General facts about Russian
Russian language is known to be one of the most difficult ones to learn. It truly is so, as it is a synthetic language unlike an analytical English one. Being a synthetic language, Russian words change their endings in numerous cases depending on the gender, case, tense, etc.
Specifics of the word
If you wonder how to say “a girl” in Russia, there are few words for it. They differ depending on the situation and the age of a girl you are referring to. For example, a toddler or girls of an older age are called “devochka” (девочка). You should say it like “dye-vach-ka” They are called this way all the time, so you will not offend or belittle anyone.
However, Russians have a special expression for a young woman. When addressing a young woman, you should call her a “devushka” which is supposed to sound like “dye-voosh-ka”. It is important not to confuse these two words, as it might be considered rude or impolite.
Girls in Federation are very sensitive to the way you refer to them. Calling a young woman “devochka” can be understood like you do not take her seriously or you are trying to belittle her. So be careful when choosing between these two words: even teenagers want to be called young women rather than small girls. The common tradition says that only relatives can call their teens a “devochka” without offending her.
The plural form of “devochka” would be “devochkee”. Adding “ee” at the end of a noun to make a plural form out of it is a common way of making plural nouns. Meanwhile, to make a “devushka” plural, you should say “devushkee”.
The other word you should know is a Russian word for a “woman”. To say a woman, you should say “zensheenah” which sounds like “zhehn-schee-nah”. This expression is applicable to all the ladies older than 30-40 years old. However, sometimes men call older ladies a “devushka” in order to compliment her. However, this is only applicable to men whose age is close to the woman they address. The plural form of women would be “zensheenu”.
One should used a polite version of “You” when talking to a woman; nevertheless, young woman and a girl can be referred to with a regular “you”.
No panic: you can do it!
Do not panic when you read many words for just one expression girl. You will get used to using it correctly depending on the context. The usage of the words also depends on your own age. If you are a teenager, then even young women in their late 20s should be referred to as either “devushka” or a “zensheenah” with a polite form of “You”.
It is very important in the language to watch your expressions and the usage of polite forms. You can easily offend someone by referring to him/her with a singular form “you”. This problem can be alien to English-speakers, so you might need time and practice in order to get used to this system.