Questions tagged [выражения]

Questions about the meaning, the origin, and the usage of multi-word expressions with more or less idiomatic or metaphorical meaning.

2
votes
3answers
112 views

“Выиграть соперника”: Is it correct, or why do many journalists write in this way?

Playing gomokunarabe on an international server, I saw a couple of Russian players saying "выиграть его," and the intended meaning apparently was "to win against him" as far as could judge from the ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

How is the idea of “treat X with kid gloves” naturally expressed in Russian?

We were having a conversation in French, and I was wondering how I'd express the same idea in Russian. Tu es sans pitié, dis-moi... En même temps, elle n’aurait pas autant envie de nous rattraper ...
4
votes
4answers
816 views

What is the precise meaning of “я считаю, что”?

I am puzzled by the Russian phrase "я считаю, что," which is used very frequently. I know that an approximate translation is "I think that," but I strongly feel that there is some special idea, ...
3
votes
3answers
102 views

Russian equivalents of the French expression “pour un oui ou pour un non”

Tu ramènes toujours tes complexes ethniques, pour un oui ou pour un non, dans toutes les discussions, même les plus anodines. {literally}: You always dredge up some complex about your ethnic origin, ...
4
votes
3answers
158 views

How is the idea of “it's a boys' thing” naturally expressed in Russian?

Mon frère a vraiment envie de parcourir le monde entier. J’imagine que c’est un truc de garçon. То express the idea of "It's more of a boys' thing (than a girls')" in the sense of "It's one of those ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

How is the idea of “girlfriend material” naturally expressed in Russian?

Elle n'est pas de l'étoffe dont on fait les copines... {literally}: She's not of the material from which we make girlfriends. То express the idea of "she's not (X)girlfriend material", "she's not ...
4
votes
3answers
204 views

What is the logic of the expression “только и всего”?

Some time ago I watched the excellent Russian movie "The Horde" with English subtitles and got intrigued by a few expressions from there, with one of them being "только и всего." The movie is on ...
7
votes
3answers
732 views

What is the precise meaning of “подсел на мак”?

Some months ago I saw a Russian gomokunarabe player saying in an online chat to his compatriot, А я подсел на мак. I cannot recall the context. I can only recall that their chat looked highly ...
5
votes
3answers
83 views

Russian equivalents of “À peine le temps de dire ouf” in French

À peine le temps de dire ouf qu’il est tombé comme une brique sur le lit... Literally: (He must have been dead tired.) No sooner / Hardly had he said phew than he fell onto the bed like a bag of ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

The origin of “за двумя зайцами погонишься”

За двумя зайцами погонишься, ни одного не поймаешь. We have the same proverb, 二兎を追う者は一兎も得ず, which is considered borrowed from somewhere, so I am curious whether we borrowed it from the Russians or ...
8
votes
2answers
936 views

“Отведать тунца” - what does this idiom mean?

I frequently play gomokunarabe, a Japanese strategy game, on an international server and sometimes face Russians as opponents, as a variant of this game is apparently popular in Russia and known as "...
5
votes
4answers
172 views

Russian equivalent of the ironic French “Il ne manquait plus que ça!”

D’abord on travaille deux fois plus selon un horaire très serré, puis la commission à Tokyo pour laquelle on galère tant est reportée au mois prochain. Il ne manquait plus que ça ! First, we were ...
3
votes
3answers
145 views

Subtleties of making a request in Russian

In my university I was explained various grammatical means of making a request, but find it very difficult to understand their connotations. Your language is so rich and nuanced in this regard. Let's ...
1
vote
2answers
202 views

How can “научись” mean “take it and keep trying”?

I recently watched an excellent Russian movie "The Horde" in Russian with English subtitles and got totally confused by one scene in it. The scene is as follows. The Khan tells a European ambassador, "...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Russian equivalents of “no love lost”

You say, for instance: A mere month ago, it seemed they couldn't get enough of each other. My, how things have changed after one big falling-out. Now there is no/little love lost between them. ...
4
votes
3answers
377 views

Russian equivalent of the French expression “broyer du noir”

During a conversation in French, I was wondering how I'd express the same idea in Russian: Elle peut pas se morfondre et broyer du noir éternellement. {or: se morfondre dans le noir} The "broyer ...
4
votes
3answers
130 views

Russian equivalent of the French expression “C'est plus fort que moi”

Go shopping with a broken heart in tow, and you'll wind up buying everything in sight on a spending spree. And this is where you might say "C'est plus fort que moi {It's stronger than me}": Aller ...
3
votes
7answers
932 views

What are the words for people who cause trouble believing they know better?

