Лучше перебдеть…

Better safe than sorry in Russian

In this podcast episode we will learn two Russian expressions that can always “come in handy”, and these days, even more so.

Всем приве́т!

Hello everybody!

Сего́дня я хочу́ предложи́ть ва́шему внима́нию два ру́сских выраже́ния, кото́рые всегда́ приду́тся кста́ти, а в э́ти дни, как нельзя́ кста́ти.

Today I want to offer to your attention two Russian expressions which will always “come in handy”, and these days, even more so.

Сего́дня в вы́пуске:

Today in the episode:

Russian Pod 101

Лу́чше перебде́ть, чем недобде́ть.

– Better be overly careful than not careful enough (better safe than sorry).



Бережёного Бог бережёт.

– God saves man who save himself.

Дава́йте разберём их по одному́…

Let’s have a look at them one at a time …

Лу́чше перебде́ть, чем недобде́ть:

Better safe than sorry:

Перебде́ть происхо́дит от сло́ва бдеть, т.е. быть бди́тельным. Перебде́ть – зна́чит быть бди́тельным сверх необходи́мости. Недобде́ть, как вы догада́лись, зна́чит быть недоста́точно бди́тельным.

“Перебдеть” comes from the word “бдеть”, i.e. to be vigilant. “Перебдеть” is to be vigilant beyond necessity. “Недобдеть”, you guessed it, means being not vigilant enough.

Таки́м о́бразом значе́ние э́того выраже́ния таково́: лу́чше быть чрезме́рно осторо́жным, чем недоста́точно осторо́жным.

Thus, the meaning of this expression is: it is better to be overly careful than not careful enough.

Kalinka Russian Course

Второ́е выраже́ние, явля́ющееся ру́сской посло́вицей, вто́рит пе́рвому: Бережёного Бог бережёт.

The second expression, which is a Russian proverb, echoes the first one: God protects careful ones.

Бережёный в э́том выраже́нии э́то тот, кто соблюда́ет осторо́жность, бережёт себя́ сам. Таки́х люде́й, как говори́т нам наро́дная му́дрость, храни́т и Бог.

“Бережёный” in this expression is the one who is careful, who takes care of himself. Such people, as folk wisdom tells us, are also protected by God.

Я наде́юсь, что вы, прислу́шиваясь к наро́дной му́дрости и го́лосу ва́шего ра́зума, всегда́ соблюда́ете все необходи́мые ме́ры предосторо́жности. Здоро́вья вам и ва́шим бли́зким, и до ско́рой встре́чи!

I hope that you, listening to the folk wisdom and the voice of your mind, always follow all the necessary precautions. Good health to you and your loved ones, and until next time!

Did you find an error? Help us correct it please!

Today's vocabulary

You might also like

10 comments on “Лучше перебдеть…

  1. Dorian Mattar says:

    Why does she speak so damn fast? I’d say she memorized it and just flew over it. It’s faster than most people would talk in real life.

    • Очень по-русски says:

      Hello Dorian,

      I don’t memorize podcasts and don’t come up with the text on the go. I spend time writing it first and then I read it.

      While some of the episodes are read quite fast, here I agree, others and this particular one are actually slower than a normal conversational speech. You should listen to some Russian news to get a sense of how Russians speak in real life.

      If you are just a beginner, this content will not help you much.

      In any case, I hope at some moment you can find this helpful. If not, well, one can’t make everybody happy. 🙂

      • Dorian Mattar says:

        I didn’t say you improvised, I said you flew over it, meaning you practically memorized it, and so you read it very fast. My ex wife did not talk that fast. Maybe the news needs to put a certain amount of info into a specific time frame, but if people try talking to me that fast, I slow them down.

        • Очень по-русски says:

          I don’t know your ex-wife, but rest assured that most of the Russians I know speak faster than you can hear in the audio. Besides, when recording, I stop and make pauses between the sentences so the listeners have time to process what they just heard.

          And if we are talking personally, when people talk to me slow, I struggle to stay awake. Everybody has different needs.

          Why don’t you start with something that matches your level of Russian better?

    • Please excuse me for replying your comment but I have many russian friends and they all speak extremely fast . So if we want to understand them we must improve our listening skills and here they are doing a great job with their podcasts.

      • Очень по-русски says:

        Hello Alfonso,

        I don’t think that person is going to come back here. But thank you for your comment. 🙂

  2. Dorian Mattar says:

    And why are you using that funky font for the Russian portion. It is hard to read and completely unnecessary.

    • Очень по-русски says:

      I’m not sure why you find this font funky. This is Tahoma – one the most straightforward fonts you can find on the web and in your office applications.

      If by “funky” you mean the accents, this is not a feature of the font. This is to help you to see where the accents fall and to be able to pronounce the words correctly without the help of the audio. You can learn more about the accents here: https://learnrussianstepbystep.com/en/stress-marks-in-russian-words/.

      I chose Tahoma because it is easy to read and it works well with the accents (not all fonts render accents correctly).

      Dorian, if you have other questions about the Russian language, I’m always happy to help. But if you are just looking for a place to express your frustration, that would be the last comment I answered.

      Have a nice day and peace.

      • Dorian Mattar says:

        The English is in tahoma, the Russian is on some other font. This is what it’s supposed to look like: перебде́ть. Look at that word on the exercise. Completely different font.

        Since you can’t seem to be able to take critique, I’m leaving the page.

        • Очень по-русски says:


          You are not fair and you know it. The Russian text is in Tahoma and the English one is in “Noto Sans”, you can easily see it in the code of the page in the browser inspector, if you have any doubts and know how to use the inspector.

          You took one of two places where the word перебдеть does not have an accent to try to prove your point, while it has the accent everywhere else in the text and you can see it as well as I can see it. By the way, there is transcription right below the word in the vocabulary section (if this is what you meant by “exercise”), so no need for the accent.

          Your words were not a critique, you were attacking my work. “Your podcasts are too fast even for my good level of Russian” or “You speak too fast and it is hard to follow” – that’s a critique. Your choice of words and intonations revealed rather a frustrated person who is not able to be nice to people and admit when he is wrong.

          I wish you to relieve your frustration and to learn to be nice to people. It’s rewarding.

          Good luck.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share on