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need help to confirm if the English translation of a Russian poem is correct

semantic nuance

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semantic nuance


Are there any members of this forum native speakers of Russian? I'd like to hear another opinions from the native speakers of Russian to see if the English translation of a Russian poem is correct or not.

I re-read one of Ilya Shambat's translation of Marina Tsvetaeva's poems. I was thinking to translate this poem into Chinese, based on the English version. It's untitled, which begins with the line of 'How many people fell in the abyss." I don't know any word of Russian, but through the introduction of this English translation, I want to understand the poem. However, there are lines of the English translation which are incoherent according to the context and which baffle me a lot, no offence to the English translator and its translated work. I guess that's caused by the different language structures and cultures as well. Therefore, I'd appreciate any help from the native speakers of Russian.

Could anyone tell me the literal translation of English to its original work and its implied meaning in it? Thank you very much for your help!

Here's the link to The original work of Marina Tsvetaeva's poem .

Thank you in advance.

[Edit]: I cannot find any other English translation online, except the one I posted here. If anyone knows any other pdf or txt links to this Russian poem or any authentic English translation of this poem, please tell me. Thanks!

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Hi! My native languages are Ukrainian and Russian.

The translation of that poem is in the peace u have sent to me. Under the name "How many people fell in this abyss…"

I think, the translation is pretty good. Although, there are some little-little changes. may be for better sounding in english. like "виолончель" was translated as violin... though in fact "виолончель" is cello. sometimes the order of words or sentences is a bit changed , but it's normal, i think. cuz it's poem.. And those changes are not huge. So they don't matter, in fact. U can translate this version into chinese. I don't think, it will loose smth.

Unfortunatelly, my english is not very good. But if it's still important for you i can try to make it more closed to russian version. of course, with loosing any rythm in it, just in order u to know the more closed to russian version.

for exaple, the name and the first stroke is " How many people fell in this abyss,"... But in russian version in fact is said: "How many of them fell in this abyss". Without using the word "People". i just don't know how important that is for u)

Hope, my post will be useful for u)

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semantic nuance

Hi tehamordidounperro,

Thank you very much for your reply to this thread. You mentioned that I in peace sent this translation to you, did I email you anything since it's the first time I saw you on this forum? Are you the one who I sent email to, asking about this poem?

Anyway, thank you but since I have asked about this poem on the other forum but I got quite a different answer from yours. I don't know anything about russian, that's why I wanted so much to get confirmation from native speakers of Russian.

Thank you.

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My trying to make the literal translation

1) Уж [] сколько [how many ] их[of them] упало[have fallen] в[into] эту[this] бездну[abyss]

It's a bit difficult to translate the word "Уж" into english. I think, in chinese u can make effect of this word with adding "吧" in the end of sentence. it's just adds a special color to the sentence.. may be like,: Just think about it, how many of them have fallen! or just like: Oh.. how many pf them have fallen..

2) Разверзтую [prostrated] вдали[in the distance]!

prostrated.. i am not sure this word is good.. it means ... that the abyss is prostrated.. like carpet on the floor for example.. prostrated...

вдали is a form of "даль". даль is the place, very far from us.. and "вдали" means that it's far from us.. so prostrated far from us.

3) Настанет (will come)день [day], когда [when] и я [i also] исчезну [will dissapear]

means : someday will come the day when i will also dissapear

4) С (from) поверхности (surface) земли(of earth).

from the face of earth

5) Застынет [will jell] все[everything], что[that] пело[was singing] и[and] боролось,[struggling]

means: everything that was singing and struggling will jell.. (or "will harden".. i don't know what is better. the meaning is that it will stop.... may be also the word "will get stunned" is good.. )..

