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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 6:03 am    Post subject: ********** Reply with quote

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Last edited by Kent F. Kruhoeffer on Fri Jul 04, 2003 12:24 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Buck Turgidson



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good link Smile

I read Nabokob's translation of Yevgenii Onegin. I enjoyed it but I can't comment on the translation. I imagine it is pretty good.

Most Russians I have talked to say Pushkin is difficult to translate because he uses a lot of untranslatable slang. They also tell me that he used obscene words. While I lived there I memorized the poem "Black Shawl" in Russian. Every time I came to the line "Nevernuyu devu lobzal Armianin" my Russian listeners would laugh. They told me it was racey. It translates roughly "An Armenian was licking the unfaithful girl." Embarassed
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 5:38 am    Post subject: naughty unfaithful girl! Reply with quote

Good morning Buck Cool

Yes, I agree that translations of poetry (and other literary works) can be less than 100% accurate. There's no doubt that some words and expressions (in every language) defy direct translation. I'm just glad that it was an 'Armenian' and not an 'American' doing the licking. Laughing

With regard to "The Flower"; I presented this particular poem to my advanced Multi-Media class, in English, and discovered that one of my students in this group had memorized the original Russian version when she was a grade-school kid. She's now in her 30ies, and still knows it by heart. According to her, the translation was excellent.

Russians are not always so generous with their compliments, so I feel pretty good about using these in class now. On top of that, I've found that Russians are REALLY keen on reading Pushkin in English, so much so that I've even had requests from total strangers for copies of these poems in English. I swear.

Thanks for your reply, Buck ... and have a nice day Exclamation
kEnT
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