Updated: Oct 12, 2021
Different ways to praise someone in Russian
Do you know how to praise someone Russian? How to say that someone is doing a good job? It is actually quite easy. There are several most common words and phrases that you can use to do it.
This post is a part of the video lesson on how to encourage, praise someone and how to wish good luck in Russian. You can find a free Russian video lesson at the bottom of this page (if you haven't already watched it).
I recommend you to watch a series of these free Russian lessons to learn basis Russian words and phrases, like How to encourage someone in Russian, How to wish good luck to someone in Russian, How to be polite in Russian, etc.
Here are the most common words and phrases to praise someone
1) Молодец (maladéts) - Well done
It is the most common way to praise someone for good work. It is impersonal and can be applied both to men and women in formal or informal situations.
You can add pronouns to make it more personalized:
Ex.: Ты молодец! Вы молодец! Она молодец!
You can also add an adjective "большой" (big, m), "большая" (big, f.)
Ex.: Он большой молодец. Она большая молодец (Really well done)
Its informal variation is МОЛОДЧИНА (maladchina)
The plural form of молодец is молодцы. Ex.: Вы молодцы! (vy maladtsý)
BUT! As a singular formal it will be молодец. Ex.: "Вы молодец! (vy maladéts)
2) Умница (úmnitsa) - Good / smart girl
It is a nice and friendly way to praise young girls and ladies.
Ex.: Ты уже всё сделала? Какая ты умница! You have already done everything! You are such a good girl!
3) You might also notice that men can praise each other by using a word КРАСАВЧИК (krasáfchik). Direct meaning: a handsome man. Slang meaning (praise): You rock man!
Use it only with your friends and good acquaintances.
4) Ты мужик (ty muzhik) - You are a real man.
It is another slang compliment for a man to say that he is brave and strong.
It is good to praise someone but you shouldn't overpraise because Russian people are afraid to be jinxed even if a person said it with good intentions.
It is believed that some people have "дурной глаз" - an evil eye and they can jinx someone by accident without wishing anything bad.
Russian people usually say "сплюнь" (direct meaning - spit) to someone who was complimenting another person on something that is really important for that person.
And no, you don't need to really spit. You just need to say "тьфу-тьфу-тьфу" over your left shoulder or knock on wood.
A person who is telling about his projects also can do these gestes not to jinx his or her own future plans. Some parents may forbid you to compliment their small children as they might be afraid of your devil eye (jinx).
You can watch a full explanation of these Russian expressions in the video lesson below.
You can find the audio files with pronunciation of these Russian phrases in my free guide 'Essential Russian Words and Expressions to Understand Spoken Russian'.
This guide also contains audio files so that you can listen to these phrases on the go: while driving, walking, doing sport or brushing your teeth. Make sure that you repeat these phrases yourself and try to imitate my accent.
It's also very important to know how to pronounce Russian words correctly as not every Russian letter is pronounced the same way as it's written. There are certain Russian pronunciation rules that are really easy to learn.
And don't forget to learn different ways to wish something nice in Russian in this blog post - "Good wishes in Russian".
Free Russian Video Lesson "How to encourage someone in Russian"
Hello! My name is Mila and I am a founder of Hack Your Russian language platform. You can find me here:
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