Update: To put it simply, what I am looking for is a Russian word or expression that combines three things together: (1) inconsiderate (that is, not careful to avoid harm to others), (2) meddlesome (...
4
votes
3answers
162 views

Etymology of “чёрта с два”

I believe I understand the meaning of the expression чёрта с два, but I don't understand its origin or grammar: Why is чёрта in the accusative/genitive case? Why is два in the nominative case after с?...
3
votes
2answers
338 views

How to express the idea of “Ce n’est pas donné à tout le monde de …”?

Tu as vraiment de la chance, XXX, c’est pas donné à tout le monde d’être amie avec un joueur de tennis mondialement connu. We were having a conversation in French, and I was wondering how I'd express ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Equivalent of the French expression “Mais de là à …”

In conversation, you can say, for instance: Elle était du genre à se jeter sur les horoscopes. Mais de là à se faire refaire les lignes de la main... "She was always one to blindly believe in ...
6
votes
4answers
519 views

When and why did Asian and Southern people start to be called “чурки”?

Wiktionary gives eight different meanings as well as the etymological origin of the word "чурка": Meanings 1-4 are various small pieces of wood or metal, Meaning 5 is a simpleton or uneducated person, ...
5
votes
4answers
291 views

How should I understand the phrase “это не суть важно”?

I saw the phrase "это не суть важно" in the Internet and then found that this phrase is often used in modern Russian. I initially supposed that "суть" is an adverb synonymous to "очень", so I ...
5
votes
2answers
168 views

Is “если есть” a kind of tautology?

Wiktionary says that the word если ("if") originated from есть ли (literally "whether is"): Происходит от стар. естьли (ещё у Карамзина), ср.: укр. єсли, польск. jeśli, др.-польск. jestli, чешск. ...
5
votes
3answers
274 views

Why are the endings in “я студентка” and “я была студенткой” different?

My question is this: How did the Russian language end up having different endings in the phrases shown in the title of this post? Now I will make some remarks to explain precisely what makes me ...
39
votes
8answers
9k views

Why do Russians almost not use verbs of possession akin to “have”?

I have always been puzzled as to why the Russians almost never use verbs of possession akin to "have" or "own." Instead of such verbs, the Russians use the preposition у, whose primary or original ...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

Тhe idiomatic expression “на три господа бога”

Reading a Russian book about a Russo-Japanese war, I saw the idiomatic expression на три господа бога: Тут, брат, все сделано на три господа бога. I performed a Google search and found some ...
0
votes
4answers
208 views

How should I interpret phrases like “должен ли Путин уйти”?

I recently wrote a question about the modal должен, explaining that this modal is very hard to me because it has very different meanings. As my question was deemed too broad and put on hold, I would ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

What does “буде будет” mean?

Browsing the Internet, I saw the following sentence in a text: (1) То, что буде будет считаться стильным и модным, какой принт стоит выбрать и как все это сочетать в нашем сегодняшнем фотогиде. (...
1
vote
0answers
88 views

Translating the untranslatable: Are there good translations of Russian wordplay jokes about Stierlitz? [closed]

The Russian wordplay jokes about Stierlitz - the Russian James Bond - are among the funniest, but are considered untranslatable. But are they really untranslatable? Being a big fan of my language and ...
6
votes
6answers
198 views

Equivalent of the French expression “n'avoir rien à envier à personne”

Pourtant, en matière d'écart de langage, elle n'a rien à envier à personne. ≈ When it comes to an (offensive/inappropriate) slip of the tongue, however, she has nothing to feel envious about ...
0
votes
3answers
106 views

Conditional sentences about unfulfilled past situations

Let us compare the following two sentences: (1) If I had enough money with me, I would order shark fin soup. (2) If I had had enough money with me, I would have ordered shark fin soup. Both ...
2
votes
2answers
156 views

How can I translate expressions like “had been winning” to Russian?

