello, not as a goodbye).

B. When you are parting with someone and saying goodbye.

1. До свидания! (Duh svee-dUH-niya) - literally "till (our next) meeting," "till later," "so long." Said to anyone, not too personal; kind of a bit official, but may be also said to a relative or friend.

2. Пока! (Puh-kUH) - literally, "till!" or "until!" - very personal, never used officially, said to a close friend or family member.

3. Счастливо! (Shchuhst-lEE-vuh) - literally, "happily!" - similar to "пока," very informal, never said to someone you are not close to.

4. Всего доброго! (Vsee-vOh dO-bruh-vuh) - literally, "(wishing you) all good," - actually a cold and very formal goodbye.

C. When you are wishing someone a good night's sleep before going to bed:

Спокойной ночи! (Sphuh-kOy-nay nOh-chee) - literally "(have a) calm night."
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 10:09:19 AM by Heorhij » Logged

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Liz
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2009, 10:53:06 AM »

Thanks! I was familiar with a couple of these, but I'd never seen them written down. It helps a lot. 'Доброе утр' made me laugh because I've only just realized exactly what the meaning was of the greeting that Pooh and Piglet give each other in the Russian cartoon version of Winne-the-Pooh! (Do you know it? It's really good!)

I was wondering also if anyone could tell me (and translate for me) what might be said in a Russian wedding ceremony (because, as you will see from the Convert issues forum, my partner and I have been thinking about having one!)? I know some very basic religious phrases, but I've just realized I don't even know how one would address a priest, or what 'marriage' translates as.

I hope this is ok to post - I'm not sure if I'm misusing the forum, so if I am, please forgive and ignore.
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Heorhij
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2009, 11:50:46 AM »

Thanks! I was familiar with a couple of these, but I'd never seen them written down. It helps a lot. 'Доброе утр' made me laugh because I've only just realized exactly what the meaning was of the greeting that Pooh and Piglet give each other in the Russian cartoon version of Winne-the-Pooh! (Do you know it? It's really good!)

I was wondering also if anyone could tell me (and translate for me) what might be said in a Russian wedding ceremony (because, as you will see from the Convert issues forum, my partner and I have been thinking about having one!)? I know some very basic religious phrases, but I've just realized I don't even know how one would address a priest, or what 'marriage' translates as.

I hope this is ok to post - I'm not sure if I'm misusing the forum, so if I am, please forgive and ignore.


I don't think you are misusing this forum! It's OK!

One very common wedding greeting in Russian is, "Горько!" (pronounced, "gOHr'-kuh"), meaning, literally, "a bitter taste in my mouth." When someone says or shouts "Горько!" during the wedding reception, the bride and the groom must kiss, and then everyone applauds and shouts cheers.

One should not begin one's speech with "Горько!" though. They begin with something trivial, like, oh, congratulations, beautiful couple, beautiful day, etc., and then, close to the end of the speech, suddenly, loudly, "Горько!" - and a large crowd usually repeats this exclamation, as many times as it takes to have the young couple kiss.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 11:51:17 AM by Heorhij » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2009, 01:09:05 PM »

Thanks! I was familiar with a couple of these, but I'd never seen them written down. It helps a lot. 'Доброе утр' made me laugh because I've only just realized exactly what the meaning was of the greeting that Pooh and Piglet give each other in the Russian cartoon version of Winne-the-Pooh! (Do you know it? It's really good!)

I was wondering also if anyone could tell me (and translate for me) what might be said in a Russian wedding ceremony (because, as you will see from the Convert issues forum, my partner and I have been thinking about having one!)? I know some very basic religious phrases, but I've just realized I don't even know how one would address a priest, or what 'marriage' translates as.

I hope this is ok to post - I'm not sure if I'm misusing the forum, so if I am, please forgive and ignore.


