у них с определением темно.

Interprete

Senior Member
French, France
Hello, in a piece about consciousness, I read:

Сами психологи путаются, у них с определениями темно. К сознанию все относятся по-разному.

There seems to be a set phrase I don’t know here: у Х с У темно. What does it mean exactly?
If it is indeed an idiom, could you provide simple illustrative examples with the same structure?
Thanks!
 
  • nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If it is indeed an idiom,
    Rather a free-style combination: the author takes the idiomatic sense of the adjective тёмный - 'unclear', 'obscure',
    then they project it to the pattern ' у них с этим плохо/(есть)проблемы".
     

    Interprete

    Senior Member
    French, France
    Rather a free-style combination: the author takes the idiomatic sense of the adjective тёмный - 'unclear', 'obscure',
    then they project it to the pattern ' у них с этим плохо/(есть)проблемы".
    Thank you but I don’t know this pattern either :confused::) what does у них с этим плохо mean?
    Thanks.
     

    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    what does у них с этим плохо mean?
    Both 'they are not good at it' and 'they lack it', or 'they have issues in that regard' - depending on context.

    У моего сына плохо с математикой.
    У меня плохо с деньгами.
    У нашего правительства плохо с пониманием сегодняшних реалий.
     

    HotIcyDonut

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    At first, I thought it means "Psychologists themselves are confusing terms sometimes". But having found your text and looking through it, the context makes me feel the author meant "Psychologists themselves can hardly define the term" or "psychologists themselves have trouble defining the term" (i.e., term "conciousness" and what it is).
     

    Interprete

    Senior Member
    French, France
    At first, I thought it means "Psychologists themselves are confusing terms sometimes". But having found your text and looking through it, the context makes me feel the author meant "Psychologists themselves can hardly define the term" or "psychologists themselves have trouble defining the term" (i.e., term "conciousness" and what it is).
    Yes that’s what I understood too... It didn’t even occur to me it could be understood in the fist sense you describe. Thanks!
     

    nizzebro

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I'd say that is an author's trick - he's like saying that it is not clear to him but uses the syntax to blame those guys.
    So this is all about psychology, indeed. :)
     
    Last edited:

    Jennifer Weiss

    Senior Member
    Russian
    If it is indeed an idiom, could you provide simple illustrative examples with the same structure?
    It is not a common way of saying someone is not good at something (in your sentence, psychologists themselves confuse professional terms from their area of expertise).

    I do not think it is the psychologists who aren't skilful enough to use the right words. To me, the sentence means the terminology itself is very convoluted, complicated and not developed enough in psychology; hence, the confusion. :thumbsup:
     
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