сотни и тысячи

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cyaxares_died

Banned
Deutsch
What does this mean in English?

"Oн развязал преступную войну, в результате чего собственными руками окончательно развалил свою страну, попутно погубив сотни и тысячи осетин и грузин."
 
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  • jpsm

    Member
    Spain
    He has been started a curruption war in result of it he destroyed his country with his own hands and killed hundreds and thouthends of georgean and osetin people.
    But I'm not sure of my translation.
     

    Kolan

    Banned
    Russian (CCCP)
    "Oн развязал преступную войну, в результате чего собственными руками окончательно развалил свою страну, попутно погубив сотни и тысячи осетин и грузин."
    He initiated a (...) war and, as a result, led his own country to the ultimate collapse, having murdered along this way hundreds and thousands of Ossetians and Georgians.
     
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    benjo788

    Senior Member
    English - London
    He unleashed an illegal war, and as a result led his own country to complete ruin, having killed hundreds of thousands of Ossetians and Georgians.
    or
    He started an illegal war, and as a result destroyed his country with his own hands, having killed hundreds of thousands of Ossetian and Georgian people.
    'hundreds and thousands' doesn't really make sense in English, 'hundreds of thousands' is more widely used.
    jpsm, corruption значит развращение, разложение, коррупция
     
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    Kolan

    Banned
    Russian (CCCP)
    hundreds of thousands of Ossetian and Georgian people.
    'hundreds and thousands' doesn't really make sense in English, 'hundreds of thousands' is more widely used.
    You're right mentioning this inconsistency, however, it's not "hundreds of thousands". It's a Russian expression which wants to say that numbers are in a range between a few hundreds and a few thousands. I realize that literally it does not convey the same sense in English (unless we are talking about hundreds of Ossetians and thousands of Georgians, but this is not what the original phrase means).
     

    Etcetera

    Senior Member
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    He started the war resulting into the break-up of his country and hundreds or even thousands of deaths of Ossetians and Georgians.
    I'm afraid it's not quite the same.:(

    The difference between the Russian "сотни и тысячи" and "сотни и даже тысячи" is obvious, isn't it? So it is in English.

    My impression is that the second variant is more expressive, and the author's concern is clearer.
     
    >The difference between the Russian "сотни и тысячи" and "сотни и даже тысячи" is obvious, isn't it? So it is in English.

    Well, it's obvious that the phrase does not make much sense. :) The word "maybe" has been unintentionally dropped from the text. "hundreds or maybe even thousands". "Thousands" is not the same (since the source assumes there could be "only" hundreds), while "hundreds and thousands" sounds like "some hundreds and some thousands" to me.

    Thanks for the correction.
     
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    Etcetera

    Senior Member
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    I had a strong suspicion that "hundreds and thousand" just doesn't sound like a good English phrase even before I saw benjo788's post.

    "hundreds or maybe even thousands" sounds much better to me.:)
     
    The difference between the Russian "сотни и тысячи" and "сотни и даже тысячи" is obvious, isn't it?
    "Сотни и тысячи" is somewhat idiomatic - it can express just "a lot of". In a more formal context it sounds to me like either "hundreds, but not thousands" or "thousands". Perhaps, I'm a little biased to the notion of "hundreds" since I'm aware of the context and believe that reporters sometimes don't lie. ;)
     
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    Etcetera

    Senior Member
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    "Сотни и тысячи" is somewhat idiomatic - it can express just "a lot of".
    In most cases it means just "a lot of". But the expression sounds a bit expressively.

    It also seems to be a purely journalistic expression: I can't imagine сотни и тысячи to be used in a formal context.
     

    Q-cumber

    Senior Member
    "Сотни и тысячи" is somewhat idiomatic - it can express just "a lot of".
    Exaclty.

    "Сотни и тысячи раз я говорил тебе, что..."
    "В Интернете сотни и тысячи сайтов, где...."
    "В человеке непрерывно протекают сотни и тысячи химических реакций, ..."
    "Сотни и тысячи жертв этого конфликта..."

    So, the translation would be "...having killed lots of Ossetians and Georgians."
     
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    benjo788

    Senior Member
    English - London
    but, then you have to think about whether you want to be formal or informal: the phrase 'lots of' or 'a lot of' is informal. a more formal way of expressing it would be 'a great deal of' or just 'many'.
     

    Kolan

    Banned
    Russian (CCCP)
    An approximate real number of losses in those conflicts ranges, indeed, between a few hundreds and a few thousands. This is nothing like a kingdom of Internet sites, which is tremendous. There is no reason to vaguely substitute this expression with a lot of.
     

    Holy Dinah

    Member
    English - Canada
    "Сотни и тысячи раз я говорил тебе, что..."
    "В Интернете сотни и тысячи сайтов, где...."
    "Сотни и тысячи жертв этого конфликта..."
    Although for cyaxares_died's particular text I like the "hundreds, perhaps thousands" already suggested, when you describe the idiomatic usage/meaning of сотни и тысячи, I think right away of the English phrase "scores of". Literally, a score is 20 of something--archaic now, perhaps, so used instead half-literally, half-idiomatically to mean "great numbers of". We would commonly say in English I've told you scores of times...There are scores and scores of internet sites...etc.

    When the focus is on human victims of some terrible event, the phrase tends to become "untold scores of", as in "The untold scores of victims of this confict...". This emphasizes that the actual number, although unknown, may be well into the hundreds. It also emphasizes, somehow, the horror of such a number being unknown (the individual stories of human suffering left untold).
     

    Q-cumber

    Senior Member
    An approximate real number of losses in those conflicts ranges, indeed, between a few hundreds and a few thousands. This is nothing like a kingdom of Internet sites, which is tremendous. There is no reason to vaguely substitute this expression with a lot of.
    As mentioned above, "сотни и тысячи" is a figurative expression. It has nothing to do with particular numbers.
    And it is obvious that an author of the phrase didn't mean to provide any "statistical" information.
     
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    Kolan

    Banned
    Russian (CCCP)
    As mentioned above, "сотни и тысячи" is a figurative expression. It has nothing to do with particular numbers.
    And it is obvious that an author of the phrase didn't mean to provide any "statistical" information.
    The author, however, has not invented the numbers, either. Certainly, the author refers to a range of numbers that is well known publically, although we will probably never learn it exactly. It is neither less than one hundred, nor in the range of dozens of thousands.

    Talking about this expression, you may also admit, that this is just way to describe the order of numbers, especially, when uncertainty may vary tenfold or more. Actual scale in this sense does not matter. E.g., we can say in the same manner not only "сотни и тысячи", but also "десятки и сотни", "тысячи и десятки тысяч", "десятки и сотни тысяч", "миллионы и миллиарды".
     

    Kolan

    Banned
    Russian (CCCP)
    When the focus is on human victims of some terrible event, the phrase tends to become "untold scores of", as in "The untold scores of victims of this confict...". This emphasizes that the actual number, although unknown, may be well into the hundreds. It also emphasizes, somehow, the horror of such a number being unknown (the individual stories of human suffering left untold).
    While the exact number remains unknown, so far it has never gone up into a dozens of thousands range. Сотни и тысячи represents, however, a rough estimate, not just any untold number, and it is not a fixed idiom, it is just a way to describe uncertainty of such a relative order.
     
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