Well if the church is Russian they won't actually use Russian for the ceremony.  They'll use Church Slavonic.  That's a whole other language.  Of course you could always request they use English in certain parts that require a response from you and your groom.  I can't guarantee they'd do it but it is worth a shot.  Who knows maybe you'll end up getting married in English.  Remember the Orthodox marriage ceremony is quite different from the C of E ceremony. 
« Last Edit: July 06, 2009, 01:10:45 PM by username! » Logged

Liz
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 05:11:09 AM »

Thanks! I was familiar with a couple of these, but I'd never seen them written down. It helps a lot. 'Доброе утр' made me laugh because I've only just realized exactly what the meaning was of the greeting that Pooh and Piglet give each other in the Russian cartoon version of Winne-the-Pooh! (Do you know it? It's really good!)

I was wondering also if anyone could tell me (and translate for me) what might be said in a Russian wedding ceremony (because, as you will see from the Convert issues forum, my partner and I have been thinking about having one!)? I know some very basic religious phrases, but I've just realized I don't even know how one would address a priest, or what 'marriage' translates as.

I hope this is ok to post - I'm not sure if I'm misusing the forum, so if I am, please forgive and ignore.


Well if the church is Russian they won't actually use Russian for the ceremony.  They'll use Church Slavonic.  That's a whole other language.  Of course you could always request they use English in certain parts that require a response from you and your groom.  I can't guarantee they'd do it but it is worth a shot.  Who knows maybe you'll end up getting married in English.  Remember the Orthodox marriage ceremony is quite different from the C of E ceremony. 

*shakes head at herself* You'd think I'd know it was Church Slavonic by now, but it completely slipped my mind. Argh. Actually, still - if anyone does know any of the words/phrases likely to be used, I'd like to know so that I can familiarise myself a bit. I certainly don't have a sense of how Church Slavonic sounds.
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Heorhij
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 08:03:18 AM »

Thanks! I was familiar with a couple of these, but I'd never seen them written down. It helps a lot. 'Доброе утр' made me laugh because I've only just realized exactly what the meaning was of the greeting that Pooh and Piglet give each other in the Russian cartoon version of Winne-the-Pooh! (Do you know it? It's really good!)

I was wondering also if anyone could tell me (and translate for me) what might be said in a Russian wedding ceremony (because, as you will see from the Convert issues forum, my partner and I have been thinking about having one!)? I know some very basic religious phrases, but I've just realized I don't even know how one would address a priest, or what 'marriage' translates as.

I hope this is ok to post - I'm not sure if I'm misusing the forum, so if I am, please forgive and ignore.


Well if the church is Russian they won't actually use Russian for the ceremony.  They'll use Church Slavonic.  That's a whole other language.  Of course you could always request they use English in certain parts that require a response from you and your groom.  I can't guarantee they'd do it but it is worth a shot.  Who knows maybe you'll end up getting married in English.  Remember the Orthodox marriage ceremony is quite different from the C of E ceremony. 

*shakes head at herself* You'd think I'd know it was Church Slavonic by now, but it completely slipped my mind. Argh. Actually, still - if anyone does know any of the words/phrases likely to be used, I'd like to know so that I can familiarise myself a bit. I certainly don't have a sense of how Church Slavonic sounds.

I can't help you there, Liz, because, although I do know how it sounds, I do not have a working Church Slavonic vocabulary ready in my head. I would perhaps recognize and understand certain sentences said or written in this language, because the words in Church Slavonic have roots that are very similar to the roots of the words in Russian or Ukrainian or Belarussian. However, the sufixes and the endings can be very different.

Don't worry though: the Church Slavonic language is used in Russian Orthodox parishes ONLY in liturgy, never in daily conversations of the people, even in church. A Russian Orthodox priest chants liturgical verses and reads the Gospel in Church Slavonic, but delivers the sermon in vernacular Russian. During the wedding ceremony, he will chant in Church Slavonic, but then address the couple and the guests in vernacular Russian. The guests will gree the couple in vernacular Russian in church as well as after (during the reception). So, if you know vernacular Russian greetings suitable for the wedding reception, you can most definitely use them, and you will recognize them as the guests at your ceremony will use them.
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