Hello in Russian

How many ways can you say "hello" in Russian? After this lesson you’ll know more than just a simple привет!

Listen to the audio and follow the pronunciation. And don't be shy - go ahead and practice each Russian word aloud! 

The most common way to greet anyone in Russian is Здравствуйте (zdrastvuite). It is safe to use in all occasions and addressing all people. The origin of this greeting goes back to the verb ‘to be healthy and well’. So, by saying Здравствуйте! (zdrastvuite) to people you do not just greet them but also wish them to be healthy and well!

Depending on the time of the day people might also say Доброе утро (dobrae ootra) in the morning, Добрый день (dobryi den’) during the day, or Добрый вечер (dobryi vechir) in the evening.

Привет! (privet) is a well-known phrase for greeting a friend, but Russians might also use Здравствуй! (zdrastvui), which is a shorter and informal version of Здравствуйте, or even Здорово! (zdarova) - a greeting normally used between male friends.

Shaking hands is only common between people who know each other very well or during very formal occasions. Kissing on the cheeks or hugging is not customary and is reserved for your close family. (The former Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev was often seen in the media kissing and hugging, but even Russian people used to make jokes about it because it was so unusual – we strongly advise against this practice!)

Pronouncing Hello in Russian

Спокойной ночи is only said when people are going to bed. It means ‘have a quiet night’ or ‘sleep well’. It is not used as a general greeting like the English ‘Good night!’ when parting after a night out.

Saying Hello in Russian

Using different greetings will make you sound more fluent, so try to remember as many as you can. That’s it for today’s lesson.

If you want more lessons on Russian salutations then I recommend that you check out the following:

До скорого! (da skorava)


Rocket Russian


Test yourself with the Rocket Russian testing tools! Improve your knowledge of Russian!

Note that the tests below are listed from easiest to hardest.

Hear It Say It!

<{percentComplete['hearit']}>% Complete

Improve your understanding of spoken Russian. With Hear it Say it! you can tune your ear to Russian, increase your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation at the same time! Ready?

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • LISTEN to the audio (and touch up your pronunciation with Rocket Record if you like; Chrome/Firefox/Edge desktop browsers only)
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase and see the translation
  • Just click your RATING to continue

See how many words you've rated at each level below. Just click on the number below each rating to review your words and phrases.

Write It!

<{percentComplete['writeit']}>% Complete

Write it! helps you to improve your written Russian and your understanding of sentence structures. Just listen to the audio and type in what you hear!

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • LISTEN to the audio
  • WRITE down, in Russian, what you hear
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase and see the translation
  • Your answer will be automatically RATED, just click the rating to continue


Click the keyboard icon for a Russian keyboard

Know It!

<{percentComplete['knowit']}>% Complete

Know it! tests you on your ability to translate English to Russian! Ready?

  • Click the Get Started button below
  • READ the word/phrase
  • RECORD yourself saying it in Russian (Chrome/Firefox/Edge desktop browsers only)
  • Click REVEAL to see the word/phrase in Russian and listen to the Russian audio

Over 1,200,000 people love Rocket Languages

Here's what Rocket Languages members have to say:

Andrei Freeman - Pennsylvania, USA


Pennsylvania, USA

Rudi Kopp - USA



Carmen Franceschino - Pennsylvania, USA


Pennsylvania, USA

Kelly Scali - Chicago, USA


Chicago, USA

Mark Waddel - Auckland, NZ


Auckland, NZ

William McGill - Florida, USA


Florida, USA

Probably the best language tool I've come across. Actually love it more than Rosetta Stone and Duolingo

Try our award-winning online Russian course for FREE 受賞歴ありの英語学習ソフトウェアを無料でお試しください Pruebe nuestro galardonado software del idioma inglés GRATIS

(And see how easy it actually is to learn Russian... even if you've tried and failed before) (そして英語学習がどれだけ簡単か、肌で感じてみてください…今までに失敗したことのある人でもそれが分かるでしょう) (Y vea qué tan fácil es en realidad aprender inglés… aún si lo ha intentado y fallado antes)