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27.12.15 Faculties of foreign languages start celebrating Christmas long before the 7th of January - the official date in the orthodox church. I am not much of a believer: I have never been an atheist, and. on the other side, I've never seen wonders in my life. People usually turn to god when they have no hope in anyone else. In the secular society of the USSR people used to start the long row of holidays on the 24th of December. Our faculty had a certain logic in its claim to the 24th of December (in this way we are learning the culture of the English language speakers). Other compatriots of ours had none.
25.12.15 The Ukrainian government is stalling on the way to reforms. This is how Americans see it:
"Who needs Vladimir Putin to knock Ukraine off its post-revolutionary path? The nation’s current rulers are managing by themselves.
While the Russian president’s new focus on Syria has helped soothe the conflict in eastern Ukraine, offering a window for reform and recovery from a recession, the administration in Kiev is being overrun by internal squabbles. This month’s fist fight in parliament and an expletive-filled clash between a minister and a regional governor underline discord that’s threatening to sink the government and derail a $17.5 billion International Monetary Fund rescue. The next flash point will be a vote on the 2016 budget".
19.12.15 Academic degrees - a glaring case of corruption. Here things are bad in Russia, but much worse in the Ukraine. Read more about it:
13.12.15 It is worth thinking about: "The epicentre of the earlier Cold War was in Berlin, not close to Russia. There was a vast buffer zone between Russia and the West in Eastern Europe. Today, the epicentre is in Ukraine, literally on Russia’s borders. It was the Ukrainian conflict that set this off, and politically Ukraine remains a ticking time bomb. Today’s confrontation is not only on Russia’s borders, but it’s in the heart of Russian-Ukrainian ‘Slavic civilization.’ This is a civil war as profound in some ways as was America’s Civil War.”
12.12.15 Bad manners in the Ukrainian parliament hit Western mass media headlines:
WATCH: Ukrainian Prime Minister is pulled off podium by his CROTCH as he refuses to resign
I couldn't help remembering lines from the famous WWII song:
"What a show, what a fight!
We have really hit our target for to-night!"
11.12.15 If you dismiss the usual russophobic saber-rattling, Joe Biden's speech in the Ukrainian Parliament contained two important points: the necessity of overcoming rampant corruption and the importance of federelization for keeping the Ukraine together: "This issue of federalism is the thing that almost prevented our nation from coming into being. Autonomous independent states, their determination to have their own police forces, their determination to have their education system, to have their own government under the united Constitution". Read the full text of his speech here:
7.12.15 The Sublime Porte - Блистательная Порта (a = b, b = a equivalence) - is a substitute for Turkey in many languages.
It now seems to be used more commonly in French than in English. French: la Grande Porte.
The Sublime Porte, also known as the Ottoman Porte or High Porte (Ottoman Turkish: باب عالی Bâb-ı Âli or Babıali, from Arabic: باب, bāb "gate" and Arabic: عالي, alī "high"), is a metonym for the central government of the Ottoman Empire, by reference to the gate giving access to the block of buildings that housed the principal state departments in Istanbul. Today, the buildings house the provincial Governor of Istanbul.
Porte is French for "gate". When Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent sealed an alliance with King Francis I of France in 1536, the French diplomats walked through the monumental gate or Bab-ı Ali in order to reach the Vizierate of Constantinople, seat of the Sultan's government. French being the language of diplomacy, the French translation Sublime Porte (the adjective being unusually placed ahead of the word to emphasise its importance) was soon adopted in most other European languages, including English, to refer not only to the actual gate but as a metaphor for the Ottoman Empire.
The dictionary gives two meanings:
1) The Sublime Porte, The Ottoman Porte Блистательная, Высокая, Оттоманская Порта (название султанской Турции)
2) турецкое правительство (до 1923 г.)
3.12.15 A dissertation is never completed, only submitted. Make it your motto! The funniest thing is that after having submitted the dissertation some people are carried away by the illusion that this fact amounts to the easiest access to the community of scholars. These people stop working over themselves and stop reading books in their fields. Instead they pick up clever quotations and references. Their arrogance is a true mark of failure, despite the official documents testifying to the contrary,,,
30.11.15 Why Risk War With Russia? By • November 27, 2015, 3:13 PM
Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian warplane was a provocative and portentous act.
“A stab in the back by the accomplices of terrorists,” said Vladimir Putin of the first downing of a Russian warplane by a NATO nation in half a century. Putin has a point, as the Russians are bombing rebels in northwest Syria, some of which are linked to al-Qaeda.
