Celebrating Christmas in Russian – Video Lesson 1

Posted on December 17th, 2011

Learn Russian - Russian Christmas lessonHi, and welcome to Russian4real’s special Christmas lessons!
Today, you will learn ten words in Russian related to Christmas and New Year’s.

If you don’t know what the difference between Western Christmas celebration and Russian Christmas celebration is, you can read my article Christmas Magic in Russian Culture.
You can also review the following posts about Christmas in Russian culture:

And learn how New Year is celebrated in Russian culture: Russian New Year Celebration

As you know, since 1916 Christmas tree is decorated and presents are given for New Year’s eve instead of Christmas in Russian culture.
This means that adjective Christmas “рождественский” [razh-DYES-tvyen-skeey] can be substituted with adjective “новогодний” [na-va-GOD-neey] ( New Year’s) when translating from English into Russian. For example, you can translate “Christmas decorations” from English into Russian both ways: “рождественские игрушки” and “новогодние игрушки”.

Usually you would say “рождественская ёлка”, “рождественские подарки”, “рождественские украшения”, when talking about Western (non-Russian) Christmas in Russian.

When talking about Russian New Year’s celebration in Russian, you would say “новогодняя ёлка”, “новогодние подарки”, “новогодние украшения”.

Finally, if you would like to talk about Russian Christmas celebration in Russian, then you would not have to worry about any of these…

In the video lesson I specified that some of the nouns that can be used with both adjectives “рождественский” and “новогодний”. You can also find more examples below.

Рождество (n.) [razh-dees-TVO] = Christmas
Рождество – мой любимый праздник.
[razh-dis-TVO moy lyoo-BEE-miy PRAZ-neek]
Christmas is my favourite holiday.

Санта Клаус (n.) [san-ta KLA-oos] = Santa Claus
Санта Клаус дарит подарки.
[san-ta KLA-oos DA-reet pa-DAR-kee]
Santa Claus gives presents.

Рождественская / новогодняя ёлка (n.) [YOL-ka] = Christmas tree
Remember, when you are talking about Russian New Year celebration you can say “новогодняя ёлка”, when talking about Western Christmas celebration you can say “рождественская ёлка”, or you can omit both adjectives and just say “ёлка” in both instances.
Вы будете наряжать (новогоднюю) ёлку в этом году?
[vee BOO-dee-tye na-rya-ZHAT’ (na-va-GOD-nyoo-yoo) YOL-koo v E-tam ga-DOO]
Are you going to decorate a tree for New Year’s this year?

Новогодние/ рождественские украшения (n.) [ook-ra-SHYE-nee-ya] = Christmas decorations
Аня купила новые рождественские украшения на распродаже.
[A-nya koo-PEE-la NO-vi-ye razh-DYES-tvyen-skee-ye ook-ra-SHYE-nee-ya na ras-pra-DA-zhe]
Anya bought new Christmas decorations on sale.

Украшать (v.) [ook-ra-SHAT’] = decorate
Моя младшая сестра любит украшать ёлку.
[ma-ya MLAD-sha-ya seest-RA LYOO-beet ook-ra-SHAT’ YOL-koo]
My little sister loves decorating a Christmas tree.

Рождественская / новогодняя открытка (n.) [at-KRIT-ka] = Christmas card
Вот твоя новогодняя открытка.
[VOT tva-ya na-va-GOD-nya-ya at-KRIT-ka]
Here is your Christmas card.

Рождественский / новогодний подарок (n.) [pa-DA-rak] = gift
Новогодние подарки лежат под деревом.
New Years presents are sitting under the (Christmas) tree.

Дарить (v.) [da-REET’] = give (a gift)
Я люблю дарить подарки.
[ya lyoob-LYOO da-REET’ pa-DAR-kee]
I love giving presents.

Камин (n.) [ka-MEEN] = fireplace
Рождественская ёлка стоит у камина.
[razh-DYES-tven-ska-ya YOL-ka sta-EET oo ka-MEE-na]
Christmas tree is standing next to a fireplace.

Рождественские / новогодние огни (n.) [ag-NEE] = Christmas lights
Посмотри, какие красивые Новогодние огни!
[pas-mat-REE ka-KEE-ye kra-SEE-vi-ye na-va-GOD-nee-ye ag-NEE]
Look, New Year’s lights are so beautiful!

Remember, if you are speaking to native Russians, most likely they celebrate Christmas in January and do not decorate a tree for Christmas, so, if you are telling them about your beautiful “рождественская ёлка” or the wonderful “Рождественские подарки” of your dreams, they might be a little confused… Try to be more detailed and specify whether you are talking about Western Christmas or Russian Christmas.

I hope you had a great time learning new Russian words! Don’t forget to subscribe to russian4real.com for free Russian lessons! Or you can always find me on Twiter and Facebook and the rest of the major social networks :)

Enjoy Christmas time!

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