Tuesday, November 11, 2014

If no one knows...

 see textПрелесть цензуры в том, что об ухаживаниях Владимира Путина за женой Си Цзиньпина в Китае никто не узнает. А раз никто не знает, ничего и не было:

Bing: The beauty of censorship in that of Vladimir Putin's wife uhaživaniâh Xi in China, no one will know. And if no one knows, nothing was:

The beauty of censorship is that of courtship Vladimir Putin for his wife Xi in China, no one will know. And since no one knows anything and was not

Bing's "in that" is entirely too literal. The TK construnction ( here в том, чтo) is how Russian subordinates clauses. The preposition в requires locative (aka "prepositional") case, and it's impossible to decline "no one will know". So the pronoun тот is used, in the proper case, and the subordinator что (that) introduces the clause. So it's "The beauty of censorship IS THAT ...". Looks like Google got it right - except that they slavishly follow the Russian word order, which becomes very difficult to follow in English. I'd suggest a cleft: the courtship IS SOMETHING no one will know about.

However, Bing and Google both miss whose wife it is. Google blows it with the missing possessive - they guessed at "his". Not a terrible guess, since if "his" was the right translation it probably wouldn't be there in Russian, but there is a possessive. Bing saw that Putin was in genitive, I think!, but got the reason why wrong, mangling the syntax. This isn't Putin's wife Xi (he's not married at the moment); it's Xi's wife (Peng Liyuan, wife of Xi Jinping (Si Tszin'pin  in Russian)) - oddly, both Bing and Google get his surname and completely omit his personal name. Xi doesn't decline in Russian, since it's a man's name ending in I but his personal name does and that confirms that Xi is in genitive.

Bing also can't handle ухаживаниях - advances, really, not courtship; "flirting" might work, and moves it quite oddly to modify "wife Xi".

And neither really does well with А раз никто не знает, ничего и не было, though Bing's better. I mean, Google, really? "no one know anything and was not"? This means "And if no one knows, then nothing happened" or "then there wasn't anything".

The beauty of censorship is that Vladimir Putin's flirting with Xi Jinping's wife in China is something no one will find out about. And if no one knows anything, nothing happened.

(The headline says "Chinese censors delete video of Putin's gallant gesture" rather than "advances" - paper versus Facebook! :-)  I should point out that all he did was offer her his blanket because it was cold (they were at a fireworks display). He was being gallant in the Russian style, and not really flirting. He did the same thing for Merkel a couple of years ago at a G20 summit.

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At 2:35 PM, November 12, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

At some point, you should have a large enough collection of these gaffes to write a journal paper or present a talk at a conference! (I'm still collecting Portuguese => English ones).

BTW, do you think Putin was being considerate, or inappropriate? From what little I saw on TV, this doesn't seem to be in quite the same seedy category as W's attempt to massage Angela Merkel's neck/shoulders.

At 2:41 PM, November 12, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

I think he was being considerate. As he said, "Everybody gets cold."

The Merkel-Putin relationship is weird.

At 11:04 AM, November 13, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

I was referring at the end re George W. Bush's rebuffed massage attempts on Merkel's neck/shoulders.

FWIW, Portuguese media online seem to have interpreted Putin's gesture toward Mrs. Xi favorably.

At 11:37 AM, November 13, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Oh, duh, of course you were. But Putin and Merkel DO have a weird relationship!


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