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Thread: Translation/meaning of the word, solitude in Russian

  1. #1
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    Translation/meaning of the word, solitude in Russian

    Hi,

    I'm reading a book, and the author writes that the word 'solitude' in Russian means 'being with everybody'. Unfortunately, he did not give a reference for this statement, so i'm trying to find out whether this is true?

    Below is the paragraph in which the statement was made (maybe this will help with any responses..):

    In the Russian church certain people called poustinikki would devote themselves to a life of prayer. They would withdraw to the desert (poustinia) and live in solitude, but not in isolation. (The Russian word for solitude means "being with everybody.") By custom, "the latch was always off the door" as a sign of availability, according to Tilden Edwards. "The poustinik's priority at any time was his neighbor's need (which might stretch beyond prayer and counsel to physical labor, as at harvest time)."

    Thanks,

    Karabo

  2. #2
    Подающий надежды оратор
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    According to Yandex.Dictionaries (Яндекс.Словари),

    Solitude: одиночество; уединение, изоляция (о человеке), уединенность... (loneliness, seclusion, solitariness...)
    Pustinnik - Пустынник - Hermit

    I think that author meant thinking about everybody, praying for everybody

  3. #3
    kib
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    I think the author isn't right saying that. The Russian word for solitude is уединённость, from word единый, that means united, integrated. That is a single whole, which unites many parts. That does bear a resemblance to what the author said, but a weak one. Moreover (I'm not completely sure of this, but almost completely sure) In old Russian language the word единый also imported single, sole. It's really very unfortunately that the author didn't explain his train of thought. Maybe there are facts I don't know.
    Sorry for my English.

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    The Russian word for solitude means "being with everybody."
    I can't recall such word either.

    P.S. The word "единство" indeed had a marginal rare meaning of "solitude" but nowadays it means only "unity". This interpretation looks too artificial though.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  5. #5
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    Thanks Larusja, kib and it-ogo, this is very helpful. I'll also try and contact the author to see whether he can offer an explanation for his interpretation, or at least let me know where he got the reference. If I get a response, I'll let you know.
    Regards, Karabo

  6. #6
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    Уединённость comes from един, which means one, alone.

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    I think author "double translated" the word "poustinikki" from Russian to English and then from English to Russian and lost its original meaning
    Because "hermit" also can be translated as "отшельник" and that's the word which is often used to describe people mentioned in the article
    http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Отшельничество

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