Learn Russian: Russian Made Easy Ep. 16

Talking About Where We Work In Russian

Listen To Entire Episode

Exercises Only

Welcome to episode 16. Remember, these podcasts are cumulative, so if you’re just joining us, please start at Podcast #1.

Anyway, today we’ll be talking about where we work. I’d like to start by going back to a phrase we learned in podcast #14. Do you remember how to say:

I’m now at work.

Я сейчас на работе.

But we also learned that the word for “work”, on its own, was just:


…with an “ah” ending.

Listen again and repeat:


So how would you say:

I like my work.

Мне нравится моя работа.

Try saying: I love my work.

Я люблю мою работу.

To the nitpickers out there, Yes, there is another way to say this, using the reflexive possessive pronoun свой , as in: Я люблю свою работу — but if you don’t mind, we’ll be using this more intuitive version just for now.

I love my work.

Я люблю мою работу.

So, here’s our first new phrase for today. Listen and repeat:

Я работаю

One more time:

Я работаю

My friend is a barrista (a coffee maker) in Starbucks. Now, if a Russian person asks my friend what he does, my friend would say: Я работаю в Старбаксе.

My other friend is a waitress in a cafe. If a Russian person asked her what she does, she’d say:

Я работаю в кафе.


Я работаю

…translates as: I work

Try saying:

I work in New York.

Я работаю в Нью Йорке.

How about:

I work in Moscow.

Я работаю в Москве.

Ok, here’s our next new word. It’s a cognate. Repeat after the speaker:


One more time…


Here it is in context…As defined by their market capitalization, Exxon Mobil is the world’s largest компания.

In English we say “company” and in Russian they say компания.

So here’s the main construction we want to master today. In standard English we’d say:

I work for Microsoft. We might also use the word “at” as in: I work at Intel.

Now the literal way Russians usually express this idea is:

I work in the company _____.

For example: I work in the company Microsoft.

Я работаю в компании Майкрософт.

Notice how the word “ff” changes the end of компания to a long ee sound. f–kompanee. Listen…

в компании

Try saying:

I work in the company Intel.

Я работаю в компании Интэл.

I work in the company Exxon.

Я работаю в компании Эксон.

How would you say:

This is my company.

Это моя компания.

Did you use “моя” to rhyme with “компания”?

Ask your friend:

Is this your company?

Это твоя компания?


Do you like your work? (Lit: To you is pleasing your work?)

Тебе нравится твоя работа?

Imagine someone calls you while you happen to be working. How would you tell them:

I’m working at the moment.

Я работаю сейчас.

So here’s a question for you…How might you ask your friend:

You’re working now?

Hit pause and think about it for a second…

So, remember our two verb patterns so far?




So to ask: “You’re working right now?” we need to say…

Ты работаешь сейчас?


Ты работаешь сейчас?

But we remember that word order in Russian is more flexible. And a native speaker is probably more likely to phrase that:

Ты сейчас работаешь?

By putting the word “работаешь” at the end, he’s putting more emphasis on it. It’s like asking…

“Ya working now?”

Whereas, if he says it this way:

Ты работаешь сейчас?

The emphasis is on “сейчас” so it’s like he’s asking, “You’re working now??

But again, the difference is subtle, and they can also emphasize words with their tone, or emphasis, instead of just word order.

V.O. And now, here’s your Tip of the Day from Russian Made Easy…

In my experience, one of the hardest parts for most people who are learning a language is simply staying motivated. As soon as things get tough, their resolve seems to weaken. The doubts creep in, like, “I’ll never be able to speak Russian like that.” And then come the excuses, “I can’t study this week. I’ve got too much going on.” Pretty soon, they stop altogether, satisfied with having learned a few words and phrases.

What those people are missing is a powerful, underlying motivation to learn Russian. And that’s what I’d like to talk about for a moment.

For me, the motivation was to be able to travel through St. Petersburg and Moscow on my own, completely independently. I didn’t want some tour guide telling me how long I could spend in the DaVinci room of the Hermitage museum. I wanted to be able to rent an apartment, buy my own food, catch taxis and all that…all by myself. So my need for independence when traveling to Russia was my powerful motivation.

