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Hello, and welcome to Russian Lesson 1!
on your decision to learn Russian. It is a wonderful language that will
open up a whole new world for you. The best way to learn Russian is to
do a small amount, regularly. We hope that this intro course will be
just the start you need, with daily updates to get you into the habit
of regular study.
(1) Print this page - Use the print-friendly link above to print the lesson and start to build a folder with your notes, answers and questions. Each lesson will build upon the previous day, so it will be useful to have access to the notes as you progress a little bit more each day.
(2) Learn the Russian Alphabet - Keep the alphabet close by as you go through these lessons, and you will quickly get to know all of the letters and their correct pronunciations.
Today we look at the basics - how to say "Hello", and other common greetings.
The most important point to note in today's lesson is that the Russian language has a formal and informal version of speaking to another person. You should always use the formal version for anyone older than you, or anyone that you do not know well. You can use the informal version with your close friends and family, or in a casual setting with people who are younger than you.
Each day our vocabulary section consists of the English word or phrase, the Russian equivalent, and the phonetics (the way the word sounds, broken up into syllables). The stressed syllable is underlined in the Russian version, as well as shown in capitals in the phonetics to highlight this clearly.
At the bottom of the page you will see the "Quick Quiz" for Russian Lesson 1. Answers will be revealed in Lesson 2!
In Russia, it is not common to ask someone "How are you?" unless you know that person well. While it may be common in Western countries to ask a total stranger "How are you going?", this question might meet with strange looks if said to a Russian! Stick to the above phrases, such as "nice to meet you", until you know your new acquaintance a little better.