What's the closest translation of Russian "что ли" in a context like - Я вчера на выставке кое-кого встретила. - Марину, что ли? Thanks!
It's a particle, expressing a guess with some degree of uncertainty, similar to English "or what", "or something" etc.
- Я вчера на выставке кое-кого встретила. - Марину, что ли? / "Yesterday I met someone at the show". "Marina, or what"?
- В месяц он получал триста, что ли, рублей / "He made three hundred rubles a month, or something".
It can be explained comparing: "Марину, наверное(perhaps)?"?, "Марину?" and "Марину, что ли?" First means "let me guess! my guess is based on context of my own information", second means: "I need to update my understanding of who you are talking about", and third adds to second "that is so complex or not interesting or that I always know".
So I could propose "Wasn't she?" - it should add some "cold".
"Что ли" can express a guess (with high probability, when you're just making sure you're right), surprise (when you already suspect it might be so), or be used to keep the conversation flowing. So, the closest English structure would be question tags ("isn't it?"). It's also the same level of colloquial. Or you can make it even more colloquial, even to the point of making it technically grammatically wrong, it'd still be the same style.
"I met someone at the exhibition yesterday." - "Marina, was it?"
In American English, you would answer with something like:
You might also say, "Tom? or Who?"
Lastly, some might say, "Not Tom!?"
Tom/Marina, whoever. Remember, the most important part of this statement is the intonation. We wouldn't use the "что ли" in this case, but we would change our pitch to express in English the same sentiment that "что ли" expresses in Russian.