Tricks of the trade

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by vazhnayadevushka, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. vazhnayadevushka

    vazhnayadevushka New Member

    English - England
    I was just wondering if there was a Russian equivalent for the English idiomatic phrase "tricks of the trade".
    Context: "I can't tell you how I did it - that would be giving away the tricks of the trade!"
  2. lectrice Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Может быть подойдет -"I can't tell you how I did it - that would be giving away the tricks of the trade!" - Не могу сказать. Это мой/наш секрет фирмы".
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  3. vazhnayadevushka

    vazhnayadevushka New Member

    English - England
    Спасибо, это прекрасно! :)
  4. zambala Senior Member

    Фирменный секрет


    Фирменное блюдо = special recipe (for a chef), etc.
  5. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    I'm not aware of any true Russian equivalent of the English idiom. My (paper) English-Russian dictionary (V. K. Muller. Moskva 1967) gives "специфические приёмы в каком-либо деле или профессии".

    I found one example on the net where the original Russian тонкость was translated as "tricks of the trade", but I'm not convinced this is exactly the right meaning in this context. I would have said something like "finer points", which is not the same as a "trick of the trade".

    О тонкостях архивного дела, неожиданных находках и интересных встречах рассказывает заведующая архивом Русского географического общества Мария Фёдоровна Матвеева.

    Maria Matveeva, chief keeper of the Russian Geographical Society’s Archives, shares the tricks of the trade and talks about interesting encounters and unexpected discoveries she has made throughout her career. (source:

    The expression Фирменный секрет is interesting. May I ask the Russian native speakers if it literally means "a company secret" - your secret as an employee of a company, or does Фирменный have a general sense here (other than being an employee of a firm or company).

    In English we could say, for example, "one of the tricks of the trade on the WR forum is to give good context when you ask a question. Then you are more likely to get a good answer". Obviously posters on the forum are not "employees" of WR, the "trick of the trade" here is merely a специфический приём в деле Word Reference.
  6. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    I would say профессиональный секрет or, to make it humorous, коммерческая тайна.
  7. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    I vote for секрет фирмы - I think it best fits the context. It is colloquial enough but not too slangy.
  8. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    I think "секрет фирмы" is a stable expression which has nothing to do with employment. It is used whenever someone doesn't want to disclose some proprietary information. For example, one fisherman may ask his (more lucky) neighbour what kind of bait he had used. The response may follow: "Это секрет фирмы". That would simply mean: "It's my trick, of which I won't tell you."

    Another Russian expression would be "делиться хитростями" =~ "share the tricks".
    "Как у тебя получается так вкусно готовить?" - "Не скажу. Не хочу делиться своими хитростями." =~ "... don't want to share my tricks."

    In Russian we'd rather say: "На форумах WR вся штука в том, чтобы не задавать вопрос без контекста. Будет полный контекст - будет и хороший ответ."
  9. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Thanks very much for your reply, igusarov. It was very helpful.

    About the fisherman saying "Это секрет фирмы", as well as "That's a trick of the trade", in this sort of context the fisherman - if he didn't want to tell his friend what sort of bait he used - might also say "That's for me to know, and for you to find out" (the bolded words are stressed) - a polite way of saying "I'm not telling you".

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