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"раз, два и обчелся"

English translation: (they) can be counted on the fingers of one hand

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17:08 Jul 13, 2002
Russian to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
Russian term or phrase: "раз, два и обчелся"
Операция на сердце - уникальная и ювелирная работа. Мест в России, где это делают - раз, два и обчелся.

I understand from context that it means there are very few places where this type of operation are done, but I'm looking for a good idiomatic English rendering of this term. "few and far between" is the one that I'm considering. Any help is much appreciated.
Senya
English translation:(they) can be counted on the fingers of one hand
Explanation:
*
Selected response from:

Jolanta Schimenti
Local time: 03:59
Grading comment
Thanks for your quick response. This was another one I was thinking, and I think it fits best.

Thanks to all,
SC
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6(they) can be counted on the fingers of one handJolanta Schimenti
4such surgeries are performed next to nowhere in RussiaTatiana Neroni
4as rare as hens' teeth
Jack Doughty
4 -1happens once in a blue moonxxxjerryk
4 -1rara avis
Сергей Лузан


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
rara avis


Explanation:
Try to use this.
Good luck, Sam Cowan!

Сергей Лузан
Russian Federation
Local time: 10:59
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 1276

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Michael Tovbin: из латыни следует, что так говорят о чем-то одном. "Это редкая вещица". Опять же, слишком высокий штиль. Предложение самого спрашивающего больше подходит.
12 mins
  -> Ну, не знаю. А мне нравится - можно перекомпоновать. Опять же - латынь и врачебная тематика - очень хорошо сочеитаются. Попадают в целевую аудиторию. А вы не стесняйтесь - ставьте свой ответ, если есть.

disagree  Libero_Lang_Lab: Somewhat rarified. Like Mtovbin I would seriously question whether this was the right register... and would most English speakers understand it?
18 hrs
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
(they) can be counted on the fingers of one hand


Explanation:
*

Jolanta Schimenti
Local time: 03:59
Native speaker of: Native in LithuanianLithuanian
PRO pts in pair: 58
Grading comment
Thanks for your quick response. This was another one I was thinking, and I think it fits best.

Thanks to all,
SC

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Сергей Лузан: Quite idiomatic for Russia as well.
2 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  GaryG: This is the translation given in Lubensky's R-E Dictionary of Idioms
37 mins
  -> Appreciate your support

agree  xxxxeni: I think it is the closest version. The Russian idiom means that actually there are such places, just very few.
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Ksenia

agree  Shila: the closest one
2 hrs
  -> :) Thanks

agree  Yaroslav Starunov
12 hrs
  ->  :-)

agree  Libero_Lang_Lab: a very good match
18 hrs
  -> Thank you
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27 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -1
happens once in a blue moon


Explanation:
Obviously, not a literal translation, but I think the same general idea in a very common english expression.


Web Page Matches 1-20 of 275 | Next 20 >


PBS TeacherSource - Mathline - Middle School Math Project
... This happens “once in a blue moon.” Students review the order of the planets
from the sun and use this data to create a human solar system. ...
http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/mathline/lessonplans/msmp/b...


New Science: A Harvest Moon (10/30/01)
... upon a time. Once in a what? Ever hear someone say, "that only happens
once in a blue moon"? Just what does that mean? Well, it's ...
http://kids.msfc.nasa.gov/news/2001/news-halloween.asp


Once In A Blue Moon
Friday, June 21, 1996 A good film happens Once In A Blue Moon. By LIZ
BRAUN Toronto Sun Any movie billed as offering 'family values ...
http://www.canoe.ca/JamMoviesReviewsO/oncebluemoomtor.html
More Results From: www.canoe.ca


Blue Moon Farm Bed & Board & Franklin Tennessee
... If you're so lucky to get a reservation, you'll be treated like a prince
or princess. After all, this only happens once in a blue moon. ...
http://www.bluemoonfarmbb.com/reviews.shtml





xxxjerryk
PRO pts in pair: 41

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Michael Tovbin: означает - "очень редкое событие", "раз в сто лет".
21 mins
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
as rare as hens' teeth


Explanation:
Places in Russia where this is done are as rare as hens' teeth.
(I think your own idea of "few and far between" is pretty good, but this could be an alternative expressing even greater rarity.)

Ref. 1:
Cheap as chips! Rare as hens' teeth!
David Dickinson. David Dickinson is the talented presenter of daytime
TV's "Bargain Hunt". He's a true star if ever there was one ...

Ref. 2:
Words that Sell - testimonials
"... as rare as hens teeth!". "I’ve worked with international copywriting
legends like Bob Bly and Kris is right up there in that category. ...




    Reference: http://uk.geocities.com/mullets_rule_ok/index2.html
    Reference: http://www.wordsthatsell.com.au/testimonials.htm
Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 14058

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Oleg Rudavin: Not as grading even - does the idiom mean 'extremely rare' or 'non-existing'?
22 mins
  -> Obviously there are no such things as hens' teeth, but it is used to mean "extremely rare".

disagree  Libero_Lang_Lab: Slightly obscure to my mind
17 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
such surgeries are performed next to nowhere in Russia


Explanation:
..

Tatiana Neroni
PRO pts in pair: 148
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