Saturday, October 3, 2015

Еще один текст для перевода с английского на русский: Crunch meeting

Please submit your best translation into Russian of the following sentence. 

"Stormont ministers will hold a crunch meeting today in a bid to strike a deal on a hard hitting budget ahead of a deadline tomorrow."

Friday, October 2, 2015

To go beyond

And now one for the native speakers of English.

Here is a sentence to translate into Russian (a quote from the Biblical scholar and hermeneutics specialist, Greidanus):
"In the history of interpretation this phenomenon of meanings beyond the author's original intention has been called the sensus plenior, the fuller sense." 
Answers in the comments, please. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

И он твой

Competition: who can come up with the best translation of the advert in the picture. Answer in the form of comments. Russian speakers only.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Implicit - как перевести

What is implicit in this statement? Что подразумевается под этим заявлением?

This statement is implicitly nationalistic. Это заявление является косвенно националистическим.

We had an implicit agreement not to raise the subject. Между нами была негласная согласованность не поднимать эту тему.

This contract implies that an employee has a right to paid leave. 
  • Этот контракт подразумевает, что работник имеет право на оплачиваемый отпуск. 
  • OR: Из этого контракт следует, что работник имеет право на оплачиваемый отпуск. 
  • OR: Этот контракт предполагает, что работник имеет право на оплачиваемый отпуск. 
What are you implying? Что вы подразумеваете?

Opposite/antonym: explicit. Прямой, гласный, явный.

This contract explicitly states that an employee has a right to paid leave. 
  • Этот контракт явно прописывает, что работник имеет право на оплачиваемый отпуск. 
  • Этот контракт прямо прописывает, что работник имеет право на оплачиваемый отпуск. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Indispensable etc.

indispensable, irreplaceable = незаменим (незаменимость).
- No-one is irreplaceable. Никто незаменим.
- Don't labour under the illusion that you are irreplaceable. Не питайте иллюзию, что вы - незаменимы.

не на пустом месте = not in isolation/in a vaccuum
- Проблемы не возникают на пустом месте.

Отождествление с = equate with
- они отождествляют христианскую церковь со всем обществом. They equate the Christian church with the whole of society.

Борозда = furrough (in a field) or an analogous channel, eg created by tiles on a roof.

A necessary but inadequate position = Нужная, но неполноценная позиция

Monday, April 20, 2015

... will be resumed shortly = ... скоро возобновится (скоро будет возобновлено)
Identify theft = хищение личных данных 
The key message of their election campaign is = Главный посыл предвыборной кампании - ...
I have some errands to run in town = у меня разные дела в городе
I have got some chores to do = у меня разные дела по дому / хозяйственные дела
To concede a point = признать, что 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cинонимы к слову "имя" / synonyms for the word "name"

имя - name (proper name)
название - title of an object rather than a person
наименование - eg of a product
прозвище (прозвание- nickname
кличка - nickname
термин - technical term
обозначение - word denoting a particular object
эпитет - определение, прилагаемое к названию предмета для большей образности (синее море, чистое небо)
Титул - title
звание - rank, position   
псевдоним - alias, nom de plume

name - имя
title - название, напр. книги, фильм
epithet - a word or phrase that describes a person or thing, e.g. Richard the Lion-Hearted.
label - ярлык
nickname - прозвище
login - логин, ник
term - термин
alias - псевдоним 
appellation - То, как называют 
designation - обозначение
moniker - кличка
tag - тэг 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Preview (meanings and connotations)

Words have meanings, but just as important are their connotations. 

Connotation is about situations in which a given word is used, feelings and associations which that word evokes in the hearer.

For example if I say 'victory' the meaning is clear: to win a battle or defeat an enemy. However, depending on the language and context, a particular victory may be in mind. In Russia, for example, VE Day 1945 is the immediate association.

Some words have a strong resonance, conjuring up clear images and carrying a lot of weight, while other words have less connotation and simply denote a given object. Compare for example 'home' (a lot connotational 'weight') and 'house' (much less connotational 'weight').

Mastering a foreign language is not just about understanding and communicating meaning; it is also about grasping connotation, being able to 'see things from inside' and ideally being able to pass that on in speech and writing.

