Common Russian words: facts and figures

The Russian language is one of the most glamorous languages in the world and its beauty lies in its words.

The Russian language is estimated to be made out of a total of 350000 words with the largest Russian dictionary having over 200000 words. This can seem a really big and frightening number to someone wanting to start learning Russian, but here's the good news: you only need to know roughly 5% of the total words to be fluent in Russian. This means that focusing your efforts on learning the most common Russian words you will be fluent in Russian in no time.

What’s even more encouraging is that knowing as little as 100 words helps you understand half of the words in an article or book written in Russian. Learn the most common 1000 words and you get to a 75% understanding of texts in Russian. Also, each new word you learn helps you guess the meaning of up to 100 words you have never seen before. This means that knowing only 1000 words helps you guess up to 100000 Russian words. Doesn't seem that frightening now, right?

Top 10 cool and common Russian words pronounced by native Russian speakers

1. Привет! = Hello.

Let's naturally start with "Здравствуйте" which means "Hello" in Russian. This is one of the most known words in Russian and a great way to start a conversation with someone from Russia. Click play below to listen to the actual pronunciation:

Привет!

2. Любовь = Love

Love is a universal feeling and we definitely had to talk about it here. Russian people have a lovely way of saying they love someone or something through the word "любовь". Hear it in action here:

Любовь

3. Радость = Happiness

When there's love, there's definitely happiness. We are all chasing "радость" as Russian speaking people would say. Listen closely and you might just get some “happiness” in your life today:

Радость

4. Кошка = Cat

Let's talk pets. There are two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. We are going to talk about cats first or how people in Ukraine would say: "кошка". Listen to how it sounds like:

Кошка

5. Собака = Dog

But let's not forget our lovely and loyal companions, dogs. A dog in Russian is "собака", a really useful word for dog lovers worldwide. Here is how you would pronounce it:

Собака

6. Улыбаться = Smile

Now it is time to smile or how someone from Russia would say "улыбаться". Smiling makes us happy and helps us stay healthy, so that's why we all need to smile every day. Here's the Russian pronunciation:

Улыбаться

7. Русский = Russian

Next, let’s see how people in Russia say “Russian”. The correct answer is "русский". Listen to how a Russian speaker would pronounce it:

Русский

8. Да. = Yes.

Yes, we have arrived at number 8 where “yes” is the subject to be discussed. Russian speakers say “yes” by simply saying "да". Enhance your understanding by listening to how a person from Russia would pronounce it:

Да.

9. Спасибо. = Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far or should I say "Спасибо" as they say in Russian. Here's a native speaker thanking you in Russian:

Спасибо.

10. До свидания. = Good-bye.

No polite conversation can end without a good old goodbye or "Goodbye" how Russian people usually say. Now it's time for a delightful Russian voice to say "До свидания" to you:

До свидания.

Improve your Russian vocabulary online

Online language courses nowadays are fun, effective, affordable and use the latest technology to teach you a new language. This makes them a great solution to build your vocabulary. Meet Mondly, one of Apple’s best new apps of 2016 helping millions of people around the world learn a language. Our expert linguists have selected the most common Russian words so you start by learning what’s really important. No more learning random words you will probably never use in real life.

Each Mondly lesson revolves around a certain theme or situation: from family to colors to animals or shopping related lessons. You quickly get immersed in different situations like ordering food in a restaurant, booking a hotel room or having a casual talk with a native speaker you’ve just met. Organizing the lessons into themes makes learning Russian words a lot easier by creating powerful associations in your brain.

Russian words spoken by native speakers

It’s been proven that you learn any language faster when you hear natives speak. That’s why our linguists have made listening to natives an essential part of the learning experience. All phrases within the app are recorded by professional Russian speakers so you can sit back and absorb the correct pronunciation of the most common Russian words effortlessly.

Now, let’s explore the ultimate goal of learning Russian: having real conversations. That’s exactly why we’ve made speaking exercises an essential part of our lessons so you can practice the cool Russian words you just learned. You have to try our Voice Chatbot, a computer program so advanced you can actually have an intelligent conversation with. Just engage in a conversation and you get asked questions, you respond and the Chatbot understands what you're saying and continues the chat. It’s a remarkable technology that made millions of people fall in love with Mondly.

Image showing the Russian words you can learn with Mondly

Did you know?

The Russian language has grown significantly since the 19th century when only around 75000 words have been recorded in the dictionaries of those times. Today, that number has more than doubled and a lot of compound words are not even mentioned in the biggest Russian dictionary. Don’t let these numbers get you down. A Russian student needs to know only between 1500 and 3000 words to finish high school which means that fluency in Russian is well within your grasp.

Have you ever wondered what the longest Russian word is? Probably not, but we did the research for you. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest Russian word is “Превысокомногорассмотрительствующий” which is an extremely polite way of addressing clerks in the 9th century. Fortunately, this word isn’t too popular today and you don’t have to learn such complicated words to become fluent in Russian.

The benefits of learning the most common Russian words first

Make Russian learning fun and easier

Starting with the Russian basics means you will begin by learning the easiest words first and gradually increase difficulty. This way you will feel great while learning and see how your language knowledge broadens.

Have basic Russian conversations in no time

You'll be able to speak to someone from Moscow or Kiev about regular topics like weather, politics or family. This will make you confident in your Russian skills and eager to learn more.

Become fluent in Russian faster

By learning the most common Russian words first you are learning the smart way. Why learn the most unusual words in Russian when you might never use them in real life?

You improve your Russian vocabulary

Each new Russian word you learn piles up until your vocabulary builds stronger and stronger. Each lesson gets you one step closer to fluency.