Beginner’s Guide To Russian Interjections | AutoLingual – Learn A Foreign Language By Yourself (2024)

Into every conversation, a little nonsense must fall. And it should come as no surprise that a rich language like Russian is rich with nonsense!

Sometimes there's just not a word to express what you want to say. Other times words are too long. And besides, when one little grunt can get your message across, why use anything more?

And so it is that one often finds himself (or herself) in a conversation consisting more of little nonsense words than actual vocabulary!


We'll start with my favorite Russian word: ой. It's absolutely the same as it's phonetic match "oy", or the Hispanic equivalent "ay". You can use the word to express pain, frustration, or dissatisfaction, or in a different context to express awe, shock, or disbelief.

-Я опять потерял свои ключи! Ой!
"Ay, ay ay! I've lost my keys again!"


Similary, the word эй is also a match for its sound-alike, "hey", and can be used in all the same situations. The two most common uses for эй are getting someone's attention, or expressing playful (fake) anger.

Эй! Ты куда пропал?
Hey! Where did you disappear off to?


Another of my favorites is ого, which sounds like "oh-hoh!" This word expresses surprise, shock, or disbelief. It is best used like the American phrase "no way!"

-Я заплатил тысячу евро за новый айфон.
"I paid a thousand euros for my new iPhone."


Don't be fooled by the spelling, it may look like "aha", but this one works more like "uh-huh", and is used as a form of affirmation.

-Ты смотрел кино вчера вечером?
-"Did you watch the movie last night?"


This exclamation sounds like "oof", and seems to imply some discomfort. It reminds me of the sound an old man makes as he sits down.

-уф. жарко на улице.
-"Oof. It's really hot outside."


In my opinion, this is one of the wonders of Russian. Pronounced "t-foo", this is the alliteration of a spitting noise. Used where you might have made a gagging noise in English, it implies something disgusting or worthless.

-Кофе? Тьфу! Ненавижу пить кофе.
-"Coffee? Yuck. I hate coffee."


This is the Russian "shooshing" noise. Where we would say "sshhhhh...", they say "тссссс..."

-тссссссс не говори так!
-"sshhhh don't talk like that!"

ух ты!

This is a great expression of surprise or amazement, akin to "holy cow!", or "awesome!"

-Ух ты! Какоe это красивое здание!
-"Wow! What a beautiful building!"


Beginner’s Guide To Russian Interjections | AutoLingual – Learn A Foreign Language By Yourself (2024)


Can you self teach yourself Russian? ›

By putting aside half an hour every day to practice Russian – whether that's reading, writing, listening to a podcast, or watching a Russian TV show – you can be speaking and understanding simple Russian sentences in just a few months.

What is the hardest thing to learn in Russian? ›

Russian grammar: top 5 hardest rules
  1. Negation.
  2. Checked unstressed vowels at the root of a word. ...
  3. Spelling prefixes. ...
  4. Preposition. ...
  5. Conjugation of verbs. This topic includes requests for changing verbs by tenses, persons, numbers, and gender. ...
Mar 10, 2021

What is the easiest language to learn if you speak Russian? ›

Both the vocabulary and grammar are extremely similar between Russian and Serbo-Croatian. In fact, the grammar is almost the same, just with slightly different suffixes (which will sound natural to each language anyway).

How long does it take to self learn Russian? ›

Therefore, according to FSI findings, Russian is in Language Group IV and it will take you around 1,100 hours to learn it. Russian may be one of the difficult languages for English speakers to learn, but that makes it all the more rewarding!

How many hours a day to learn Russian? ›

Most students achieve the intermediate level (B1) in approximately 1.5 years. During this time, they spend around 500 hours actively learning. This equates to no more than 1 hour daily. Of course, you can go on learning Russian for 2 hours per day as you've been doing.

Which is harder German or Russian? ›

Russian is harder because of the different alphabet.

Is Russian or Ukrainian harder to learn? ›

The Ukrainian language is easier to learn than Russian, as Russian has more complex grammar. Learning Ukrainian also makes it easier to learn other Eastern European languages, as it is closer to Czech, Slovak, and Polish. Whereas, if you learn Russian, you can understand fewer languages naturally.

What's harder Chinese or Russian? ›

Originally Answered: Is Russian a more difficult language than Chinese? It depends on your native tongue. If you're from slavic group, then Russian will be easier. If you're from western language group, then Russian will be tough, but easier.

What is the fastest way to learn Russian? ›

Immersion is the best way to learn Russian in the shortest possible time. Even if you can't go to one of the Russian-speaking countries right now, you can still surround yourself with the Russian language.

What should I learn first in Russian? ›

Memorize The Cyrillic Alphabet

If you want to learn Russian, you'll need to learn the Cyrillic alphabet. There's no way around it. But don't worry! It may look scary, but it's not as difficult as it looks.

How to learn Russian properly? ›

Tips for the Best Way to Learn Russian
  1. Learn Cyrillic. ...
  2. Learn stressed (elongated) and unstressed (shortened) vowel sounds.
  3. Memorize Russian phrases and basic Russian words.
  4. Practice speaking Russian as much as possible, especially with native speakers.
Dec 16, 2020

What language is most similar to Russian? ›

From the point of view of spoken language, its closest relatives are Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Rusyn, the other three languages in the East Slavic branch.

Can I learn Russian by just listening? ›

Only listening won't be enough. But if you listen and get some general knowledge about the language and then engage in conversations with native speakers you totally will. However, always remember the writing and reading aspect.

Which is easier, Russian or Spanish? ›

As can be seen from Language Difficulty Ranking , learning Russian to near fluency normally takes up about twice as long as learning Spanish to that level. It cannot be ruled out that if you don't start learning Russian now, which is pretty tough, you won't ever learn it.

How hard is it to learn Russian? ›

Is Russian hard to learn? Some English speakers consider learning Russian as a challenging task to cope with since there are so few similarities between these two languages. The main difficulty appears when it comes to dealing with tons of grammar rules.

Why is Russian considered hard to learn? ›

Russian can be perceived as a challenging language to learn due to factors such as the Cyrillic alphabet, complex grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, and cultural context. However, with dedication, perseverance, and effective learning strategies, mastering Russian is achievable.

How hard is it to learn Russian from scratch? ›

Learning a second language can be challenging as it requires students to learn new words, memorize grammar rules, and construct new cognitive structures. Learning the Russian language is no exception. Russian is allegedly one of the most complex languages to learn; its Cyrillic alphabet is enough to scare you away.

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