Have you noticed that Russian people are often portrayed as great and dangerous villains in Hollywood movies? After all, who else if not Russians. I believe that Russian people are quite used to this and can forgive this to Hollywood movie directors. But what I personally cannot forgive to Hollywood is the fact that they completely disrespect Russian language. There are tons of examples of Hollywood movies where they made hilarious and completely stupid mistakes in Russian. I could understand if we talked about low-budget movies that cannot afford to hire a good translator, but I will show you some really famous Hollywood movies that simply ignored the fact that they movies will also be shown in Russian-speaking countries. You can watch the video below to see some of the most hilarious mistakes in Russian from Hollywood movies. Believe me, you will have a lot of fun!
Funny mistakes in Russian from Hollywood movies
Nevertheless, I have to admit that some foreign actors did a very good job speaking Russian.
Scarlett Johansson in 'Avengers' did her best to speak Russian but of course she spoke with a very strong American accent.
I was personally impressed by how well Brendan Fraser spoke Russian in the movie 'Bedazzled'. He almost spoke without an accent.
Daniel Craig did an incredible job in the movie 'Defiance' (2008) as he had to memorize some really long lines and pronounce extremely difficult Russian words (which even Russian natives have problems pronouncing).
Keanu Reeves learned some Russian words (mostly swear words) for the movie John Wick. But, honestly speaking, no one would understood what he said without subtitles.
Dolph Lundgren even sang the Russian anthem in the movie 'Red Scorpion' (1988) and this is quite impressive.
But what about the mistakes in Russian that we saw in Hollywood movies? Well, there are plenty of them indeed. Let's start with the movie Rocky IV. It all starts straight after their landing to Russia.
First of all, there is no city called Красногурбинск in Russia, but that is fine. The mistake is right under the name of the city - 'бблсога'. This word means nothing and makes no sense at all. They probably wanted to write that the city was founded in 1525. In this case it should have been written 'основан в 1525 г.'. But we can only guess what they wanted to say by this word. Maybe it was a secret code for the Russian KGB ...
There were some other mistakes in Russian vocabulary. For example, they wrote 'раз' for a round. The problem is that the word 'раз' means 'time' (one time, two times, three times, etc.). It's not a terrible mistake but anyway they could hire a translator to review the whole movie for possible mistakes in Russian.
But the most terrible mistake (in my opinion) was a poor translation of one of the most significant lines said by Rocky in the end of the battle. Here is what he said in English:
"During this fight, I've seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that's better than twenty million. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!"
The reporter who translated his speech made one big mistake. Let's agree that by 'twenty million' Rocky meant 'twenty million people'. But the reporter decided that Rocky spoke about money and translated it as 'twenty million dollars'. Here is this line in Russian:
"Я думаю что это лучше, чем даже двадцать миллионов долларов".
This line has completely spoiled the whole meaning of this speech in Russian. Well, at least it sounds good in English.
Next comes the movie 'Iron Man' where there is again a terrible Russian villain named Boris Turgenov who is in fact ... a woman! Just look at his passport, it's written 'русская' which is a feminine form of 'Russian'.
Well, we can forgive this little mistake but not the others. On the TV that Boris is watching at home, we can see lots of Russian words that make no sense at all.
Теперь, Новости Глаза, Сенаторы США вопрос Тони Stark - they definitely used the Google Translator. Watch the video for the full explanation.
But the leader among Hollywood movies that completely ignore Russian language is the comedy Get Smart (2008).
They made so many mistakes in Russian in several scenes that it is just crazy. Watch the video for the explanations of all the mistakes made on this screen (because there are many).
But the scene that made me laugh the most is the one with the table 'shipments of explosives'. Just look at that.
This list is just crazy! They just took random Russian words and didn't even try to make it realistic. Keisha's video? The boots for a toe? Seriously?
If you want to see more mistakes in Russian from famous Hollywood movies, you should watch the whole video - I explain them all in details.
If you have recently started to learn Russian, you should absolutely get my new guide 'Essential Russian Words and Expressions to Understand Spoken Russian'.
This guide also contains audio files so that you can listen to these phrases on the go: while driving, walking, doing sport or brushing your teeth. Make sure that you repeat these phrases yourself and try to imitate my accent.
It's also very important to know how to pronounce Russian words correctly as not every Russian letter is pronounced the same way as it's written. There are certain Russian pronunciation rules that are really easy to learn.
Hello! My name is Mila and I am a founder of Hack Your Russian language platform. You can find me here:
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