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This is the 2nd year I'm taking Russian at my university and we've a couple of russian students. I was talking to a girl and told her I learned to write Russian letters on my own. She said "тогда я в повидле" (I asked her to write down what she said). What did she mean?

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    Most probably you've misheard her. But wait, you're telling she've wrote it down. Hm, this is quite odd )))
    – shabunc
    Sep 2 '13 at 16:35
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    It literally means "then I am covered with jam"
    – Andrey
    Sep 5 '13 at 0:54
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Personally I haven't met phrase "быть в повидле", but it sounds similar to "быть в шоколаде", which means to be in a very favorable situation. "Кататься как сыр в масле" might also be close.

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    +1: I'm a native Russian speaker and I have never heard “быть в повидле”.
    – Yury
    Sep 2 '13 at 18:05
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As a matter of fact, nobody recognized an idiom to be in a jam (попасть в переделку, в трудную ситуацию) meaning to get into a difficult situation. It was a whitty translation of the word jam into Russian like повидло based on different meanings of the same word. The girl meant that since he started learning Russian it would be hard to hide anything. She had a good command of English and created a pun.

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    So, even if it is the right answer, 3 years passed since original post. I think the original phrase is an example of the communication failure - no one could understand it right - nor english-speakers, nor russian-speakers!
    – Artemix
    Aug 23 '16 at 11:48
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It is an occasionalism based on the expression всё будет в шоколаде. To better understand what it means watch Михаил Гребенщиков - Булки: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1awcNq8L924

Basically "тогда я в повидле" means "then I'm even better off". The expression is used mostly by younger generation. In the context of chocolate most Russian speakers would understand it correctly. Without chocolate context it would be much harder.

In the long run it's not very hard to understand why cookies, marsh-mallow (зефир - род пастилы), sweets in chocolate glaze are better than without it.

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  • cnacu6a :) . . .
    – bodacydo
    Sep 4 '13 at 1:33

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