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Thread: Please check this tattoo design? (font issues with Cyrillic letters)

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    Please check this tattoo design? (font issues with Cyrillic letters)

    Hi everyone!

    I am helping my sister design her own Dostoevsky-inspired tattoo (I got mine a little while ago) and she is hoping to use the phrase (from the end of The Brothers Karamazov) "Not for nothing are we a poet."
    We have a Russian edition of the book and managed to track down the phrase, but we're having some issues with the font, as some of the letters change when the text is italicized (which is how she wants the font to look). The font is pretty much perfect, it's only the doubt about the letters changing. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    the poet.JPG

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    It's is exactly the phrase "Не даром же мы поэт" - not the best phrase from my point of view
    The "changing" letters are probably "д" and "т" - it's fine - it's the handwritten kind of letters
    I'm actually wondering how it's supposed to be "не даром" or "недаром". From the context it looks like it supposed to be "недаром". What kind of "Russian edition of the book" we are talking about here?
    Why does she want Dostoevsky phrase?

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    nothing wrong with that italics. Where do you have a problem?

    Не даром же мы поэт. There's a good reason we're a poet! I think he's speaking to himself with the royal "we". I hope she's sure about her choice of quotation.

    Just paste that phrase into word, italicize it, and run it through the font options you have. Just as English lowercase a differs from italic lowercase a, some Russian letters have very different italic versions, not just slanted roman.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    Не даром же мы поэт. There's a good reason we're a poet!
    This is incorrect translation
    Correct translation of "Не даром же мы поэт" - Not for nothing are we a poet (meaning not for nothing but for something - money for example)
    "There's a good reason we're a poet!" translates to "Недаром же мы поэт"

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    Старший оракул CoffeeCup's Avatar
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    The original full quote is "Недаром же мы поэт, недаром же мы прожигали нашу жизнь, как свечку с обоих концов." ("недаром" here is a single word) my version of translation is as follows: "As long as I am a poet, and burnt my life as a candle at both ends".
    The Gutenberg project text reads
    Quote Originally Posted by Dostoevsky in Gutenberg project
    “Karamazov felt all this, knew that all ways were barred to him by his crime and that he was a criminal under sentence, and not a man with life before him! This thought crushed him. And so he instantly flew to one frantic plan, which, to a man of Karamazov's character, must have appeared the one inevitable way out of his terrible position. That way out was suicide. He ran for the pistols he had left in pledge with his friend Perhotin and on the way, as he ran, he pulled out of his pocket the money, for the sake of which he had stained his hands with his father's gore. Oh, now he needed money more than ever. Karamazov would die, Karamazov would shoot himself and it should be remembered! To be sure, he was a poet and had burnt the candle at both ends all his life.
    If ever I see the quote "Недаром же мы поэт" before reading the Dostoevsky's full paragraph with this sentence I would think of the person bearing this tattoo as of an illiterate fun of "fancy quotes". But after reading the full paragraph with this quote I would think of this person as having an allusion to a "bloody bastard" living his life in alcohol, narcotics, disordered sex acts, crime and all the other sins and even more I would think of this person as of a person who is planning to commit suicide to avoid any responsibility or punishment.
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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    Thanks so much for your input, everyone! I've spoken to her about it and forwarded your responses, and she's decided to use a different quote she was also considering. Thank you so much, we truly appreciate it!

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