For lots of guys, the motivation is to be able to talk to their Russian wife or fiance in her own language. They realize how much better it makes them look, that they care enough to learn Russian. And not just to talk with her, but with her family and friends, too. Knowing how to speak Russian also makes guys more valuable. Things aren’t so desparate for Russian or Ukrainian women these days. I’ve been living here in Ukraine now for five years, so believe me, I know. They’re becoming choosier. So speaking Russian will give a guy a huge edge.

Another big motivation is the job market. Russia is the largest country on earth and due to their vast oil deposits they stand to become a major force in international commerce. Imagine being able to add the line, “Fluent in Russian” to your resume. It’s a great way to add value to yourself as an employee.

So now and again take a little time to think of al the benefits you’ll get by being able to speak Russian. Whether it’s for travel, for romance or for business, knowing Russian will benefit you for a lifetime.

Alright, back to it. How would you ask a new friend:

Where do you work?

Где ты работаешь?

How will she say:

I work in the company Dell.

Я работаю в компании Дэлл.

Try saying: I work downtown. (Or: I work in the city center.)

Я работаю в центре.

Try saying:

I’m an American. I live in California.

Я – американец. Я живу в Калифорнии.

Say: I work in the company Google.

Я работаю в компании Гугл.

With just two words, ask your friend:

You working?

Ты работаешь?

How will he say:

No. I’m not working now.

Нет. Я не работаю сейчас.

Let’s learn two easy cognates. Repeat this first one after the speaker:


And again:


So in English we say ‘bank’ and in Russian it’s банк.

And here’s our 2nd cognate:


I’m new to this company, so I just have a small cubicle. But one day I hope to have my own офис.

So, in English we say office, and in Russian they deepen the “oh” sound…офис

Say: I work in a bank.

Я работаю в банке.

Did you remember to add that “yeh” sound at the end of “bank”?

в банке.

Ask your friend:

Do you work in a store or in an office?

Ты работаешь в магазине или в офисе?

Again, we need that “yeh” sound both times: в магазине …. в офисе

Imagine you’ve called your friend’s cellphone. He answers and you ask him:

Where are you now?

Где ты сейчас?

How will he say:

I’m in the office.

Я сейчас в офисе.

How do you say:

I’m now in the bank.

Я сейчас в банке.

A friend asks you:

Where is your office?

Где твой офис?

In two words, say:

In the center.

В центре.

Let’s end with some general review today. In the previous podcast, we worked with the verb patterns for Я and ТЫ. For example, how do you say:

I’ll have coffee. Whereas what will you have?

Я буду кофе, а что ты будешь?

Say: I’ll have….You’ll have.

Я буду. Ты будешь.

How do you say:

I live in Maryland. Where do you live?

Я живу в Мэриленде. Где ты живёшь?

Say: I live…you live

Я живу. Ты живёшь.

And how do you say:

I want pizza. And what do you want?

Я хочу пиццу. А что ты хочешь?

Say: I want…you want

Я хочу. Ты хочешь.

And of course, today we learned how to say:

I work in the company Sony.

Я работаю в компании Сони.

Ask your friend:

Where do you work?

Где ты работаешь?

Say: I work…you work…

Я работаю. Ты работаешь.

That wraps up today’s podcast. In the next one, we’ll add a new verb pattern that’ll let us say things like, “She lives in Minsk,” or, “He works downtown,” and so on. That’ll really come in handy and expand your vocabulary being able to talk about other people. And we’ll also talk…about talking.

I’ll see you then!

DOWNLOADS – (right click with mouse and “save as”)

Episode 16 – Full Program

Episode 16 – Exercises Only


Please comment or share with one of the buttons below. Your support helps keep the ball rolling!

span style=”font-family: Arial,sans-serif;”

12 responses to “Learn Russian: Russian Made Easy Ep. 16”

  1. Ethan Forster Avatar
    Ethan Forster

    Здравствуйте I am on the loop that When I hear some Russian person talking I don’t understand a word but your clips I can hear the words clearly but I keep thinking that I will never understand a word of a Russian person but I get motivation from remember don’t give up ai will know Russian someday thank you mark before I discovered RME I thought to my self as I leisten to the podcast and read the Russian words at the same time I think man I actually can do this it’s easy for me to order кофе and Борщ and so on thank you so much mark thank you

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      My pleasure, Ethan!

