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How to Say “I don’t speak Russian”

How to Say I don't speak Russian

When you travel in Russian-speaking countries, but don’t speak Russian, it would be very useful to know how to say “I don’t speak Russian” in Russian, because people will speak Russian to you everywhere – at a hotel, on public transport, taxi, etc.

There are a few ways to say that you can understand nothing:

  • “Я не говорю по-русски” – [ya ne govorju po-russki] – I don`t speak Russian
  • More polite: ” Извините, я не говорю по-русски” – [izvinite, ya ne govorju po-russki] – Sorry, I`dont speak Russian
  • “Я не умею говорить по-русски” – [ya ne umeju govorit’ po-russki] – I do not know how to speak Russian
  • “Я не владею русским” – [ya ne vladeju russkim] – I don`t know Russian

How to Say I don't speak Russian

If you travel with your family or friends, it’s better to inform, that nobody of you can speak any Russian right away.

  • “Мы не говорим по-русски” – [my ne govorim po-russki] – We don`t speak Russian
  • More polite: “Извините, мы не говорим по-русски” – [izvinite, my ne govorim po-russki] – Sorry, we don`t speak Russian
  • “Мы не умеем говорить по-русски” – [my ne umeem govorit’ po-russki] – We don`t know how to speak Russian
  • “Мы не владеем русским” – [my ne vladeem russkim] – We don`t know Russian

How to Say I don't speak Russian

Nowadays, more and more people around the world are studying English. During your trip around Russian-speaking countries you may notice that a lot of people especially the ones who work in tourist area, young people, etc. can speak English. Therefore, you can right away make them understand that you are looking for someone who can speak English:

  • “Я говорю по-английски” – [ya govorju po-angliski] – I speak English
  • “Вы говорите по-английски?” – [vy govorite po-angliski] – Do you speak English?

In case you have already started to learn Russian, but you have some difficulties in understanding Russian speech, you can say:

  • “Я не понимаю” – [ya ne ponimaju] – I don`t understand
  • More polite: “Извините, я не понимаю” – [izvinite, ya ne ponimaju] – Sorry, I don`t understand
  • “Я немного говорю по-русски” – [ya nemnogo govorju po-russki] – I speak a little Russian
  • “Я плохо говорю по-русски” – [ya ploho govorju po-russki] – I don`t speak good English

How to Say I don't speak Russian

If you need to know something, and you wish to continue talking to a person in Russian despite the difficulties in understanding Russian, you may ask:

  • “Повторите, пожалуйста!” – [povtorite, pozhaluysta] – Repeat, please!
  • “Говорите медленнее, пожалуйста!” – [govorite medlenneje, pozhaluysta] – Speak more slowly, please!
  • “Напишите это, пожалуйста!” – [napishite eto, pozhaluysta] – Write it, please!

We hope you find this article useful, and the phrases we provided will help you during your stay in Russian-speaking environment.

If you memorize these phrases, you’ll hardly end up in the situation similar to the Hollywood characters:

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