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Thread: 'попал в мешок'... were surrounded? etc

  1. #1
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    'попал в мешок'... were surrounded? etc

    Dropped into a bag? Surely not.

    'Пехотный манипул попал в мешок, и если бы не врубилась с фланга кавалерийская турма, а командовал ею я, – тебе, философ, не пришлось бы разговаривать с Крысобоем.' Bulgakov

    I don't think I did a very good job of translating this:-

    'An infantry manipule dropped (him) into a sack (?), and if a cavalry squadron had not cut in (from?)* the flank , commanded by me, then for you, philosopher, it would not be possible to converse with Ratslayer.'

    * 'с' could mean from or with... but 'фланга' is genitive singular of 'фланг', not dative or instrumental like 'с' is normally found with.

    As for 'попал в мешок' I can't tell if 'попал' should have an object, especially as 'манипул' seems to be the genitive plural form of 'манипула'. If not, does it mean 'were surrounded?' I can't find a definition of this phrase that fits.

  2. #2
    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Yes, it's about getting cornered as in surrounded by enemies from all sides, so a flank attack was necessary to create an opening, which is the only reason Крысобой survived the battle.

    This doesn't seem to be a set-phrase or anything, at least not nowadays.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    'An infantry manipule {got into a sack = were surrounded}, and if a cavalry squadron had not cut in from the flank, commanded by me by the way, then for you, philosopher, it would not be possible to converse with Ratslayer.'

    If you look at the map where the surrounded troops are marked with a line, you'll see a curve looking like a sack.
    Not just a circle but a sack with thin walls that don't let the people break through from inside.

    the "by the way" was inspired with the "A" in the original wording, cuz it exerts the same effect on the reader.
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

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    Thanks both. It's an odd phrase, to me.

    'Пехотный манипул попал в мешок'... I had thought it meant that they put Ratslayer into a sack after they had caught him. Is there something about this sentence that stops it from meaning that? Also, what case are 'манипул' and 'фланга'; they both look like genitive plural to me.

    Thanks for the sack idea Medved, it sounds feasible; just a gap in the surrounding army, like a pocket, or something. Open at one end, until the enemy close it behind them. Putting 'by the way' in there would be a natural addition in this context.

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    > Is there something about this sentence that stops it from meaning that?
    "F...king cool"
    Is there something about this sentence that stops it from meaning "to have sex with ice"?
    Medved likes this.

  6. #6
    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    манипул падеж - именительный (согласовано со словами "пехотный" и "попал")

    иногда говорят манипула (fem) - было бы "пехотная манипула попала в мешок"

    nom манипул

    gen манипула
    dat манипулу
    acc манипул
    instr манипулом
    prep манипуле

    им фланг
    род фланга
    дат флангу
    вин фланг
    твор флангом
    предл фланге

    манипул попал в мешок = оказался в окружении

    если пофантазировать на тему "как засунуть в мешок 60 человек", для пехотного манипула нужен ОЧЕНЬ большой мешок, размером с баллон дирижабля. Кроме того, попытка сотворить такое с 60 злобными потными здоровенными мужиками, вооружёнными мечами, копьями и прочими режущими и колющими предметами чревата смертью от переизбытка железа в организме.
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

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    I was using Abbyy dictionary; in that, 'манипул' is genitive, 'манипула' is nominative.
    I didn't take the sack idea literally, I just thought the visual explanation of it was helpful.
    I had overlooked that 'с' is often used with the genitive.

    I asked why 'манипул попал в мешок' cannot mean 'the manipule put him into a bag' because:-

    1) In speech (in English at least), I have heard 'him' omitted, so 'манипул попал в мешок' could mean 'манипул попал его в мешок'. I was asking how, given that this omission sometimes occurs, I would know from just reading that sentence that it doesn't mean 'put him in the sack.'

    2) As I could not find the same expression used in any similar context anywhere else, I assumed that it was to be taken literally, in which case, as Medved said, it makes no sense to think that it was the manipule who were put in a sack; it made sense if it was Ratslayer instead.

    Hence asking how I could be sure it was 'манипул попал в мешок' not 'манипул попал его в мешок'.

    Is попадать always intransitive? If so, that might explain it.

  8. #8
    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Just because "попал его" is incorrect. "Попал" is always about the object being caught.
    Although, you could say "я попал в него" (with some projectile, like a ball or bullet). Speaking about catching someone, we should say "я поймал его в мешок", which is a totally different verb (ловить vs попадать).
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

  9. #9
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    So попадать is always intransitive; I was starting to think that was maybe the key to it.
    Thanks maxmixiv

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