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Thread: Question about Translation in general and context.

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    Почётный участник emeraldeyez's Avatar
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    Question about Translation in general and context.

    How does one learning Russian pick up on the context in Russian slang when a native Russian speaker uses it?

    Like when my friend writes to me he always uses Russian slang ... so of course I have to search out the meaning behind the text. Otherwise I would seriously be taking what he tells me the wrong way ALL the time. (I usually take people very literally, he speaks like in code or something, LOL)

    Because as a english speaking american, when I speak I am very straight forward with my words. And my jokes are usually subtle, but the intent is very obvious (to which my russian friend, he says it is offensive)

    So do you see my dilemma?

    Any advise? Words of wisdom?

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    Почтенный гражданин studyr's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    Just put his statements here and get explanation until his slang supply will be exhausted

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    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    If he is not care you to understand him why you should care? And if you believe he is friendly just pass by your ears everything that sounds offensive. That's my wisdom.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    Tell him that you don't know Russian well enough and thus you tend to understand everything literally. Tell him specifically what topics or innuendoes you find offensive and ask him to avoid these topics even if he thinks they are funny OR to explain his jokes and slang to you every time.

    If he still ignores it afterwards then he's a moron. :fool" Anyway I think his habit of using very advanced Russian with you (and not telling you what he means) is a bit strange.

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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    Quote Originally Posted by emeraldeyez
    So do you see my dilemma?

    Any advise? Words of wisdom?
    I'd say that to fully appreciate American or Russian humor/cultural references one has to live in the respective country for quite a bit. Unless there is a large amount of trust between two people, things can easily be taken out of intended context and misinterpreted. My impression of the person you talk about is that he's young and perhaps insecure about a number of things. You just have to be more careful, patient and see if with time you understand each other better.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    I would forget about the joking. That is an extremely subtle use of language to convey to a foreigner. I have been learning Russian for decades and still don't understand jokes very well. You may think you are being straightforward, but how would you know? Your reality is different from a Russian's.

    You need to know standard Russian if you want to know the slang. Once you have passed that hurdle, then check out Border's. I bought a book called Russian slang or something like that. It has more than I would ever need to know. Unfortunately it is only monodirectional - Russian-English. But that should work for you.

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    Почётный участник emeraldeyez's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    If he is not care you to understand him why you should care? And if you believe he is friendly just pass by your ears everything that sounds offensive. That's my wisdom.

    Nothing is offensive at all to me. Really nothing offends me in anyway.

    I just want to understand what he is saying. How to pick up on the differences.

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    Почётный участник emeraldeyez's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    He is a great guy and I trust him 100%. I really do, so nothing he tells me has offended me or hurt me in any way. He is a great guy. I love his brutal truth and straightforwardness. It is most refreshing and exhilarating to finally meet someone who can be so. There is nothing fake about him.

    The errors are 2 and both on my end.

    1. I tend to offend him with my honesty and bluntness. I think it shocks him that I speak so openly. I think it shocks him coming from a woman. (I guess I am not ladylike enough ... though I am certainly not like other American women ... I do not want to be like a man at all.) I just like to speak what exactly is on my mind. No guessing. I do not hide behind words. I use them to convey what I mean.

    2. I just want to understand is all. He says it is nearly impossible for me to understand Russian, Russian humor and mat. I say well it is not entirely impossible, just means I have to work harder.

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    Nothing is really impossible. There's no magic in these things you mentioned. Of course, there's always things that simply cannot be understood by a mere knowing of a language (any language).
    To understand slang you must hear it farily often, to understand humor you must know what things these people find funny, you must simply see what they laugh at, and to 'feel' a 'good' swearing you also should be in a position where you could hear assorted colorful swearings quite often, etc.
    One thing is to learn the language for informational exchange, the other thing is to learn the culture, the history, and the people. You can start talking fast in any language within a year or maybe less, but it could take years, decades even, to fully undertand the people who live on the other side of the world.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    Quote Originally Posted by emeraldeyez
    (1) Like when my friend writes to me he always uses Russian slang
    ......
    2. I just want to understand is all. He says it is nearly impossible for me to understand Russian, Russian humor and mat. I say well it is not entirely impossible, just means I have to work harder.
    Dare I say he does (1) in order to prove he is right in (2) ? Can he use less cryptic/obscure slang or at least no more than 1 (one) item of slang per paragraph?
    Russian is tough, let’s go shopping!

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    Почтенный гражданин studyr's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Translation in general and context.

    Quote Originally Posted by emeraldeyez
    He says it is nearly impossible for me to understand Russian, Russian humor and mat.
    There're several kinds of slang in Russian: general slang, youth slang, criminal slang, mat and few sorts of professional slang. He isn't a criminal so it's inadequate for him to use a criminal slang. You're not of his age so he shouldn't use a youth slang. You're a woman so he may not use mat. A professional slang he doesn't understand himself and he hasn't to use a general slang if he wants you to understand him.

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