I would like to translate this sentence to Russian:

The doors of the [beduin] tents slammed open and shut in the wind.

I found the verbs хло́пнуть and захло́пнуть for shutting or slamming a door. Though, to me, it seems like both terms mean closing a door rather than opening it.

However, I would like to emphasize that the doors did both (open and close).

Right now I am using this sentence, which has a slightly different meaning:

Двери палаток так хлопнули на ветру, что всё загремело.

  • Can you slam a door open? Doesn't it sound odd? I found some discussions on the topic and indeed people experiment with the word. I too can do an experiment and invent a new word: расхлопывать. Winnie-the-Pooh could easily use it.
    – AlexVB
    Jan 5, 2018 at 11:44
  • 3
    I think a bedouin tent door or any other kind of tent opening would rather flap in the wind and not slam open or shut.
    – Shambhala
    Jan 5, 2018 at 14:35
  • 1
    The door had a solid frame and would slam. But that's not the point here. Imagine a regular wooden door, if you don't like the idea of a tent having a door. :-) Jan 5, 2018 at 15:03
  • Двери палаток, ударяясь, закрывались и открывались ветром. Jan 5, 2018 at 20:44

4 Answers 4


Двери палаток хлопали, открываясь и закрываясь от ветра.

Note that хлопнули is a single-event verb whereas хлопали is a multi-event verb which is probably what you wanted.

I think you used "open and shut" only to emphasize the repetitiveness of the slamming. In Russian you can safely drop "открываясь и закрываясь" because repetitiveness is already expressed by хлопали. Thus you can simply say :

Двери палаток хлопали от ветра.


Ветер хлопал дверьми палаток.

Which sounds a bit more fiction-like, if that's what you are writing.

  • 1
    Sure, the slamming was a continuous process. Good point! But хло́пать only means (repetitively) slamming with a loud noise, it does not indicate any direction, right? In particular, it does not only mean to slam shut? Jan 5, 2018 at 12:17
  • 4
    @user1438038 захлопнуть, meaning a single action, will mean to slam shut. Хлопать, a repeated action, will be understood as opening and closing a number of times.
    – svavil
    Jan 5, 2018 at 13:04
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    still usually with respect to a door хлопать has connotations of closure, when we say or hear он вышел, хлопнув дверью we mean and understand that a person slam shut the door, not slam opened it on the way out Jan 5, 2018 at 19:11

Дверцы палаток то распахивались, то захлопывались от ветра (на ветру).

  • exactly........ Jan 5, 2018 at 11:46
  • Fling open is a word for распахивать, but people find it sounds not enough slamming.
    – AlexVB
    Jan 5, 2018 at 11:58
  • 2
    I'd add с шумом (распахивались), but I couldn't imagine any noise (like хлопание) at opening a tent door :)
    – Alex_ander
    Jan 5, 2018 at 12:32
  • I also agree, there should be two verbs +1
    – V.V.
    Jan 5, 2018 at 19:20

You can go with a description. Двери стучали на ветру. (Or: Дверь стучала на ветру for singular.) This basically focuses on the doors producing the sound and not being shut or open, but it's obvious that doors produce a clapping sound by closing themselves.

Another issue is if your tents really have doors or the entry blocking device is called different. Compare полы шатра.

My стучали above implies hard doors, of wood or something. If it's fabric, I'd say хлопали, e.g. Полотнища палаток хлопали на ветру, паруса хлопали от порывов ветра.

  • Is was a metal frame covered with thick fabric. The material could not distort, so I would rather consider it a solid door. The door was not fluttering in the wind, like it would do on a regular camping tent. Jan 8, 2018 at 13:46
  • I'd go for стучали in this case. Jan 8, 2018 at 19:28
  • I have searched for both Дверь хлопала на ветру and Дверь стучала на ветру on Google. The first sentence gives me 800+ results, wheres I don't get a single result for the second one. I'm not a native speaker, so I can't tell, but стучала seems rather uncommon. Jan 9, 2018 at 11:02
  • google.com/… ? Jan 9, 2018 at 16:09

I would not recommend to employ the words "дверь" or "двери" in application to a beduin's tent. On this occasion, "полог" would be better. Then the verb describing the behaviour of this kind of cover is "трепетать":

"Полог его палатки трепетал на ветру"

You can say even stronger:

"Полог его палатки рвался и трепетал на ветру, так что внутри палатки всё сотрясалось."

  • 1
    In my case the tent had indeed a more or less solid door, so дверь suited well. But in general you are probably right, that the entrance to a beduin's tent is not commonly referred to as a "door". Thanks for the addition. Aug 16, 2019 at 8:23
  • in that case, we маы say: "Дверь его шатра содрогалась и хлопала на ветру; да так что всё внутри сотрясалось" Aug 16, 2019 at 15:51

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