Russian Language Blog

Test Your Knowledge of Russian Movie Quotes Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Culture

old TV

Image from Pexels

A local coffee house where I live in the US likes to use culture references for its wireless passwords. Sometimes I will know them, and sometimes it will be an obscure film or sports reference, and I will be too embarrassed to ask. The other day I was thinking, “What would be some of the Russian equivalents if a Russian café decided to do that?” Movie quotes seem like the perfect candidate. So… can you complete the following famous quotes from Russian movies?

Scroll to the end of this post for solutions and an explanation of how these sayings are used today — which may be different from what they meant in the film.

1. Белое солнце пустыни – White Sun of the Desert

This Soviet classic follows a Red Army soldier on his mission in Central Asia.

… дело тонкое. (…is a delicate thing.)

а. Война (war)

б. Восток (the East)

в. Женщины (women)

г. Коммунизм (communism)

2. Операция Ы и другие приключения Шурика – Operation Y and Shurik’s Other Adventures

A naïve student named Shurik finds himself in all sorts of comical situations, including run-ins with the criminal world.

Огласите… (Share/announce…)

а. весь список (the whole list)

б. все имена (all names)

в. все выводы (all conclusions)

г. все достижения (all achievements)

3. Кавказская пленница – Kidnapping, Caucasian Style

This film features Shurik again, who helps a young woman avoid a forced marriage.

… жалко (I feel bad for)

а. Рыбку (the little fish)

б. Котика (the kitty)

в. Птичку (the birdy)

г. Собачку (the doggie)

4. Ирония судьбыThe Irony of Fate

This film is played every New Year in Russia. The protagonist, Zhenya, accidentally meets a love interest when he accidentally ends up in her apartment.

Какая гадость эта ваша … (How disgusting is this … of yours!)

а. Ромовая баба (rum cake)

б. Манная каша (semolina)

в. Заливная рыба (fish in aspic)

г. Варёная курица (boiled chicken)

5. Золушка – Cinderella

Yes, Russians have a live action Cinderella (Золушка) film.

– Я не волшебник. (I’m not a wizard.)

а. Я только учусь. (I’m still learning.)

б. Но я всё умею. (But I know how to do everything.)

в. Я его друг. (I’m his friend.)

г. Я рыцарь. (I’m a knight.)

6. Бриллиантовая рукаThe Diamond Arm

An unsuspecting guy next door, played by Yury Nikulin, is mistaken for a smuggler.

Не виноватая я, … (It’s not my fault)

а. он сам пришёл. (he chose to come here.)
б. так вышло. (it turned out this way.)
в. я хотела как лучше. (I wanted to do what’s right.)
г. на себя посмотри. (look at yourself.)

7. Двенадцать стульев – The Twelve Chairs

This film is based on a book  by Ilf and Petrov about a charismatic conman, Ostap Bender.

А может, тебе дать ещё ключ от квартиры, ….  (Should I also give you the key to the apartment…)

а. где тёща живёт? (where the mother-in-law lives?)
б. где трое прописаны? (where three people are registered?)
в. где я родился? (where I was born?)
г. где деньги лежат? (where the money is kept?)

8. Москва слезам не верит – Moscow Does Not Believe In Tears

This film follows three young women who move to Moscow as they seek personal and professional fulfillment.

Не учите меня жить, лучше помогите … (Don’t teach me how to live; better help me…)

а. морально (morally).

б. на практике (practically).

в. материально (financially).

г. связями (with connections).

9. Иван Васильевич меняет профессию – Ivan Vasilyevich: Back to the Future

Ivan the Terrible and a building superintendent from the 70s trade places. What could go wrong?

Эх, красота-то какая! (How magnificent this is!)

I will not be translating the variants as they are all somewhat bookish/obsolete words meaning “beauty” or “goodness.”

а. Лепота!

б. Благость!

в. Милость!

г. Доброта!

10. Здравствуйте, я ваша тётя – Hello, I’m Your Aunt

A vagrant poses as a millionaire aunt in this 70s film.

Я … и не знаю слов любви! (I’m… and don’t know the words of love!)

а. простой рабочий (a simple worker)

б. русский мужик (a Russian man)

в. серьёзный человек (a serious person)

г. старый солдат (an old soldier)

See Solutions

1. б – This is said about the ways of “the East” today or about any complicated matter.

2. а – This is used to ask someone to give you all the options before you decide.

3. в – Roughly equivalent to “crocodile tears.”

4. в – Said about anything disgusting.

5. а – “I’ll try my best, but I may not be able to do the best job.”

6. а – In the film, it was said by a seductress denying having invited the victim. It can be used ironically to say “It’s not my fault” about anything.

7. г – A response to an unreasonable request/expectation.

8. в – Used to ask someone to stop preaching.

9. а – Said to express adoration, often ironically.

10. г – Expresses that one is not sentimental.

Tags: ,
Keep learning Russian with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available in English on her website and Twitter and in Russian on Telegram.