Warning signs in Russian

with No Comments

Here are a handful of words that are very common on the streets of Ukraine and Russia. You might not learn these particular words in a classroom, but you’ll see them posted everywhere. In fact, if you walk just a single city block, you’ll likely see at least one of these words!


осторожно = be careful, look out, watch out


опасно = danger


внимание = attention, look out, watch out



вреден = harmful



The last few words all come from the same root; they describe something that you’re forbidden from doing.


запрещается = to be forbidden, not allowed (verb)


запрещён = forbidden (adj.)


The two pictures below are interesting, since they offer other versions of запрещён.

In the left picture, you can see that people sometimes write ё as е, spelling the word as запрещен instead of запрещён. Writing ё as е is quite common in Russian…. which kind of drives me crazy as a language learner. When I see е, should I pronounce it as е? Or is it secretly a hidden ё? 😉

The right picture uses восрещён (again writing ё as е, surprise, surprise.)  Восрещён seems to be interchangeable with with запрещён. If you do a Google search for запрещён или восрещён, you’ll see a lot of native speakers are also uncertain about what differentiates the two words. If you’re a native Russian speaker, do you think there’s a difference between запрещён and восрещён? Leave me a comment below, please!


запрещена = forbidden (adj)

Запрещена is the feminine version of запрещён.

Can you spot the spelling mistake in the picture below?


Here’s the correct spelling: the word has only one н.


запрещено = forbidden

As far as I can tell, this form of the word is always used with infinitives, ie. курение запрещено or купаться запрещено.



You’ll also see all of these words used often in the news.

Let’s look through a few examples from recent headlines.



Купаться можно, но осторожно

You can go swimming, but be careful

Осторожно: имитация сметаны!

Be careful: fake sour cream! 



Эксперты объяснили, почему опасно отсыпаться по выходным

Experts explain why it’s dangerous to catch up on sleep on the weekend

Опасно для жизни: киевлян призвали не пить из-под крана 

Health hazard: Kyiv residents urged not to drink tap water



Белый хлеб полезен одним людям и вреден для других

White bread is healthy for some people and harmful to others

Почему долговременный стресс вреден для матери и ребенка

Why long-term stress is harmful to mother and baby



В Китае запрещается называть детей мусульманскими именами

Giving children a Muslim name is forbidden in China

В Азербайджане запрещается прерывание детских передач рекламами.

Interrupting children’s programs with ads is forbidden in Azerbaijan



Трампу вход запрещён! Мэр Лондона против визита президента

Trump not allowed to enter! London mayor is against the president’s visit

В Ливане запрещен показ фильма “Чудо-женщина” с участием Галь Гадот

Lebanon bans showings of Gal Gadot’s film “Wonder Woman”



Запрещена ли саентология в россии?

Is Scientology forbidden in Russia?

1 июня в Псковской области запрещена продажа алкоголя

Starting June 1st, selling alcohol is forbidden in Psyovskoy region



В Латвии запрещено фотографировать здание Кабмина

In Latvia, it’s forbidden to photograph the Cabinet of Ministers building

В Сингапуре даже запрещено жевать жвачку

In Singapore, it’s even forbidden to chew gum





Were these new words for you? Or have you already encountered them in real life?


Thank you for reading this Street Russian Project post!


Street Russian Project index





Job Vocab 1

Looking Good 1

Restaurants 1

Restaurants 2

Restaurants 3

Staying Healthy

Streets of Nizhny

Sweets and Snacks

Why do this project?

Leave a Reply