Russian Vocabulary for Shopping

By Andrew Kaufman, Serafima Gettys, Nina Wieda

Develop a Russian shopping vocabulary to gain a new cultural experience when traveling. Whether you’re shopping for clothes, food, or souvenirs, you can use the following phrases in any Russian speaking country to help you find just the right thing.

The following words can be used in a variety of shopping situations.

Kassiry (kuh-SEE-rih) (cashiers)

kryeditnyye kartochki (kree-DEET-nih-eh KAHR-tuhch-kee) (credit cards)

dorozhye (dah-ROH-zheh) (more expensive)

dyeshyevlye (dee-SHEHV-leh) (cheaper)

bolshoj (bahlSHOHY) (big)

malyenkij (MAHleen-keey) (small)

The first step to a successful shopping expedition is to know where to shop. For starters, you can buy anything (other than food) in either a univyermagi (oo-nee-veer-MAH-gee) (department stores) or magaziny (muh-guh-ZEE-nih) (stores), but if you’re looking for something specific, you’ll want to check out some of the following stores:

antikvarnyj magazin (uhn-tee-KVAHR-nihy muh-guh-ZEEN) (antique store)

fototovary (FOHtuh-tah-VAH-rih) (photography store)

gazyetnyj kiosk (guh-ZEHT-nihy kee-OHSK) (newsstand)

kantsyelyarskiye tovary (kuhn-tsih-LAHR-skee-eh tah-VAH-rih) (stationery)

odyezhda (ah-DEHZH-duh) (clothing)

suvyeniry (soo-vee-NEE-rih) (souvenir store)

tsvyety (tsveeTIH) (florist)

Regardless of the type of shopping you do, the following phrases can come in handy.

  • Eto ochyen’ dorogo. (EH-tuh OH-cheen DOH-ruh-guh) (It’s very expensive.)

  • Eto dyoshyevo! (EHtuh DYO-shih-vuh) (It’s cheap!)

  • Ya voz’mu eto. (ya vahzMOO EH-tuh) (I’ll take it.)

  • Ya eto kuplyu. (ya EH-tuh kooPLOO) (I’ll buy it.)

  • Skol’ko stoit . . . ? (SKOHLkuh STOH-eet . . . ?) (How much does . . . cost?).

Grocery shopping

You can get your groceries at either the produktovyyj magazin (pruh-dook-TOH-vihy muh-guh-ZEEN) (grocery store) or a rynok (RIHnuhk) (market). Most Russians buy their produce at a farmers’ market because the produce is generally fresher there. The following is a list of some of the more popular produce items:

Russian Pronunciation Translation
Gorokh guh-ROHKH Peas
Kapusta kuh-POOS-tuh Cabbages
Klubnika kloob-NEE-kuh Strawberries
Luk look Onions
morkov mahr-KOHF Carrots
Ogurtsy uh-goor-TSIH Cucumbers
Pomidory puh-mee-DOH-rih Tomatoes
Svyokla SVYOK-luh Beets
Bubliki BOOB-lee-kee Bagels
Govyadina gah-VYA-dee-nuh Beef
Jogurt YO-goort Yogurt
Khlyeb khlehp Bread
Kofye KOH-feh Coffee
Kolbasa kuhl-buh-SAH Sausage
Kuritsa KOO-ree-tsuh Chicken
Ris rees Rice
Ryba RIH-buh Fish
Sakhar SAH-khuhr Sugar
Svinina svee-NEE-nuh Pork
Syr sihr Cheese
Yajtsa YAHY-tsuh Eggs

Shopping for clothes

Russians generally believe that first impressions are based on the how the person is dressed. Consequently, you’re likely to see Russians well-dressed in public, even in informal situations. To improve your first impression, you might want to go shopping for clothes. The following words can help when you’re shopping for clothes.

Russian Pronunciation Translation
palto puhlTOH coat
Krossovki krah-SOHF-kee sneakers
Sapogi suh-pah-GEE boots
kupalnik koo-PAHL-neek bathing suit
Noski nahs-KEE socks
nosovoj platok nuh-sah-VOHY pluh-TOHK handkerchief
Pyerchatki peer-CHAHT-kee gloves
Zontik ZOHN-teek umbrella
Bryuki BRYU-kee pants
Kostyum kahs-TYUM suit
Maika MAHY-kuh T-shirt
Plavki PLAHF-kee swimming trunks
Rubashka roo-BAHSH-kuh shirt
Shorty SHOHR-tih shorts
Svitehr SVEE-tehr sweater
Bluzka BLOOS-kuh blouse
platye PLAH-tyeh dress
Yubka YUP-kuh skirt
Sharf shahrf scarf
Shlyapa SHLAH-puh hat

The following phrases can be helpful when you’re shopping for clothes.

  • A potyemnyeye/posvyetlyye yest’? (uh puh-teem-NEH-eh/puhs-veet-LEH-eh yest?) (Do you have it in a darker/lighter shade?).

  • Ya noshu razmyer . . . (ya nah-SHOO ruhz-MEHR) (I wear size . . .)

  • Eto moj razmyer. (EHtuh mohy ruhzMEHR) (This is my size.)

  • Kakoj vash/u vas razmyer? (kuh-KOHY vahsh/oo vahs ruhzMEHR?) (What’s your size?)

  • Eto khorosho sidit (EH-tuh khuh-rah-SHOH see-DEET) (It fits).

  • Eto plohkho sidit (EHtuh PLOH-khuh seeDEET) (It doesn’t fit).

  • Mnye nravitsya eta kurtka (mneh NRAH-veet-suh EH-tuh KOORT-kuh) (I like this coat).