JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for EAST-WEST-RESEARCH Archives


EAST-WEST-RESEARCH Archives

EAST-WEST-RESEARCH Archives


EAST-WEST-RESEARCH@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

EAST-WEST-RESEARCH Home

EAST-WEST-RESEARCH Home

EAST-WEST-RESEARCH  June 2002

EAST-WEST-RESEARCH June 2002

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Palazchenko: My Unsystematic Dictionary

From:

Andrew Jameson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Andrew Jameson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 12 Jun 2002 10:17:18 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (101 lines)

Johnson's Russia List
#6303
12 June 2002
[log in to unmask]
A CDI Project
www.cdi.org

#2
Ex-Gorbachev Interpreter Writes Book
June 11, 2002
By SARAH KARUSH

MOSCOW (AP) - As Mikhail Gorbachev's interpreter, Pavel Palazchenko was the
Soviet leader's trusty assistant in his campaign to end the Cold War. Now he
is fighting to rid the world of another wedge dividing East from West: bad
translation.

In ``My Unsystematic Dictionary,'' published in Moscow, Palazchenko tackles
the things they don't teach you in language class - such as ``to go postal''
and ``no-brainer.''

Covering Russian bureaucratese as well as American political correctness,
it's both a guide to good translation and a handbook for cultural
understanding.

One side effect of the changes unleashed by Gorbachev is that in today's
Russia, translations from and into English are everywhere, from restaurant
menus to Hollywood blockbusters. But often they do more to confuse than to
enlighten.

``Sometimes, a bad translation can really be a problem. It sometimes really
impedes understanding,'' Palazchenko told The Associated Press. ``This has
become a mass profession, ... so I think there is some cause for alarm.''

The bald, mustachioed Palazchenko was a fixture at Gorbachev's summit talks
with President Reagan, and he stayed Gorbachev even after the Soviet reformer
was shoved off the political scene. At 53, he continues to interpret at
Gorbachev's many international appearances and also handles his media
relations.

Gorbachev, known as a big talker with a love for colorful phrases and complex
metaphors, is no easy ride for an interpreter.

Palazchenko recalled how Gorbachev surprised him at the first summit with
Reagan in Geneva in 1985 by quoting extensively from the Bible - highly
unusual for the leader of a communist regime. Palazchenko was ready. He had
studied Bible phrases in depth years before, and was able to render perfectly
the long passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes that begins ``To every thing
there is a season.''

But memorizing passages from the Bible is not enough to prepare today's
translators, and Palazchenko's book offers translations of newer expressions
and concepts.

The book offers a comprehensive section on Russian slang, including
``otstoi,'' a word teenagers use to mock anything old-fashioned. Palazchenko
translates it as ``square,'' though today's American kids might find the word
itself to be otstoi.

American slang entries include ``no-brainer,'' which Palazchenko translates
as ``eto yozhu yasno'' - clear to a hedgehog.

Palazchenko devotes a page-and-a-half to ``challenge'' - a word with no
direct equivalent in Russian. Possible substitutes include ``problem'' or ``a
task requiring great effort,'' he suggests. He also gives advice on the, er,
challenge presented by new American euphemisms, such as ``physically
challenged.'' It means ``disabled,'' he writes.

Translating ``going postal'' depends on the context, Palazchenko explains. It
can mean a murderous rampage, or simply to be extremely - but nonviolently -
upset. The Russian term would be ``krysha poyekhala'' - ``losing your roof,''
he writes.

Many of the entries in the Russian-English half of the dictionary warn the
translator of ``false friends'' - words that sound the same in both languages
but are different. For instance, the Russian ``adekvatny'' sounds like
``adequate'' but means ``appropriate'' or ``good.'' ``Anekdot'' is not an
anecdote, but a joke.

Then there's the ultimate puzzle - the Russian expression ``twice as few.''
As Palazchenko points out, it simply means ``half.''

-----
American Phrases in Russian

Some examples from ``My Unsystematic Dictionary,'' by Pavel Palazchenko,
former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's interpreter:

Been there, done that - Na eti grabli my uzhe nastupali - We've already
stepped on that rake.

Get a life - Ne prospi zhizn' - Don't sleep through life

In the pipeline - Na podkhode - Coming up

Downsize - Otsekat' nenuzhnoye - To chop off the unnecessary

No-brainer - Eto yozhu yasno - It's clear to a hedgehog.

*******

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager