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English at Work

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02.05.2018, 11:15

31.03.18 Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova threw the book at Johnson in her weekly briefing in Moscow on Thursday, telling him to read more than the beginning of the novel and citing, in English, Dostoevsky’s fictional detective Porfiry Petrovich that “From a hundred rabbits you can’t make a horse, a hundred suspicions don’t make a proof.”


Пресс-секретарь МИД России Мария Захарова подвергла Джонсона суровой критике на своем еженедельном брифинге в Москве в четверг, посоветовав ему прочитать больше, а не только начало романа, и процитировав на английском языке сыщика из романа Порфирия Петровича: «Изо ста кроликов никогда не составится лошадь, изо ста подозрений никогда не составится доказательства».



28.03.18 Кемерово. Оплакиваем погибших. Горе в сердце.

27.03.18 Playing games to boost fluency

“Edutainment” as a learning tool is nothing new. Video games with an educational slant – think The Oregon Trail – have existed for decades.


3.03.18 What does "parlay" exactly chracterize here: the language, the manners or the attitudes of Hollywood?

Emmerich noted the novelty of the Hollywood-congressional parlay. “It’s like inverted reality — I’m used to watching them on TV, and now here I am talking to them,” he said. “And I guess they’re used to watching us on TV — so it’s a mirror.”


parlay ['pɑːlɪ] 1. ; ставка (в азартных играх) 2.; 1) держать пари; делать ставку (в азартных играх) 2) использовать для получения выгоды

21.03.18 In the US the iconic drawl of the deep South is said to sound uneducated and New Yorkers can be deemed rude. Unfortunately, these stereotypes extend beyond TV shows and plays into the real world. Studies show that individuals who speak ‘standard English’ are rated as more competent, as being better communicators and are often preferred candidates in “prestigious jobs”.


17.03.18  Machine translation raises some fundamental questions about translation as such:

"From my point of view, there is no fundamental reason that machines could not, in principle, someday think, be creative, funny, nostalgic, excited, frightened, ecstatic, resigned, hopeful, and, as a corollary, able to translate admirably between languages. There’s no fundamental reason that machines might not someday succeed smashingly in translating jokes, puns, screenplays, novels, poems, and, of course, essays like this one. But all that will come about only when machines are as filled with ideas, emotions, and experiences as human beings are. And that’s not around the corner. Indeed, I believe it is still extremely far away. At least that is what this lifelong admirer of the human mind’s profundity fervently hopes."

13.03.18 Translators can’t help making a faux pas now and then, but very often translators and interpreters are used as scapegoats to justify a DIPLOMATIC slip of the tongue. Is the accusation below the head of the EU delegation to Ukraine Hugh Mingarelli's or the translator's faux pas?
On the 23d of February 2018 Mingarelli said that those who said the lack of reforms in the country are “either idiots, or people with a limited point of view.”

Later Mingarelli tried to push the buck for the faux pas to the interpreter.


11.03.18 "Four years ago, Russia annexed the Ukrainian province".

A slip of the tongue: "a province" can't be "annexed" by definition, because it is A PROVINCE. Four years ago, the USA staged a coup in the Ukraine. This formulation would have been more accurate. 

However, the text may serve as a useful exercise in simultaneous reading and translation.


7.03.18 Hang

The familiar-looking English verbs will always catch you unawares by the diversity of their meanings let alone their stunning quirks with the post-positives. Enjoy some of the correspondences below:

Hang - болтаться, быть хорошо подвешенным His tongue is hanged well enough. — У него достаточно хорошо подвешен язык.

Hahg - делать поворот, разворот (на машине) to hang a Louie — повернуть налево to hang a Ralph / Ralphie / right — повернуть направо He hung a quick U-turn. — Он резко развернулся на 180 градусов.

Hang -  (hang on(to)) хвататься, цепляться (за что-л.) She hung on his arm. — Она вцепилась ему в руку. Hang onto my arm on this icy surface. — Держись за мою руку, здесь скользко. The old lady had only her religion to hang onto when all her family had gone. — После того, как у старой леди умерли все родственники, ей осталась лишь её вера.

Hang - (hang to) упорствовать, не сдаваться; не отрываться (от какого-л. занятия) Dogs hung to the trail. — Собаки не теряли следа. Syn: persist

Hang - быть утомительным, мучительным; мучить, томить (кого-л.) Time hangs on his hands. — Время ему только в тягость.

Hang (up)on) зависеть от (кого-л.) Election hangs on one vote. — Результаты выборов зависят от одного голоса. Syn: depend

Hang on - быть полностью поглощённым, восторженно внимать He hung on her every word. — Он жадно ловил каждое её слово. •

On the 5th of March the headline was hung by the BBC: Four reasons Trump is hanging tough on trade

In the main body of the article the headline was paraphrased:

President Donald Trump has always made it clear he wanted a new approach to trade.


3.03.18 The American cultural identity is inseparable from guns. Only in the USA a gun-blessing ceremony can attract so much attention.

1.03.18  What does the term "decoding" suggest when applied to the translator's work? The lack of clarity of the source text? The secret code devised by the addresser to confuse the addressee? The peculiar ways of human communication loaded with figurative meanings, playing games and mine-fields of taboos? 

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