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Thread: "Сила солому ломит"

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    "Сила солому ломит"

    The translation for this is allegedly "Might goes before right". Not a common English expression, but I have ocassionally heard it.

    It means that the stronger person/country/company etc usually get their way, even when they are not right.

    But the direct translation seems to be:

    "Сила солому ломит" =
    Strength breaks straws

    (?) Is that right?

    Is it a common saying?

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    Старший оракул Seraph's Avatar
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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Phrase is somewhat variable. e.g. Might makes right, or might is right are also in vernacular English usage.

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    "Сила солому ломит"
    Sounds odd to me (as a native), I don't remember if I ever heard it.
    The meaning might be as Seraph proposed.
    If my post contains errors of any kind, I'd appreciate anyone setting me straight.

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    The translation for this is allegedly "Might goes before right". Not a common English expression, but I have ocassionally heard it.
    It means that the stronger person/country/company etc usually get their way, even when they are not right.

    But the direct translation seems to be:
    "Сила солому ломит" =
    Strength breaks straws

    (?) Is that right?
    Is it a common saying?
    It' s not common, I've never heard it in everyday speech unlike many other proverbs and sayings.
    As it's uncommon, its meaning is not clear at first sight, but I checked Internet sources, and your explanation and English equivalent seem to be correct.

    Apparently, it implies, that straws are very hard to break, because they are flexible and bend instead of breaking. But if you are very strong, you can break even straws (even if it's not always advisable or the best option).

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Сила солому ломит
    I am the third native here who never heard of this. Even having read what gRomoZeka have found on the web, I can't get what actual idea of the proverb is. Because "солома" (straw) is hardly the thing to break which it is needed to apply too much force.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    I think it refers to the story about keeping together: one straw is easy to break while a big number of straws tied together is not so easy.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    May be I am the first native russian who heard this sentence IRL (once or twice)
    It was used in the form like this: "Ну да ничего, сила солому ломит" meaning that speaker will eventually insist on his decision. I think it's similar to the proverb "Капля камень точит" with accent on force instead of duration. Also it has a distant similarity whith English proverb "Snowflake has no chance in hell" (not sure of formulation). Note the contrast between snowfalke and hell and between straw and force. Straw is indeed weak therefore it has no chance standing against force.

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup
    I can't get what actual idea of the proverb is. Because "солома" (straw) is hardly the thing to break which it is needed to apply too much force.
    I agree, it got me confused too. It's weird saying...

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeCup
    I can't get what actual idea of the proverb is. Because "солома" (straw) is hardly the thing to break which it is needed to apply too much force.
    I agree, it got me confused too. It's weird saying...
    I think LuxDefensor is right here. The confusion seems to be based on the stress. If you put the stress on "солому", you get the interpretation of: "The force could even break the straw." But, if you stress the word "ломит", you can interpret it as: "A force could for sure break the straw."

    That saying is unusual especially in light with the other sayings like: "Вода камень точит," which use the same sequence of words and puts the stress on "камень".

  10. #10
    Hanna
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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Thanks everyone!

    Actually just remembered! I found this proverb right here on MasterRussian!

    http://masterrussian.com/vocabulary/sila_force.htm AND
    http://masterrussian.com/proverbs/ru...roverbs_11.htm

    Hehe.... Maybe they used an old book or something, for these proverbs...

    Proverbs can be funny: My experience with English is that there are some that you absolutely must know, the rest are rarely or never used.. and it's not important to learn them.

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile
    I think LuxDefensor is right here. The confusion seems to be based on the stress. If you put the stress on "солому", you get the interpretation of: "The force could even break the straw." But, if you stress the word "ломит", you can interpret it as: "A force could for sure break the straw.".
    That’s exactly what it’s all about. See the examples.
    Силою (заставить меня туда отправиться) можете. Сила солому ломит, говорит пословица. Но согласия моего никогда не дождетесь
    Пожалуйте! — сказал исправник (арестанту), движением руки показывая ему на дверь. — "Сила солому ломит", хихикнул "Волк", во весь рост подымаясь с места, — будь по вашему.
    Что ж делать, товарищ: сила солому ломит. Сам гетман нагрянул на нас со всем войском...
    И годы шли: и в жилах кровь все стыла,
    В душе все гасла вера в идеал...
    И афоризм: "солому ломит сила"
    Порывы дум кипучих охлаждал.

    И вот она [жена Щукаря] меня и тянет и волокет следом за собой, а что поделаешь? Сила солому ломит. Поспешаю за ней, а сам спрашиваю: <За какой нуждой ты меня от собрания отрываешь?? Шолохов, Поднятая целина.
    И хотя война еще не кончена, военный ее исход был ясен с самого начала: сила солому ломит. Прямая причина неожиданно быстрого падения Багдада - устранение ...
    Confronted with the overwhelming superiority, force of the opponent or unfavorable circumstances you’ve got nothing to do but give in, surrender.
    Yeah, but what are you gonna do?
    If anyone knows where it’s from?
    Also there’s a shade of “I’ll be back” in some of the examples.

  12. #12
    Hanna
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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Someone pronounced this sentence for me at a pronounciation site.
    She said: "Сила солому ломит".
    Her emphasis was on the middle word. Was that wrong then?

    I don't know anything about this saying; it was just used as an example of how to use the word "сила".. Right here on MasterRussians pages for teaching Russian.

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Someone pronounced this sentence for me at a pronounciation site.
    She said: "Сила солому ломит".
    Her emphasis was on the middle word. Was that wrong then?
    That's how I would pronounce it too.

  14. #14
    Hanna
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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Ok! Actually I am beginning to like this saying. It's quite true for a wide range of situations...
    When I read the first few comments I thought I'd best delete this, saying from my flashcards, but now I'll keep it.

  15. #15
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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    The emphasis should be on the ломит. Сила солому ЛОМИТ. That’s why nobody understood it at first. Because of the wrong emphasis people, me included, instinctively placed on the солому.
    .I believe another Russian saying which meaning is close to the one we are talking about is Против лома нет приёма – There’s no use fighting barehanded with someone armed with a crow-bar.

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Quote Originally Posted by alexB
    Because of the wrong emphasis people, me included, instinctively placed on the солому.
    People instinctively put emphasis on "солому" because the structure of the phrase makes them think that there's an implied "even" before "straws" - "Сила (даже) солому ломит", which make "солому" a rhythmic center of the phrase. And it does sound more natural. "Сила солому ломит" does not have a nice rhythm to it as any proverb should, it's just bah-bah-bah-bah.
    Maybe that's why this saying has not become very popular. Depending on how you pronounce it it's either very vague, or does not sound nice.

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    Re: "Сила солому ломит"

    Here’s another one with the same stress pattern.
    Богатый бедного не РАЗУМÉЕТ.

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