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A few elementary words to get you by on your Moscow Trip!

It is always a good idea to learn the language of the country that one is soon going to visit. Not only does this make one's life a little easier by being understood, but also helps in understanding the culture of the country to be visited and most of all, it gets you closer to the residents of the country.

Any Russian would appreciate the fact that you have taken pains to learn the basic Russian language. Moreover, knowing a few terms will help you clinch that great bargain, but also help you in negotiating cab fares, tickets to operas etc. Here's looking at a few initial words which will help you sail through.

Any meeting with another individual calls for a greeting, and the Russian greeting is 'Privyet' (informal hi) or 'zdrastye' (formal hello). If you are meeting with this person in the morning wish him a good morning with 'Dobroe Utro' or 'Dobryj Vecher' for the evening. Follow this up with a simple 'kak vy pozhivate?' Russian for 'how are you?' or if it's an informal meeting you could cut out the formality by saying 'kak dila?' or 'what's up?' If someone asks you about your well being, you can answer it with 'ochen horosho', meaning "very well / good" or 'Horosh o spas i bo, a vy?' meaning 'Fine thanks, and you?'

While introducing yourself, you can say 'Menj a zov u t Dzh o n', or 'My name is John'. If you need to ask someone's name, say 'Kak vas zov u t?' Let's say you want to enquire where the person is from, then ask 'Otk u da vy?' if you are asked the same question answer it with 'Ja iz England '. When thanking someone in Moscow , say 'Bol'sh o e sp a sibo', if someone thanks you, reply with a simple welcome or 'Dobr o pozh a lovat'!'. While taking your leave, you can bid goodbye by saying 'Do svid a nija' or so long 'Poka'. If you are bidding someone goodnight, say 'Spok o jnoj n o chi'.

Meetings and greetings over, now we can venture into general vocabulary, which will help you get through to the Muscovites without a hitch. To convey that you are a novice at Russian speaking, and don't know too much of it, say 'Ja nemn o go govorj u po-r u sski'. To convey that you know no Russian at all, say 'Ja ne govorj u po-r u sski'. If asking someone to go slow while talking, mention 'Govor i te m e dlenno'; and if asking someone to repeat what they said, say 'Povtor i te, pozh a lujsta'. If you don't understand something, say 'Ja ne ponim a ju', or if you do, say 'Ja ponim a ju'. Now let's look at individual words in Russian:

Yes is 'Da', no is 'Net'. 'Pozh a lujsta' stands for please, and 'Spasibo' for thank you. 'Normalno' stands for normal or ok in English, while 'Polka' means poor/bad. Here are a few terms that will help you frame your sentences:

He - on She - one It - one

We - my There - tam This - ego

That - to Now - stenches Later - puzzle

Who - to? What - chow? When - kaka?

How - kaka I - jam you - vie

Now that we have the basic terms in place, let's look at a few phrases which might help you in getting around the city or in shopping. If you want to say how much/many, say 'Sk u lk?'; if you want to ask how much an object costs, say 'Sk u lk d i ne?'. If you want to ask what is this, then say 'Cho w ego?', or if you want to ask where you are, ask 'Gee my?' While traveling in a taxi, if you want the driver to slow down, say 'M e dlennee', or if you want him to go faster, say 'Bystr e e'. If you are shopping, and want to buy Matrushka dolls, you can say 'U vas est' matrj o shki?' if you want to enquire about the cost, say 'Sk o l'ko e to st o it?'. If you want to buy the object, say 'Ja voz'm u eto', Russian for 'I'll Take it'. If you don't like something, say 'Mne e to ne nr a vitsja'.

These few words and phrases will help you sail through your Moscow trip, and come in handy when you want to communicate with the Muscovites. They will be delighted to hear someone speak in their language, and they will respect you for that.

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