Learning to count in Russian can be tricky for English speakers. But with a little practice and some basic steps it is not as hard as it might seem. Try studying the numbers from one to ten in Russian, practicing pronunciation, and listening to Russians count and you will soon be counting in Russian.
Study the numbers.
Become familiar with the Russian numbers one through ten. Get a basic sense of how they are written and pronounced in Russian. This list contains the Russian word for each number and its phonetic pronunciation with the stressed syllables capitalized.
1) one = один, pronounced “ah-DEEN” or Раз, pronounced “raz.”
2) two = два, pronounced “dvah”
3) three = три, pronounced “tree”
4) four = четыре, pronounced “chih-TEE-reh”
5) five = пять, pronounced “pyaht”
6) six = шесть, pronounced “shayst”
7) seven = семь, pronounced “seeaym”
8) eight = восемь, pronounced “VOH-seeaym”
9) nine = девять, pronounced “DYEH-veht”
10) ten = десять, pronounced “DYEH-seht”
Practice saying the numbers aloud.
Read through the list of numbers out loud and get used to saying them.
Note that Russians say “raz” for “one” when counting and in sentences like “one, two, three, four, let’s go!
“. “Raz” literally means “(one) time.” It sounds more natural to use “raz” in these circumstances. On the other hand, never use “raz”, when you describe the quantity of something. For example to say “one pickle, please,” say “ah-DEEN.”
Pay attention to pronunciation.
As you practice saying the numbers from one to ten, pay close attention to the pronunciation of each sound that makes up the word for each number.
Pay attention to word stress.
In Russian the stressed syllable of each word plays a key role in pronunciation. Stress refers to which syllable is emphasized. Make sure you are pronouncing the word with the stress on the correct syllable, which is capitalized in the phonetic pronunciation.
Stress is very important in speaking Russian, not only for an authentic accent but also because some words have different meaning when the stress is on a different syllable.
Memorize the numbers.
Commit the numbers from one to ten and their pronunciation to memory.
Listen to a Russian speaker.
Hearing a Russian speaker pronounce the numbers will help a lot. If you know a native speaker, ask her to count to ten in Russian. Listen and repeat each number.
Listen to recordings.
There are many websites where you can hear the numbers from one to ten pronounced correctly in Russian. Practice listening to each number and pronouncing it out loud.
Watch counting videos.
Youtube and other sites have videos intended for Russian children to learn counting. These can be helpful resources as you learn to count to ten in Russian.
Learn more about using Russian numbers.
Once you know how to count to ten, learn about using Russian numbers in sentences.
Russian numbers have different forms depending on how they are used in sentences.
Change the gender of numbers to match the gender of nouns.
When numbers are used as adjectives to describe how many of a noun, the gender of the number may change to match the noun it modifies.
The number “1” has a masculine, feminine, and neuter form. Unless specified, use the masculine form. Masculine: “One brother” is “Один брат,” “1” is pronounced “ah-DEEN.” Feminine: “One sister” is “одна сестра,” “1” is pronounced “ahd-NAH.” Neuter: “One window” is “Одно окно,” “1” is pronounced “ahd-NOH.”
The number “2” has two forms, masculine and feminine. The masculine is “два,” pronounced “dvah” and the feminine is “две,” pronounced “dv’eh.”
Numbers “3” through “10” stay in masculine form regardless of the noun’s gender.
Change the case of numbers according to their use in sentences.
Russian language uses six cases that modify words according to their part of speech and use in a sentence. Each of the numbers will change its spelling and pronunciation when used in particular ways.
Most of the time numbers are used in the nominative case such as when the number is the subject of a sentence or modifies the subject of the sentence.This means you can usually use them in their regular form.