How to ask in Russian: How do you say __ ?

August 17th, 2009 by Mark Leave a reply »

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Power Phrases Lesson #20
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How to ask in Russian: How do you say..?

As far as helping you learn the Russian language, this is the best phrase. I often use it while pantomiming the action of a verb I don’t know. Pretend to throw a ball, and then ask a Russian speaker, “Kak skazat?” And they’ll answer with two verbs: brosat, broseet. (The reason is that Russian uses a system of verb pairs, which is very different from how we use verbs.)

If you’re trying to learn the word for a certain object, you might toss in the word ‘etta’ (often spelled just ‘Eto’), as you gesture to the object. “How do you say this?” = “Kak skazat eto?” But honestly, it’s better to learn a different phrase in this situation:

Kak eto naziVAIehtsa? = What’s this called?

With these two phrases, you can truly begin acquiring the Russian language, (if you’re with a Russian speaker, of course.)

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