48 votes
Accepted

How can I understand this puzzling dialogue with "ну я имею в виду вообще"?

You have a very good teacher, Mitsuko, and I'm sure one day you will appreciate what he's doing for you. :) The dialogue seems to be grossly ungrammatical and to make little sense It makes perfect ...
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  • 2,992
39 votes

How should I understand and translate "закатить истерику"?

I suppose that your translation ‘a bout of hysteria’ is more about physiological process, which is uncontrollable. But the verb ‘закатить’ assumes a girl’s intention. So maybe ‘throw a tantrum’ would ...
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  • 594
37 votes
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If a Russian girl calls herself a thawing pike (тающая щука), what could it mean?

It seems she said я та ещё щука. Тот ещё means "quite, some, hell of", as in "That's some vacation you spent with me", "That's quite a wife you have", etc: Скорее я могу ...
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  • 47.6k
35 votes
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What's the meaning of "у нас" in phrases like "он у нас умный"?

There are a few different meanings in your examples. Let's try and unpick them. У меня, у нас can be used to express: Possession: у меня = мой, у нас = наш: У меня рука болит = Моя рука болит. У нас ...
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34 votes
Accepted

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

First of all, a shameless plug of my earlier answer on why у does not quite mean "near" (but something more akin to the French chez, i.e. a place/household/domain notion used in the abstract.) ...
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33 votes
Accepted

Is there a Russian equivalent of "red flag"?

The closest match I can think of is "тревожный звонок" / "тревожный звоночек" (more popular form), like in: Если твой парень никогда не приводит тебя в свой дом - это тревожный ...
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  • 37.3k
33 votes

If a Russian girl calls herself a thawing pike (тающая щука), what could it mean?

I'm native russian speaker. If you had video/audio call, then you most likely misheard her. It is not "Так что я тающая щука" It is "Так что я та ещё сука". It's not an idiom it's ...
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  • 431
29 votes
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What are Russian equivalents of the English idiom "spread yourself too thin"?

Распыляться 2. Разг. Одновременно заниматься многим, не сосредоточиваясь на чём-л. одном; разбрасываться. "Не распыляйся" means exactly the same "to do many things at the same time not ...
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  • 20.4k
28 votes
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"Cобака на сене" - is this expression still in use or is it dated?

In my opinion, it is still usable. One of the reasons is a pretty old movie with exactly the same title. There is also an alternative, that seems to be used a bit wider: Ни себе, ни людям
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  • 8,055
26 votes
Accepted

What is the closest equivalent to "Armchair <profession>"?

There is an expression "диванный эксперт" ("the sofa expert"), I think it is almost the same. It could be applied to any profession. Also, there is another one expression - "диванные войска" ("the ...
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  • 1,940
23 votes
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"Отведать тунца" - what does this idiom mean?

It’s a rhyming euphemism for сосни хуйца. The article by the link provided lists lots of similar euphemisms. All of them are born in Russian Internet culture, I would not expect an infrequent Internet ...
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  • 815
23 votes

"Cобака на сене" - is this expression still in use or is it dated?

Actually it was never widespread. Russian society for centuries was split to political elite and the rest of population. The phrase "собака на сене" comes from an Aesop's fable with the same name. The ...
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  • 37.3k
22 votes
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In Russian, how do you say "Old habits die hard"?

Yes, your translation is OK. Another one idiom (among translations you found) which is commonly used is Привычка - вторая натура The following is also often used, but has a little bit different ...
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  • 1,940
21 votes
Accepted

Good for you! in Russian

хорошо для тебя in this context is not idiomatic. I guess in Russian it can be expressed with Поздравляю! or Молодец/Молодчина! (Тебе) везёт / Везёт (тебе) is suitable in situations where luck is ...
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20 votes

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

First of all, I agree with Nikolay Ershov and others who point out that your understanding of "у" is incorrect: it really mostly means belonging (even stronger than chez) and only secondarily and ...
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  • 301
19 votes

How can I finally understand the confusing modal verb "мочь"?

