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In episode 10 of Love Live season one, when Yazawa Nico is woken up and everyone sees her facial mask, Ayase Eli comments saying "Khorosho". She says this also when Sonoda Umi is woken up and turns into a "demon". Given the context, I thought "Khorosho" meant something like "scary" or "frightening" but it was weird that NISA didn't change this in the English subtitles.

However, at the end of the episode when all the girls are on the beach holding hands and watching the sunrise, when Nishikino Maki thanks her, Eli says "Khorosho" and also Eli's sister Alisa says "Khorosho" when she's corrected in thinking that a red bean bun was a cream puff in episode 12. In both of these situations, I can't really imagine "Khorosho" meaning "scary".

So what does "Khorosho" mean? And why wouldn't it be translated in the English subtitles?

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What does “Khorosho” mean?

It's Russian: хорошо.

I don't know Russian, so I can't claim to know how Russian speakers understand the word "khorosho", but I can tell you how Japanese speakers presume Russian speakers understand it. The Japanese understanding of "khorosho" is as an interjection used to express roughly "Wow!" or "Great!" or perhaps "OK." (cf. one, two, three). This appears to differ somewhat from how the word is understood by Russian speakers.

Understood as a fairly generic interjection, one can see why Eli/Alisa might have used it in the various contexts you point out in your question.

And why wouldn't it be translated in the English subtitles?

I imagine it would've gone untranslated because it's a foreign word to Japanese viewers, too.


Aside - for reasons that are not clear to me, "khorosho" appears to be Japan's favorite Russian word. The Japanese destroyer Hibiki was surrendered to the Soviets post-war (and renamed Verniy). Thus, Hibiki in Kantai Collection also frequently says "khorosho", because apparently that's just a thing that [Japanese people think] Russians do.

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Khorosho is a Russian word meaning "okay". In certain contexts, it can also mean "fine" or something similar. In a way, it's almost a universal word.

The spelling is: "хорошо". It is pronounced as: "kharasho" (o's in Russian are often pronounced as a's).

I'm afraid I can't fully explain why it was used as it was, as I haven't watched the anime. However, it seems senshin provided a wonderful explanation.

I haven't looked much into the Russian community lately (read: for over two-thirds of a decade), but unless I remember wrongly (the odds of which aren't as low as they might sound), senshin's theory that "khorosho" is "just a thing that Russians [say]" isn't quite right.


Source: I used to be fluent in Russian, but somewhat forgot it over the years of unuse. Regardless, I'll probably forever remember a word that simple.

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    Ah, sorry - I didn't mean to claim that Russians just go around "khorosho"-ing all the time; rather, I was just noting that this seems to be what Japanese people think Russians stereotypically do. I clarified my answer a bit. (Good answer, by the way!) – senshin Nov 13 '16 at 3:02
  • Yeah, I understand now. My bad. And just as I said, your statement (the way I previously understood it) might actually be true. At the moment, my interaction in the Russian language only extends to talking to my grandmother—and even then, I usually use my mother tongue. (And thanks!) – Demetre Saghliani Nov 13 '16 at 12:13

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