Hello guys! Today we will start to learn Russian phrases. I think it would be wise to start from the very beginning. Therefore today we will discuss main Russian greetings, we will learn how to address people in formal and informal way, how to introduce ourselves and ask another person's name and how to say "nice to meet you". Let's begin!
First you should be able to greet people in Russian. From the previous post you’ve learned two main greetings. Those are "привет" and "здравствуйте". "Привет" is an informal way to say "hello" and "здравствуйте" is а formal, polite greeting.
There are some variations of "здравствуйте", for example, you can hear "здравствуй" without "те" at the end. "Те" makes it plural.
You probably already know that there are two ways to address people - "ты" and "Вы". They both are translated into English as "you". What is the difference? "Ты" is a singular "you", and "вы" is a plural "you", but "Вы" is also used to address only one person in a polite, formal way.
We say "ты" to the people we know well, for example, to our friends and family members. We also say "ты" to the children. To anyone else we say "Вы". If you see a person first time in your life and especially if that person is older than you, you should say to him or her "Вы".
Here are some examples. Let's say that you have a neighbour, an old lady and you don't really know her well but you sometimes meet, say hello and do a small talk. You should say to her "Вы" and greet her with "здравствуйте", "привет" would be inappropriate here.
Another example: you go to the bank to open an account, here again you should say "Вы" and "здравствуйте", because you don’t know those people and it’s a formal situation.
It's different when you meet your classmate, to him/her you can simply say "ты" and use a greeting "привет".
We were talking about "здравствуй". "Здравствуй" is a nicer way to say "привет", it is still used only to greet those people, to whom you say "ты".
By the way, you can say "привет" when you meet an entire group, you just say "привет", like "привет" to everyone. You cannot do the same with "здравствуй", because "здравствуй" is singular. I told you that to make it plural you have to add "те". So you cannot say "здравствуй" to an entire group, but only to one person. If you want to say "здравствуй" but you are dealing with a group, add "те" and say "здравствуйте". For example, you come to the meeting and you see a group of people, you aproach them and greet them "здравствуйте".
You can also hear "здрасте", people say like this, it’s a short form of "здравствуйте". If you find yourself in a formal situation, I would still advise you to use "здравствуйте" but, for example, to your neighbour, an old lady you can also say "здрасте", it will not sound inappropriate.
OK, we have more greetings. Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. I've told you already that in Russian we don’t say good morning, but kind morning and kind in Russian is "добрый".
Доброе утро - good morning
Добрый день - good afternoon
Добрый вечер - good evening
Let's go further. How to introduce yourself?
In English we say "My name is…" You can also say like this in Russian
моё имя..., for example, моё имя Наташа - my name is Natasha. But usually we say меня зовут... What literally means "I am called.." This sounds more Russian.
Меня зовут Наташа - My name is Natasha.
Let’s ask a question. What is your name? Here again you have two ways: formal and informal.
Informal: Как тебя зовут? (тебя is derived from ты)
Formal: Как Вас зовут? (Вас is derived from Вы)
And the last thing for today. How to say "nice to meet you":
Actually more accurate translation of this sentence would be "Pleased to make your acquaintance", because "приятно" means pleasantly and "познакомиться" - to get acquainted.