Or should I say, zdravstvuyte? Yes, that’s exactly how you say ‘hello’ in Russian language. This whole bunch of letters might look scary at first, but when you look at it closely, you’ll see that they have some kind of inner beauty. So, if you have Russian friends, they will be surprised to hear a greeting in their own language. Actually, all Russians believe that it’s impossible for a foreigner to learn their language, and you can make an impression on them just by saying “hello” in Russian.
So let’s learn to pronounce it properly. There are three syllables in this word. First one (and the hardest) is “zdrav”. Yeah, I know, it’s hard to pronounce that many consonants, but give it a try. And remember, it’s “z-d-r-ah-v”. If you want to sound more “Russian”, you can skip the “v”. Most Russian speakers don’t pronounce it.
Then, there is “stvuy”. It’s a little easier. But you have these consonants again, this time it’s “stv”. Try this in front of the mirror. And remember, this “vuy” is pronounced like VOOY.
The last syllable is “te”. It’s pronounced “tyeh”. And remember, this “eh” has to be very clear.
So, let’s try it. Zdra-stvooy-tyeh. The stress falls on the first syllable. At first, try to pronounce it one syllable at a time. And after that, say it in one word.
Literally, this word means - “I wish you good health” (from the verb “zdravstvovat” - to be healthy). But this word is very formal. If you want to greet your close friend, you might want to say just “zdravstvuy”, without the “te”.
And if want to be casual, you might say “privyet”, which means “hi”.
So, that’s all for today. See you soon!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008