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Плодиться и размножаться - Russian Word of the Day

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Май 3, 2005

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09:53 am - Плодиться и размножаться
The Russian equivalent of the Biblical commandment "fruit and multiply" is плодитесь и размножайтесь, which would suggest that "плодиться" means "to fruit". It would make sense, considering that the root плод can be translated as "fruit".
But, in fact, "плодиться" does not mean "to fruit", it means to increase in number through procreation which is the same as multiply in this context.
The non-reflexive form "плодить" usually means the same as плодиться as in creating one's own offsprings
е.g. Наплодил детей. Note that it is a transitive verb. Also, note that it is disparaging in this context.

Размножаться in both its meaning and its usage is pretty much equivalent to плодиться.
The non-reflexive form размножать most often means to photocopy (papers, documents, flyers).
А more popular and informal word for photocopying is ксерить (perf. отксерить), which derives from the Russian spelling of Xerox - Ксерокс.

The dictionaries will tell you that плодить and размножать may also mean to breed. In fact they are very rarely used this way.
The verb разводить is used instead.

(3 комментария | Оставить комментарий)


[User Picture]
Date:Май 3, 2005 04:00 pm
"to fruit"

The wording I know is "be fruitful and multiply"; I imagine this is the King James Version.
[User Picture]
Date:Май 3, 2005 04:22 pm
You are definitely right about the KJV. This must have been either a different translation that I had in mind, or I just remembered it incorrectly.
In fact, what I heard in my mind was the original Hebrew wording, where two verbs are used (the Russian translation reflects it more literally).
[User Picture]
Date:Июнь 9, 2005 01:59 pm
BTW, at some point you might consider adding extra info about the "разводить" verb, the colloquial meaning of which is quite far away from the dictionary now

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