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V.N Mironov “I Witnessed This War. Checnya 1995” - English translation

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  • #46
    Originally posted by stalin View Post
    'Hmm, this is not America. There, a whole fleet was sent after some pilot downed over Yugoslavia. And they rescued him after all! Found him in some impassable forest and got him out. And what about us? As a classic writer once said: “Cursed and forgotten!” Oh Motherland, Motherland. You’re no mother to us, but some evil aunt. I don’t want my son to serve in your Armed Forces'
    UVB,

    Can you post this passage in the original Russian?

    thanks
    skob

    Comment


    • #47
      http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9C%...BD.D0.B5.C2.BB

      He is a real person and Russian.
      There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

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      • #48
        там ещё вот что внушает некоторые подозрения - "В 1997 уволен из Вооруженных сил РФ по сокращению штатов"

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        • #49
          там ещё вот что внушает некоторые подозрения - "В 1997 уволен из Вооруженных сил РФ по сокращению штатов"
          It's better to be fired because the reduction of states rather than for corruption or treason. I found similar phrases on the blog of an other Chechen War veteran, so I'm not really surprised.
          There are no Nazis in Ukraine. © Idiots

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Emtos View Post
            It's better to be fired because the reduction of states rather than for corruption or treason
            тут дело не в том за что он был уволен, а в том что был уволен вообще, а затем занялся сомнительной для бывшего военного деятельностью: "В 1997—2003 годах служил в Управлении федеральной службы налоговой полиции по Красноярскому краю (служба упразднена Президентом РФ в 2003). С июля 2003 года работал сотрудником Управления Федеральной службы России по контролю за оборотом наркотиков по Красноярскому краю в звании подполковника милиции."

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            • #51
              Originally posted by skoblin View Post
              UVB,

              Can you post this passage in the original Russian?

              thanks
              skob
              This bit is from Chapter 10. Interestingly user_Stalin omits the last sentence:

              <<М-да, это не Америка. Там для спасения какого-то сбитого летчика над Югославией отправили целый флот. И ведь спасли! В непроходимых лесах нашли и эвакуировали. А нас? Как сказал классик: "Прокляты и забыты!"
              Эх, Родина, Родина, не мать ты нам, а тетка чужая! Не хочу, чтобы мой сын служил в твоих Вооруженных силах. Чтобы как я стрелял в собственный народ по бездарной прихоти и политической импотенции кремлевских алкоголиков, впавших в маразм.>>

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              • #52
                Originally posted by UVB76 View Post
                <<М-да, это не Америка. Там для спасения какого-то сбитого летчика над Югославией отправили целый флот. И ведь спасли! В непроходимых лесах нашли и эвакуировали. А нас? Как сказал классик: "Прокляты и забыты!"
                Эх, Родина, Родина, не мать ты нам, а тетка чужая! Не хочу, чтобы мой сын служил в твоих Вооруженных силах. Чтобы как я стрелял в собственный народ по бездарной прихоти и политической импотенции кремлевских алкоголиков, впавших в маразм.>>
                Hello UVB,
                thanks for posting the original - and yes -not the easiest passage to translate. However, I do have a few observations to make.

                1. In English we would more likely say "as a great writer once said" as opposed to "as a classic writer once said". "Classic" is a specifically Russian appellation given to great writers of the past. In English, "classic" is usually reserved for the literary work itself.

                2. Regarding the use of the vocative "O". This has a lofty, odic quality about it in English, which I do not think is appropriate here. Instead, I feel the writer is conveying resignation. Thus, I would be more inclined to use "ah".

                3. I'm confused as to your use of the phrase "evil aunt". "Evil" conveys some sort of malicious intent, whereas the original "тетка чужая"conveys indifference and alienation. In addition, there is a great cultural difference between Eastern European use of the word "aunt" and Anglo-Saxon use. My Hungarian wife, for instance, refers to older Hungarian female friends of her mother as "___ neni", literally "auntie ___". That would never happen in English. Thus, although the word тетка appears in the Russian, the word "aunt" may not be appropriate in English.

                4. "Motherland, Motherland". Generally speaking, Родина, is usually translated as "Motherland". However, this term usually carries patriotic overtones in English. Here, however, the writer is referring specifically to the supposedly close connection that should exist between one's country of birth and oneself - not patriotism. Thus, I would be inclined to avoid the use of "Motherland". Plus, whereas Эх, Родина, Родина sounds poetic, "O, Motherland, Motherland" sounds clunky. I would almost be inclined to say - "ah, Russia, Russia - you're no mother to us, but a cold and distant stranger". After all, тетка чужая might as well be a stranger and - in this context - one that doesn't care either. The actual richness of the Russian contrast between мать and тетка чужая cannot be conveyed well in English in literal fashion - "mother and indifferent/alien aunt" sound simplistic and trite in English. Thus, we need to abstract from the actual words and try to find what the author is actually trying to say. At least - that is how I see it.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by UVB76 View Post
                  This bit is from Chapter 10. Interestingly user_Stalin omits the last sentence: 'I don’t want my son to serve in your Armed Forces. So that like me, he can shoot at his own people on the craft-less whim and political impotence of senile Kremlin alcoholics.""Чтобы как я стрелял в собственный народ по бездарной прихоти и политической импотенции кремлевских алкоголиков, впавших в маразм."
                  the war in Chechnya has never been seen by anyone as shooting "own people" , so the author is totally making up here; and also this -
                  Originally posted by UVB76 View Post
                  “The Russian People - Chosen By God!” ****! How absurd! Paranoia! Only a hundred years ago, one Orthodox Christian could exchange another for a pedigree puppy dog, flog them to death as they please, shoot them.
                  the author should have known better (if he is indeed Russian) that serfdom was abolished in 1861, and flogging someone to death was a crime in 19th century Russia, as death sentence did not exist there then.

