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суббота, 23 октября 2010 г.

Еще раз о дерьме:

Вот отрывок из предисловия Эдуарда Тополя к его английско-грязнорусскому разговорнику (см. пост) Dermo! - The Real Russian Tolstoy Never Used:

The great Russian author Ivan Turgenev, famous for his novel Fathers and Sons, his lyrical descriptions of the Russian countryside and his insights into the hearts and souls of Russian women, once proclaimed: "In time of doubt, in time of agonizing reflection, you have always been my mainstay and my hope, oh great and mighty Russian language!.. There can be no doubt but than such a language was conferred upon a great people!". Ironically, Turgenev himself preferred to live in Paris with the French singer Paulina Viardot, a fact which people in Russia would rather overlook.

I have never heard the British say that English is a great and mighty language*, nor do I recall ever hearing the French speak of great French soul, but Russians tend toward gigantomania: Peter is Peter the Great, Catherine is Catherine the Great, Tolstoy is great, Stalin is great, Mother Russia is great, literature is great, snowfalls are never anything but great, and on the map of Russia there are twenty-four cities containing the word "great": Great Lip, Great Ruble, Great Digging, and Great Deafness, to name a few. It's worth noting that neither Paris nor Istanbul nor Tokyo call themselves "great cities", and yet here in Russia we find a place called "Digging" that is most definitely great, and its name alone reveals the secret ambitions of even the most provincial of Russian souls.

Of course, no one denies the greatness of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, but I have a feeling that in everyday life nineteenth century Russians never spoke like Turgenev's noble young heroines, Anna Karenina, or the brothers Karamazov, and if today someone were to stand up - in the Russian parliament or even at a Russian writers conference - and speak in the language of Tolstoy, people would think he was nuts.

The Russian language as it is taught in the most prestigious colleges in the West with reverence to "great" Russian literature is as different from present-day speech in smell, taste, and potency as Evian water is from home brewed potato vodka. This is why whenever I send off a new novel to be translated, I provide notes on every page of the manuscript explaining new words and slang expressions I use. Even professional translators, whose résumés include translations of the great Russian classics as well as serious contemporary works, do not know hundreds of words that make up contemporary Russian. These words are not included in the latest Russian version of spell check which is on my computer, so I enter these words into the memory myself. But then even if you memorize an entire dictionary of Russian curses and slang, you won't come close to organic Russian speech, if you don't know the main, or rather the Great secret of the Russian language. And this is a secret I reveal to my translators in a note I always attach to the first page of the manuscript. It reads:

Dear Colleague! I will now reveal to you the secret of Russian as spoken by real people. Please remember it when you are translating all dialogues, I rely on this secret when wiring dialogues and speeches for all my characters, from Gorbachev and Yeltsin right down to a prostitute plying her trade on Moscow's main drag. Here is the rule:
Every real Russian sentence is constructed so that the word "motherfucker" or "whore" can be inserted at any point - even after every word.

Only the translator's unfailing adherence to this rule can assure that the Russian characters' conversations and speeches will sound as if they are coming from the mouths of real people.

Flexibility is a trademark of Real Russian. In English, for example, words observe a certain etiquette and are placed in a sentence according to strict British norms of politeness (i.e., the predicate never elbows its way ahead of the subject and the verb always bows down in deference before His Majesty, the noun). Russian, on the other hand, emulates its homeland, where chaos generally rules, and the word order in a sentence is dictated by nothing more than how the speaker is feeling that day. This is why four-letter words can appear anywhere in a sentence and sound natural and even indispensable if the emotion calls for it. In English, the following sentence would sound extremely odd: "I, fuck, love, whore, you, bitch, so much!" Does that sound like any declaration of love you've ever heard? But if I write in Russian, "I love you so much!" it strikes a false note or sounds ironic to the Russian ear. To lend this exalted phrase the convincing note of genuine love, I have to let it go slumming, or as they say in Russian, let it sink down to the level of дерьмо (der'mo - shit) and write я, тебя, падля, так люблю! (Ya tebya, padla, tak lyublyu!) that means literally "I, you, bitch, so much love!" ore more idiomatically, "I love you, bitch, so much!"

* Мое примечание, пример из моего поста "Чапек и чешский язык":
"А еще я должен похвалить тебя, тебя, чешская речь, один из самых трудных языков, из самых богатых всеми значениями и нюансами, самая совершенная, самая утонченная, самая сжатая речь из всех, которые я знаю, или когда-либо слышал".

Ну и ты ды, см. там весь этот текст (чехи учат его в школе наизусть). Так что лингвистический патриотизм - не чисто русское явление. См. также мой пост "Вики-патриотка"...

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