There is a particular concept which I am trying to translate into Russian at the moment which is captured in English by words and phrases such as: sneak preview, anticipation, glimpse. I want to communicate the notion of perceiving something ahead of time with a view to fully apprehending it in the future. (The particular event I have in mind is the Transfiguration of Jesus which is a preview of his later resurrection and glory.)

What words and phrases are available in Russian to communicate this idea?

The notion of pre-, in advance is communicated by the prefix 'пред-'
  • предвидеть means to know in advance, to predict. Предвидение is foresight. 
  • предвкушать = to pretaste. Предвкушение is to enjoy something in advance. 
  • предвещать = to pre-communicate. Предвестник = harbinger. E.g. a sparrow is a harbinger of spring. Предвестие is an omen or premonition (with superstitious or occult connotations). 
  • предварительный просмотр = preview (eg in Microsoft Office to see what a document will look like before it is printed)
  • Предшественник = precursor in the sense of an ancestor (personal or impersonal). Предшествовать is to go before or to precede.  
  • Предварить события means опередить события, to do something in advance or even to 'jump the gun'. 
  • The modern equivalent of the Biblical предупредить is опередить. Предупредить now means to warn in modern Russian.  
Заблаговременный means сделанный заранее, предварительно. 

However I am still struggling to find a word which captures the meaning and has the requisite connotation/s. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The root "твор-" (to create)

One of the things I have found with language learning - and particularly with Russian - is a tendency to 'plateau', to reach a particular level and then not to make progress. One manifestation of this is that there are particular mistakes which I keep making and I can't seem to overcome. Often all that is required is to research a bit, find out the correct answer and to start using it.

The basic verb is творить (imperfective) which means
(1) to create (synonym создавать/создать) or
(2) to do (synonym делать/сделать)

Here are some examples of the second meaning (slightly old-fashioned or churchy): 
  • Он творит добро. He does good (i.e. performs acts of kindness).
  • Что ты творишь? What are you doing? What are you up to? 
  • Они не ведают, что творят. They know not what they do (Biblical quote) 
  • In contemporary usage the same verb can be used to mean 'do something strange': Он может что угодно с тобой сотворить
  • In formal church use it can me 'perform': сотворить молитву, сотворить крестное знамение. 
  • Что ты натворил? What have you done? 
The first meaning is the translation of the English 'create': Бог сотворил мир

If you want to talk about the ongoing process of creating (When God was creating the universe...), you can either say, "Когда Бог творил вселенную," or, "Когда Бог сотворял вселенную..." 

The noun сотворение (eg сотворение мира) refers to the act of creating. The pairing "creation or evolution" would translate as "сотворение или эволюция" (I am not proposing to discuss whether these are indeed opposites or mutually exclusive). 

The noun творение refers to the end-product, the creature. An old-fashioned word тварь (fem.) used to bear the same meaning but now refers to a person who is wild or beast-like ("подлый, мерзкий человек"). The modern word is зверь (masc.). There is also the expression "все твари в паре" which refers to a motley crew or diverse bunch of people. 

The adjective тварный means created; the theological concept of uncreated is нетварный or несотворенный

God the Creator is Творец (or Создатель); by analogy a human artist may likewise be called a creator.

Творчество is both creativity and the fruits thereof (творчество Пикассо = the work of Picasso).

Monday, February 16, 2015

Телефонный разговор по-английски

На любом иностранном языке разговор по телефону представляет определенные трудности. Какие-то из них можно преодолеть, зная этикет и шаблонные фразы, которые используют в данном случае.

Помнится одна знакомая наша русская, проживающая в Великобритания, котороя искала съемную квартиру. Дозвонившись до хозяйки она сразу спросила: "Hello, do you have a big lounge?" Так нельзя. Надо готовить почву, предупредить собеседника перед тем, как затеять тему.

Вот как проходит звонок по-английски.