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                  • #54
                    I agree that the passage sounds clunky and I know it's not the only one in there...

                    How does one convey the notion that archaic clan laws commanded that distant relatives were obliged to participate in child-rearing but in practice were unlikely have undertaken such duty with a lot of zeal, making direct relatives (siblings, grandparents) the preferred choice when the parents are unavailable? That's why the writer chooses the words <<мать>> and <<тётка>>, noting also the abrupt, rather than the diminutive form for the latter...I don't think he does it consciously either...Such subtleties are deep in the language and probably should not be retained, so the passage might as well get a makeover. So how about:

                    "Ah, Mother Russia, you're no mother to us, you're like some distant, indifferent relative."

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by UVB76 View Post
                      So how about: "Ah, Mother Russia, you're no mother to us, you're like some distant, indifferent relative."
                      i'd suggest: "eh Russia, Russia. You’re no mother to us, but some angry aunt" ...but still it is very unlikely that a man in a war would reflect on things in a fashion of a dissident writer at the desk in a nice cozy room somhere in Moscow

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by stalin View Post
                        the author should have known better (if he is indeed Russian) that serfdom was abolished in 1861, and flogging someone to death was a crime in 19th century Russia, as death sentence did not exist there then.
                        Wasn't the poet Ryleyev executed in 1825 and Alexander Ulyanov in 1889? Incidents of capital punishment did indeed decline through the 19th Century in Russia, but it did still exist.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by stalin View Post
                          it is very unlikely that a man in a war would reflect on things in a fashion of a dissident writer at the desk in a nice cozy room somewhere in Moscow
                          That may be, that goes beyond the question of the authenticity of the translation but rather questions the authenticity of the original work, n'est-ce pas?

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            @Stalin:

                            You know, I don't want to defend the writer's position on anything. That's not my mission here. I'm simply a translator. But I can't help but start to think about why he might say one thing or another. For this purpose I'm trying to absorb everything that I can find on the Chechen War at the Fisher Library in USYD atm. Aaand I came across an interesting tidbit, one of several actually, in a book I'm currently reading (Matthew Evangelista
                            "The Chechen Wars: Will Russia go the Way of the Soviet Union?"), which relates to this:

                            Originally posted by stalin View Post
                            the war in Chechnya has never been seen by anyone as shooting "own people" , so the author is totally making up here;
                            That Dudaev, as late as 1992-4 was prepared to "accept himself as a Russian subject" so long as that meant foreign investment was to begin flowing into the region, (which had to happen with Moskva's OK). And that's very telling; nobody including Dudaev was clear on what position the Chechens held. Likewise Mironov even contradicts himself in several places calling the Chechens "our" people and then calling them the "enemy" in others (like the interview with Komok). From another angle, I have read it somewhere, Dudaev and his military associates were accused of being "Soviet officers, who unleashed war" <<развязали>> was the word used here. Dudaev fought in the Afghan war, just as many of the RF field commanders. He was one of "ours" and at the same time he wasn't. Things may seem more clear-cut now, but back then they were far from it. So again, Stalin, thank you for your absolutist view, but I beg to differ. Also, if you look at the book as an opinion piece, the writer is not "making it up" and at the same time he is. It's his opinion. If you study the context, it becomes a lot clearer.

                            Originally posted by stalin View Post
                            the author should have known better (if he is indeed Russian) that serfdom was abolished in 1861, and flogging someone to death was a crime in 19th century Russia, as death sentence did not exist there then.
                            That serfs were flogged to death sounds like Soviet propaganda. But Mironov is writing in precisely that sort of context. I won't argue the factual basis behind this. It's not the point. The point is that kids were being taught this in school and your average citizen would not think twice to use it as a tool in an argument. It should not be taken at face value. It's not the best choice of words, but that's how it is. When medieval writers wrote that "one hundred thousand citizens of Rome (or some other large city) perished in the Great Plague" they didn't mean it literally as there were not that many people living in these cities. They just meant "a lot of people died", but naturally, this did not help the later researchers who might have taken it literally. The lesson is, as Mr Lenin said "Learn, Learn..." etc.

                            Mironov's book is controversial. It is interesting that even today somebody would try to shoot it down by resorting to ad hominem. But that is why I felt it was important to make it available to a wider audience.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by UVB76 View Post
                              How does one convey the notion that archaic clan laws commanded that distant relatives were obliged to participate in child-rearing but in practice were unlikely have undertaken such duty with a lot of zeal, making direct relatives (siblings, grandparents) the preferred choice when the parents are unavailable? That's why the writer chooses the words <<мать>> and <<тётка>>, noting also the abrupt, rather than the diminutive form for the latter...I don't think he does it consciously either...Such subtleties are deep in the language and probably should not be retained, so the passage might as well get a makeover. So how about:

                              "Ah, Mother Russia, you're no mother to us, you're like some distant, indifferent relative."
                              From personal experience, one can never translate the full richness of implied meaning from one culture to another through translation - especially, when one is dealing with translating from an emotional language such as Russian to a more analytical language such as English. One can only hope that the main meaning is carried though (of course, it is different with scholarly works where you can append a lengthy explanatory footnote, but that would neither be suitable nor necessary for a work like this). As for "relative" instead of "aunt" - probably a better choice - but the final phrasing should also take into consideration the author's voice; which phrasing would sound more appropriate considering his character and how he has expressed himself through the rest of the book.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by skoblin View Post
                                Wasn't the poet Ryleyev executed in 1825 and Alexander Ulyanov in 1889?
                                no, those weren't the executions done by the State but were demanded by the tzar personally as a emergency measures for attempted regicide and terrorism.

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