In English, we might say something is all right, is that a similar idea to ничего? Should it be accepted as a translation?
Yes, it should. Please use the Report button next time you encounter this sentence: this way it has more chances to be notices by the course authors.
Ничего sounds like "nothing", isn't неплохо sounds better to express "okay/not bad"?
Both work here.
I think ничего́ was originally some short way of saying «ничего́ плохо́го» 'nothing bad', or something.
I was wondering about this. ничего gets used with a lot of genitive form adjectives, right? (ничего хорошого, ничего страшного, ничего смешного...) Only when ничего is on its own it is assumed 'not bad'? You could also say "он ничего"? Or that would be belittling a person?
You could also say "он ничего"?
I actually use that phrase about attractive people. °—°
"ничего хорошего," for the sake of accuracy in a learning environment :-)
And yes, "Он ничего," is correct. It means, "He's O.K.," as in "he's not a bad guy," not as in "he's doing O.K.," or "feeling O.K."
This may not be strictly correct, but I use "coat" and "jacket" interchangeably in English. I feel like this has burned me a couple of times... Are these not treated as synonyms in Russian?
No. It gets very cold in Russia. Пальто и куртка are two different items. Also, no matter how warm skiing and snowboarding gear is, you can't comfortably or safely ride in a coat/пальто, so it's always a jacket/куртка.