I think I've heard that what we call a roller coaster in English is called "Russian mountains" in French and Spanish, but "American mountains" in Russian. I am wondering what Russian roulette is called in Russian, or in any other languages. Can anyone help? Thanks!

Here's the definition from Cambridge dictionaries online:
Russian roulette noun
a very dangerous game of chance where each player aims at their own head with a gun which has one bullet in it and five empty chambers (= spaces where bullets could go):

(I know this is not actually a question about English - please don't ban me from the forum!)
1 2
Hi, Khoff!
We do have a Russian roulette in French; the meaning does correspond to what you've written. It is also any kind of game, business, ... where the odds are against you, and the issue might be severe/bad if you lose (is it correct?)

Now, roller coaster; we do call them "Russian mountains", but it's a bit old-fashioned. I mean there are new attractions of the kind, like the "Grand Huit" (big 8)
Thanks, Pieanne! Yes, you're right, Russian roulette can also be used figuratively to describe any very risky enterprise. --khoff
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I meant the way I said it Emotion: smile
Oh! sorry - I think it would sound better to say, "the result might be severe..." rather than "issue."
Thanks, Mrs Hoff!

"issue" is a bit more life or death, right?
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Of course, in real Russian roulette the issue IS life or death! I think, though, "issue" is so commonly used now to mean "the point in question, the current subject" that its literal meaning of "result, effect, outcome" is not as frequently used, and might not even be understood.
I get you, khoff, thanks!
Russian roulette is also called Russian roulette in Dutch. I read a book once that was translated from Russian and in the book they called Russian roulette 'American roulette', but I don't know if that's how it's really called in Russian or that the writer just called it that.

A rollercoaster is called either a rollercoaster or an 'achtbaan' (which means something like 'eight track').
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Show more