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I can see from an internet search that виральный (edit: вирусный) has the meaning of "viral", but what is the translation of the phrase "to go viral", e.g., "that video has gone viral"?

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  • go viral — ► to become very popular very quickly
    – user5149
    Mar 5, 2015 at 18:17

4 Answers 4

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We use the word вирусный. There are Russian expressions like вирусный маркетинг, вирусная реклама, вирусное видео.

That video has gone viral. - Это видео стало вирусным. / Это видео превратилось в вирусное.

The English Wiki article on viral marketing has a counterpart in the Russian Wiki called "Вирусный маркетинг".

This marketing-related meaning of the Russian word вирусный is quite new, but quite established and widely used.

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  • I saw pages on вирусный маркетинг, but I wasn't sure what the correct way to say "go (viral)" is.
    – KCd
    Dec 25, 2012 at 18:15
  • I would not understand this meaning. If I heard something like that I would think the video became infected by a computer virus or the like.
    – Anixx
    Jul 10, 2013 at 8:34
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To say "to go viral" within the meaning of something became widely known, popular, spreading from one to another, you can use the set phrase:

That video has gone viral. -- Видеоролик пошёл в народ.

or similar idiom:

That video has gone viral. -- Это видео пошло в массы.
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You can also hear "Это видео разошлось" or variants like that. As for me, I would not say "Это видео превратилось в вирусное".

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I think I've heard people sometimes use the expression "сарафанное радио" as a synonym for viral marketing -- though I think the expression predates viral marketing (and originally meant something closer to "hearsay" or "word of mouth").

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