# средняя, сферическая в вакууме, задача

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
 Russian term or phrase: средняя, сферическая в вакууме, (задача) English translation: hypothetical (task)

 02:10 Jul 5, 2018
 The asker opted for community grading. The question was closed on 2018-07-08 06:54:11 based on peer agreement (or, if there were too few peer comments, asker preference.)
Russian to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering - IT (Information Technology)
 Russian term or phrase: средняя, сферическая в вакууме, задача This appears to be a metaphorical phrase, meaning "average" in terms of practical experiments. What would be an English equivalent?
 Local time: 08:02
Selected response from:

Rashid Lazytech
Local time: 07:02
 This is the most helpful answer, although, based on your advice, I opted for "hypothetical" as the force of what is intended here. 3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

4a purely abstract problem / a purely theoretical problem
 Rashid Lazytech

Discussion entries: 2

30 mins   confidence:
a purely abstract problem / a purely theoretical problem

Explanation:
Научный юмор — Википедия
https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Сферический_конь_в_вакууме

Spherical cow - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_cow

"сферическая в вакууме, задача"

"a purely abstract problem"

"a purely theoretical problem"

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Note added at 43 mins (2018-07-05 02:53:54 GMT)
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Another option:

a common spherical cow problem / a common spherical chicken problem

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Note added at 45 mins (2018-07-05 02:55:41 GMT)
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I believe that in this case средняя means обычная, заурядная.

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Note added at 1 hr (2018-07-05 03:19:34 GMT)
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Sorry, it looks like I misunderstood what you said: Not the problem but its complexity is средняя, сферическая в вакууме!

Correction:

средняя, сферическая в вакууме, задача
->
a run-of-the-mill problem

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Note added at 1 hr (2018-07-05 03:22:55 GMT)
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I mean you don’t need to translate сферическая в вакууме because it’s just an extravagant way to say that the problem is nothing special.

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Note added at 5 hrs (2018-07-05 07:38:01 GMT)
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Sorry, I did not mean a hypothetical problem. The phrase сферический конь в вакууме, among other things, can refer to a complex real-life problem that has been grossly oversimplified and reduced to a purely theoretical problem that can be more easily tackled using available (for example, mathematical) methods.

But, as I said above, now I believe that in this case, средняя, сферическая в вакууме simply means nothing special, perfectly average, or something like that.

"сферическая в вакууме"

 Rashid LazytechLocal time: 07:02Specializes in fieldNative speaker of: RussianPRO pts in category: 47
 This is the most helpful answer, although, based on your advice, I opted for "hypothetical" as the force of what is intended here.
 Asker: Thanks for your additional thoughts. In the context I am dealing with what is being described is an 'average' task in the sense of a hypothetical average task (not any specific one). So I should probably have qualified it to say, "hypothetical average".

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