чем-чем

pisana

Member
spanish, Spain
Hello,
Again I'm lost with what I suppose is a colloquial form. :confused: The sentence comes after one of the characters tells to the other his fantastic theory about facts. Then there is this expression (narrator voice): "чем-чем," and it follows telling how, as the listener is not lacking fantasy too, he feels stimulated and starts inmediatly to have his own ideas about the facts...

Is it clear enaugh??

Thank you!
 
  • papillon

    Senior Member
    Russian (Ukraine)
    Pisana, you continue to find the most interesting expressions!:) Since we are talking about forms that are often very colloquial, perhaps you could give us slightly longer excerpts, perhaps complete sentences, or even two or three sentences (in Russian!), and highlight the part you are interested in. Often with such expressions, the more context you provide, the better the explanation would be. Unless there are some contractual/confidentiality rules precluding you from doing that.:(

    OK, I'm guessing that the phrase goes something like:
    Чем-чем, а воображением он не обижен... (you'll tell me if I'm right:D )
    In this case, чем-чем would translate loosely as "when in comes to it", or "as far as that goes". The expression has a slight (very slight) connotation that while there may be something else wrong with him, in this particular aspect he is doing OK.
    For example:
    Чего твой муж дома сидит, денег не зарабатывает?
    А кто его на работу возьмёт?
    Ну пусть идёт вагоны разгружать, чем-чем, а здоровьем его бог не обидел!
    In this case the last sentence implies that while the husband may not be the smartest guy in the world, he's plenty strong to do the simple task of unloading trains.
     

    pisana

    Member
    spanish, Spain
    You're right about the context, I know! :eek: The problem is the dialog is so quick, every line so short, it is difficult sometimes to decide which is the necessary context. It seems theater, rather than a novel!

    Your translation from English to Russian of my translation from Russian to my poor English was nearly right :D:Чем-чем, а воображением обделен не был.

    Your explanation is helpful, thank you very much!
     

    papillon

    Senior Member
    Russian (Ukraine)
    Come to think of it, this expression is quite common and can take several forms. Here are some more examples:

    Чему-чему, а дисциплине я его научу!
    If I teach him anything, it's going to be discipline or
    I may not teach him a whole lot, but I will teach him the discipline!
    The expression is not even limited to just the forms of кто/что:
    Где-где, а на Кубани его знали очень даже хорошо.
    I don't know about aother places, but he was very well known thoughout the Kuban region.
     

    pisana

    Member
    spanish, Spain
    Thans to all your explanatios, now I can understand the sentence I've just come though:

    кто-кто, а ** в такой час сюда не сунется.

    Thank you! :D
     
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