We were having a conversation in German, and I was wondering how the same idea is commonly/idiomatically expressed in Russian.

Sie lässt sich nichts anmerken, aber so viel muss sie durchmachen. Mit ihnen zu spielen, zaubert ihr zumindest immer ein Lächeln aufs Gesicht.

We were talking about a child patient going through a lot due to her illness. Essentially, I wanted to express the idea of: "Playing with other children has a way of putting the smile back on her face".

In German, one of the idiomatic phrasings above goes like: "X makes a smile magically appear / conjures up a smile on your face".

  • "Oна оживает, играя с другими детьми.", could also be "Oна снова улыбается"
    – DK.
    Jul 23, 2019 at 10:34

2 Answers 2


Возвращает ей радость жизни maybe, делает её счастливей, but neither is particularly colloquial.

Поднимает ей настроение; помогает ей воспрять духом / не унывать; делает её более жизнерадостной are more on the colloquial side

  • Nice. Colloquial phrasings are just what I needed. It's interesting to see how "улыбка" isn't even used. Goes to show you shouldn't simply expect literal translations to always work. Jul 21, 2019 at 19:03
  • + "X её развеселит"
    – Alexander
    Jul 22, 2019 at 17:21
  • 2
    @Alexander careful with X in Russian phrases, looks hella ambiguous ;-) Jul 22, 2019 at 17:25

I'd choose "возвращает к жизни". Literally it means "brings her back to life", but I think it could be used as a poetic choice of words in this case. Especially if it's clear from the context that normally she's grim and depressed.

"Общение с другими детьми возвращает ее к жизни"

Other comments to this thread are valid too, but I think that they're too literal. There's no need to specifically mention the smile or something like this.

Alternatively, you could also say "возвращает ее на землю", however the general use case for this phrase is when somebody is frequently phasing out, usually when they have a crush. But it could also be used in this context, carefully though.

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