True Colors

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by RhoKappa, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. RhoKappa Senior Member

    Standard American English
    I was chatting with a Russian friend and there was not a clear understanding of what "true colors" means. When one says, "I see your true colors," this means that the person sees and fully understands how a person is inside. It can be either bad or good, that a nice person on the outside can be very mean on the inside, or that a mean person on the outside can be very nice inside. Есть русское выражение?
  2. Fortunio Senior Member

    For example: Я вижу тебя насквозь
  3. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    We have an expression "настоящее лицо" ~= real face, true face, true self. In my experience, if someone said: "Теперь я знаю твоё настоящее лицо", most likely it would mean that he has just discovered a really unpleasant inner details in a seemingly nice person. In other contextes this expression could be quite neutral, like "Узнай своё настоящее лицо" =~ "Know your true self".
  4. Colora

    Colora Senior Member

    USA, Denver, CO
    Hi! I'd like to take a moment to supplement the two previous people thoughts on this matter. I agree that Russians can say something like "я вижу тебя насквозь" that means I can see beyond your façade or I can see clearly who you are. The second popular Russian saying is "я знаю (я вижу) твоё настоящее лицо that implies I can see your true value.
    Who knows, it could very well be the case when your Russian friend wanted to compliment you and emphasize that you are a person of quality? May be you should take it in a positive way instead of negative connotation?
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  5. There is also an expression "знать как облупленного", which generally means "to know someone wery well", and literally it means something like "to know someone like he's an egg without a shell". And it also can have a "good" or "bad" connotation depending on the context.
  6. Fortunio Senior Member

    Я вижу тебя в истинном свете.
    (В душе) ты лучше, чем кажешься (на первый взгляд) или чем хочешь казаться.
    На самом деле тебе цены нет.

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