6) Сияло [shining]и[and] рвалось[???].

i can't translate the last word. "рвалось" is the past time of "рваться".. while "рваться" literally means ... "to cut itself.. to break itself..."... like "я рвусь".. i break myself.. but it is sometimes used to express that i want t do something very-very much.. "я рвусь петь" means i wanna sing! don't stop me ! i want to sing!!.. when u have a great desire to do something.. like something is holding u, doesn't allow u to go.. but u "рвешься", u getting out of it and go to the thing u want.

so the last 2 strokes mean.. : everything that was singing, struggling, рвалось.. will stop.

i hope i explained that word enough.. but i can't find an english word for it.. i see, in english translation u showed me they just removed this word.. or replaced it with "rejoiced".. but i am not sure "rejoiced" is the same as "рваться". рваться means that u r struggling with something to get to thing u want. sometimes doesn't allow u but u try to overcome it.

7) И [and]зелень[greenity] глаз[of eyes] моих[of me], и [and ]нежный [tender] голос[voice],

greenity is like noun from "green". greenity of my eyes. in fact it means just "my green eyes". just said more nicely)

8) И [and]золото[gold]волос[of the hair].

"gold of hair" doesn't mean that the hair is made of gold, of course. it means like... mm.. the gold hair.. yellow hair.. or may be it means shining hair.. something like that..

so the last two strokes (7 and 8) say something like:

my green eyes, my tender voice and my golden hair [will also jeil].. .. the author means that it will also dissapear.

9)И(and) будет(will be) жизнь(life) с(with) ее(its) насущным(vital) хлебом(bread),

i don't really know what is "насущный".. in english translation it's "daily".. but that isdifferent may be.. u can translate it as "vital".. i have just asked my mom, cuz i really don't know the meaning of it.. she says "насущный" means something that exists.. it is adjective.. something that we have.. that is exissting.. that is everyday... so that's why it's translated as "daily"..))

10) С (with) забывчивостью(forgetfulness) дня(of day).

in fact, i also don't understand what is forgetfulness of the day.. may be it means that all the day we may forget something.. or may be that with every new day.. things of previous days are forgotten.. i don't know.

but literal translation is "forgetfulness of the day"..)

11) И (and) будет(will be) все(everything) - как будто бы (like)под (under)небом(the sky)

12) И не было (there was no) меня(me)!

strokes 11 - 12 mean: everything will be like i haven't ever been under the sky... - literal translation

everything will be continuing as i have never been .

13) Изменчивой(changable), как (like) дети(children), в(in) каждой(every) мине (mien),

changable in every face mien.. like children..

14) И (and) так (so)недолго(short time) злой(angry),

and angry.. for so short time

15) Любившей (loving) час(the time), когда(when) дрова(woods) в(in) камине(the fireplace)

loving the time when the woods in fireplace..

16) Становятся (becoming) золой(ash).

are changing into ash.

17) Виолончель(cello), и (and) кавалькады(cavalcade) в(in) чаще(thicket),

cello and a cavalcade in a thicket

18) И(and) колокол (campane)в(in) селе(village)..

and campane in a village

17-18 are still connected with the word "loving"...... that is starting in stroke #15.

so 15-18 is translated as:

loving the time when the woods in fireplace are becoming ash.. loving cello, cavalcade in a thicket.. and a campane in a village

19) - Меня(me), такой(so) живой(alive) и(and) настоящей(real)

20) На (on)ласковой (tender)земле(earth)!

so now since the stroke 13:

changable in every face mien like children.. and angry for so short time.. loving the time when the woods in fireplace are becoming ash.. loving cello, cavalcade in a thicket.. and a campane in a village...

[like there was no] me! so alive and real! on the tender earth!

21) К вам (to you (你们)) всем (all)- что (that) мне(to me), ни в чем (in nothing) не знавшей (knowing) меры (the measure),

22) Чужие (aliens) и(and) свои(not aliens)?!-

23) Я (I) обращаюсь(address.. (or consult)) с(with) требованьем (demand) веры(of belief)

24) И (and) с (with) просьбой (request) о(about) любви(love).

