The Russian Ruble

The ruble is the currency that Russians use. In Russian, the word “ruble” is pronounced a lot like it is in English, but it has a soft /l/ at the end: рубль [rublʲ] (listen).

The ruble is divided into 100 kopeks. A kopek (Russian: копе́йка [kɐˈpʲejkə] (listen) is pretty much worthless in modern times, much like our pennies. Instead, small dominations of rubles are minted as coins. There are coins for 1 ruble, 2 rubles, 5 rubles, and 10 rubles.

Saying the price of something in rubles is pretty easy in Russian. All you have to remember is that all nouns change to their singular genitive form with numbers 2, 3, and 4, and they change to their plural genitive form with numbers 5 and above. рубль is a masculine noun, therefore in the genitive case its endings are -я (singular) and -ей (plural).

1 ruble (оди́н) рубль
2 rubles два рубля́
3 rubles три рубля́
4 rubles четы́ре рубля́
5 rubles пять рубле́й
10 rubles де́сять рубле́й
1000 rubles ты́сяча рубле́й

The official symbol for the ruble is the Cyrillic letter <р> with a horizontal stroke: ₽. There has not always been an official symbol for the ruble. There was no symbol during the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union. The current symbol was made official in 2013 by the Central Bank of Russia. It is common to see an abbreviation (руб.) instead of the symbol.

Below are images of some coins and banknotes in circulation. Click to see full image.

50 kopeks front
50 kopeks back
50 rubles front
50 rubles back
1 ruble front
1 ruble back
5000 rubles front
5000 rubles back

At the time of this post, 1 US dollar was equal to around 50 rubles.

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