Russian Slang and Idioms. Lesson 16.

Posted on October 19th, 2010

Hi and welcome to Russian4real’s idioms lesson! I’m Victoria and this is lesson 16!

Голод не тётка [GO-lad ni TYOT-ka]
Голод не тетка can be translated as hunger will make you do or eat anything.
For example, you can say:
Когда хочется кушать – сьешь всё. Голод не тётка!
[kag-DA HO-chyet-sya KOO-shat’ – S’ESH VSYO. GO-lad ni TYOT-ka]
You will eat anything, if you are hungry. Hunger is not your friend.

Обвести вокруг пальца [ab-vyes-TI vak-ROOG PAL’-tsa]
Обвести вокруг пальца means to lie to someone or to cheat in a game.

Here is an example:
Когда мы играли в карты, он меня обвёл вокруг пальца.
[kag-DA MEE ig-RA-li f KAR-tee ON mi-NYA ab-VYOL vak-ROOG PAL’-tsa]
He cheated at cards when we played last time.

Ноль внимания [NOL’ vni-MA-ni-ya]

Ноль внимания means to show your indifference to someone or to something. Ноль is zero, and вниманиe means attention, you can translate ноль внимания into English as zero attention.

For example:
Я ему рассказала о случившемся, а он ноль внимания.
[YA ye-MOO ras-ka-ZA-la a sloo-CHIV-shyem-sya, a ON NOL’ vni-MA-ni-ya]
He showed his indifference when I told him about what happened.

Great job on learning new idioms! And here is the test! Good luck! :lol:
1. What Russian idiom will you use to say that someone lied to you?
2. How can you translate “zero” into Russian?
3. What Russian idiom states that hunger will make you do anything!

I hope you had fun today. Don’t forget, Russian Alphabet video is coming out this Wednesday! Stay tuned! See you soon! :waving:


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The courses of Russian as a foreign language with Russian4real take place online via Skype. The teacher works with adults individually since he is convinced that each person must receive maximum time for practice and professional attention while learning a foreign language.