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Lesson Transcript

Oksana: [Здравствуйте, с Вами опять Оксана]. I’m Oksana and welcome to the second lesson of the series Russian Idioms. Today we’re going to touch on the subject of true friendship in Russia. Oksana: What is the criteria a person should meet to qualify as a good friends? Russian say: [Друг познается в беде]. Literally, it means: „You get to really know your friend when trouble comes.” The English equivalent for this phrase could be: “A friend in need is a friend indeed!”.
Oksana: Let’s break down this phrase. [Друг] is the word for “friend” in Russian. We can translate [познается] as “known”, “learned”, and [в беде] means “in trouble”. So, all together again, we have [Друг познается в беде]. I can’t say I agree with this saying 100%. My own experience tells me that good times can also be a good test for a friend. Can he really genuinely be happy for you, your achievements, your luck? Won’t there be a shadow of envy or jealousy in his eyes? Isn’t sympathy much easier to feel and express than true happiness for someone else? Well, of course, when real trouble comes, only the closest friends come to the rescue. A real friend wouldn’t just sympathize with words. He’d make sacrifices. He would try to put a part of your problems in his shoulders and share your bur gun. That’s when you could hug him and say [Да, друг позвается в беде]. I wish you fewer troubles and more true friends. See you next time! [Пока!].