On What Rusev Is Saying (Русев удря Русев мачка!)

“Русев удря Русев мачка!”

Have you wondered what it is Rusev is saying at the beginning of his entrance music? It’s been driving me crazy because I couldn’t make it out. Then I finally saw it in one of his tweets and spent a little time with Google Translate.

Rusev udrya Rusev machka! is Bulgarian. It’s hard to hear in his entrance: I always thought I heard budrya instead of udrya. Machka stumped me because in Russian that sounds like “little ball”. I also wondered if it was a borrowed version of the word “match”. In general I’ve thought he was speaking Bulgarian because I recognized it as a non-Russian Slavic language, but then he has little off-mike conversations with Lana so I wasn’t sure if perhaps I just couldn’t make him out. Russian and Bulgarian are similar, but Bulgarian is not one of the Slavic languages I’ve spent time around so I don’t have a sense of its differences.

Anyway, what he’s saying is unsurprising: Rusev hit Rusev crush! In my opinion he sounds like a hulking troll, like “Me hungry me eat!” Which is funny, because as his English improves he sounds more like a cunning, formidable nationalist heel than a brutish meatheaded import. His English promos must be scripted, but he delivers them like he means it. The ya and a on the verbs udrya and matchka are gerund endings, so more literally this is something like “Rusev hitting Rusev crushing.” But that’s awkward, must be a structure that doesn’t translate quite right. Or maybe it’s the grammar of a hulking troll in Bulgaria.

Lana, by the way, has crystal clear Russian. When most Russian women speak to me I’m a deer in the headlights, despite my skills at translating difficult prose. I’m just really weak at oral comprehension, I have to see the words to make sense of them. But Lana’s diction and accent are like that of an angel to my ever-struggling ears. I know what she’s saying, every time! I also wrote about her linguistic curiosities here.

If you’re visiting this post as a translator, student, or native speaker of a Slavic language, I would love to hear your take on the words of Lana and Rusev. I’m also wondering if there’s a place somewhere on the interwebs where people are discussing these two from a critical perspective, either in English or any other language. Please chime in if you have any leads.


5 thoughts on “On What Rusev Is Saying (Русев удря Русев мачка!)

  1. Whatever you do, don’t try to ask Siri what it is. She thinks you’re asking about “much cock”. Thanks for the info!

      • I heard that as well. She was actually in the movie Pitch Perfect. I spotted her in a crowd of girls singing. You have to really be amped about your gimmick to work that hard to learn Russian, which sounds like a difficult language. She sounds good to me anyway, a person born in Russia might say she’s terrible. 👍🏻

      • If I might nitpick the semantics, the character Lana is Russian. The actress CJ Perry is from Florida. To my trained but not native ear, her Russian can pass for native. I believe she spend part of her childhood in that part of the world. (Lithuania maybe?)

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