How to Say Hello in Russian

The choice of a greeting form depends on the situation.

Universal greeting

“Hello!”: “Zdravstvuyte!” («Здравствуйте!» in Russian) is a common greeting form used in all communicative situations.

According to the first written sources, this traditional Russian greeting appeared approximately one thousand years ago.

“Zdravstvuyte!” («Здравствуйте!» in Russian) can be roughly translated as the formal wish of good health.

If the ending “-te” is to put aside, we get the short form “Zdravstvuy!” («Здравствуй!» in Russian). This word is used to greet someone who you know quite well.

While “Zdravstvuyte!” («Здравствуйте!» in Russian) can be addressed either to one person or a whole group, “Zdravstvuy!” («Здравствуй!» in Russian) is used to greet only one person.

“Zdravstvuyte!” («Здравствуйте!» in Russian) is so far the best greeting form.

Almost universal greeting

When it is difficult to read the situation, you can use such traditional Russian greetings as “Good morning!”, “Good day!” and “Good evening!”: “Dobroye utro!” («Доброе утро!» in Russian), “Dobriy den’!” («Добрый день!» in Russian) and “Dobriy vecher!” («Добрый вечер!» in Russian). But why they are regarded as almost universal? It is easy. When you come to Russia from other continent, it can be tricky enough to determine local time. Besides, the following greetings are not used at night time. The literal form “Good night!”: “Dobroi nochi!” («Доброй ночи!» in Russian) is not a greeting, but a wish or a parting phrase similar to “Sweet dreams!”: “Spokoynoy nochi!” («Cпокойной ночи!» in Russian).

Vague situation

When a communicative situation is vague, you can just say “Greetings!”: “Privetstvuyu!” («Приветствую!» in Russian). Being fairly neutral and distant, this Russian phrase literally describes the act of saying hello. It became widespread in recent years.

How to say hello in Russian

Watch the video and try to pronounce the following Russian greetings.

The universal Russian greeting “Hello!”: “Zdravstvuyte!” («Здравствуйте!» in Russian).

Almost universal greetings:

  • “Good morning!”: “Dobroye utro!” («Доброе утро!» in Russian).
  • “Good day!”: “Dobriy den’!” («Добрый день!» in Russian).
  • “Good evening!”: “Dobriy vecher!” («Добрый вечер!» in Russian).

The vague greeting “Greetings!”: “Privetstvuyu!” («Приветствую!» in Russian).

See video:

We are glad to discover Russia together with you!

We put our heart into the project. Join us on Facebook or Twitter: