How to Compliment Someone in Russian

Every language has its own compliments, and what kinds of compliments are given depends on the culture. What might be considered a compliment in one language, might be perceived as an insult in another language.

Despite the stereotype that Russians are cold and unfriendly people, giving compliments is common in Russia, but only among close people. This article will teach the Russian language skills for complimenting a Russian friend or that Russian lady you like.

How to compliment someone’s appearance in Russian

If you’ve stumbled across this article, there’s a good chance that you are looking for some Russian language tips to compliment a woman. So we'll cover that first.

Russian women are some of the most beautiful in the world and they tend to be very feminine. So, they like and expect to receive compliments. Plus, your significant other will be impressed that you learned how to give compliments in their language.

In Russia, there’s even a proverb: “Девушки любят ушами.” (Devushki lyubat ushami ). It means “a woman falls in love through her ears”.

Using a nickname for your girl/woman before you give the compliment will make it even more endearing. Here are some Russian nicknames which are used for women:

Before we proceed, it’s important to note that in Russian there are two ways of saying “you”: « Ты » (Ti) and « Вы » (Vi). The difference between these two pronouns is their level of formality:

In Russian, as in many languages, the most universal compliment is: “You are beautiful” – “Tы красивая” (Ti krasivaya) If you want to be more polite you would use « Вы » and say instead: Вы красивая” (Vi krasivaya)
“You’re so attractive!” – Ты так привлекательна! (Ty tak privlekatelna!)

You’re going to make your intentions known with this Russian compliment, as it’s flirty. Use it with women you know well enough, and in informal settings only.

“You have nice eyes” – “У тебя красивые глаза” (U tebya krasiviye glaza)

One of the most popular Russian compliments for women. Although this compliment is aimed more towards women, it can also be used on men. Don’t be shy to compliment your male partner or male friend if he has beautiful blue eyes!

“You have beautiful hair” – “У тебя красивые волосы” (U tebya krasiviye volosee) “You look young.” – “Вы молодо выглядите” (Vi molodo vyglyadite)

This is one of the most common Russian compliments for women above 40, as any woman appreciates being called young.

Men also like to receive compliments on their appearance, it increases their self-esteem. Even masculine and rough Russian men.

For men, you would say:

“You are the most handsome” – “Ты самый красивый” (Ti Samiy Krasiviy)

The following Russian compliments are gender-neutral – they can be used on both men and women:

“You look lovely” – “Ты прекрасно выглядишь” (Ti prekrasno viglyadish)

Instead of “Прекрасно” (Prekrasno) you can also use another adverb. For instance:

A couple extra ones:

These are other widespread Russian compliments – feel free to use them if you think the person is looking stylish.

Russian Compliments for Skill or Ability

Complimenting a person on their appearance isn’t enough. Make a person feel more valued by recognizing their skills and abilities.

“You have a good sense of humor” – “У тебя хорошее чувство юмора” (U tebya khoroshiye chustvo umora)

Women like men who make them laugh. This Russian compliment will help you let your male friend or boyfriend know that his jokes are indeed funny. Although, this can be used on women also.

“You cook well” – “Ты вкусно готовишь” (Ti vkusno gotovish)

Now in Russian, this compliment is more often addressed to women. Let your Russian girlfriend know you like the blini and pelmeni she cooks for you!

“You’re a good dancer!” – “Ты здорово танцуешь!” (Ti zdorovo tancuesh!)

Remember this Russian phrase the next time you go out to a club. It is a good conversation starter.

“You’re a good driver” – “Ты хорошо водишь машину” (Ti khorosho vodish mashinu)

Use this to compliment someone on their driving, especially if that person has recently started driving.

“You have a beautiful voice” – “У тебя прекрасный голос” (U tebya prekrasniy golos) “I like your new haircut” – “Мне нравится твоя новая причёска” (Mne nravitsa tvoya novaya pricheska)

How to Compliment Personal Traits in Russian

In Russian (as in many languages), some of the best, most intimate compliments praise personality traits.

“You are a real man” – “Ты настоящий мужчина” (Ti nastoyashiy muzhchina) “You are very reliable – I feel good with you” – “Ты очень надежный — мне хорошо с тобой” (Ti ochen nadezhniy — mne horosho s toboy)

These are some of the best compliments a man can receive in Russian, they will surely make him feel appreciated.

“I adore you” – “Я тебя обожаю” (Ya tebya obozhayu)

This should be used on your girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband as it’s a compliment displaying strong emotions for the person.

“You’re so kind” – “Вы так добры” (Vi tak dobry)

We used the more formal “Вы” pronoun here, as this phrase is more commonly used on people you’re not as friendly with.

“You’re clever beyond your age” (used on girls) – “Ты умна не по годам” (Ti umna ne po godam) “You’re clever beyond your age” (used on boys) – “Ты умён не по годам” (Ti umyon ne po godam)

This compliment is used on young ones who are smarter than their age, shown by success in school, for example.

Russian Compliments for Someone’s Work

Work colleagues and students also appreciate compliments given to them by their peers. It motivates them to continue to perform just as well, or better.

“You did a good job” – “Вы отлично справились” (Vi otlichno spravilis) “I don’t know what I would do without you” – “Не знаю, что бы я без вас делал” (Ne znayu, chto by ya bez vas delal)

This compliment lets work colleagues or any other people who helped know that his or her help is invaluable.

“Fantastic work!” – “Фантастическая работа!” (Fantasticheskaya rabota)

Once work is completed, this Russian compliment can be used to praise the person’s work.

General Tips on Giving Compliments in Russian

Be sincere with your compliments. Don’t tell a girlfriend that she looks good in a dress in which she really doesn’t. Honest feedback is respected and can help avoid trouble later on.

Don’t overdo it. Doing so will make you seem like you’re trying hard for people to like you.

Less is more. Don’t use too many compliments found in Russian literature. They might sound odd in a normal, everyday setting.

How to Accept Compliments in Russian

Finally, it’s also important to know how to gracefully accept compliments in Russian.

“Thank you” – “Спасибо” (Spasibo) “Thank you, that’s nice of you” – “Спасибо, мне очень приятно” (spasibo, mne ochen priyatno) “You also” – “Ты/Вы тоже” – (Ti/Vi tozhe)

Congratulations! Now you can compliment someone in Russian. Use these new language skills to put a smile on someone’s face! For more on the Russian language, see this Russian email writing guide.