Высказываться надвое

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Kolapore

New Member
English - UK
Hi, I was having a few problems finding a satisfactory equivalent for this phrase in English. Here is the context = "покачивали головой и высказывались надвое" - i though it could mean "(they) shook/were shaking their heads and talked among themselves" - but it doesn't sound right somehow. What is the author trying to say here? Any help appreciated, thanks.
 
  • Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Here "надвое" most likely means "ambigously", but from stylistical point of view it sounds completely lame anyway (combining a formal verb "высказываться" and an adverb "надвое" which is rather colloquial in this meaning). Couldn't you tell me where have you find it? Can you provide a bit larger part of the text?..
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    With the exception of "надвое" meaning "in half" ("надвое разделить, надвое разорваться" - split in half, tear (oneself) in half) this word means mostly what Awwal12 said, "both ways"/"ambiguous".
    In this latter sense (unlike in the first one) the word is obsolete, and remains in stable expression "бабушка надвое сказала" (meaning, "the outcome is not clear here", literally "the old woman foretold it both ways").

    Example of usage: "Это еще бабушка надвое сказала, кто победит" - "it is not clear at this point who the winner is going to be".

    So, "высказываться надвое", while pretty clear in its meaning (again, Awwal12 construed it right) of "to talk ambiguously", sounds lame, as certain obsolete words are not used in speech except in those proverbs where they remain used.
     

    Rosett

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Поскольку взято из лит.произведения, то соответствует стилю автора.
    'надвое' будет 'то так, то эдак'
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    'надвое' будет 'то так, то эдак'
    Excuse me for the correction, but надвое cannot mean то так, то эдак.


    Бабушка надвое сказала: либо дождь, либо снег, либо будет, либо нет.
    Бабка надвое сказала: либо сын, либо дочь.

    In other words, the one who says надвое, says nothing, because what he is saying includes ALL possible chances.
     

    Albionneur

    Banned
    Tatar & Russian
    "покачивали головой и высказывались надвое"

    They would shake their heads, talking in hints.
     

    Kolapore

    New Member
    English - UK
    Thanks very much for the replies. Yes, it was a bit of a tricky text in general - it's a text by Teffi. It's called 'Когда рак свистнул' Here is the entire sentence that the phrase came from = 'Но чем ближе подступал обещанный срок, тем чаще стали призадумываться над американской затеей, покачивали головой и высказывались надвое' Here is what i translated it as = But as the date of the event crept closer, people became increasingly curious about this American venture – they shook their heads and undecidedly spoke their minds about it. - should I substitute 'spoke their minds about it' with 'talked about it undecidely/ambiguously'? I prefer undecidedly, sounds better to me like that. Thanks...
     

    Albionneur

    Banned
    Tatar & Russian
    If that's the case, can you use "talked equivocally", "talked half-confidently" about it?
    Or perhaps "they were exchanging inconclusive remarks (statements) about it"?
     
    Last edited:

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Поскольку взято из лит.произведения, то соответствует стилю автора.
    'надвое' будет 'то так, то эдак'
    No, it is not.

    It means - all possible outcomes, not now one and then another.
     
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