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Thread: "That's the least I can do"

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    Властелин Valda's Avatar
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    "That's the least I can do"

    How do you say in Russian "that's the least I can do" ?
    "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
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valda View Post
    How do you say in Russian "that's the least I can do" ?
    "Это меньшее, что я могу", "это самое малое, что я смог сделать", в некоторых случаях эта фраза имеет разную эмоциональную окраску с дополнительнми конструкциями. "не стоит, это меньшее, что я смог сделать" (сочувствуенно) или "Да ладно! Это меньшее, что я могу" (радостно-доброжелательно, с "открытой душой")

    Возможно так же понимание этой фразы, как "это все, что я смог сделать". (Я сделал, что смог, но моих усилий недостаточно)

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    Увлечённый спикер bytemare's Avatar
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    I don't think that's the right translation. The expression in English is basically means "it's no problem." So I think you would just say не за что или это было ничего сложного. Ok, bring on the corrections

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    Почтенный гражданин Suobig's Avatar
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    "Не за что" или "не стоит благодарности".
    Antonio1986 likes this.
    I know it's "MR" not "ME", but still: fix my english mistakes, please!

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    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    I've seen somewhere the direct equivalents like "Это (самое) меньшее, что я могу (мог/смог) для тебя сделать" but I don't like them either. Just feels somewhat wrong, not sure why. Too literal maybe. Versions like "О, не переживай. Мне это было совсем не трудно" feel much more native and linguistically logical.
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    это всё, что я могу сделать (meaning I could have done more, but... that's the least I can do...due to limitations of human existence )

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    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    это всё, что я могу сделать
    means that's the most I can do.
    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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    Властелин Valda's Avatar
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    I gotta say, most of these translations miss the point. When I say "that's the least I can do" I mean "that's the least I can do"... I don't mean "не за что" and such. I guess in Russian you don't have a direct equivalent, but when I say "that's the least I can do" I'm actually sending a subtle message-- I want the other person to know that I'm willing to or should do more for him but I either can't because of certain constraints or I'm simply waiting for him to give me instructions of how I can help him more. That's what I mean by that.

    That's why I like the version of "Да ладно! Это меньшее, что я могу делать"

    Just one point of curiosity.... how do you pronounce меньшее? men-shee-ye?
    "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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    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valda View Post
    ...Just one point of curiosity.... how do you pronounce меньшее? men-shee-ye?
    http://masterrussian.net/f52/%D1%80%...tml#post191807
    "...Важно, чтобы форум оставался местом, объединяющим людей, для которых интересны русский язык и культура. ..." - MasterАdmin (из переписки)



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    Увлечённый спикер bytemare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valda View Post
    I gotta say, most of these translations miss the point. When I say "that's the least I can do" I mean "that's the least I can do"... I don't mean "не за что" and such. I guess in Russian you don't have a direct equivalent, but when I say "that's the least I can do" I'm actually sending a subtle message-- I want the other person to know that I'm willing to or should do more for him but I either can't because of certain constraints or I'm simply waiting for him to give me instructions of how I can help him more. That's what I mean by that.
    It's just the expression in English "it's the least I can do" is a polite of saying don't worry about it, it was nothing.

    The translation above of what you really wanted to say doesn't seem so subtle in Russian as it does in English, at least to me But I'm sure now we'll get a plethora of corrections

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    Властелин Valda's Avatar
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    It's just the expression in English "it's the least I can do" is a polite of saying don't worry about it, it was nothing.
    I disagree.
    It sends a message. If a person on the street asked me for directions and thanked me - I won't answer with "thats the least I can do" ill answer with "sure". But if it's a person that I feel like that's been helpful to me yet he thanked for me for something...that's the moment to say "that's the least I can do"...so I won't just throw this phrase around for no good reason.
    "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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    It's the least I can do to help (= I feel I should do more). - from Oxford ALD.

    Это меньшее, что я могу (c)делать - sounds Unrussian to me. People don't say it really.

    There is no exact equivalent, so somebody's impulse might be to make a calque from the original English phr.

    To convey the idea you can say, 'Я понимаю, что этого недостаточно, но это всё, что я могу сделать' (so you are saying you feel you should do more, but due to different limitations it's the least you are capable of doing). You might add "Я бы очень хотел сделать больше" and stuff like that.



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    Увлечённый спикер bytemare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valda View Post
    I disagree.
    It sends a message. If a person on the street asked me for directions and thanked me - I won't answer with "thats the least I can do" ill answer with "sure". But if it's a person that I feel like that's been helpful to me yet he thanked for me for something...that's the moment to say "that's the least I can do"...so I won't just throw this phrase around for no good reason.
    Why not just say Это пока все, что я могу сделать?

    In these here parts, the least I can do is pretty much used as I said, although not to complete strangers:

    - "Why thank you for making me tea!"
    - "It's the least I could do for such a good friend"

    OR, a little different meaning when you're obligated to do something:
    - "Thanks for the bottle of beer"
    - "Oh, it's the least I could do, considering I depleted all of yours last week, along with you burritos"

    But who knows, maybe in other places it has other meanings that I'm not aware of.

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