To all of you, which to me... me, that doesn't know measure in anything.... who is not mine (чужой - alien) and who is mine?! (свой)

25) И день (at day) и (and) ночь (at night), и письменно (writing) и устно (and orally):

26) За правду (for the truth) да и нет (yes and no),

i don't really understand the meaning of this.. may be it means : for the truth... and for the false as well

27) За то (for that), что (that) мне (i am) так часто (so often) - слишком грустно (too sad)

28) И (and) только(only) двадцать(20) лет (years old),

29) За то (for that), что (that) мне (for me) прямая (straight) неизбежность (inevitability)-

30) Прощение (forgiveness)обид(of offenses),

i think, these 2 strokes mean.. [love me for that] that i have a straight inevitability to forgive all offenses.

31) За всю мою (for all my) безудержную (rampant) нежность(tenderness)

32) И(and) слишком гордый(too proud) вид(appearance),

33) За быстроту (for speedness) стремительных (of impetuous) событий(events),

34) За правду(for the truth), за игру... (for the game... (or may be "for the playing"...))

35) - Послушайте!- (listen me! 你们听!) Еще (also) меня любите (love me)

36) За то (for that), что (that) я(I) умру(will die).

too difficult to translate the poem.... english and russian have different ways of expressing some feelings.. some colkors of sentences.. so it's a bit difficult sometimes to find a suitable words for it.. and some parts i don't understand completely even in russian..

but i think that will be enough for u to translta the poem to chinese... u can also change something.. cuz it's poetry.. so it's normal that something is changed.. otherwise it's impossible to translate..

so now the all translation.. but not as literal.. just to connect sentences together.. cuz in my literalk translation u, may be, don't understand what sentence is connected with what sentence..

Oh, how many of them have already fallen into this abyss,

lying far from here,

Will come the day when i will also dissapear from the face of earth.

Everything that was struggling and shining will dissapear..

and my green eyes, my tender voice, my golden hair,... all this will dissapear

and the life with its daily bread.. with oblivion of the day.. will continue..

and everything will be like i have never been under the sky at all..

Like there was no me. Me, changable in every face mien like children,

peeving.. always for so short time..

loving the time when the woods in the firaplace are becoming ash

loving cello .. and cavalcade in a thicket... Campane in a village..

Like there was no me! me, so alive and real... on this tender earth,

To everyony of you, that to me...

in nothing knowing the measure...

who is mine and who is not?!

to all of you i am talking...

with demanding you to believe me,

and with asking you to love me..

Every day, every night.. Writing and orally..

for the truth.. and false as well..

because so often i am too sad...

and i am only 20 years old.

[love me] for that that i have a straight inevitability to forgive the offenses,

for all my irrestrainable tenderness,

and for my too proud appearance.

because of the spead of the impetuous events..

because of the truth and the playing..

Listen! and also love me

because i will someday die.

U know.. russian has a lot of word forms.. so even i sometimes can'tr understand what is connected with what.. and may be not fully understand the poem.. but i hope i haven't lost any sence in the poem.. u can compare it with those english translations. I just tried to make it more literally..

I hope this will help you

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semantic nuance

First of all, I have to thank you and I cannot thank you enough. I'm so obliged that you go so many extra miles for me. I really appreicate it!!

Though I haven't had the time to peruse what you've labored. I'll definitely read it very carefully later. Thank you once again, tehamordidounperro.

Thank you for explaining every single Russian word for me, though I don't know any of it. Thank you a million!! 真的非常非常感謝您。

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semantic nuance
To all of you, which to me... me, that doesn't know measure in anything

It means that 'I' knows no measure, knows no limits, right? I was wondering if this phrase of the original Russian connotes negatively? Could it be similar to a Chinese saying like 我不知天高地厚?

[love me] for that that i have a straight inevitability to forgive the offenses

Could the original sentence of Russian literally mean I am easily to forgive people?


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