Register me

"Ничё се!", "Чё делается?!" How to Understand a Russian Commoner?

Let's imagine a situation: you've been studying Russian with the help of a textbook for foreigners, you've memorized all the phrases and variants of answers for this or that question, you know well how to conjugate verbs in present tense, and you finally decided to visit Russia. What would be your surprise, when you are met with totally incomprehensible compellation:

- Здрасьте! Ты чё правда из Китая? А я вот щас как раз кинчик о нём смотрел, норм такой. Ну чё делать будешь? Я ваще-та в клубак собирался, мож со мной пойти. /Hello! Are you really from China? I've just watched a movie about it, it was ok. What are you going to do? I was going to party in some night club. You may come with me/.

Surely, someone would understand that you are a foreigner, and literary language, which you must have been studying, should be used while talking with you. However, you can get ready to an encounter, and to put your best foot forward meeting a "cool" Russian guy.

So, what's so special encoded in the abovementioned phrase? Can you understand the meaning?

Здрасьте = Здравствуй /Hello/. It is informal reference to a stranger of the same age. It can be used to greet an acquaintance. Variants of informal greetings are: Здарова! Хэй!

Чё = Что /What/. It is a shortening very popular in Russia, which can be used practically in any context. It is not used while communicating with older strangers or people of higher social position.

Ты что, язык проглотил? = Ты чё, язык проглотил? /Did you swallow your tongue?/

Что делать будем? = Чё делать будем? /What are we going to do?/

Щас = Сейчас /Just a moment/. It is one more popular commonly used shortening. It is not reccomended to replace "сейчас" while communicating with higher-ranking people, nevertheless, Russian can do this.

Я сейчас приду. = Я щас приду /I'll be back in a moment/.

Пошли в кино? – Сейчас? = Пошли в кино? – Щас? /Let's go to the cinema. - Now?/

Сейчас я сделаю отчет и перезвоню Вам. = Щас я сделаю отчет и перезвоню Вам /I'll call you in a minute after I get my report done/.

Норм = Нормальный / Нормально /Ok/. Generally, it is the Internet shortening, but many people use it in their speech. It is exceptionally informal.

Мне нормально. = Мне норм /I'm ok/.

Он нормальный парень. = Он норм парень /He's ok/.

Ваще | ваще-та = Вообще | Вообще-то /Actually/. It is an informal shortening, a colloquialism used in speech and on the Internet. Variants: вапще, вапще-та.

Я, вообще-то, ей первый написал. = Я, ваще-та, ей первый написал /Actually, I texted her first/.

Вообще, я хороший друг. = Ваще, я хороший друг /Actually, I'm a good friend/.

Мож = Может | Можешь /Maybe | You may/. It is a colloquial shortening, used while communicating with friends and acquaintances.

Может, я сама пойду? = Мож я сама пойду? /Maybe I'll go alone?/

Можешь со мной ехать. = Мож со мной ехать. /You may go with me/.

Some more informal shortenings in Russian language:

Ничё = Ничего /Nothing/.

Се = Себе | Те = Тебе /(To) me | you/.

Что тебе надо? = Чё те надо? /What do you need?/

Ничего себе! = Ничё се! /Wow!/

You can find Russian language schools and teachers:

Translation (ru-en)
Only registered users can use this function