Since we seem to accept questions of the Russian-to-English format, I'd like to ask you helping me with the translation of "жить захочешь, не так раскорячишься". Which is a famous quote from a movie.

My best guess would be: You wanna live, you'll try harder than that.

Which doesn't seem to be even close to the spirit of the original quotation.


1 Answer 1


The phrase, as I understand it, means that you'll do whatever it takes to survive, no matter how degrading it may be.

A more emotional translation could be something like "You'd do worse if your life depended on it". "You'll do worse if you want to live" could also work, but it sounds like a threat.

  • 2
    This is direct translation, and as such is obvious to the asker, and nigh everyone else knowing both languages. I think, what we need is to figure it out in colloquial or literary way to preserve the mood of the phrase.
    – theUg
    Jun 14, 2012 at 4:46
  • theUg is right, it's like finding a best matching analogue of a proverb Jun 14, 2012 at 5:02
  • @theUg how about now?
    – kotekzot
    Jun 14, 2012 at 6:24
  • I am more inclined now to approve this message. :)
    – theUg
    Jun 14, 2012 at 7:02

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