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Thread: а какое же рисование ночью!

  1. #1
    Почётный участник ShakeyX's Avatar
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    а какое же рисование ночью!

    Just started reading 'История живописца' alongside the english translation in the New Yorker and it often (for some reason) misses out entire Russian sentences. This one is not in English so I unfortunately missed out on a chanc to get the feeling behind the last part of the sentence, after the colon.

    Here's a section for context:

    Наш бедняк мог бы также расписывать стены и заборы, однако каждая стена кому-то принадлежит. Кроме того, это тоже надо было делать ночью, когда народ не шляется туда-сюда и не мешает: а какое же рисование ночью!

    All is understood except for "а какое же рисование ночью!".

    I've been told it is an expression of happiness but these words alone mean nothing to me, "and/but which... zhe... painting at night"???

    Could anyone give me a good english equivilant while also telling me how this sentence breaks down to mean what it means. I am lost.

    Thanks in advance, Jake.

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин
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    "А какое же рисование ночью!" = "Но разве возможно какое-либо рисование ночью!"

    It is an exclamatory sentence. It is grammatically similar to the English ones: "What a surprise!", "What awful weather!" and so on.
    Же is an emphatic particle, it has no grammatical meaning.

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    Почётный участник ShakeyX's Avatar
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    Okay I feel it is an exclamation but I'm still not getting the sentence in English. Could you possibly translate into the most suiting english?

    "Besides, it was also necessary to do it at night, when people wern't loafing around here and there and disturbing/hindering: but what it is to paint at night?! I still don't get it. Is it stating, and this is just how it is painting at night, or... how great it is to paint at night because these problems aren't there? Or that what is painting exactly when you can't even see because of the dark?? I'm not feeling it, apologies!

    (And i didn't quite get the russian that you posted. These kind of expressions in Russian are so hard to me)

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    How the hell one paints at night?

    Something like that. All in all the sentence means that painting at night is not something you can do.
    ShakeyX likes this.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShakeyX View Post
    Could you possibly translate into the most suiting english?
    "But could any painting be possible at night?!", maybe. Not sure if it is grammatically correct.
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    I think a simpler way to translate it would be "And how would one paint at night?"

    Какой = what/what type/what kind

    With the emphatic particle "же," it's putting emphasis on the "what?!" in response to the ludicrous action. "What kind of action...", in this case "painting at night." That's how I see it at least.
    Я просто пытаюсь учить русский язык.

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    Imho, writer made mistake. There must be question mark ("?").
    Without it perception of phrase should be something like "Such (a wonderful) paintings can be done at night!".
    But context is clearly about examples above. It is questioning of reasonability of action.

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    There must be question mark ("?").
    I thinks so too.

    "А/и какое ночью может быть рисование?" is a simplified version.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    I persoannly think it should be both "?!"
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by iCake View Post
    I personally think it should be both "?!"
    I'm sure it's just a typo, but just a small correction.

    Yeah, I think the feeling is aw and shock with possible amazement.

    Hmm, going with what Alex80 mentioned, maybe we can apply the same logic behind this phrase:
    Какая красота! - What a beauty!
    Какое же рисование! - What a painting! (with even more emphasis due to же)

    ночью is just an adjective describing that the painting was done at night, so even without it the sentence makes sense.
    Я просто пытаюсь учить русский язык.

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