Recently I was doing an exercise, which was to translate a small text about playing Go to Russian and contained the following sentence: そのうちに私は勝っていた碁を負けてしまったのだが、紙屋は、 「いかがですもう一石、もう一石願いましょう。」 ...
2
votes
0answers
159 views

The impossibly difficult modal “должен” [closed]

Должен is one of the most fundamental Russian modals and is impossibly difficult for me, even more than the modal мочь was before I asked here a question about the latter. I received so thoughtful, ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

Is there such an expression as “удача века”?

In the very beginning of this TED talk, somebody translated the expression Glorious opportunity! as Удача века! but I couldn't find this expression anywhere else. Is it common? or at least ...
5
votes
4answers
985 views

“I can't place her”: How do Russian speakers express this idea colloquially?

In conversation, I wanted to express the idea of "I can't place her" in Russian -- informally/colloquially used when you think you recognise someone from somewhere and yet, frustratingly enough, can't ...
28
votes
8answers
3k views

How can I finally understand the confusing modal verb “мочь”?

The verb мочь is one of the most basic words, actually a central modal verb, but I am so much confused about it. I am often at a loss as to how to interpret it in particular sentences, and I avoid ...
4
votes
2answers
68 views

What's the correct punctuation when using an interjection?

I wanna use "так" dismissively as an interjection in a sentence like "Главное - собраться, а остальное, так, найдется." Maybe ellipsis would better convey the dismissive nature of the interjection?
15
votes
3answers
2k views

In Russian, how do you idiomatically express the idea of the figurative “overnight”?

In conversation, I just said: Нельзя заснуть и наутро уже все знать и уметь. Будь терпеливой. Ты получила права совсем недавно. То, что ты сумела столько продержаться с нами, – уже само по себе ...
3
votes
5answers
462 views

Russian equivalents of おしゃれは足元から (Every good outfit starts with the shoes)

In Japanese, there's a well-known saying that goes: おしゃれは足元から (oshare wa ashimoto kara) with the literal meaning of "Every good outfit starts with the shoes" -- or as we often put it in English, "...
4
votes
0answers
146 views

Cмысл поговорки «Что бы русские ни делали, всё автомат Калашникова получается» [closed]

Как наиболее доступным образом (по возможности, используя аналогичные английские обороты) объяснить изучающим русский язык смысл поговорки «Что бы русские ни делали, всё автомат Калашникова ...
3
votes
2answers
575 views

Two different pronunciation of “понял”

I just searched for phonetic of понял and found these: по́нял [пон’ил] поня́л [пан’ал] Please let me know that both are correct? and have same meaning as Got it!?
3
votes
2answers
139 views

difference between “расскажите мне” and “скажите мне”

What is the difference between "расскажите мне" and "скажите мне"? Both mean, tell me!? And also may I remove мне in both cases?
1
vote
1answer
107 views

познакомиться as the answer of очень приятно

Is it so informal to answer "очень приятно" with "познакомиться" ?
3
votes
4answers
198 views

“only real words” in Russian - Только настоящие слова?

When you define someone, for example say to a girl that you have a beautiful smile(У тебя красивая улыбка) and she says: oh thanks you can answer her: "only real words!" So is it correct sentence in ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

What's the difference between “неважно” and “ничего”

What's the difference between "неважно" and "ничего"? As I understand both mean "never mind", but what about usage? for example when I ask somebody but he/she can't understand me, can I use both of ...
11
votes
8answers
4k views

Good for you! in Russian

Somebody say: I took the full test score And I answer: Good for you! which one is correct in Russian: "хорошо для тебя" or "повезло тебе" And also we use "тебе на пользу" in another situation like: ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

Usage of “же”, why?

Why we should use "же" in this sentence: где же ручка? Without "же" this sentence is also complete! And also I saw in another sentences, too. And "же" means same or again?
4
votes
2answers
196 views

How to interpret and parse the expression “молодежь не та пошла”?

Недаром все чаще и чаще слышится выражение: «молодежь не та пошла! » - извечный конфликт поколений. Разумеется, саму молодежь вполне устраивает то, какая она. I'm wondering what this expression means....
2
votes
3answers
114 views

meaning and usage of “что ты”

What is the meaning of "что ты" when person uses it during conversation like this: Это твой папа? Нет! что ты! Это мой дядя. It means, what are you saying? or you are saying wrong thing! And another ...