Learn Russian online: Meeting a Russian girl

Meeting a Russian girl

How can you pick up a gorgeous Russian girl? Or a guy, for that matter? Let's see how to start or not to start a conversation in Russian, and also how to react to some silly pick-up lines.

Today's Grammar will help you with it: We'll learn Russian construction for asking one's name and the necessary pronouns to use with it.


Dialog

Он: Приве´т. Как дела´?
He: Hi. How are you?
Хей, как тебя зову´т? Наве´рное, Ю´ля, да?
Hey, what's your name? It's probably Yulya, right?
Нет-нет. О´ля. Тебя´ то´чно зову´т О´ля.
No-no. Olya. Your name is definitely Olya.
Она: Кошма´р. Ну ты дура´к.
She: Gosh. Are you an idiot.
Он: Эх. Наве´рное, Ма´ша.
He: Oh. It was probably Masha.

Comments

harley90210 02.05.2017
Hey i am new here, im on my free trial but my question is if i can pay after my free trial cause i have read that you guys not work here anymore, so tell me please what i need to do. Thanks.
mamadourbamba 07.12.2015
That's a compliment
mamadourbamba 07.12.2015
You sound exactly like them.
mamadourbamba 07.12.2015
You and Masha sounded like you were those people on this TV show called Shake It Up. I thought you guys WERE until I came to my senses
mamadourbamba 06.12.2015
:)
Nikita Petrov 06.12.2015
@mamadourbamba Thank you! Well, as I said — it's still here, and who knows, maybe we will be able to revisit and work on it more some time in the future. You never know :-)
mamadourbamba 06.12.2015
Nevermind me, I guess it would be a lot. Just know that this was a GREAT website. Thankyou for it.
mamadourbamba 05.12.2015
Theres nothing you can do. I have an idea. Do you still have your old co- workers numbers. You guys could try to make a new website.
mamadourbamba 05.12.2015
That's a shame. This was a fun way to learn Russian.
Nikita Petrov 05.12.2015
(I should add I'm speaking for myself.)
Nikita Petrov 05.12.2015
@mamadourbamba Well the website is here, the recorded lessons are not going anywhere. But developing the project further would require a lot of work, time and money... So it's not "just like that" — we've put in a lot of effort into setting this up, but I don't think we have the means to continue working on it indefinitely.
mamadourbamba 05.12.2015
Wait, so your just going to give up on this website. Just like that. What happened to you guys you haven't been on here in like YEARS. I just wonder why you guys stop ruspod.com
Nikita Petrov 28.11.2015
Hey guys, sorry about not answering and thank you for the kind words. I haven't been working here for a few years now. I think the website is kept alive only technically, and don't really know if there are any plans for revitalizing it in the future.
twcarl 28.11.2015
I could not get anybody to respond to me. A shame. It was a good site.
mamadourbamba 11.11.2015
Is any one still working here?
mamadourbamba 10.11.2015
Есть еще люди, которые здесь работают
mamadourbamba 10.11.2015
Есть еще люди, которые здесь работают
mamadourbamba 10.11.2015
Действительно приятно, Никита и Маша, вы, ребята сделали отличную работу!
enaamsaleh 28.08.2014
I do agree with ksome really very easy and interesting way of teaching
Nikita Petrov 31.03.2014
Oh wow, thank you so much!
kstome 30.03.2014
Hi! I have just completed the "Survival" level, and now I am starting on "Beginner". I just love this russian course! It's amazing! Never thought learning russian could be this fun - and it works! I listened to russian internet-radio today, and was surprised how many words I could actually recognize. You are the best russian teachers in the world! :-)
Nikita Petrov 17.07.2012
No, that sounds about right. Except "Ну" in the beginning implements that you've been expecting this meeting. You might want to drop it, so that she doesn't think you've been stalking her secretly.
ekka 17.07.2012
Is there anything wrong with saying "Ну, здравствуй красивая девушка!" to a young lady milking a cow? Would she think it was strange?

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Podcast

Vocabulary

как тебя´ зову´т
What is your name?