Why did the Turkish autocrat do it?
Why is he risking a clash with Russia?
Answer: Erdogan is probably less outraged by intrusions into his air space than by Putin’s success in securing the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad, whom Erdogan detests, and by relentless Russian air strikes on Turkmen rebels seeking to overthrow Assad.
29.11.15 Follow on Twitter Business Buzzphrases. One of these:
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." Use when showing someone a path that they don't follow.
26.11. 15 All tragedies have a backlash in the form of "black humour". Turkish downing ("by mistake"!) of the Russian bomber caused the following joke to hit the mass media:
Obama: "What would you like for Thansgiving dinner, Mr. Putin?" Putin: "Turkey".
24.11.15 The latest interpretation of Whorfianism can be found here: McWhorter, John H. The Language Hoax. – Oxford University Press, 2014. – 182 p.
23.11.15 For a starter: English has the easiest grammar in the world and - the most complicated vocabulary! Never mind the difference between spelling and pronunciation! Have a firm grip of grammar. On this point you must be a stickler! In the sphere of vocabulary get into the habit of systematic reading and picking up at least 100 words per week. It'll be useful to read the article that begins with:
"English speakers know that their language is odd. So do people saddled with learning it non-natively. The oddity that we all perceive most readily is its spelling, which is indeed a nightmare. In countries where English isn’t spoken, there is no such thing as a ‘spelling bee’ competition. For a normal language, spelling at least pretends a basic correspondence to the way people pronounce the words. But English is not normal".
The Guardian uncovers the subjective way in which the term "blowback" is used in the English language discourse:
Today, when it comes to Russia, an “official enemy”, we understand and embrace the concept of blowback. When it comes to our own countries, to the west, we become the child in the playground, sticking our fingers in our ears and singing “La la la, I can’t hear you.”
The term was coined by the CIA, back in the 1950s to describe the unintended negative consequences. Its meaning in the dictionary: непредусмотренный результат; результат, противоположный ожидаемому
17.11.15 Not only our speech patterns but subtle habits or behaviours may be the most damaging to our reputations in office. This important part of your conscious effort may contribute to teamwork or destroy it. Thinking in terms of communication rather than in terms of mere language exchanges is an important part of business and English and Business English:
14.11.15 To annihilate terrorism big powers must set up a united front. Otherwise, innocent people all over the globe will get drowned in blood. Moscow has been offering the Crusade against terrorism for years while its so called "partners' keep stalling and sweating and napping and procrastinating... The USA is the greatest trouble-maker. while Russia is going to be the greatest trouble-shooter and pay the highest price (as always)...
14.11.15 Read about the importance of swearing correctly on http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20151109-english-speakers-or-not-brits-and-americans-swear-in-different-languages
"the British seem far more fluent at swearing than Americans. They are more likely to link colourful language with having a sense of humour than with coarseness or vulgarity".
10.11.15 The article on the BBC site is quite a challenge for classes of Business English conducted outside the corporate culture of the English language world. Look into the meaning of units in bold type: "the London company’s unlimited leave policy has two primary rules: don’t blow your deadlines, and don’t leave your colleagues in the lurch. Unlimited holiday policies aren’t the free-for-all they may sound like. In fact, the word “unlimited” is a bit of a misnomer". http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20151020-flexible-or-fiasco-the-great-debate-over-unlimited-vacation-policy
6.11.15 Paradox dominates the language and - life. I always admire the genius of Oscar Wilde who produced a paradox like this: “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.” It takes years to appreciate the wisdom of it.
1.11.15 The day of national mourning in Russia raises many questions one of these being: can there be a chance that ISIL terrorists are to blame for the horrible death of the tourists? If it is so the country that opened its airspace without any regard for the military operations must carry responsibility. Egypt has dismissed the ISIL claims but the question remains unanswered.
27.10.15 About useless revolutions launched by the West in Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Egypt and Ukraine, and to counteract the trend - Russian leadership: "Seuls quelques pays font encore preuve de bon sens, en premier lieu, les Russes. Leur intervention en Syrie est un tournant qui pourrait contribuer à rétablir un début d’ordre au Moyen-Orient". (Здравый смысл проявляют всего несколько стран, и в первую очередь Россия. Ее вмешательство в Сирии стало поворотным моментом, первым шагом к восстановлению порядка на Ближнем Востоке).
