Monday, February 16, 2015

Russian phone manner

I have been learning Russian for over 20 years and first came to Russia in 1994, but speaking on the phone continues to present difficulties.

Here are some general phrases and observations which may be helpful for a formal phonecall.

First of all, assuming you are the one making the call, it is always customary to greet the recipient: Здравствуйте! (or Доброе утро! Добрый день! Добрый вечер!)

You may then introduce yourself, although this is not always mandatory. The set phrase is: Вас беспокоит... You can either give your name or some relevant description. Eg: Вас беспокоит родитель/житель кировского района/налогоплательщик/гражданин Франции.

The next thing you need to go is to flag up the reason for your call. Usually in Russian this is quite direct.
  • Я звоню по объявлению 
  • Я звоню по поводу акции. 
  • У меня банковский счет в евро и мне нужно его закрыть. 
There is a phrase equivalent to the preface, "I wonder if you could help me."

  • It is either the imperative ПодскажИте, пожалуйста, где можно найти запчасти для Тойоты!... 
  • or the question: Не подскАжете, где могу найти запчасти для Тойоты? 
During the call here are some phone phrases which may be useful: 
  • С кем имею честь? Could I ask whom I talking to
  • Повторите, пожалуйста! Could you repeat that?
  • я не расслышал. I didn't catch what you said. 
Once the relevant information has been obtained, the phonecall is ended quite quickly. Something along the lines of Спасибо, вы ответили на мой вопрос. Всего доброго. (Possibly politer than typical.) 

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