Literally, "How (do they) call you?":
как – how
тебя´ - you (accusative case)
зову´т - they call

как дела´?
How are you?

Literally, "how (are) things":
как - how
дела´ - things

кошма´р (m)
nightmare, horror

Often used as an exclamation expressing higher levels of displeasure:
Како´й кошма´р. – Oh my gosh.
Про´сто кошма´р! – Sheer madness!

Other words:

приве´т — hi, hello (informal)
наве´рное — probably
да — yes; as a question tag: "right?", "isn't it?"

Closer look

Как дела? – How are things?

Although "Как дела?" is the same as "How are you?" Russians tend to expect a more honest and detailed answer than "Fine". And there should always be an answer, never just a returned "How are you?" Here are a couple of typical reactions if one doesn't want to retell his or her life:

Хорошо´. – All's well.
Норма´льно. – It'll do.
Пло´хо. – Bad.

Russian first names

Let's collect the names we saw in our dialog:

Ю´ля
О´ля
Ма´ша

All these female names are actually short versions of the formal first names:

short name

full name

Ю´ля
О´ля
Ма´ша

Ю´лия
О´льга
Мари´я


If you are on informal terms with someone, you will usually use his or her short name. The full form is used in business conversations or as a part of a formal, polite address. 

Grammar

No "to be" in the Present tense

Have a look at these sentences once again:

Как дела´? – How are things?
Наве´рное, Юля. – It's probably Yulya.
Ты дура´к. – You are an idiot.

In Russian, we never use a link verb ("to be") in the Present tense, only in Past and Future tenses. In Present tense, it's just: "You – idiot." "How things?" etc. 

"Как тебя зовут?"

When we say "What's your name?" – "My name is…" in Russian, we literally mean: "How do they call you" – "They call me…" and in this case personal pronouns "я" (I), "ты" (you) et al. change their form:

я

меня´

ты

тебя´

Как тебя´ зову´т? – "How [do they] call you?"
Меня´ зову´т Ма´ша. – My name is Masha (=[They] call me Masha).

Advanced:

In the table, you see how other singular personal pronouns look in "Как тебя зовут?" соnstruction:

я (I)

меня´ (me)

Меня´ зову´т Ма´ша.

ты (you)

тебя´ (you)

Тебя´ зову´т Ники´та.

он, оно´ (he, it)

его´ (him)

Его´ зову´т Ива´н.

она´ (she)

её´ (her)

Её зову´т О´ля.

Cultural Tips

May we get acquainted?

"Hello, my name is…" is the first thing one learns in any new language, but what is one supposed to do with this phrase?

Let's imagine that you want to get acquainted with a nice person. On one hand, it would be pretty weird to begin with "Hello, what's up, what is your name?" like the character of our dialog did. On the other hand, there are indeed no specifically Russian pick-up lines that will immediately warm up those acclaimed long-legged beauties or nice chaps to you. The only typical phrase is: "Мо´жно с ва´ми познако´миться?" – "May I get acquainted to you?" It is a bit trite, but still useful.

As usual, it's better to look for some clever, or better, naturally occurring pretexts, or to be introduced to a person by someone else. After the first barrier is taken, it's good to remember some general rules of Russian introduction rituals, like:

Introduction advice

Usually, you don't shake hands with a woman: It's against the etiquette if she doesn't initiate it herself. Which in Russia she almost never does, unless it's a business meeting where hand-shaking takes place regardless of gender.

A cheek-kiss is not impossible, but not every woman will like it. Also, there is this eternal question about how many times you're supposed to kiss each other. Each cheek once (or rather a region somewhere next to your ear) is acceptable, but then, suddenly, somebody will remember that it's a Russian tradition to kiss three times, which can lead to all sorts of confusion.

A hand-kiss is traditional, but you'd better leave it to suave older folks. And by the way, a nice smile can do wonders without any physical exertions: Russians are by nature not very smiling people, so it's a good way to surprise them in a most pleasant way.

Useful links:

Dating sites are quite popular in Russia. Here are the three most famous of them:

Mamba

Loveplanet

Dating

To find their significant other, some people also use Vkontakte - the Russian version of Facebook.