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Vocabulary/Translations - Phrase translation - Language Exchange
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Vocabulary/Translations - Phrase translation - Language Exchange


Category: Vocabulary/Translations
Discussion: Phrase translation

All messages in this discussion:
# Message Posted By
233400
Phrase translation
Hello,

I was reading a book by Tolstoy called the Death of Ivan Ilyich, and was looking up how the translation was done for a certain passage in the book. The phrase is:

“И голос отвечал: а так, ни зачем.”
Google translation: “And the voice answered: and so, no reason.”
Book translation: “and the voice answered: for no reason - they just are so”

My question is regarding the phrase “а так.” It looks like this phrase changes its meaning per English translations depending on the context. What does this phrase typically mean in Russian and how is it used, is there a consistent English equivalent to this phrase, and what does it mean in the context of the quote I gave above?

If you need more context, please let me know. Thank you, sorry if this is a dumb question, I know very very little Russian.

Language pair: Russian; English
James
November 15, 2017

Reply
233491
Re:Phrase translation
Hello, James. My name Sasha. I can explain it phrase to you, if you'll write more texts with this phrase. I think it phrase can meaning at english "simply, no reason". But I'll wanted be sure it.

Language pair: Russian; English
This is a reply to message # 233400
Alex
Gromov

November 28, 2017

Reply
233631
Re:Phrase translation
Hi James, I'm fascinated you are so attentive to detail. I'd say, the phrase а так is extremely context dependent in Russian and can have a multitude of meanings. I think more context here would be useful, too but generally the phrase means smth like - well, in general; however, in principle; actually; basically... so, it has some meaning of contrast too:)

Language pair: Russian; English
This is a reply to message # 233400
Sveta
December 23, 2017

Reply

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