The Russian That You Already Know! (Cognates)

A cognate meaning is a word whose meaning is blatanly obvious because it exactly, or very closely, resembles an equivalent English word. The only difference between the two words lies in their pronunciation. In many instances, you can immediately recognize French words because Enlgish language has appropriated them. Here, for example, are some high frequency words you should find quite useful:

Аме́рика – America
аэропо́рт – airport
бар – bar
брюне́т – brunette
бюдже́т – budget
бюст – bust
ви́део – video
во́дка – vodka
гита́ра – guitar
джи́нсы – jeans
дире́ктор – director
Евро́па – Europe
журнали́ст – journalist
зе́бра – zebra
иде́я – idea
Интерне́т – Internet
кафе́ – cafe
класс – class
компью́тер – computer
лифт – lift; elevator
меню́ – menu
му́зыка – music
музыка́нт – musician
но́мер – number
океа́н – ocean
о́пера – opera
парашю́т – parachute
па́спорт – passport
президе́нт – president
радиа́ция – radiation
ро́бот – robot
санда́ли – sandals
секс – sex
студе́нт – student
субье́кт – subject
телеви́зор – television
телефо́н – telephone
фильм – movie
футбо́л – football (soccer for us Americans)
хокке́й – hockey
центр – center
чемпио́н – champion
шокола́д – chocolate
шо́рты – shorts
шофёр – chauffeur
экза́мен – exam
ю́мор – humor

There are also some other words that are a little less obvious, but still easy to learn! More define cognate are here.

брат – brother (German: Bruder, Polish: brat)
вода́ – water (German: Wasser, Polish: woda)
два – two (German: zwei, Polish: dwa)
мой – my (German: mein, Polish: mój)
сестра́ – sister (German: Schwester, Polish: siostra)
три – three (German: drei, Polish: trzy)

That list above is by no means extensive, but you get the point: There are a lot of easy words that you can learn in the beginning!