There's a scene in The Arrival where some important muckity-muck has the following exchange with Louise (Amy Adams):

Guy: We have to consider the idea that our visitors are prodding us to fight among ourselves until only one faction prevails.

Louise: There's no evidence of that.

Guy: Sure there is. Grab a history book. The British with India, the Germans with Rwanda. They even got a name for it in Hungary.

So, what do Hungarians call that strategy?

(This exchange begins at 1:07:48.)

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    I guess this is a translation or alternate question related more to language sites rather than understanding the movie or the dialogue. – Nog Shine Jul 26 '18 at 5:39
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    I would agree that you are more than likely right Nog, but as the film deals with the nature and interpretation of language as one of its central themes its not the most unreasonable question to have ever been asked on here. – Stephen Francis Jul 26 '18 at 5:53
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    I think the point is that it doesn't matter what the word is...it's that it's a universal historical consistency. It happens everywhere and to everyone. – Paulie_D Jul 26 '18 at 6:43
  • I was on the fence about putting the question here, but decided this was more appropriate than a dedicated language site in case the movie was taking liberties and there really was no such term, or in case the context was important in a way I couldn't anticipate. I appreciate folks not shutting the question down. – Tom Aug 2 '18 at 19:39
  • I'm genuinely surprised that the script omitted the original "divide and conquer" (divide et impera), coined by Philip of Macedon and famously executed in Gaul by Julius Caesar. It's pretty much the textbook definition of what the guy is referring to. – Flater Feb 14 at 8:01

The word you are looking for is szalámitaktika meaning Salami Tactics or Salami Slice Strategy.

The term was first coined by Mátyás Rákosi an orthodox communist leader in Hungary.

...it was the colloquial naming of the behaviour, political methods of the Hungarian Communist Party in order of their quick rise to power. In a wider sense, this tactic was used by other communist parties as well in the Soviet occupation zone to develop monarchism. In this fashion, the opposition is eliminated “slice by slice” until one realizes that it is gone in its entirety.

  • I never knew the Hungarian word, but you're reminded me that I did learn the term in college. Thanks! – Tom Aug 2 '18 at 19:37

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