Greeting People in Russian

It may seem unusual, but Russians tend to understand such greetings as "Hi! How are you?" literally. If you greet your Russian friends this way you will most likely hear them talking about how they feel or what's new.

Greeting is a must to be polite and friendly. The ways you can greet in Russian are numerous and it depends on a situation which greeting should be used.

  Здравствуйте (Hello)

Здравствуйте is polite and formal. Use it when you meet people first time or talk to elder people. Less formal form of здравствуйте is здравствуй.

   Доброе утро (Good morning)
   Добрый день (Good afternoon)
   Добрый вечер (Good evening)

These greetings are similar to здравствуйте except for the fact that they are used at different time of the day.

  Привет (Hi)

Привет is popular among friends and peers. Привет followed by Как дела? (How are things?) or Как жизнь? (How's life?) usually means that the speaker wants to elaborate the conversation.

  Уважаемый... (Dear...) to a male
  Уважаемая... (Dear...) to a female
  Уважаемые... (Dear...) to several people

These greetings are standard beginnings of letters.

Sooner of later, greetings mean saying good bye. Below is a table to help you choose the right farewell depending on how you greeted.

Note: you can listen to Russian greetings here

If a greeting was... A farewell should be...
Здравствуйте До свидания
Доброе утро
Добрый день
Добрый вечер
До свидания
Привет! Пока
Увидимся
До встречи
Уважаемый
Уважаемая
Уважаемые
С уважением, [your name]

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Word: оставить
Meaning: to leave, forget, give up
Pronunciation: [ahs-TAH-veet']

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