The audio is available at my podcast. Episode 6
HOW ARE YOU?
¨how is your Nothing?!¨ – whaaaat?!
find out why russians say so and why they find it even funny.
You will be surprised that there are sooo many ways to ask how are you. what is important, you need to know what you are saying to whom.
The first How are you!
it is a short version of
как вы поживаете? it literally means how do you live? thats what we ask when we haven´t seen each other for a long time.
and we have two versions – polite, for aquintants как вы поживаете?
как ты поживаешь? i would say it is a neutral phrase
when the next one
как ты там? how are you there ?
this question is more …caring. we say it when a person lives far away. and we dont say of course every day. как ты там is informal
как вы там formal or for group of people.
it is a question to start a dialogue. I mean you might find out that russians actually DO answer how it is going. because they mean it when they ask. they want to know your news and how do you feel and what are you doing.
a question ¨what are the news” is very common что нового?
the most common is как дела?. literally how is business? как дела?
it is informal .
in a formal converstion we can use it only adding with which business actually. for example как дела с транспортом для конференции ?what´s with the transport for the conference?
otherwise that what you hear most of the time
there is a childish version of it.
как делишки. it rather common in a private texts conversations. after как делишкиi can ask what are you doing, what is the plan for tonight.
russians don´t use the same question all the time. it is a sort of game to ask in a different way every time or at least to have a few favorite phrases for each counterpart. the more close is a person, the more informal you go.
for example, you will not ask your teacher or a shop attendant
как оно? how is it? you say как оно to your close friend and most likely you mean something certain or the situation is not really good.
как оно? is a question for young people or for sms. well, i think the category of young people nowadays is not that clear. everyone finds himself to be young whether he is 20 or 75. so let s say my brother who is 39, can say как оно to me but my mom would not ask that not me, not her friends.
there are cheerful phrases such as
как жизнь молодая? means how is the young life?
it is not necessarily used between old and young person but You are more likely to hear that from an older generation. i can say that to my friends in a cheerful way, pretending we are pensioners greeting each other. a school girl will not ask her best friend something like that. but older generation can ask как жизнь молодая their friends of the same age. and you would not use как жизнь молодая every day.
the short version of this phrase is как жизнь is informal. young people prefer it.
how is the life?the same, you ask как жизнь only when you haven´t seen this person for quite a while.
if it is an sms, you can say that to your friend after a a few days of silence.
i know you are overwhelmed already. do not worry. we are going to repeat all the phrases again in
and of course there are also some slang how are you versions.
че как what´s, how
че там whats there
you might hear that russians actually say something before a question. it will be
it is just a connection. alike well
ну что, как дела
ну че, как оно
right… how is your nothing?! in russian как ваше ничего? как твое ничего?
one of the answers to how are you, is ничего , nothing, nothing special, nothing bad, nothing outstanding.
so we say как ваше ничего? because we assume that the answer will be ¨nothing speacial¨ meaning the person will not say anything interesting, no news, everything goes smoothly and boring, and we want to cheer him up before we even hear that.
that´s the initial meaning. and this question has a certain intonation suitable for it because it is a positive question. как ваше ничего? как твое ничего? i would say you should be smiling when asking that.
again it is a special thing. you cant say it to a new client at work or to a person at the street when you want to get the directions to somewhere. как ваше ничего? is a question to make a person feeling cosy.
как ваше ничего?
как вы поживаете?
как ты поживаешь,
как вы там
как ты там
как жизнь молодая
как ваше ничего
как твое ничего