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How to say hello in Russian and what to answer


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Всем привет!

Hello Everyone!


Hope, all is well and you are watching the Sochi Olympics :)

What a grand opening ceremony it was yesterday! I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. Hope, you did too.


One of the interesting peculiarities of the Russian language and customs is the tradition of greeting each other.


Здравствуйте! - Zdrastvujte! - people say to each other. Technically, this word means "Желаю Вам здоровья!" - zhelaju Vam zdorovja - I wish you to be healthy! - no too close to the English Hello! or Good Day!


In answering that you can simply say the same word "Здравствуйте!" or "Привет!" = privet!, which is a less formal version of a greeting, close to the French "Salut!"


Привет! Как дела? Как поживаешь? - would the Russians say when greeting good friends, and please note, that the questions here are not just meaningless sounds grouped together, you are actually expected to produce an answer, even if it is a rather short one, like " Нормально, все в порядке." - Normal'no, vse v por'adke" = OK, everything is fine.


This is a little different from the English way of saying "Hi! How are you!" and expect no particular answer in return. Quite a lot of foreigners are usually bewildered when they say their "How are you?" greeting a Russian friend/acquaintance and hear a long a tedious account of what is actually "going on" in this person's life.


So, practice how to say hello in russian and have fun!


Here is a short video for you to listen to the formal and informal Russian greetings.





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Say hello in Russian

Interesting video. I'd never heard of Privetik or Privetiki before, when would you use them as opposed to just privet?


Also I assumed you could use privet in an informal setting but it appears not, I mean you can use 'Hi' formally in English in certain settings.

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Hi Hedonologist,


Hope, all is well.


Privetiki and Privetik are even less formal forms of "Privet!" You would hear these forms used mostly among young people, school children and students, but hardly ever said by adults and certainly never used to greet your boss. :)


You are right, "Hi!" can be used in a variety of formal settings in English, whereas Russian "Privet!" cannot be. You would never hear it at a conference, or a meeting at the office, colleagues may greet each other with this word, but they would always say "Zdravstvyjte" to the boss, or someone they do not know too well. To say hello in russian is definitely a little bit different than in English and the 'settings' where you can use it, are different too. That's right. 



Hope, it helps! 


Glad you enjoyed the video.

Have a nice day!

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  • 7 months later...

:laugh:  Awesome!  Russian people do really sound ie my kind of people!  The fact people are expected to really say what is going on in their life when asked ''How are you?'', speaks volumes of the Russian people :)  To me it means Russian people are in a way more social and open we actually are. 

I've always complained about the fact most people here in the west always throw their ''how are you'' as a mere formality, not caring at all about the answer, and if a person dared to give a long and honest answer they'd instead get a weird look or an awkward reaction.

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