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Шутки в сторону February 17, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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Ouch! Вова серьёзничает.

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1. BerlinBear - February 17, 2006

If you want a really good laugh, as someone who understands the original, you could put that page through babelfish.altavista.com to see what I now think it means.

I was most amused to discover that this:
Опять балуешься! – воскликнул Владимир Владимирович™
apparently means:
“again you frolic! – exclaimed Vladimir Vladimirovich™”

I think I’m going to use that from now on. :-)

2. lb - February 17, 2006

It’s been a source of perpetual disappointment to me that we don’t have patronymics in English. Mind you, if we did, I’d probably get my father to change his name.

3. BiB - February 17, 2006

BB, delighted to see you’re a night owl too. I think I’d have translated that as, “Pissing around again, I see,” but I suppose a computerised translation programme has to sex things down.

LB, you’ve changed your name! For a second, I thought I had a new reader! I’m very worried by your regret that you weren’t born Russian. Although a patronymic desire is utterly comprehensible. The sad thing is that, as a foreigner, when you do go and live in Russia – have you lived there? – they don’t give you a patronymic, or, if they see your documents and see you have a middle name, assume that’s vaguely a patronymic, so I became, on occasion, Petrovich and had to explain Peter was just my middle name and nothing to do with my father. Mystified looks all round. Mind you, I did see in the occasional Russian rag where foreigners were employed full names and an attempt at patronymicisation, so you’d get the odd Dzhefri Dzheimsovich and other such eye-catching combinations. Bit of a hoot. Bulgakov’s good for ludicrous made-up names. I think there’s an Archibald Archibaldovich in The Master and Margarita and the wonderful Poligraf Poligrafovich in Heart of a Dog.

4. leon - February 17, 2006

Hm, am particularly confused this afternoon.

Yes, Poligraf Poligrafovich is a good one. I gave Heart of a Dog to a friend for his birthday not that long back – a gift that keeps on giving, I hope.

Thanks to an administrative error at university I was entered on the records with the spurious middle initial “B”. I ended up telling people it was short for Basil or something equally improbable.

5. leon - February 17, 2006

See also the bit in The Good Soldier Svejk where he ends up getting captured by his own side and has to take down the names of Russian prisoners (Mordvins and Circassians and the like)

6. BerlinBear - February 17, 2006

@BiB,
Yes, a chronic night owl, I’m afraid. And yes, I guessed it must have meant something like that, but you’ve got to admit that “again you frolic” is WAY better.

Whenever I use those things, I am amazed at how little progress we’ve made with machine translation. They are truly pathetic. Still, on the plus side, it means the like of you and me will not be out of jobs just yet.

7. BiB - February 23, 2006

Yes, thank heavens for bad computer translations, I suppose, although I almost look forward to the day when a computer will be able to do my job so that I’ll be FORCED to look for something else. Still lacking inspiration though…


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