  2. Dave Avatar

    About quiting. Yes, I also was close to giving up because I get frustrated when I don’t pick up things as easy as I want them to. But my motivation is to be able to talk to my friend in her native language. I try the things I learned on her and then she corrects me if I make a mistake. My goal eventually is to be able to talk and write to her in Russian. When I feel frustrated that I feel I don’t make any progress anymore then I let it rest for a few days. Just practice the things I learned so far in my head when I feel like it. For example when I am in the shower. And after a few days I realise again why I started learning Russian in the first place and then the motivation gets back. And, what works for me, if I let it rest for a few days somehow the part that frustrated me all of a sudden makes sence.

  3. Mark Avatar

    haha, totally relate to tip of the day and giving up. This is third time (gave up before 11 both previous times) and I have gotten to lesson 16 at last. Sadly, my mother-in-law died before I could have proper conversation with her. So that has given me the motivation as I really want to speak to and understand our friends next time we go to Russia without having to rely on my wife translating all the time. That must at least make it better for her too.

    Thank you Mark.


    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Third time’s going to be the charm, Mark. Let me know how you do!


    2. Sharon Avatar

      Hi Mark,

      I need to listen to each podcast numerous times and also the exercises do numerous times. Then I get my notebook out and write down the phrases- I say them out loud having read them, then I write them down and try not to look at your writing. And I find that helps consolidate my learning. Although I realise that listening to Russian even though I don’t understand any of it other than the odd single word, is good exposure to speaking the language. Hope this gives other learners like me encouragement. I’m in my twilight years so I find learning is far more challenging than it was when I wad young. And I so see now your fantastic exp,a nation of how we learn compared to native Russian children and how this is different to how native Russian teaches teach it. I agree with you Mark. And so far, your course is the best and I am sticking with it. My goal? To get to lesson 30 and then start accelerating ….zoom zoom zoom! I plant to complete RME course by my birthday, a realistic goal. Thank you for for being such a great teacher Mark.

      1. Mark Thomson Avatar
        Mark Thomson

        Thanks for sharing, Sharon, and for the kind words. Hope to see you in my Russian Accelerator course when you finish RME.

  4. Chris Avatar

    Hi Mark,

    since 2010, I’m visiting Russia twice a year for about a week. I’ve started several attempts to get into the language – just to be autonomous as I navigate through Moscow or St. Petersburg. I can read Cyrillic at a decent pace and have a vocabulary of some hundred basic words. But the language learning attempts always got me frustrated after a few days because I didn’t see real progress. I’m now going through your podcasts since two and a half weeks and I am truly excited about how things build on each other – awesome! The transcripts are also very helpful as a review tool. I have a Russian student assistant and I meet her once a week and read out from the transcripts, so she can correct my pronunciation. Your “Russian Made Easy” really makes me having fun with learning Russian.


    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Thanks so much, Chris. Are you in Russia now? (Going to any of the World CUp matches?)
      Anyway, thanks for posting. I hope to welcome you one day to my Russian Accelerator video course.
      We’ll take your Russian to a whole ‘nother level. 🙂




  5. Niki Avatar

    Hi Mark,

    I was curious as to why we learned that the “oo” sound in “pizza” changed the world to “pizzU” when something was done to it – with the new “yee” sound added, does that make it “pizz-yee?” I’m a tad confused here as I remembered the rule beforehand.

  6. David Rayburn Avatar
    David Rayburn

    Hi again Mark,

    Hope everything is well, and you are staying safe in Ukraine!

    I work from home. So what would be the correct Russian way of saying “I work from home”?

    David R

    1. Mark Thomson Avatar
      Mark Thomson

      Hi David,

      Yes, we moved to the western part of Ukraine and all is quiet here on the western front.
      An easy way to say: I work at home.
      Я работаю дома.
      Ya ra-BOH-taiyu DOH-ma.

      Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply to David Rayburn Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *