19 Russian Memes to Improve Your Language Skills With Humor

"This is Russia, Bro".

via meme-arsenal.com

Russian memes are an excellent resource for Russian language learners, thanks to their combination of images (which provide visual context) and wordplay.

In addition to being a great way to boost your language skills, Russian memes provide insight into Russian culture. Humor is essential to Russian culture, but Russian humor can seem peculiar to anyone unfamiliar with the culture. Understanding Russian humor is crucial for anyone who wants to speak Russian like a native.

Russians tend to see see humor in everything, including the darkest parts of life, and jokes and memes are often tinged with nostalgia. Humor about death, misery and misfortune is abundant, but jokes that involve physical pain (e.g. someone getting hurt by falling over or being hit on the head) are not seen as funny in Russia.

Some of the most popular Russian memes reflect universal ideas or current events that are familiar to English speakers, like an Elon Musk trend that involved posting images of silly inventions with the caption, "How about this, Elon?" Other Russian memes can only be understood if you follow Russian current affairs and popular culture. Test your understanding of Russian humor with these hilarious memes.

01
of 19

Say Bread

via vk.com / 1001mem.ru

"Say 'bread."

"Brrad."

"Softer."

"Brad."

"Even softer.'

"Brioche.'

A situation familiar to all beginners: trying to pronounce Russian words and exasperating your teacher.

02
of 19

I Love My Job!

I love my job. Where do you work? Nowhere.
I love my job.

via Twitter

"I love my job."

"Where do you work?"

"Nowhere."

03
of 19

Fingers Crossed!

via portjati.ru

 

"Fingers crossed I don't miss my stop."

This meme pokes fun at being on public transport in the middle of the Russian winter.

04
of 19

Heaven or Omsk?

via joyreactor.cc

 

"Welcome to Heaven! We have no work and no money!"

"Oh no, we're in Omsk again."

05
of 19

Great Job!

via podstolom.su

 

"October 12th. All calculations were done in my head."

"Great job! 2."

Russia's grading system uses a scale of 1-5. The top score is 5, and a score of 2 is considered a "fail." At least this student got a Молодец ("great job") comment!

06
of 19

Your Best Smile Attempt

via pikabu.ru

"When they ask you to smile for a picture."

07
of 19

Thanks for the Translation

via memecentre.com

"Speaking Russian"

Evidently, someone at this English language channel couldn't be bothered to do their job.

08
of 19

Art History Humor

via Russian Memes United

"When an artist can only paint people's faces."

09
of 19

Poor Humans

via postila.ru

"I feel so sorry for people who don't have a dog. I've heard they have to bend down to pick up the food they have dropped."

10
of 19

First Date

via Pinterest

"Fingers crossed she won't realize that I'm an idiot."

"It's such lovely weather."

"Thank you."

11
of 19

Food Baby

via maximonline.ru

"When you came to PE straight from the canteen."

12
of 19

Interested, Elon Musk?

via Twitter / andromedamn

"And how do you like this, Elon Musk?"

Some of the most popular Russian memes are addressed to Elon Musk. They feature silly inventions that are jokingly "pitched" to the famous technology billionaire.

13
of 19

Lenin, Leave Me Alone!

via Livejournal

"Your hair smells so good."

"Lenin, leave me alone, I'm begging you, please!"

14
of 19

My Weekends

via Twitter / Russian Memes United

"My weekends:

First image. Age: 18.

Second image. Age: 20 +"

15
of 19

Angel vs. Demon

via Twitter / Russian Memes United

"Angel or demon, which do you choose?"

16
of 19

Just Give Me Fries And Tea

via Twitter / Russian Memes United

"I highly recommend our tender veal steak and beautiful 1836 wine to accompany it."

"Oh God, I've already told you, I just want a plate of fries and some tea."

17
of 19

Super Germ

via Twitter / Russian Memes United

"When you're a super powerful microbe and soap has killed 99% of all your friends."

18
of 19

His And Hers

via Memify.ru

"She: 'He's probably thinking about other women again.'"

"He: 'If I ate myself, would I become double my own size or would I disappear?'"

19
of 19

Something Wrong?

via Rambler

"Something wrong?"