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My question about the translation of "Did you have a fun night?" made me wonder about the best correspondence for the word fun in Russian.

Based on the answers there, my guess is that весёлый best corresponds to fun as an adjective. However, on wiktionary, merry, happy, and funny are listed as definitions for it, but not fun.

Which Russian words best correspond to fun, as adjective and as noun?

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  • Have you looked in a dictionary? BTW there are other dictionaries beside wiktionary. AS for wiktionary: "funny" is derived from "fun", so why do you think that "fun" is not listed?
    – Abakan
    Dec 7 '15 at 13:50
  • 1
    fun
    – Abakan
    Dec 7 '15 at 13:52
  • @Alex.S I did look it up, but my resources don't have example sentences or phrases, which with certain words makes me wonder about usage or most natural correspondence. However, the Yandex dictionary you linked to looks great because it provides such context.
    – ycele
    Dec 7 '15 at 14:57
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There is no straight analog for "fun" and its usage.

By itself, "have fun" is rather "повеселись". But if in English you are having something fun, in Russian you rather doing something fun. Which make a big difference in grammatical constructions.

However, as far as I understand, in English it's okay to have a conversation like: - I'm going to cinema. - Great, have fun!

But in Russian you usually will not see something like: - Я иду в кино. - Здорово, повеселись!

Although it is not incorrect in any terms of grammar (if only the movie is not a horror or a lachrymose romance), it is just not like people are actually talking. In that case, if you don't want to expose yourself as a foreign spy, you should rather answer something like "приятного просмотра" or "приятно провести время".

In general, "to have fun" is not the thing Russians are wish to each other in conversations too often. Although this is not means they aren't wish it at all. :)

So if to translate "Did you have a fun night?" - I would say it is "Ты хорошо провёл вечер/ночь?". Depends on what the night actually was, 6PM - 0AM, or 0AM - 6AM.

"Have fun" is very general, but in Russian, in such cases, it is more specific to context: Приятного просмотра - have fun [in cinema] Приятно посидеть - have fun [in pub] Приятно покататься - have fun [in any activity involving driving]

And so on. General phrase "приятно провести время" covers almost all cases, I believe, but as you see it is much longer than just "have fun", and thus a bit formal phrase.

Also, if I'm correct, you could say "have fun" just like "good luck" (удачи) in some cases. "Приятно провести время" doesn't cover this, it is bound to an ongoing event that suggests having actual fun.

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  • А great list of possible translations of "fun." Additionally, when fun is applied to objects, e.g. "fun game", "fun movie". It could be translated as "интересный" or "смешной", e.g. "интересная игра", "смешное кино".
    – Vitaly
    Dec 29 '15 at 14:56
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I'd say that "to have fun" is most close to "повеселиться", but "fun" itself is closer to "удовольствие"

Please note that there are many words that would be translated differently if they go with "to have" than if the word is alone.

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I can supplement to other questions:

Modern youth frequently use "фан" almost with the same meaning as in English and derivative verb "фаниться" as "have fun", "doing something for fun"

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There is also забава, which can be translated as "amusement".

The expression для забавы can be used to mean (to do something) "for fun", "for sport", "for amusement".

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Another example of Russian noun, corresponding to the English word "fun", is "развлечение".

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