For a person (and in Russian everything is a person), the Russian thought model makes no distinction between: the person's moral right to do something; the person's ability to do something (like, ...
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  • 299
19 votes
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The origin of "за двумя зайцами погонишься"

Came into European languages from Greek via Erasmus' Latin translation: Ὁ δύο πτῶκας διώκων οὐδέτερον καταλαμβάνει Duos insequens lepores, neutrum capit (English: By chasing two rabbits, he catches ...
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  • 2,992
18 votes
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Russian equivalents of 能骗就骗 (if you can cheat, then cheat)

Не наебёшь — не проживёшь This literally means "if you don't fuck people over, you don't survive". The meaning of this proverb is slightly different from the Chinese one, as it's more about moral ...
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  • 47.6k
18 votes
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How can I say in Russian "I am not afraid to write anything"?

To eliminate the awkwardness of such double negations a safer approach is to (steer away from English patterns and) use сложноподчиненное предложение, e.g.: Нет ничего, о чём я побоялась бы написать. ...
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  • 2,992
17 votes

Good for you! in Russian

Sarcastic version of «Good for you» is «флаг тебе в руки». Example: - Если тебя все устраивает, то флаг тебе в руки. Но я увольняюсь. - Good for you if you're ok with that. But I'm quitting the job
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  • 271
16 votes

What is the meaning of: "Войну ждали. Но она пришла неожиданно."?

It's a paradox rather than absurdity. Such things happen. You might eagerly be expecting a phone call, and still be shocked when the phone rings suddenly. Or even more paradoxically, you might know a ...
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  • 2,652
14 votes
Accepted

Is this how to say "every other day" in Russian?

Через день is a set phrase which means "every other day". You can also say через два дня ("every third day"), через три дня ("every fourth day") etc., however, to avoid ambiguity, phrases like those ...
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  • 47.6k
14 votes

What is the closest equivalent to "Armchair <profession>"?

Кабинетный учёный (your case), паркетный генерал, комнатный (офисный) журналист. There's even a publishing house ironically named "Кабинетный учёный": http://www.armchair-scientist.ru/
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  • 11.8k
14 votes

In Russian, how do you idiomatically say "a one-to-one mix"?

Кофе пополам с молоком, с пенкой. И пил солдат из медной кружки Вино с печалью пополам. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5k-3PhdAkw
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  • 4,356
14 votes
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Usage of "же", why?

Here же is an emphatic intensifying particle. Где ручка? is a straight question. Где же ручка? may be an expression of 1) impatience, frustration and annoyance of not being able to find it (Where's ...
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14 votes
Accepted

Russian equivalents of "no love lost"

Теперь они друг друга на дух не переносят (or не выносят). A couple examples from the corpus: Мужа своего частенько прилюдно поругивала и разве что не колотила, свёкра не переносила на дух, и он ...
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  • 47.6k
14 votes

Russian equivalents of 能骗就骗 (if you can cheat, then cheat)

Somewhat similar: «Не обманешь -- не продашь», that is, "no trick, no sale".
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  • 1,946
13 votes
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"Норм чувак" meaning

Is it a Норм чувак (1) or Норм, чувак (2) (the latter has comma, which means addressing to чувак)? In a first variant Норм is a short form of нормальный (acceptable, satisfactory, good), the second ...
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  • 316
13 votes

How can I say in Russian "I am not afraid to write anything"?

I believe the tum_'s answer is very good in the context. A shorter version without the сложноподчиненное предложение would be Я ни о чём не побоюсь написать
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  • 1,083
13 votes

Why do Russians say that all men are billy goats (все мужики козлы)?

But it is utterly unnatural and nonsensical to say that all men are idiots or bastards in the general sense, (…) It is nonsensical, at least by the modern-day Western standards, but it's also exactly ...
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