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How rude can be simple ¨hi¨?

The audio is available at my podcast. Episode 2


Well, yes, you cant find easily the common greetings similar to hi and hello. But in this video we will go deep into the difference between phrases and occasions.

To stay clear with hi and hello, lets see when we can use those.

Hello! Здравствуйте! We say to any person who is not a close friend or family member. Or to anyone who is older than you.

Literally it means” be healthy”.

To pronounce it properly, you need to omit few letters. 4 consonants in one row is a bit too much. And we soften the letter T.’


So if it suitable to address to someone in the street, and after this greeting we use polite You ( Вы), not you (ты). If we talk to a teacher, shop worker or any other aquaintant.

russians often pronounce it as ZDRASSTYE. it is a quick version, kind of semi-formal if we can apply that term to a pronunciation. let s try again ZDRASSTYE. dont say like that if you want to make a good impression on someone you see first time.

Other greetings which you can use:

Good morning ! Доброе утро! Actually, добрый means ¨kind¨.So basically you are saying ¨Kind morning¨.

Good afternoon! Добрый день!

Good evening ! Добрый вечер!

But for answer you cant shorten it like in english.

In english you can answer on¨good morning¨ -morning! on good afternoon¨ – Afternoon!

In Russian You supposed to repeat either full sentence or the adjective доброе! Добрый! The short form is common only between people that know each other, lets say colleagues or family members.

So it will look like that:

Доброе утро! – Доброе!

Добрый день – Добрый !

Добрый вечер! – Добрый!

Informal greetings

If we talk to a friend, or younger person, we say :

Hi! Привет!

Another one, slangish.

Hi there! Приветик!\Приветики! Can be used in a cheerful childish mood, mostly in texts.

Hi there! Здарова! We say like this only to close friends. It has also a cheerful meaning. You will not use it if then you are planning to discuss serious matter or sad news.

Hi to you! Приветствую! Kind of stylish way to say hi, nobody would use on a regular basis to each and every person, normally used in texts.

Check another video about tender words to someone close to you that Russians use instead of name, because very often we say more than just Hi.

In Russian language there are answers that are similar to hi but have different shade of meaning.

First of all, you can answer:

Long time Сколько лет, сколько зим! Literally, how many summers, how many winters!

Look who is here! Какие люди! This saying came from phrase Какие люди в Голливуде! What people are in Hollywood! Meaning, the person is very notable and how nice to catch up for talk, such a luck to get him to chat. Again, you use it only when you really haven’t talked long time. You cant answer like that to the same person every day, especially if is your family member or neighbour.

Its been a long time we haven’t met Давно не виделись!

Its been a long time we haven’t chat Давно не общались!

So the conversation will look like this:


-О! Какие люди!

-Ага) как дела? So the answer will not be reflected.

One more example:

-Здарова! Hi there

-О! Давно не общались, привет! Oh! I Haven’t chat with you long time!

-Да, я много работал. Yes, i worked a lot

And one more for polite form You:

-Добрый день! Good afternoon

-Здравствуйте! Давно не виделись! Hello,long time no see

-Я уезжала. I was away.

Or simple polite:



Russians use a lot different exclamations , like Ahhh, Ohhh. For example:

О! Какие люди!

Оооо!!! Привет!

Those exclamations will appear only in the answer, but never in the first greeting.