сбылась мечта идиота

randomgirl

Senior Member
English - England
Привет всем!

I'm trying to find an equivalent in English for the phrase 'сбылась мечта идиота'.
I understand that literally it means 'the idiot's dream has come true'.

(I'm aware the actual meaning is rather different - it's when a dream comes true but not how you wanted it.
My friend gave an example of being in the summer heat, wanting to be cool and fresh and getting their wish with a car splashing on them.)

Спасибо!
 
  • Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    I'm aware the actual meaning is rather different - it's when a dream comes true but not how you wanted it.

    Not exactly. At least originally it had a bit different sense:

    It's from "Золотой теленок": where, finally having got his million, Ostap Bender says:

    «— Вот я и миллионер! — воскликнул Остап с веселым удивлением. — Сбылись мечты идиота!
    Остап вдруг опечалился. Его поразила обыденность обстановки, ему показалось странным, что мир не переменился сию же секунду и что ничего, решительно ничего не произошло вокруг».
     

    ExMax

    Senior Member
    The saying became popular as a quotation from the novel "The Little Golden Calf" (1931) by Ilf and Petrov; the main character uttered it. The phrase had a serious ground of the novel plot. Maybe, he meant that some dreams were wrong targets to hit, but who knows...
    P.S. Maroseika outran me though...
     
    Last edited:

    henrylee100

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Привет всем!

    I'm trying to find an equivalent in English for the phrase 'сбылась мечта идиота'.
    I understand that literally it means 'the idiot's dream has come true'.

    (I'm aware the actual meaning is rather different - it's when a dream comes true but not how you wanted it.
    My friend gave an example of being in the summer heat, wanting to be cool and fresh and getting their wish with a car splashing on them.)

    Спасибо!
    I would say 'мечта идиота' is fairly close in meaning to the English expression 'pipe dream', a fantasy that seems very unlikely and then when it comes true there's a sense of frustration, not because you got it not in the way you wanted to get it but rather because all of a sudden you realize you don't have anything else to dream about, you're living out your pipe dream and there's nothing else to strive for, life has no meaning. And of course there's the issue of you still being the same old you as before.
    Dreaming of staying in an air conditioned office while walking outside in 40C heat doesn't exactly qualify as a pipe dream, does it? And in Russian you would call it мечта идиота. An idiot's dream is something seemingly unattainable, something that you think would completely change your life (for the better) if only you could get it.
     

    Moroz

    Senior Member
    SPb
    Russian
    The point is that in Russian this phrase is pretty much popular and people used to say it without any reasonable background even.
     

    henrylee100

    Senior Member
    Russian
    but the question was how would you express the same meaning in English.
    Depending on the context I'd probably say something like ,' He's/She's living his pipe dream'
     
    Top