Thursday, 19 May 2022

Song for the Russian and Ukrainian people

There's straight translation ... there's transliteration, which is a fine thing in the language world:
For example, the Indian name 'দৃষ্টি' is pronounced as Dr̥ṣṭi. Its' transliteration into English is 'Drishti. ' We write it as 'дришти' after its' transliteration into Cyrillic text used in the Russian language. Here, the syllables or sounds of the words and letters remain the same. [4 Oct 2019]
... and then there's 'Highamisation' in which I take the transliteration and make it more closely approximate a non-languages person's usual English, although this is, admittedly, pushing it with Geordies and the West Country.

Of course, it's also relying on my having picked up the 'to be translated' language well enough in the first place.

That long foreword was only to say that there's an expression I keep coming back to over and over ... to my mind best rendered in Russian.  

Looking at Peter's recent post:

Novelist Ian Fleming had his James Bond character opine, "Once is happenstance;  twice is coincidence;  three times is enemy action".  That's a yardstick that's been used by many organizations to assess what's going on in the world ...
... it seems to me to follow ... yes ... you can come to an understanding and this site attempts to help with that ... but in the end ... for what to know?  I mean, end of the day, when all is said and done - for what ultimate result?

A song for Russian and the Ukrainian people

The direct translation of the main line of the song below, according to my Ukro-Russian mate, is 'why know', which is fine but there's also a case in English for leaving it direct, as it better conveys the sense of frustration and despair at knowing something ... and for what?  For what ultimate result?

It's a famous Russian song among the late Soviet youth, who are now our age:

Зачем тебе знать, когда он уйдет, зачем тебе знать, о чем он поет.
Зачем тебе знать то, чего не знает он сам.
Зачем тебе знать, кого он любил, зачем тебе знать, о чем он просил.
Зачем тебе знать то, о чем он молчит.

For what [for you] to know when he departs, why do you need to know about that which he sings.
For what [for you] to know something that he does not know himself.
For what [for you] to know whom he loved, why do you need to know what he was asking for.
For what [for you] to know what he is silent about.

My Highamisation [transliteration of the transliteration, for English natives] is below but first an explanation.  Where I go italic, it's the stressed syllable in the word, where I go bold, it's the end of the rhythmic grouping [you'll hear that as you sing]:

Za-chem teb-yair znat
Kug-da on u/id yot
Za-chem teb-yair znat
A chorm on pie-yot
Za-chem teb-yair znat, tor
Che-vor on zneye-yet on sam [no major stress]

Za-chem teb-yair znat
K-vor on lu-bil
Za-chem teb-yair znat
A chorm on pru-sil
Za-chem teb-yair znat, tor
A chorm on mul-chit. [no major stress]

It's a reference to the young man going off to war and thus the song is as relevant today, particularly as the singer is pro-Russian and yet mindful of the tragic side of it.  But more particularly, it is about the girl left back at home crying over him.  He's saying while those boys are at home and with her, that's the time to be crying over him, caring etc.

There's a very pointed line in one of the verses [shan't translate or transliterate] which is quite cutting ... it says 'already she sees herself in the role of widow'.  Ouch, because that is the entire covenant Mr. Putin has made to those countries.  History will record whether that was largely achieved or not, we're in no position, ourselves, as westerners, yet, to judge.

The chorus and name of the song is:

Поплачь о нем, пока он живой. Люби его, таким, какой он есть.
Поплачь о нем, пока он живой. Люби его, таким, какой он есть.

Cry over him while he is still living, love him for what he is now.

Pa-plach a nyorm, pa'ka on zhi-voi
Lub-ee ye-vor ta-kim ka-koi on yest. [no major stress]

The song:

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