The most common sayings in Russia

Published on 24/04/2023

Russia is characterised by its vastness and unique personality. The historical and cultural legacy is recognised around the world. Russian philosophy is reflected in proverbs and sayings full of wisdom for life, which is why they are often translated into English and Spanish.

They also represent a simple way of passing on lessons across generations.

While it is common to turn to a translation agency for a professional service to translate specialised documents ranging from Russian to complex languages such as German, the knowledge hidden in proverbs makes it worthwhile to know their meanings.

1. Most popular Russian proverbs and sayings with their meaning

In general, proverbs and sayings are used to convey the essence of a culture. These phrases contain life lessons sown in the thinking of each people and which correspond to ancient and popular formulas.

Likewise, they are usually conceived as an alternative to explain in a simple way, any type of phenomena related to values, coexistence or norms imposed by society.

The Slavic country boasts a wide variety of proverbs to help understand its complex history, phrases that have been applied in the daily lives of its inhabitants over the years.

2. Original Russian sayings

Many Russian sayings are related to values. For example, it is common to hear "A big "thank you" is not saved in your pocket" or “The farther into the forest, the more firewood".

The first invites us to understand that a sincere thank you is worth more than any material good, while the second emphasises the importance of effort and perseverance in achieving goals.

There are proverbs that become a kind of mantra, for example: “The origins themselves are an indelible mark", a saying which is, for Russians, a reminder to turn to their roots to know their true origins.

Other sayings are related to human nature and the need to seek balance. This is the case of "If you walk quickly you reach misfortune; if you go slowly, misfortune reaches you" and "It is not the law that scares, but the judge", which alludes to man's ability to err in the knowledge that he violates the law.

3. Russian proverbs to understand the Soviet people

Soviet history is marked by a thread of sadness, but it also reflects the tenacity of a people who stand up for their convictions. In this context, we hear sayings such as "Bitter the tears that fall but more bitter the tears that fall not” or "The hands work, but the head feeds".

No matter what the circumstances are, the best remedy for the soul is to let feelings flow rather than suppress them. Thoughts are the food of life, "To long for the past is to run after the wind", memories must remain in the mind, holding on to them is a mistake.

Sincerity is among the best cultivated qualities of their ancestors, which makes the saying “Telling the truth is like writing well, you learn by doing", as well as “Eat bread and salt, cut the mother truth", a golden rule which means “Honesty in the best policy”.

4. Russian proverbs and sayings about cold weather

Among the proverbs originating in ancient Russia is "Everyone is young in the winter cold". In its context of use, it is intended to encourage people in extreme weather situations, for example, when waiting for the bus delayed by frost while jumping around trying to warm up.

December is the month the old grief ends, and the new year lays the path with new happiness", this proverb delights people and reflects the Russian essence of looking forward, eating a sweet and sipping a good punch to say goodbye to sorrows along with the year that is ending.

From here, the invitation is to use the service of a specialised translation company, whether you want to translate the sayings from Russian into English, Portuguese, Italian or any other language.

This is the best way to take advantage of all the wisdom hidden in the hundreds of phrases available.

Virginia Pacheco's picture
Virginia Pacheco

Blog writer and Community Manager interested in multiculturality and linguistic diversity. From her native Venuzuela, she has travelled and lived for many years in France, Germany, Cameroon and Spain, passing on her passion for writing and her intercultural experiences.

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