7

As a man, how do I respectfully say "Hi there, friend!" to a woman?

I know to a man, I would say

привет, мой друг

Could I use the same thing for a woman? Or can I use...

привет, моя подруга

Which is better?

15

Both your variants suggest some humour and a certain degree of intimacy (the "подруга" much more so than the "друг" one). You could use either but the choice entirely depends on how close the two of you are. Bear in mind that both sound more intimate than the English "Hi there, friend!" The more neutral option is to just use her name:

Привет, Наташа!

  • Also Привет, дорогая!, Привет, родная!, Привет, родимая!, all of them very intimate. – Yellow Sky Jan 8 '15 at 10:02
  • 3
    Привет, мой друг sounds a bit archaic to me. – Denis Makarenko Jan 8 '15 at 20:11
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    @Denis Makarenko: or ironic? – Avi Gordon Jan 8 '15 at 20:15
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    Yes, it could be ironic as well (depending on context). Also I would consider it patronizing if someone greeted me in such a way. – Denis Makarenko Jan 8 '15 at 20:23
  • @DenisMakarenko Out of the 5 friends that I have from Russia, they said that it sounds great to greet them like that (of course if you know them). – ddavison Jan 12 '15 at 17:26
3

I wouldn't say "привет, мой друг" to a male, but rather "привет, дружище", and similarly "привет, подруга" to a female. Also what Avi Gordon said.

2

Actually, there's no more common way than calling a woman by name, in case you are not too familiar. The reason we seldom use the words of familiarity at turning to somebody we barely know.

Привет,{NAME}! or Привет

1

Привет, мой друг

This means sarcasm. Usually this means you want to admonish the person you know and to create some distance. This usually used when the person needs you more but at the same time behaves inappropriately so that you admonish the person and reminds him that you are not entitled to have patience.

Привет, мой друг, мы уже ждем тебя пару часов, уже уходить хотели, а ты не торопишься.

Привет, мой друг. И что мы теперь будем делать после того, как ты разбил ящик с шампунем? Кто будет за это платить?

Привет, мой друг, я конечно, всё понимаю, но тебе не обязательно было писать на меня жалобу начальнику.

Well,

Привет, моя подруга

is the same. You also can use it to create distance and admonish. For instance, for bad behavior previously or she is too annoying or she pretends to be your friend but talks about other men or otherwise behaves inappropriately.

Привет, моя подруга. Всё ещё жить без меня не можешь?

Привет, моя подруга, опять будешь всё время говорить про твоего любимого?

Привет, моя подруга. Меня хотят уволить после той вечеринки, когда ты напилась и обругала моего начальника.

1

Never use подруга addressing a woman or a girl. It sounds disrespectful and even derogatory.You will never make a mistake if you call a person by their name.For men, perhaps,it sounds differently but if somebody addressed me like this...I believe the cultural level of a person is seen in such "minor"details.Besides it's not the same as "my friend" in English.

-1

подруга is something like female fellow. Nothing serious. This is sexism)
Привет, дружище. Привет, друг.
Привет, подруга.

-2

Привет, подруга! Здорово, подруга! Здорово, мать!

  • 2
    Очень вежливо, прямо с любовью! – V.V. Apr 13 '16 at 5:08
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    This is partly teenage slang, partly rural area slang. Anyway I would not recommend use this in everyday speech especially for foreigner. – Artemix Apr 13 '16 at 9:41

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