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The Russian Soul and Idioms

You probably heard about “Русская душа” (the Russian soul), about that меланхолия (melancholy) that can be guessed deep into Russians’ souls, the mingling of their laughter and tears. I read that if you don’t try your best to understand the Russian soul, you’ll never get a chance to understand Russia.

The Russian soul is an overwhelming sense of opposite feelings. It is gay and playful and yet sad and deep, it is kind, friendly, open, hospitable and yet it can be inconsiderate, rude, unfriendly. It can be all and its opposite, but it is never half-hearted.

And so let’s learn some idioms with the word “душа” (soul), as they can be heard more than once during the day. Russians like говорить по душам (to talk heart to heart). When у них душа не на месте (they are worried) or душа болит (their heart aches for something), they speak с дущой (heartily) and сколько дуще угодно (to one’s heart content).

Russian like to have friends and relatives around them, у них широкая душа (they have a generous nature).

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They think that чужая душа – тёмный лес (the soul of a foreign, unknown person is like a dark forest), and they hope жить душа в душу (to live in perfect harmony) with the person they love and exchange their thoughts с открытой душой (open-heartedly). And you might hear sometimes a man calling his wife “душа моя” (my soul) or “Душенька” (my little soul)!

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