Posts Tagged ‘learn russian phrases’

Learn Online Travel Phrases for Sochi 2014

February 18th, 2010

The Winter Olympics are coming to Sochi, Russia in 2014. This article will give you the basic travel phrases you’ll need if you planning on attending The Games.

The word for “taxi” is the same in Russian as in English, but the accent changes. They say it like this, “tahk-SEE”. If you say the word correctly, the driver will assume you speak some Russian, and will ask you, “kuda?” (”koo” as in koo-koo, plus “da”, which sounds like “dot” without the “t”). Kuda means “Where to?”

Tell him, “Gostinitsa” if you want to head to your hotel. Let’s sound out that word:

“Gos” rhymes with the beginning of “ostrich”.
The “ti” sounds like “tea”.
“Nit” is pronounced like “neat”.
And the “sa” rhymes with “duh”.

So: gos – tea – neat -suh…But better to spell it, “Gostinitsa.” Hotel.

If you are headed over and didn’t have time to learn Russian, there are some online courses you can try of course. For now though, some more basics.

After you get to your hotel, you’ll soon be wanting to catch the Games. Here’s the main arenas and how to pronounce them. Also, bear in mind, The Games will be organized within two clusters, a coastal cluster in Sochi and a mountain cluster in Krasnaya Polyana. (KRAHS – nai – yah Pahl – YAH – nuh.)

“Bolshaya ledovaya arena” is the Big Ice-Rink, and the “Malaya ledovaya arena” is the Small ice Rink. Let’s look at the pronunciation:

“bahl – SHAI – yuh leh – DOH – vai -yuh ar – YEN – uh.” Practice saying it fast.
Meanwhile, the word “Malaya” is pronounced: “MAH – lai – uh.”

Speed Skating takes place at: “Konkabezhni Tsentr”

Figure Skating takes place in the “Ledovi Dvarets Sporta” (Lit: The Ice Palace of Sport.) The accent is on the “o”…Leh -DOH-vi Dvar-ETS.

If curling is your thing, you can catch all the heart-stopping action at the Arena For Curling, called “Arena Dlya Kurlinga”.

The Olympic Stadium itself also sounds very similar in Russian: “Olympiski Stadion”.

And the Main Olympic Village is called “Glavnaya Olympiskaya Derevniya.”

Sports like bobsledding and skiing take place in another main region, the Krasnaya Polyana.
For bobsledding, the main word you need is, “Bob-sleigh”. Say that to someone, and they’ll help you find the right place. And for ski events, you’ll want to know the word “Leezh-nee”. From that word, just add a little body language as to whether you ‘re interested in watching cross-country, or downhill.

Of course there will be brochures in English, but won’t you feel better knowing some of these words and using them when you’re there. It’ll be like your own form of participating in the games.

Oh, and one last word, after the sports are done for the night: Pivo (pronounced “PEE-vuh”) is the Russian word for beer.

Enjoy!

Learn Useful Russian Travel Phrases

February 13th, 2010

Here are some useful Russian phrases for traveling. Print out this article, or jot them onto a note-card. Let’s start with the airport. The phrase you’ll need there is:

Here’s my passport.

vote moi PASSpurt.

The word “passpurt” looks weird, but it’s the best way to write it. The accent goes on the capital letters, PASS, but rhymes with the “pas” part of “pasta”.

Out of the airport, you’ll want a taxi to your hotel. Luckily, the word taxi is virtually the same in Russian as in English, except the accent is on the second syllable: “takSEE.” There are all sorts of questions the drive might ask you, but they’re all bound to be variations on, “Where to, pal?” Since most travelers stay in hotels. Let’s learn that word:

Hotel = gosteenitsa.

As with the first syllable of “passpurt”, “gos” also rhymes with the vowel sound of “pasta.” Then, sounding out the rest of the word, we have: “TEE – neets – uh” with the stress going on the TEE. So one more time, it’s: “gosteenitsa.” Then follow it with the name of your particular hotel.

Before getting in the cab, it’s good to know how much the driver wants. We can ask this with one word:

How much = skoilko

Let’s sound it out: skOIL – kuh

Imagine a company called RISK OIL COMPANY. Watch as we cut out the middle of that name:

SK OIL CO.

This will help you learn and pronounce the word in Russian accurately.

Of course, if you don’t know much Russian, you probably won’t understand his answer. So I recommend just taking out a notepad and handing it to him. Numbers are written the same way in Russian, so you’ll be able to understand. Though clarify that the number is rubles (or grivna, if you’re in Ukraine) and not dollars.

Rubles? = rublei?

roo (As in, “Kangaroo”) + blei (rhymes with “play”). The emphasis goes on the “blei” part.
Hopefully, the driver will nod and say, “Da, da” which means, “Yes, yes.”

So, toss your suitcase in the trunk and thank him as you get in the cab:

“spasibo!”

Sounds like this: “spa – SEE – buh”

Once you arrive to the hotel, be sure to tell the driver, “Here, this is for you,” as you hand him the money. (A small tip is usually appreciated, but not mandatory as it seems to be in the US). Tell him:
vote vam

We saw, “Vote” already, when we were handing our passport to the officer in the airport. The “vam” part means, “for you” and rhymes with “mom”. Of course, he’ll then say, “Thank you.” Do you remember the word?

Spasibo.

Grab your bag and head to the hotel.

Welcome to Russia!