Well, that's a real puzzler for me and I still can't decode the meaning even through the help of my Russian friends (and my Russian instructor, too!)

The complete sentence "Хотя казалось бы" was preceded by congratulations on going very well in my exams. I suspect some joke or even disparaging comment... Too much food for my imagination, can't bear it anymore.

  • 1
    I don't see much trouble here, it is "Though, who might have thought..." in quite literal meaning. Maybe they meant that from your usual performance and diligence it seemed as though you'd do worse than that.
    – Shady_arc
    Jul 23 '15 at 6:34
  • @Shady_arc "Who might have thought" is literally "Кто бы мог подумать". That's quite a common phrase too and may mean almost the same as "хотя казалось бы". Yet there's no point in having one English translation for both Russian expressions.
    – Matt
    Jul 23 '15 at 6:52
  • @user4419802 He asked for explanation, not a translation.
    – Shady_arc
    Jul 23 '15 at 6:55
  • A literal word-for-word translation is indeed "Though it would seem ..." (and, apparently, they cannot understand that interpretation)
    – Shady_arc
    Jul 23 '15 at 7:01

The guy who told you this probably suspected worse results. So his "Хотя казалось бы" shows he is a bit surprised or relieved. I can't say that this phrase means some bad attitude towards you. It totally depends on the situation.


"Хотя казалось бы" literally means "Though it seemed". Yet often that means also "Though I seem" or "Though it looked like".

If "Хотя казалось бы..." has no continuation then it typically stands for: "Though it looked like [it would be the other way round]".

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