Intro: Here is some text where the speaker is explaining their plans for their future education:
Диссертации только после магистратуры и на соискание (получение) степени. Если всё пойдёт по плану, то диссертация будет года этак через два.
To the best of my understanding, this should mean something like:
The dissertation occurs only after a master's degree and is for the purpose of receiving the (PhD) degree. If everything goes according to plan, I will start my dissertation something like two years from now.
In terms of the word order, most of this seems standard to me.
Question: However, the part
...то диссертация будет года этак через два.
seems exceedingly strange to me. First, shouldn't it be
та диссертация, or is
то here being used to replace a noun rather than an adjective? (I.e. not being used as a modifier pronoun?)
Second, why are
два separated from each other here? Does this separation indicate anything important missing in my above translation attempt?
In short, I would have expected something more like:
...та диссертация будет этак через два года.
Is there any difference in meaning between that and what was originally written?
Background: It is well known that since Russian is a highly-inflected language, the number of possible word orders which are grammatically correct are higher than in other languages.
However, I have also been told at least one Russian-speaking friend that sometimes different word orders imply different nuances, so that even if they are both grammatically correct they don't necessarily mean "the same thing". Not having been able to find any formal resources explaining these changes in meaning due to word order, it is difficult for me to identify situations where this is relevant when I see them in practice/"in the wild".
Aside: The speaker just graduated university (undergraduate/bachelor's), which explains some of my translation attempt. However, in American English, the "dissertation" for a doctoral degree is sometimes also called a "thesis", and while not all Master's programs require a thesis in order to graduate, it is also not unheard of for Master's students to complete a thesis.
диссертация here translate as (doctoral) dissertation, (doctoral) thesis, or (Master's) thesis?
Is the person saying that they are going to get their doctorate two years after graduating college? That is what it sounded like to me originally.
Maybe they meant a Master's thesis, because maybe one can think of completing the thesis after the Master's program, and the thesis is done for the purpose of getting the Master's degree. On the other hand, one might also typically get a PhD after completing their Master's, and the word dissertation is typically used only to refer to a document written for a doctoral degree. Yet the original text sounds like the speaker intends to complete their "dissertation" two years after completing undergrad which doesn't make much sense.