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Winter and Snow Vocabulary in Russian

winterWhile spending a week with family in Idaho we went to Bogus Basin. As the snow season started we could indulge in some play time in the snow.

The drive there on the icy road was long and slow but the destination was worth it. Lots of white fresh fluffy snow that was perfect for playing around and skiing.

In Russia all my childhood I spent every winter skiing in the forest, skating on the open rink near our apartment building (a lot of soccer fields were transformed into rinks for winter) and playing snowballs, buliding snow castles, snowmen and snowwomen – it was a big part of my childhood.

I am always doing a lot of comparing of my daughter’s vocabulary range in English vs Russian. Coming to the snow that day I saw a glaring gap – her snow related vocabulary was poor! Granted we do not have snow where we live and she has seen real snow only a couple of times in her life  and does not remember any of them. She knew most of the words in English but failed when it came to Russian.

So I thought sharing some Russian winter and snow-related vocabulary that came up with my daughter during this trip might be useful. Here are the words and phrases we either ran into or discussed because of the trip.

снег – snow
Снег падает с неба. – Snow is falling from the sky.
Снег лежит на земле. – Snow is on the ground.
снежинка (снежинки) – snowflake(s)
Снежинки кружатся и падают. – Snowflakes twirl and fall down.
лёд – ice
Лёд на дороге=дорога обледенела – icy road, the road is covered in ice
сосулька (и) – icicles
Снег тает. Лёд тоже тает. Сосульки тают и капают с крыш. – Snow melts. Ice also melts. Icicles melt and drip from the roofs.DSCN2433
сугроб(ы), сугробы снега=снежные сугробы – snowbanks
замёрз(ла-ли) – got cold
Мы замёрзли в снегу. – We got cold in the snow.
замёрз=заладенел – got cold=got icy cold
Посмотри, твои руки совсем заледенели! – Look your hands got icy cold!
санки – sled
полозья – runners
лыжи – skis
палки – poles
лыжные ботинки – ski boots
лыжня – (ski) trail
лыжник – skier
каток – rink
коньки – skatesDSCN2443
конькобежец – (speed) skater
фигурные коньки – figure skating
фигурист – figure skater
ледовая арена – ice arena
хоккей – hockey
(хоккейная) клюшка – (hockey) stick
шайба – puck
снегоуборочная машина – snow plough
дождь со снегом, мокрый снег – sleet

We had so much fun playing snowballs, crawling through the fresh deep snow, and it was her first time cross-country skiing! Now with new winter books and this snow experience under our belts we are ready to talk about all things snow and winter in Russian.

Don’t have snow around? Check out these “make your own snow” recipes from I found through Pinterest:


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About the Author


AnnaOriginally from Russia, Anna has a Bachelor’s in Education and Linguistics from Moscow State Pedagogical University in Moscow, and a Master’s Degree in International and Interactive Communication from University of Lille 1, IAE Business School in Lille, France. Anna speaks fluent Russian, English and French and also knows some Spanish, German, Japanese and Italian. Her education, work experience and many years of teaching and tutoring both in the actual classroom and online helps her understand the needs of students as well as the design, management and promotion of language courses, textbooks and learning materials. As a voice actor Anna has contributed many tracks to the audio components of this course and you can see her on the videos as the lead teacher. Anna is very interested is supporting and promoting the study of the Russian language, as well as introducing Russia’s language and culture to a variety of people world-wide. If you notice any issues or mistakes in the digital or audio components, are interested in reviewing Russian Step By Step Series or in purchasing large quantities, please contact Anna.View all posts by Anna →

1 Comment

    STEPHAN DE RASSY01-22-2018

    Hello Anna,

    I am a ski instructor based in Meribel and Courchevel where there are many Russian and Ukranian skiers.

    I was wondering if you know where I might find a tutorial or other site for translations from English and or French to Russian with a vocabulary for teaching skiing.



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