Бандит vs гангстер

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by Saluton, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    Good but please note the word гангстер is actually mostly used for American gangsters. Russian ones would usually be called бандиты (всегда хотел быть бандитом).


    * Moderatorial: Split from "As far back as I can remember".
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2013
  2. willem81 Senior Member

    Yes, true, but бандит would colour the sentence so very negatively in this context, that I doubt anyone would deliberately say that about himself. It's like - how should Robin Hood be called - бандит or разбойник?
    You cannot say that e.g. "Робин Гуд - благородный бандит", that sounds ridiculous.
  3. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    You mean "I always wanted to be a gangster" means "I wanted to be like Robin Hood"? Hardly.
    Gangster isn't a very "positive" word either and Robin Hood wasn't a гангстер for sure, but of course he was a бандит, in the legal sense of the word. Робин Гуд - благородный бандит sounds ridiculous just because no one would associate Robin Hood with mafia, but я всегда хотел быть бандитом can be used, because many people want to be criminals and there's no use in hiding from the fact. Does the word гангстер sound more "noble" than бандит? No, it doesn't, and even if it does to someone, it's just hypocritical because гангстеры and бандиты are virtually the same, only with different backgrounds.
  4. willem81 Senior Member

    OK, both гангстер and бандит are adopted words however the latter is surely more common. The more native Russian word with the same meaning is разбойник, so it is up to the original poster to choose between them.
    Всегда хотел быть разбойником - that might sound slightly outdated, but still possible.
  5. learnerr Senior Member

    I would say, the meaning of this word is outdated: "разбойник" means a person who does robbery in wild country. Moreover, it means mostly a person who lived not in our century. So, "Хочу быть разбойником" means "I want to be like that man from the book" or "I want to experience the old times". The word itself is not outdated. To tell the truth, I've never really understood how words can be outdated in degrees: there's no thermometer to measure that.
  6. willem81 Senior Member

    Indeed so. That is interesting though, since the word 'разбой' is totally valid in the contemporary usage (e.g. see: Уголовный кодекс РФ, Глава 21, Статья 162: Разбой). Thus 'разбойник' and 'преступник, совершающий разбойные действия' are not quite equivalent.
    By the way, this word has been adopted by Romanian (războinic), but it has the meaning of "warrior" there, whereas război means "war".
  7. korova_milkbar New Member

    Russian - Caucasus
    "Разбойник" isn't used outside of the legal context or the plays of Friedrich Schiller.
    With "Гангстер" i think of man in a zoot-suit, with a cigar and a tommy gun, probably named Alphonso or Luciano.
    The neutral modern day gangster is a "Бандит". "Хулиган" is the euphemism I would have used if I was to say I always wanted to be exactly that. An actual hooligan would be called a "гопник". For the Russian mafia thugs the term is "братки".
  8. korova_milkbar New Member

    Russian - Caucasus
    "Вор" and "Жулик" are "Thief" and "Crook", but both are used as an euphemism for hardened criminals by the hardened criminals themselves. For Robin Hood they'd use "благородный вор". In Russian this does not sound as rediculous as "noble thief" does in English. Actual thieves and crooks are called "petty" ones.
  9. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Robin Hood is an "outlaw" [never referred to as a "gangster" or "bandit"].
  10. willem81 Senior Member

    Neither was he a thief. He was namely a robber, since he robbed the rich travelers.
  11. korova_milkbar New Member

    Russian - Caucasus
    If you're moping around with a bow and in tights, then "разбойник" would do. Otherwise I'd take "налетчик".

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