The first thing you will want to know is how to say Hello in Russian.
In Russian, as in many other languages, there are certain ways you should greet someone depending on your relationship to that person.
The word for Hello is Zdravstvuyte. This is the formal (or polite) version, and should be used for anyone older than you, or anyone you don't know on a personal level.
The informal version is Zdravstvuy. You can use this with your friends, and also with people yonger than you, such as children. If in doubt, always use the more formal word above. Another very common greeting used between friends is Privet, which is the same as saying "Hi".
The table below is an excerpt from The Russian Phrase Book for Lovers, and lists some of the common Russian greetings said on meeting and departing. If you'd like to get your copy of the phrase book, click here.
A couple of special notes about the above
With the word for Farewell, Proshchay, this word is used when you know that you will not be seeing someone for a very long time, or when you don’t want to meet him/her ever again! So, use this one carefully.
You will notice a couple of unusual pronunciations above, where the phonetics sounds different to the way the word is spelled. Like every language, Russian has many exceptions, which you will pick up easily over time. Don't worry too much at this stage, you should always be understood anyway, even if you make a slight mistake.