Russian Language Russian Culture: «Several ways to say hi and bye in Russian»

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Several ways to say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ in Russian

There are many different ways to say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ in the Russian language. Let us have a look at them in details.

There are two ways to address to someone in Russian: formal and informal. Firstly, let us discuss the formal ways of greetings. There are not so many of them, actually.

The most common way to say ‘hello’ in Russian is ‘Здравствуйте’. It’s used very often in many different situations.  If it’s morning it’s also very polite to say ‘Доброе утро’ which means ‘good morning’.  If it’s daytime we say ‘Добрый день’ which means ‘good day’ or ‘good afternoon’. If it’s evening we usually say which means ‘good evening’. Finally, if it’s night we can say ‘Доброй ночи’ which does not mean ‘good night’, it’s still a greeting used at the night time.  But the last one is rarely used and some linguists consider this form of greetings as a wrong one. But the way I feel it, it’s pretty logical form, because it’s strange to say ‘добрый вечер’ if it’s night.

To sum it up, there are the most common formal expressions we use to say ‘hello’:

1. Здравствуйте

2. Доброе утро

3. Добрый день

4. Добрый вечер

5. Доброй ночи (use it cautiously).

So, now let us have a look at the informal expressions which exist in Russian, there’re much more informal expressions than formal.

The first one, a very famous one, is ‘Привет’ which means ‘hi’. Russian is not English though, and it has lots of ways to say ‘hi’ by changing the word ‘Привет’. So you can hear something like this:

  • Приветик;
  • Приветики;
  • Прива (slang);
  • Прив;
  • Привки;
  • Прет (it’s still ‘Привет’ pronounced rather quickly);
  • Приветствую;
  • Привет-привет.

Let us go further. Remember the word ‘здравствуйте’ which is formal?  We use it in informal way, too.  How? Let’s find it out.  To say ‘hi’ using this word we change it to ‘Здравствуй’.  But they are also some words based on this word like:

  • Здарова;
  • Дарова;
  • Здрасьте;

The globalization processes is now everywhere around the globe , so it’s possible to hear the word ‘Хай’ or ‘Хэллоу’ pronounced exactly like their English brothers ‘hi’ and ‘hello’ in Russian manner, of course.

Now, let’ us talk about saying ‘goodbye’ in the formal way. There are not so few of them, actually! We have:

  • До свидания – the most popular one- means ‘goodbye’;
  • До скорой встречи (See You later, soon);
  • Прощайте (Farewell -  You are not going to see that person again);
  • Всего доброго/ хорошего/ наилучшего (Have a good day)
  • Хорошего дня/ хороших выходных (have a good day, weekends, etc.)

Now, let us talk about the informal ways! There are lots of them in Russian, hopefully this article will include as many of them as it possible. Let’s see what we have:

  • Пока! – means ‘bye’- very popular way to say ‘bye’
  • Пока-пока;
  • Покеда;
  • Бывай (cheers, take it easy);
  • Будь здоров! (take care)
  • Давай (it’s like ‘take care’, ‘take it easy) is also a very popular way to say ‘bye’
  • До скорого (see ya, in a while)
  • До связи (in touch, it means you have a way to contact with a person by phone or email, etc.)
  • Счастливо (You wish a good luck to a person);
  • С богом (it’s like Spanish ‘Adios’)

Some foreign expressions:

  • Адьёс! (a Spanish word ‘adios’)
  • Чау! (an Italian word ‘Ciao’)
  • Оревуар! (a French word ‘Au revoir’)
  • Ауфидерзейн (a German word ‘Auf Wiedersehen’).

To conclude,  in this lesson we’ve discussed the most common ways to say ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ in Russian. Now learn them and try to use as soon as possible. 


Vincent and Kungfurussian

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