Friday, March 02, 2012

Another poster

One more poster - straight up, but with a twist from a blogger:
not man for government but government for man
This Putin poster reads "The golden rule: not a person for the government, but the government for a person."

Because Russian doesn't have articles, this might be "a person or the person". The best translation might be " ... for people". (Once, "for man"...)

The blogger writes:
Как всегда, самый разумный предвыборный плакат принадлежал Единой России. Действительно, у нас в России все государство для человека... Ну, возможно, для нескольких человек.

As always, the wisest election poster belongs to United Russia. Truly, here in Russia the whole government is for the person ... Well, maybe, for a few people.

edited to change my original "for a couple of people" to "a few" after taking Bill's excellent criticism in the comments!

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At 3:24 PM, March 02, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Ну, это легко для вас говорят!

(Спасибо, Google Translate)

At 3:37 PM, March 02, 2012 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Aaaaand Google Translate messes up again! ;-)

Это легко вам говорить is what you want (though it's snappier with тебе, the "tu" form). Russian uses the dative in constructions like "easy for you" - GT gave you a literal "for you" in the "this book is for you" sense. Also it conjugated "speak", weirdly. (Ummm, conjugated it, which is weird.) You've got third person plural, there.

At 10:26 PM, March 02, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Oh Ridger, I had no illusions that Google Translate could render even a brief simple phrase from English in Russian successfully. But I knew you'd get a laugh out of it (, i.e., if you could stop weeping long enough). On the bright side, my little adventure reminds us both that human translators aren't going to obsolete for quite some time, still ;-))) Bom fim de semana!

At 8:19 AM, March 03, 2012 Blogger Bill the Butcher had this to say...

"...a few people", isn't it? Not a couple, literally, because that would refer to Putin and Medvedev?

At 8:28 AM, March 03, 2012 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

"A few" is probably better - it depends on your English, I guess. For me "a couple" isn't necessarily two, it could be three or four, but in this particular case you are quite right. It's better to avoid the "two" connotation.


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