- Hello, is that the Benefits Office?
- Yes.
- I wonder if you could help me. I have been self-employed since 2010 and I need to find out the status of my account. Could you find out for me if there are any payments I owe?
- Sure. Could I take your name and national insurance number?
- John Smith. PJ 000988 FA.
- Could you confirm your date of birth for me?
- 1 May 1987.
- That's fine. I am just pulling up your data now... According to our database you are fully paid up until April 2015.
- That's fine. Thanks.
- Is there anything else I can do for you? (Or: Is there anything else I can help you with?)
- No, that's all for today. Goodbye.
- Goodbye.

Обращаю внимание на разные шаблонные фразы, которые, образно говоря, "смазывают" разговор, дает время воспринимать информацию или делать перерыв.

Такие фразы как I wonder if you could help me готовят собеседника к дальнейшим вопросам. Можно представиться или иногда требуется только описать свои обстоятельства, то есть необязательно называть фамилию, а лишь к какой категории людей вы относитесь.

I need to.... вполне адекватно звучит в отличие от I must, I have to или I should.

Порой вместо повелительного наклонения лучше оборот Could you...

Russian phone manner

I have been learning Russian for over 20 years and first came to Russia in 1994, but speaking on the phone continues to present difficulties.

Here are some general phrases and observations which may be helpful for a formal phonecall.

First of all, assuming you are the one making the call, it is always customary to greet the recipient: Здравствуйте! (or Доброе утро! Добрый день! Добрый вечер!)

You may then introduce yourself, although this is not always mandatory. The set phrase is: Вас беспокоит... You can either give your name or some relevant description. Eg: Вас беспокоит родитель/житель кировского района/налогоплательщик/гражданин Франции.

The next thing you need to go is to flag up the reason for your call. Usually in Russian this is quite direct.
  • Я звоню по объявлению 
  • Я звоню по поводу акции. 
  • У меня банковский счет в евро и мне нужно его закрыть. 
There is a phrase equivalent to the preface, "I wonder if you could help me."

  • It is either the imperative ПодскажИте, пожалуйста, где можно найти запчасти для Тойоты!... 
  • or the question: Не подскАжете, где могу найти запчасти для Тойоты? 
During the call here are some phone phrases which may be useful: 
  • С кем имею честь? Could I ask whom I talking to
  • Повторите, пожалуйста! Could you repeat that?
  • я не расслышал. I didn't catch what you said. 
Once the relevant information has been obtained, the phonecall is ended quite quickly. Something along the lines of Спасибо, вы ответили на мой вопрос. Всего доброго. (Possibly politer than typical.) 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Some sayings and words I have learnt recently

У умных мысли сходятся = Great minds think alike.

Кровь людская - не водица или же Кровь не вода = Blood is thicker than water 

There are also various sayings along the lines of, "Война войной, а обед по расписанию." A repeated noun in nominative and instrumental cases in succession bears the meaning: "wars come and go" or "friends come and go" or something along those lines.

Разводить овец/скот = to rear sheep, cattle.

Скотоводство = cattle-rearing, running a cattle farm

Вещественные доказательства = material evidence 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Greed, tapestries and exams

Some new words I have learnt or remembered in the last month or so:

подлости = acts of underhand mean-ness
алчный = greedy in an acquisitive way as opposed to...
жадный = greedy in a retentive way
жирный = greedy in a childish way, as in the children's rhyme: "жирный, жирный, поезд пассажирный"

I think I need some more positive words now...

пассатижи (also referred to as плоскогубцы) = pliers
гобелен = tapestry
Bayeux tapestry = Гобелен из Байё
Mortify vice and vivify virtue = умертвить пороки и оживить добродетели.

There is also an interesting use of "пойти" which I am noticing more and more which means something along the lines of "получиться". "Проповедь не пошла" means that the preacher got tied in knots and the audience didn't take to it.

An old favourite of mine is под + accusative, eg "он под меня подстроился" which means "He adapted to me" or "he fitted around my plans". It may be related to phrases where под refers to the use of a given object, eg банка под молоко means a jar used for storing milk.

There is apparently a new language, history and culture test in connection with immigration requirements. For those due to take the new test you will need to (за)зубрить материал (do a crash course in, cram the material) with a view to отбарабанить зазубренное (regurgitate what you have cram-learned).