in so many words

gaisever

New Member
Russian
"What?" said the girl, in horror. "He wrote that? In so many words?"
"Yes! Word for word."

"In so many words?" - needs to be replaced with something like "Exactly like that?" (meaning a passage above), to correspond with "Word for word," - so that it reads smoothly as being spoken by a native speaker.

Thank you.
 
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  • gaisever

    New Member
    Russian
    Is that a question or a statement?
    Why does it need to be replaced?
    This is incorrect translation, the source text meaning literally "Exactly like that?" So I need to replace "In so many words?" with something meaning "Exactly like that?", and the replacement should not sound awkward.

    [Response to deleted post removed. DonnyB - moderator]
     
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    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    [Response to deleted off-topic comments removed. DonnyB - moderator]

    If the original text translates literally to "exactly like that" then, in the limited context we have, "in so many words" is an excellent translation into idiomatic English. You could also use "in those very words".
     
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    gaisever

    New Member
    Russian
    I think it would help if we had the words to which the girl responds.
    “As it happens, I need to steal something from him. Picture this: we’re sitting at the table today, having lunch. Everything as usual. Me, the Councillor, the Chamberlain, the Chief Marshal, a couple of cut-throats as well. Having lunch we are, when suddenly – bam! A letter, from this Shara of yours. And what do we read but ‘now I’m in charge, and tomorrow morning, first thing, I’ll come over and cut you all up and chop you all up’.”
    “What?” said the girl, in horror. “He wrote that? In so many words?”
    “Yes! Word for word. So off we shot to our old know-it-all. Started knocking on his door, when I see a note. ‘Popped out for some rats’ tails. Don’t expect me for lunch.’ And that’s that. Meanwhile we can go hang.”
     
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