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Introductions in Russian: What Are the Rules?

You already know how to start a conversation in Russian. (If not, take a look at our post about common greetings!) Now let’s move on and learn how to introduce yourself. It will help you start conversations and meet new people. You can also learn Russian with a native speaker to study other useful vocabulary.

How to Introduce Yourself

To introduce yourself in Russian, you can say “меня зовут” (menya zovut), meaning “My name is…”

  • Меня зовут Катя. (Menya zovut Katya.)

  • My name is Katya.

  • Меня зовут Кевин. (Menya zovut Kevin.)

  • My name is Kevin.

Simply insert your name instead of “Katya” or “Kevin,” and don’t forget to start the dialogue with the proper greeting.

How to Ask Someone’s Name

Russians will say “как тебя зовут” (kak tebya zovut) or “как вас зовут” (kak vas zovut) depending on the person they’re talking to. Remember that you can use “тебя” (tebya) with friends. “Вас” (vas) is used with people you don’t know and with people who are older than you.

  • Как тебя зовут? (Kak tebya zovut?)

  • What’s your name?

  • Меня зовут Иван. (Menya zovut Ivan.)

  • My name is Ivan.

If you’ve been asked what your name is and you want to know the other person’s name, you can also say “а тебя?/а вас?” (a tebya?/a vas?).

  • Как тебя зовут? (Kak tebya zovut?)

  • What’s your name?

  • Меня зовут Боб. (Menya zovut Bob.) А тебя? (A tebya?)

  • My name is Bob. And yours?

  • Меня зовут Ольга. (Menya zovut Ol'ga.)

  • My name is Olga.

In response to introductions, you can say “приятно познакомиться” (priyatno poznakomit’sya).

  • Приятно познакомиться. (Priyatno poznakomit’sya.)

  • Nice to meet you.

You can also say “очень приятно” (ochen’ priyatno) or “рада/рад познакомиться” (rada/rad poznakomit’sya). These are just some other ways to convey “nice to meet you.” Women say “рада” (rada), while men say “рад” (rad), because the endings of adjectives in Russian coincide with their gender.

How to Say “How Are You?” in Russian

After greetings and introductions, people usually ask, “How are you?” The most common way to do so is to say “как дела” (kak dela). If you want to make it a little bit formal, you can say “как у вас дела” (kak u vas dela), or you can informally ask your friend “как ты” (kak ty).

  • Привет. Как дела? (Privet. Kak dela?)

  • Hi. How are you?

  • Зравствуйте. Как у Вас дела? (Zdravstvuite. Kak u Vas dela?)

  • Hello. How are You?

To answer the question “How are you?” use one of the following adverbs: “хорошо” (khorosho), which means “fine”; “нормально” (normal’no), which means “okay”; “так себе” (tak sebe), which means “so so”; or “плохо” (plokho), which means “bad.”

You can say that you’re not doing so well only to a friend, as Russians don’t share their personal matters with strangers.

  • Как дела? (Kak dela?)

  • How are you?

  • Нормально. (Normal'no)

  • I’m okay.

These introductions will help you carry out small talk in Russian. Although it’s a small step, it’s a step forward. To learn faster, practice Russian pronunciation online with a teacher.

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