Weird Russian Phrases


Lately I have been thinking about all of the weird phrases that English speakers have like "Giving him the cold shoulder", "A Piece of Cake", "Close but no Cigar" etc. How confusing it must be for someone with English as a second language! What are some Russian idioms/phrases that might be interesting/helpful to know?

October 26, 2018


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October 26, 2018

Well, the first phrase I will remember is a Russian linguistic masterpiece - "да нет, наверное". "Yes no maybe" is the best way to exlode your brain if you understand Russian but it's not your native language :)

What's the trick? Russian word "да" means not only "yes". It can also mean "and" (for example, "поля да леса" - "fields and forests") or "well" ("да чёрт с ним" - "well, screw this"). So "да нет, наверное" literally means not "yes not maybe" but "well, probably no".

P.S. This phrase is not unique for Russian language. There is almost the same phrase in Finnish language - "kyllä ei", which literally means "yes no".

October 28, 2018

The good source of proverbs. Unfortunately, many of them are seldom if ever used or are outdated.

October 27, 2018

Привет! You may find this interesting: You can learn how to say "to paint with the same brush" in Russian and what Russians mean, saying "to be on needles", "to give [money] for pins", etc. :)

October 27, 2018

There are so many of them, I can't even choose any single one. The one that is maybe the most hard to understand is: "Хоть бы хны". It means that the object does not react to your actions. Also I like "ни бельмеса не понимаю" – to not understand anything. The funny fact is that it comes from Turkish "bilmäz" ("don't know"), and word-by-word it means "I don't undestand a single bilmäz".

October 27, 2018
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