Read more at http://www.atlantico.fr/decryptage/ukraine-en-printemps-arabes-revolutions-inutiles-et-interventions-chaotiques-eric-denece-2398116.html#YzK3H9152jQYl8o1.99
25.10.15 A piece of mind that matters because it comes from the Arabs: "In the last five years, Putin has presented himself as an uncompromising force against radical jihadists; a willing and able force to fill the military and political vacuums created by the US and the West at large in the Middle East; a protector of the Christian community and other minorities in the greater Levant region; a fierce defender of Russian interests; a protector of the Russian nation regardless of the location; and not as a trigger-happy player always eager to fire at anyone around the world"
24.10.15 Ukraine is deeply mired in corruption. Some people believe that corruption makes Ukraine special among the countries of Europe. However, this is a misleading idea. Nepotism and cronyism are running rampant in other countries of Europe too, For example, half of the teaching staff of the University of Palermo are bound to each other as relatives. Just think about it! Perhaps the most amazing thing about it is that some people are inclined to see two sides in the phenomenon: positive and negative. Look into:
20.10.15 Take the quiz on your vocabulary resources: http://www.merriam-webster.com/quiz/index.htm
15.10.15 The hero of Jack London's masterpiece "Smoke Bellew" calls his Uncle 'avuncular' that reads in translation as "дядюшка". The device of neutralization kills off a lot of important connotations. Look:
avuncular [ə'vʌŋkjulə] 1) дядин, дядюшкин 2) добрый, добродушный; покровительственный Syn: unceremonious , familiar
of or relating to an uncle ■ kind and friendly toward a younger or less experienced person (an avuncular manner).
8.10.15 With colloquial words you are always on slippery grounds. "Weasel words", as Lynn Visson calls them defy all rules and regulations. Thus, there are some linguists (called by other linguists disrespectfully 'sticklers') who are trying to discourage people from using the adjective 'fit' in the meaning of 'physically attracttive'. But who can prevent British women from referring to desirable men as 'fit blokes'? For details go to:
3.10.15 One of the most popular expressions now is proxy war - a war instigated by a major power that does not itself become involved, война чужими руками. Look at the following contextualization: Обама исключил «войну марионеток» с Россией в Сирии. .. «Опосредованными войнами», «войнами через представителей» и «войнами марионеток» называют боевые действия двух сторон, которые формально ведутся между третьими странами. К ним относят, в частности, конфликты в период Холодной войны в Корее, Вьетнаме и Афганистане.
29.09.15 Translate, soften or omit offence? This is one of the most challenging questions for the translators. To put yourselves on a reliable footing read this: Culperer, Jonathan. Impoliteness: Using Language to Cause Offence. – Cambridge University Press, 2011. – 292 p.
21.09.15 Multiculturalism is the key to peaceful settlement in the Ukraine. Look into the idea:
Wales, a far smaller country, has adopted a far more enlightened and progressive approach, in which citizens are enjoined to learn Welsh and mostly do so with alacrity and enthusiasm, but English (after all, the language of the coloniser) is recognised as a foundational element of the culture that has developed over 800 years of interaction.
In a genuinely multilingual Ukraine, the development of Ukrainian at all levels would be mandatory while allowing other languages to flourish. Instead, a bureaucratic and divisive quasi-solution was imposed, in part because of the entrenched failure to conduct a genuine national dialogue over what substantive bilingualism would mean. The failure to achieve such a fruitful dialogue is in part a consequence of the tyranny of post (-) colonial representations of the Ukrainian condition.
13.09.15 The intricacies of Business English: Brits use countless catchphrases and passive semantics all in the name of trying to convey an annoyance with someone without actually saying ‘you’re annoying me’”. If a manager is unhappy with a project he wouldn’t say he disliked it. Instead he might say: “I see what you’re trying to do here, but let’s chat about what else you could do.”
12.09.15 Supply first names to the patronymics on the list: Newmark. Pym, Munday, Visson, Robinson, Hatim, Steiner, Venuti, Snell-Hornby, Bellos.
7.09.15 Self-reliance is one of the most important corner-stones of American culture. In application to foreign languages departments in the Ukraine self-reliance means that for you to be successful you must be able to measure your academic progress yourselves without waiting for your module scores. For objective results rely on systematic check-ups of your progress! Develop a taste for building-up your personal library and bibliography. No internet resources will ever be a substitute for a personal scrupulously selected library! Here is a challenge for you: can you enumerate 10 most important English language authors who wrote books on translation training in the West?
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