Making Conversation in Russia With AirHelp's Football Phrasebook

By Lorne St. Clair | Last updated on

Russia Football Phrasebook

If you’re a football fan traveling to Russia this summer, your first thought might be – “how am I supposed to communicate…”

Russian can be a daunting language to speak, with a Cyrillic alphabet and harsh sounding letters that can be unfamiliar.

That’s why the AirHelp team are giving fans a head start. We want to familiarize traveling supporters with some vital vocabulary and phrases for traveling around Russia this summer.

Now, before we begin our lesson, don’t panic. Many Russians, especially young ones in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, have English as a second language and speak it well.

You also have many language learning and translation apps at your disposal, such as Duolingo and iTranslate.

Plus, if you’re looking for a good app for travel in general, we’ve got the perfect list of business travel apps for you.

That said, even if you do your homework, there’s still a strong chance you’ll run into communication problems during your travels in Russia.

Plus it’s nice to be able to engage in simple conversation on your own, isn’t it?

Pronouncing place names in Russian

First off, you should know how to pronounce the names of different cities correctly.

Many people get sensitive when foreigners pronounce place names or cities incorrectly, and the Russians are no exception.

For example, the place names of NIzhny NOvgorod, SarAnsk, KaliningrAd, KrasnodAr, SamAra, SOchi, VolgogrAd, YaroslAvl, and YekaterinbUrg (with ‘boorg’ not ‘burg’ at the end) are already spelled out phonetically.

We’ve capitalized the stressed vowels so you can practice.

The airport travel experience in Russia

As a traveling football fan, chances are you’ll be using one of the airports at the 11 host cities.

Now, we all know airports in other countries can be stressful experiences for travelers.

At an airport in Russia, you’ll probably have no problems getting around — all the signs are translated into English — but, to be on the safe side, here are several useful phrases.

You might want to collect your luggage, so you can ask a fellow passenger or someone from the airport staff: ‘Gde poluchAyut bagAzh?’

If you want to get to passport control: ‘Gde pAssportnyi kontrOl?’ or where’s the bathroom: ‘Gde tualEt?’ How can I find the Aeroexpress trains: ‘Gde aeroeksprEssy?’

If you’re unfortunate enough to experience a flight delay or cancellation in Russia, you don’t need to know the language to get the money you’re owed.

We’ve got a step by step guide for how to file a claim for compensation.

The football fan experience in Russia

Of course, the main purpose of your trip to Russia this summer is football.

So you find your way to the stadium ‘Gde stadeeOn [the name of the stadium]?’), find your seat ‘Gde sEktor nOmer?’ ‘Where’s the sector number?’, ‘Gde ryad nOmer?’ ‘Where’s the row number?

Perhaps you’re bit early, and you want to quickly visit the bathroom or buy some beverages.

‘KogdA nachAlo?’ (‘When’s the start?’), ‘Gde tualEt?’ (‘Where’s the bathroom?’) and ‘Gde kupEEt’ pIva?’ (‘Where can I buy some beer?’).

Russia Football Phrasebook

But let’s imagine you are late and you arrive right in the middle of the game, and you don’t understand what’s going on. First thing you’ll have to find out: ‘KakOj schYOt?’ ‘What’s the score?’.

Then you can watch the game, and impress the fans in your section with some great Russian football phrases.

‘OtlEEchnyi sostAv!’ (‘Great lineup!’), ‘HorOshyi pass!’ (‘Nice passing!’), ‘Vot Eto podkAt!!’ (‘Terrific tackle!’), ‘OtlEEcnyi udAr!’, (‘Great shot!’), ‘MolodcY!’ (‘Great job!’), ‘UzhAsno’ (‘Horrible’), ‘KoshmAr’ (‘That’s a nightmare’), ‘KakOj poZor’ (‘What a disgrace!’). Or you can disagree with the referee: ‘Byl ofsAid!’ (‘He was offside!’), ‘NE bylo ofsAida’ (‘He wasn’t offside’), ‘NarushEniye!’ (That’s a foul!), ‘RukA!’ (‘Handball!’), and even ‘SoodjU na mYlo!’ (‘Use your eyes, ref!’).

Once you’ve learned some of these football phrases, you’ll be acting like a local in no time.

The AirHelp football phrasebook for Russia

EnglishRussian
Thank you / Thank you very muchSpasEEbo / BolshOye spasEEbo
Please; here you arePozhAlujsta
StraightprYAmo
RightnaprAvo
LeftnalEvo
Excuse me, would you mind telling me…IzvinEEte, vy ne podskAzhete…
Where… isGde…
How can I find the Aeroexpress trains?Gde aeroeksprEssy?
Where is the ‘Baggage Claim’ area?Gde poluchAyut bagAzh?
Where is the ‘Passport Control’ area?Gde pAssportnyi kontrOl?
Where’s the bathroom?Gde tualEt?
Where is the stadium?Gde stadeeOn?
Where’s the sector number…?Gde sEktor nOmer…?
Where’s the row number…?Gde ryad nOmer…?
‘Where can I buy some beer?Gde kupEEt’ pIva?
How much?SkOl’ko s menYA?
How much is the fare?SkOlko za proEzd?
Can you, please, tell me when we arrive at [the name of the bus stop]?SkAzhete kogdA bUdet [the name of the bus stop] pozhAlujsta?
Pass the money to the driver, please.Za proEzd peredAjte pozhAlujsta.
Can you stop right over there, please?OstanOvite vot zdEs’ pozhAluista.
One ticket, pleaseBOOd’te dobrY odEEn beelEt.
Do you take credit cards?Vy prinimAete kArty?
Can you tell me your Wi-Fi password, please?SkazhEEte pozhAlujsta parOl’ ot vAi fAya.
Can you bring the menu, please?PrinesEEte menYOU pozhAlujsta.
I’ll have… (when making an order)Ya bUdu…
Check, please.BUd’te dobrY check pozhAlujsta.
When’s the start?KogdA nachAlo?
What’s the score?KakOj schYOt?
Great lineup!OtlEEchnyi sostAv!
Nice passing!HorOshyi pass!
Terrific tackle!Vot Eto podkAt!
Great shot!OtlEEcnyi udAr!
Great job!MolodcY!
Horrible!UzhAsno!
That’s a nightmareKoshmAr
What a disgrace!KakOj poZor!
He was in an offside!Byl ofsAid!
He wasn’t in an offside!NE bylo ofsAida!
That’s a foul!NarushEniye!
Handball!RukA!
Use your eyes, ref!SoodjU na mYlo!
Hurray!UrA!
Goal!Gol!

Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. You may be entitled to as much as $700 in compensation if your flight has been delayed, canceled or overbooked within the last three years.

Photo credit for Fauzan Saari