Both Katzner's English-Russian and Oxford English-Russian dictionary translate dice as:

игральние кости -- dice

играть в кости -- to play dice

But neither of them actually include the phrase "to roll dice." The answer by shabunc in this Russian stackexchange question includes a quote talking about a dice game, but it also doesn't have any verbs talking about dice rolling.

Google Translate

I'm not having luck finding articles about how to talk about games in russian, but plugging different phrasings of rolling the dice into Google translate comes up with the following:

roll the dice --> бросить кости

to roll dice --> бросить кубики

he rolled the dice --> он закатил кости

he rolled a 7 on the dice --> он закатил семь на кости

Looking back at the dictionaries for what закатить means, Katzner says (and Oxford is pretty similar):

закатывать / закатить -- to roll; wheel (into, under, behind, etc.)

Neither gives rolling dice as an example.

Questions

  • (given how flaky google translate sometimes is) Is google translate correct about how you talk about rolling dice? As in -- can you use either закатить or бросить?
  • Can кости be used interchangeably with кубики?
  • If google's wrong, how do you phrase it? What verbs do you use?
  • How do you talk about the results of a die roll / what number you rolled?
up vote 2 down vote accepted

dice - "игральные кости", they may also be called "кубики", rolling the dice - "Бросить кубики" in context, the player must roll the dice.

Ответ 1. «Кидать кости», «Бросать кубики».

  1. Да.

  2. the result is voiced each digit separately «Шесть - Пять», «Один-Один»

  • Answer 1. "Кидать кости", "Бросать кубики". 2. yes. 3. the result is voiced each digit separately "Шесть - Пять", "Один-Один" – Andrey Popov Nov 8 at 14:04
  • 2
    One thing to mention: "кости"&"кубики" can only be used interchangeably when talking about a six-sided die or d6. For the case of different number of sides, calling them a cube, obviously, would be wrong. – Heagon Nov 8 at 14:43
  • @Heagon nice distinction, I forgot about that. So then, how would you specify: d4 vs d6 vs d8 etc...? – xgord Nov 8 at 14:51
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    @xgord from what I've encountered personally, you would either call it by a proper geometric name, as in "икосаэдр" (icosahedron), "тетраэдр" (tetrahedron); or by a more colloquial name, like "двадцатигранник" (literally "twenty-sided") or "пирамидка" (pyramid). – Heagon Nov 8 at 16:03
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    Though d4 or d20 definitely aren't cubes, many people would refer to them as "кубики" not for their shape, but for their use (you roll it and you get a number). Those who care more about geometry, call them dx (d4, d10) pronounced as дэ четыре, дэ десять etc. – Alissa Nov 8 at 16:50

"Закатил кости" sounds strange. )

Он бросил кости. Выпало 7.

A less frequent variant might be

Он выбросил 7 на костях.

  • 3
    7? What kind of dice is that? )) – Sergey Slepov Nov 8 at 19:50
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    with 2 dice its 1 + 6 – Баян Купи-ка Nov 8 at 19:54
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    @Sergey Slepov the very dice the author of the question meant. – Elena Nov 8 at 20:45
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    @SergeySlepov there are plenty of games out there that use dice with more than 6-sides -- or even some with fewer than 6 :) – xgord Nov 9 at 1:50

Here is how I would talk about rolling a dice to my son:

  • Чья очередь кидать кубик? Твоя? Давай, кидай! Сколько у тебя выпало? Пять? А у меня шесть!

To me "играть в кости" sounds old, something a Treasure Island pirate might do.

Definitely not "закатить кости"... unless we are talking about a pirate rolling a wheelbarrow full of bones!

  • 1
    кубики i suppose is apt when they're used to determine the number of moves of a chip, but кости is a game in its own right, which isn't meant for children – Баян Купи-ка Nov 8 at 19:59

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