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September 2018
31.10.2018, 20:15

27.09.18 With a seat on the Supreme Court hanging in the balance, Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh appeared in front of senators to state their case and share their stories. Here are four key takeaways from a day of seldom-matched drama at the US Capitol.


“Takeaways” here are do not refer to restaurants that offer food for both on and off premise eating.

The take-away is the main point of something, like a lesson or presentation, to learn and remember.

An example of the take away is when your boss gives a 20 minute lecture but at the end says "so, basically just remember if you are late you are fired."

23.09.18 Whataboutism – the modern term for the practice that started its story long before the Soviet practice of derailing the argument. It used to be  known in Latin as tu quoque:

Tu quoque (/tjuːˈkwoʊkwiː/, also /tuːˈkwoʊkweɪ/Latin for, "you also") or the appeal to hypocrisy is an informal logical fallacy that intends to discredit the opponent's argument by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently in accordance with its conclusion(s).

An example would be:

Peter: "Based on the arguments I have presented, it is evident that it is morally wrong to use animals for food or clothing."

Bill: "But you are wearing a leather jacket and you have a roast beef sandwich in your hand! How can you say that using animals for food and clothing is wrong?"

It is a fallacy because the moral character or past actions of the opponent are generally irrelevant to the logic of the argument. It is often used as a red herring tactic and is a special case of the ad hominem fallacy, which is a category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of facts about the person presenting or supporting the claim or argument.

21.09.18 The Hawaiian term ‘hoʻoponopono’ has been widely interpreted as self-forgiveness. What most travellers to Hawaii are also unaware of – is the traditional meaning of this word -ho’oponopono - has been somewhat lost in translation. It’s about a sense of community and communal feeling of responsibility towards an issue.


17.09.18 President Putin actively and creatively continues to attempt to fill the world with his spurious propaganda.


The machine translation gives out a piece of translationese quite similar to the beginner’s word-for-word translation:

Президент Путин активно и творчески продолжает пытаться заполнить мир своей ложной пропагандой.

There are at least three mistakes in it:

1) активно и творчески – the epithets are applied to the action that is approved of (here it is criticized);

2) заполнить мир пропагандой – the metaphorical use of the verb is unusual against the backdrop of more popular metaphors: отравить, разрушить, нарушить etc,;

3) ложной пропагандой – tautology (propaganda is false by definition).

13.09.18 Occitan was once the lingua franca of the south of France, and is best known as the language in which the troubadours sang. But in 1539, King François I signed into law an edict, the Ordonnance de Villers-Cotterêts, which made Francien, the northern French dialect of Paris and the Île-de-France, the entire county’s official language.

Despite three centuries of efforts to make standardised French the language of all of France, today, no longer banned, Occitan is experiencing a small but healthy revival, with around three million speakers across all the southern regions of France, according to estimates from the Académie Bordeaux, part of the Ministry of Education.


11.09.18 On n o issue is the administration’s risky course more evident than its military policy toward Ukraine. Recent measures are certain to provoke Moscow further, and entangle the United States to an unwise extent with an extremely murky, ideologically troubling Ukrainian regime.


Нигде рискованный курс администрации не выглядит более очевидным, чем в случае с ее военной политикой в отношении Украины. Предпринятые недавно меры, несомненно, будут еще больше провоцировать Москву и до степени неразумности опутают Соединенные Штаты связями с чрезвычайно мутным и тревожным идеологически украинским режимом,.


Rhetorically “extremely murky” is less murky than the ambivalent “ ideologically troubling” its ambivalence being transferred into Russian translation.

7.09.18 Even non-German speakers may be familiar with the joys of its compound words. They express something that English just can’t quite grasp, like Schadenfreude (feeling pleasure at someone else’s pain), Wanderlust (the desire to travel) or Doppelgänger (look-alike).To impress a boss in the workplace, however, there is a single quality that’s similarly best expressed auf Deutsch: something called Sitzfleisch. Literally translated, Sitzfleisch means 'sitting meat' or 'sitting flesh' - in other words, a term for one’s behind or bottom. But this German word has strong connotations in the working world, where it implies a great deal more than just the physical part of the body you sit on.To have Sitzfleisch means the ability to sit still for the long periods of time required to be truly productive; it means the stamina to work through a difficult situation and see a project through to the end. When someone says you have Sitzfleisch, it’s usually a professional compliment: it means they believe you’re capable of focusing long enough to complete a tough project or finish whatever work needs to be done.



3.09.18 The crooner, Soviet icon and later Russian MP Iosif Kobzon has died at the age of 80.


Semantically rich words that don’t have full equivalents in other languages are defined with the help of verbose definitions:

crooner ['kruːnə] ≠ эстрадный певец, a singer, typically a male one, who sings sentimental songs in a soft, low voice

1.09.18 The day launches the new academic year. Several pieces of advice for freshmen of Translation departments:

1. Make a clear picture of such notions as SYLLABUS, PROGRAMME and BIBLIOGRAPHY.

2. Internet is helpful, but do find your way into the LIBRARY!

3. University libraries are good, but they can never be a substitute for a private library of a professional!

4.  Among the first names to be treated with reverence are the names of such Russian scholars as Roman Jakobson,
A. V. Fedorov,  V. N. Komissarov, L. S. Barkhudarov, Y. I. Retsker, I. V. Arnold and some others.

5. Plunge into classics of prose and poetry.

6. Memorizing poetry must be your daily bread, because this useful habit will expand your cultural horisons and give a powerful boost to your memory skills.

7. Make up your mind about the subjects of academic research in translation by choosing the one that will spur you on during the next 5 years with the eye on the PhD.

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