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Thread: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

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    Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    Hello all...I am new here, and when I saw the word "long" in the description for this translation board, I had hope. I am taking a Russian literature class, but I do not understand the story we are reading at all, it is very hard keeping track of the character's names when the author uses diminutives and nicknames, especially for only a third year student! The story is Vasily Grossman's Несколько Печальных Дней, and according to my professor it is the hardest story we will read this year. My question is of course is, "Why read this story early on?" But anyway, can anyone help me? I definitely don't require a full translation, that would be crazy! But a list of the characters and who they are would be helpful, especially because this story is old, and I have next to zero cultural knowledge of this time period Here is a link to the story:

    http://www.eunet.lv/library/win/PROZA/G ... ssman4.txt


    Thank you in advance, and I hope to be an active member here from now on! The daily phrase looks particularly enticing.

  2. #2
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    Re: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    So the most important names are (you may skip that part and go to the name chains in the end right away):

    1) Николай Андреевич - works manager (Nikolai Andreyevich)
    Николай - first name (full form)
    Андреевич - patronimic (derives from his father's name Андрей)

    2) Анна Гермогеновна - his mother (Anna Hermogenovna)
    Анна - first name
    Гермогеновна - patronimic (from Гермоген, that name is weird and uncommon)

    3) Левушка - his nephew (Lyovushka)
    Левушка - diminutive from Лёва, which in turn is a short form of the name Леонид (Lyova, Leonid)

    4) Марья Андреевна - his sister (Марья is a colloquial pronunciation/spelling for Мария, so it's Maria Andreevna)
    Мария - first name (full form)
    Андреевна - patronimic (from Andrey, obviously )

    5) Гриша - Maria Andreevna's husband (Grisha)
    Гриша - short for Григорий (Grigory)

    6) Серёжа - Maria Andreevna's son (Seryoz*a)
    Серёжа - short for Сергей (Sergey)

    7) Антонина Романовна - Maria's housemaid
    Антонина - first name (full form)
    Романовна - patronimic from Роман

    8 ) Шура Рождественская, Маруся Корф, Матильда Серезмунд - Maria's friends
    Рождественская, Корф & Серезмунд are surnames
    Шура - short for Александра
    Маруся - one of the short forms for Maria
    Матильда - full form of the first name (it doesn't have a common short form, since the name itself is not very common)
    "Матильдус" is a jokingly mispronounced Матильда, which is supposed to give an air scholarship (like a latin name)

    9) Димка Мохов, Абрашка Гуральник - Grisha's friends
    Димка and Абрашка are short for Дмитрий and Абрам respectively
    Мохов, Гуральник - surnames

    10) Александра Матвеевна - don't know who she is, I got bored
    Матвеевна - patronimic (from Матвей)

    11) Виктор - Maria's brother, Левушка's father

    12) Алёша, Петька - little brothers (see name chains)

    Ohter surnames mentioned there: Лобышев/Лобышева, Чепетников, Рассулов, Савельев, Плюшкин, Гоголь, Отъясова, Телятников.


    Okaay...
    Now to the most interesting part. Here are the "name chains":
    Name+Patronimic - First name (Full form) - First name (short form) - diminutives*
    Some of the diminutives weren't mentioned in the story, I added them for your future notice:

    1) Николай Андреевич - Николай - Коля - Коленька
    2) Анна Гермогеновна - Анна - Аня - Анечка
    3) ? - Леонид - Лёва - Лёвушка
    4) Марья Андреевна - Мария - Маша - Машенька (Машук* - playful nickname for Маша, invented by Гриша)
    5) Григорий Павлович - Григорий - Гриша - Гришенька/Гришка
    6) Сергей Григорьевич - Сергей - Серёжа - Серёженька
    7) Антонина Романовна - Антонина - Тоня - Тонечка
    8 ) ? - Александра - Шура - Шурочка
    9) ? - Дмитрий - Дима - Димочка/Димка/Митя/Митька
    10) Александра Матвеевна - Александра - Шура - Шурочка
    11) ? - Алексей - Алёша - Алёшенька/Алёшка/Лёша
    ? - Пётр - Петя - Петенька/Петька


    More about Russian names:
    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Russian/Names

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    Re: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    Just noticed (a quote from the link above):
    There are only a dozen or so men's first names...
    Well, it's nonsense. There are more names than that, of course, but creativity (like when you invent a ridiculous name for your baby just to be original) is not encouraged indeed. The books of baby names are not popular, or more likely non-existent, and anyway, who needs a book like this? You just name a baby after your grandfather or something... Just kidding.

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    Re: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    Спасибо большое! (by the way, is that pronounced bal-SHO-ye or bal-SHA-ye? I've heard it pronounced both ways but I think the second way is correct). One last quick question...if I were to write a letter to Matilda from Maria Andreevna about her trip to Kazan, what would I talk about?

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    Re: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    Quote Originally Posted by igrekov
    Спасибо большое! (by the way, is that pronounced bal-SHO-ye or bal-SHA-ye? I've heard it pronounced both ways but I think the second way is correct). One last quick question...if I were to write a letter to Matilda from Maria Andreevna about her trip to Kazan, what would I talk about?
    Большое - bal-SHO-ye
    Большая - bal-SHA-ya
    do you know what Linux is?

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    Re: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    Here is a small paragraph I can't understand very well. Help?

    Стол был накрыт, как обычно к приезду Григория Павловича, и, очевидно по
    указанию Маши, Антонина Романовна купила все любимые им закуски. Но от этого
    еще больше чувствовалось отсутствие Маши. Его сердило, что Матильда,
    разошедшаяся в двадцать девятом году с мужем, до сих пор не вышла замуж,
    сердило, что Мохов, в жизни которого было много увлечений, холост и не
    страдает от одиночества. А ему, Лобышеву, стоило разлучиться с Машей на
    месяц - и уж он начинал нервничать и тосковать.

    He felt Masha's absence, and was angry that Matilda still hadn't gotten married, and that Mokov...? And he wants to divorce Masha?

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    Re: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    No. Their housemade (A.R.) bought his favourite snacks because (apparently) Maria asked her to. It makes Grisha feel Maria's absence even more, so he feels irritated with anyone who's not married and is content about it (divorced Matilda and happily unmarried Mohov). That's while HE, Grisha, misses his wife terribly even after one month of separation.

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    Re: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    Oooohh, that makes more sense. Спасибо!

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    Re: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    Quote Originally Posted by igrekov
    Oooohh, that makes more sense. Спасибо!
    But still not sense enough, right?

  10. #10
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    Re: Помоги мне, пожалуйста!

    Actually I read the story all the way through and even wrote the letter. It helped to go through it a second time, especially with the names!

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