Russian Vocabulary (and Wisdom)

How to say "tongue" in Russian

This Russian word is one of the top 1000 words in Russian. The complete list of most common Russian words is available here.


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Meaning: tongue, language, people, nation

Pronunciation: [yee-ZIK]

Part of speech: noun

Rank: #313 (see frequency list)

The giraffe has a long tongue.
Photo by wwarby, licensed under CC-BY-GA 2.0
 Example sentences:
  • Лиза показала доктору язык.
  • Lisa showed her tongue to the doctor.
  • Я изучаю русский язык.
  • I study the Russian language.
  • Како́й язы́к ты счита́ешь свои́м родны́м языко́м?
  • What language do you consider to be your mother tongue? (informal)
  • На каких языках вы говори́те?
  • What languages do speak? (formal or plural)
  • Мальчик показа́л язы́к и убежа́л.
  • The boy put out his tongue and ran away.
  • Злы́е языки́ распространя́ли по го́роду слу́хи.
  • The wicked tongues were spreading rumors around the city.
  • Я хорошо знаю немецкий разговорный язык.
  • I know the spoken German very well.
  • Это слово вертится у меня на языке.
  • The word is on the tip of my tongue.
  • Анна в совершенстве владеет английским языком.
  • Anna has a perfect command of the English language.
  • Он о́чень общи́телен и уме́ет находи́ть о́бщий язы́к с людьми́.
  • He is very sociable and knows how to come to terms with people.
  • Ру́сский -- мой родно́й язы́к.
  • Russian is my native language.

 Idioms and set expressions:
  • У него хорошо язык подвешен. = He has a ready tongue.
  • Это слово вертится у меня на языке = The word is on the tip of my tongue.
  • У него длинный язык. = He has a long tongue.
  • держать язык за зубами = to hold one's tongue
  • злой язык = wicked / bitter / venomous tongue
  • У него отнялся язык. = His tongue failed him.
  • чесать язык = to wag one's tongue
  • язык заплетается = to be tongue-tied; to mingle words that mean nothing
  • язык проглотить = to lose one's tongue / voice.
  • язык хорошо подвешен = to be never at a loss for words
  • родной язык = mother tongue; native language
  • живой язык = living language
  • обиходный язык = everyday language
  • разговорный язык = spoken language; colloquial speech
  • иностранный язык = foreign language
  • новые языки = modern languages
  • владеть иностранным языком = to know a foreign language
  • владеть русским языком в совершенстве = to have a perfect command of the Russian language
  • найти общий язык = to come to terms
 Proverbs and sayings:
  • Язык до Киева доведёт.
  • A clever tongue will take you anywhere.
  • Язык говорит, а голова и не ведает.
  • The less people think, the more they talk.
  • Болтуна язык до добра не доведёт.
  • A fool's tongue runs before his feet.
  • Язык без костей: что хочет, то лопочет.
  • To loose one's tongue. (Unruly member.)
  • Языком масла не собьешь.
  • Many words will not fill a bushel.
 Other forms of the word (declensions):
Case Singular Plural
Phrase recordings: Copyright(c) 2011 All rights reserved.
Word recordings: Copyright(c) 2006 Streit Goulnara, Streit Eric, Vion Nicolas. Copyright(c) 2007 S. Sakhno, N. Vion. Distributed under CC-BY.

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