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Thread: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош?

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    Властелин Valda's Avatar
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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош?

    How can "не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош" mean "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" if I read the literal translation as

    "No good nice, and in nice good "

    Doesn't make sense
    "Особенно упорно надо заниматься тем, кто ничего не знает." - Като Ломб

    "В один прекрасный день все ваши подспудные знания хлынут наружу. Ощущения при этом замечательные, уверяю вас." -Кто-то

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Rather rare phrase. Not sure exactly what does it mean.

    Maybe it can be translated as "X is not nice because good, but good because nice."

    Edit: yes, it is something like "You don't like him because he is good, but you think he is good because you like him."
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Властелин Valda's Avatar
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    That seems silly. I better not use it then. Is there a better phrase for beauty is in the eyes of the beholder?
    "Особенно упорно надо заниматься тем, кто ничего не знает." - Като Ломб

    "В один прекрасный день все ваши подспудные знания хлынут наружу. Ощущения при этом замечательные, уверяю вас." -Кто-то

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    Властелин Valda's Avatar
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    After enough googling I found my answer:

    Красота в глазах очевидца

    так просто
    "Особенно упорно надо заниматься тем, кто ничего не знает." - Като Ломб

    "В один прекрасный день все ваши подспудные знания хлынут наружу. Ощущения при этом замечательные, уверяю вас." -Кто-то

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    Подающий надежды оратор IamMarat's Avatar
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    "Не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош"

    This is what I've found after googling this proverb It means "нравится не тот, кто в действительности хорош, а хорошим кажется тот, кто нравится".
    It makes more sense to me ) I would translate this one as (not literally but logically) "You don't like the person, but he is really good. But you like another person (who is not really good). And you think this person is good (just because you like him, not for his outstanding qualities)". In other words "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" which means to me "Everybody has got his own conception about what is beautiful (and therefore good) and what is not", doesn't it?

    Anyway, "Не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош" is a strange proverbs for contemporary Russian. This one is too old-fashioned. But its explanation ("нравится не тот, кто в действительности хорош, а хорошим кажется тот, кто нравится") sounds ok. May be it is a better way to use this one?

    P.S. "Красота в глазах очевидца" sounds too vague to me. I mean, here can be lots of meanings with context. Though it really means "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" in some contexts.

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    Подающий надежды оратор IamMarat's Avatar
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    I'm thinking about it...
    "Не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош" and "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" aren't equal by implication.
    I mean it is better to use "У каждого свое представление о красоте" (we often say that) for "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder".
    And try to avoid "Не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош" and "Красота в глазах очевидца". As I've said they are too vague to me

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    It's true, that "Не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош" IS a saying which is now almost forgotten in Russia, but it seems a good equivalent for "the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder". The meaning of the Russian saying is that there is no direct relation between real merits of a person, and what you feel for him/her, i.e. if like someone then he/she seems good enough for you (in your eyes) precisely because you like him/her, not because of any particular merits of that person. "мил" in that saying does not mean 'nice' exactly but is rather associated with liking (with seeming nice to someone). This word however still retains its old meaning in idioms such as:
    "Насильно мил не будешь"~ "you can't force someone to like/love you".
    "Без тебя мне свет не мил" ~ "I hate it without you" (i.e. can't live without you).

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    Почтенный гражданин diogen_'s Avatar
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    Russians are mainly realists .They believe that beauty really exists in the outside world and not in the eyes of onlookers, bystanders and other indolent beholders. The beauty has too main modes of revealing itself to people:
    1.Красота - хуже воровства (Beauty is worse than stealing).
    2. Красота спасет мир ( Beauty will save the world).
    How these two great opposite qualities live together in one entity has remained great mystery and conundrum that far, and no one knows the answer to it. That is why Russians occasionally say also that 'Красота – страшная сила' ( Beauty is Juggernaut).

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    "Красота в глазах смотрящего" is the most common translation for that phrase in Russian. As for "не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош" - yup, weird. A proper proverb in previous versions of laguage, but way outdated for use in current release . Still, any Russian will get the meaning if only stares at that proverb for some time.

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    Завсегдатай Throbert McGee's Avatar
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    Whatever its actual meaning, the proverb не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош (which I'd never heard before) immediately made me think of the famous Euthyphro dilemma -- "Is 'godly behavior' approved by God because it is inherently good, or does it become good because God has approved of it?"

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    Завсегдатай BappaBa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diogen_ View Post
    1.Красота - хуже воровства (Beauty is worse than stealing).
    Всегда было "простота - хуже воровства"

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valda View Post
    After enough googling I found my answer:

    Красота в глазах очевидца

    так просто
    It is not a Russian saying but a calque translation of the English phrase. It is not catchy and not very nice.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Почтенный гражданин diogen_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BappaBa View Post
    Всегда было "простота - хуже воровства"
    Пруфлинк.

    Красота - хуже воровства

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    Почтенный гражданин diogen_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Throbert McGee View Post
    Whatever its actual meaning, the proverb не по хорошу мил, а по милу хорош (which I'd never heard before) immediately made me think of the famous Euthyphro dilemma -- "Is 'godly behavior' approved by God because it is inherently good, or does it become good because God has approved of it?"
    I’m curious how one can know in principle, if something is good because God(s) has(ve) approved of it?

    As to the obscure Russian proverb here is its official “hermeneutics “
    НЕ ПО ХОРОШУ МИЛ...

  15. #15
    Завсегдатай BappaBa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diogen_ View Post
    Мде... Кому-то и кобыла невеста (с)

  16. #16
    Почтенный гражданин diogen_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BappaBa View Post
    Мде... Кому-то и кобыла невеста (с)
    Не пришей кобыле хвост пост.

    Не пришей кобыле хвост

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