Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by Half Nelson, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Half Nelson New Member

    English - England

    what does какая-никакая mean here? I can't fathom it.

    Каша в голове - отличный продукт: какая-никакая, а пища для ума

    Thank you for your help :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2013
  2. Maroseika Moderator

    Какой-никакой - at least some sort of.
  3. Half Nelson New Member

    English - England
    Thanks - so a loose literal translation might be - porridge in your head is a good thing - it gives you food for thought 'whatever kind it is'.
  4. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Mind that this sentence exploits some kind of pun: the phrase "каша в голове" is an idiom. It means "mess in the head, messed thoughts". But if you take it literally, then yes, it means "porridge in the head". And this pun feeds the second idiom: "пища для ума". I.e. something that feeds the brain, boosting its development. I would say that it's a bit different than "food for thought", which would better be translated as "пища для размышлений". So the whole sentence looks like a joke: the lack of brain development helps further development of the brain.

    Perhaps, this translation may do:
    Mashed thoughts are great food: whatever poor they are, they feed the mind all the same.

    The phrase "какой-никакой" is explained in the idiom dictionary: http://phraseology_ru_en.academic.ru/20398/какой-никакой
  5. Colora

    Colora Member

    USA, Denver, CO
    Coping with overwhelmed cluttered mind (as though каша в голове), каша will be translated into English as the whole grain or cereal, is not easy. When the mind becomes too tired we start to forget things or lose focus, that is not a joke. But one can overcome the unhealthy experience of a poor mental state through laughter. The original Russian idiom "каша в голове" has now been expanded and updated by words отличный продукт: какая-никакая, а пища для ума to make you smile. Yes, whole grain is a great product! :D You don't remember what things to do, and "where did I put that?" :( It seems like you're unable to recall a lot of things and everything that you have in your brain is notorious каша. Lovely! Well, it's better to have something, rather than nothing at all. :D :D :D
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013

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