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."Oн развязал преступную войну, в результате чего собственными руками окончательно развалил свою страну, попутно погубив сотни и тысячи осетин и грузин."
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).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.
I'm afraid it's not quite the same.He started the war resulting into the break-up of his country and hundreds or even thousands of deaths of Ossetians and Georgians.
"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.The difference between the Russian "сотни и тысячи" and "сотни и даже тысячи" is obvious, isn't it?
In most cases it means just "a lot of". But the expression sounds a bit expressively."Сотни и тысячи" is somewhat idiomatic - it can express just "a lot of".
Exaclty."Сотни и тысячи" is somewhat idiomatic - it can express just "a lot of".
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."Сотни и тысячи раз я говорил тебе, что..."
"В Интернете сотни и тысячи сайтов, где...."
"Сотни и тысячи жертв этого конфликта..."
As mentioned above, "сотни и тысячи" is a figurative expression. It has nothing to do with particular numbers.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.
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.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.
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.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).