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Thread: 'Instead of walking all the way to the top using the stairs' etc

  1. #1
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    'Instead of walking all the way to the top using the stairs' etc

    Вместо того, чтобы подниматься вплоть до верх лестницы, я решил взять свои шансы и понадеяться на лифт дойти до помещения машинного лифта в чердаке. Знаете, лифты в этих зданных безопаснее, чем понимают большинство. Лифт возродился с жужжанием и после нескольких бряцающих кабелей устроились, начал медленно подниматься. Двери уж не пытались закрываться, и мне представился взгляд каждых мрачных этажах пройдя вниз передо мной, один за другим. Я выключил фонарик, предпочитая слабый свет сверху.

    Instead of walking all the way to the top using the stairs, I'll just chance it and ride the lift up to the lift house on the roof, I thought. The lifts in these buildings are safer than you'd think. The lift hummed into life, and after a few clanking cables had settled, it began to ascend slowly. The doors didn't even try to close, and I was presented with the sight of each gloomy storey passing downwards before me, one after another. I switched off the torch, preferring the dim light from above.

    Probably many mistakes here, but there are two bits of this paragraph where I have a clear idea of what I might be getting wrong:-
    'взять свои шансы' is transliterated. Is there an expression in Russian that means 'to take one's chances?'
    предпочитая:- In English in this context, this would definitely be a present participle, but in Russian?

    I'm not happy with most of my translation here; I'm hoping it holds up grammatically (within my usual margin for error anyway,) but I doubt if it would be intelligable without the original in English.

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    Почтенный гражданин xXHoax's Avatar
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    Vocabulary as always, can be a largely trial and error process when writing.

    I'll comment on the participle part, because what little I know about it is more than anything about the rest.

    I've read up more on past participles some more and I still can't give a clear answer in this case.
    The past active and adverbial participles are really abstract and strange to my English mind.

    This case I'm gonna put my money on present adverbial, like you said. But I feel that a convoluted argument could be made for предпочтя. [past adverbial of the perfective counterpart]

    Somewhere along the lines of
    "I turned off the flashlight, having (decided I) preferred the dim light.", the 'decided I' part just implies the instantaneous act of realizing he preferred. (or I'm insane idk)

    This is one of those verbs about opinion forming and impressions, like понравиться, where the perfective distinction is especially hard for non native speakers to grasp, unlike a verb like пить where most people can understand the concept of finishing a drink or not.

    до верха <Edit: No I'm dumb. Ignore this.

    I won't be able to do a remotely full job on the translation's corrections, because I don't know most of them, so I won't start on it

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    I know what you mean about trial and error. I'm really only writing this stuff to get the hang of the grammar, and trying to use sentences that are as complex as ones I'd naturally use in English. I treat the actual vocabulary as 'disposable'; if I remember some of it, great, but if not, that's not so bad. With stuff like participles, I would like to maybe just find more of them used in texts with good translations, although I do have a teacher I can ask about this sort of thing.
    xXHoax likes this.

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    Почтенный гражданин Serge_spb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafrich View Post
    Вместо того, чтобы подниматься на самый верх лестницей (or по лестнице), я решил воспользоваться шансом и на лифте доехать до машинного отделения лифта в чердаке. Знаете, лифты в этих зданиях безопаснее, чем думает большинство. Лифт возродился к жизни (or проснулся) с жужжанием и когда несколько бряцающих (or лязгающих - common word for "metal" sound)кабелей закрепились (?), тот* начал медленно подниматься. Двери даже не попытались закрыться**, и мне представился вид каждого мрачного этажа, уходящего вниз передо мной, один за другим. Я выключил фонарик, предпочитая слабый свет сверху. (or "предпочтя" which might be better)

    Instead of walking all the way to the top using the stairs, I'll just chance it and ride the lift up to the lift house on the roof, I thought. The lifts in these buildings are safer than you'd think. The lift hummed into life, and after a few clanking cables had settled, it began to ascend slowly. The doors didn't even try to close, and I was presented with the sight of each gloomy storey passing downwards before me, one after another. I switched off the torch, preferring the dim light from above.
    *(I guees you have to refer to the noun since the sentence is too long)
    тот = лифт

    **one-time action is supposed


    Probably many mistakes here, but there are two bits of this paragraph where I have a clear idea of what I might be getting wrong:-
    'взять свои шансы' is transliterated. Is there an expression in Russian that means 'to take one's chances?'
    Рискнуть; попробовать; использовать шанс (воспользоваться шансом)


    предпочитая:- In English in this context, this would definitely be a present participle, but in Russian?
    (Present) participial turnover / деепричастный оборот.
    I`ve mentioned it in other - "police clerk" thread by giving you some examples.
    A complicated sentence; spoken vs literary Russian

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    'воспользоваться шансом и на лифте доехать'
    That's definitely close enough to the meaning I was looking for. Does Russian have an expression for 'take a chance on something', as we say in English, or is that as close as we are going to get?

    'когда несколько (бряцающих)...' I get the feeling that I should use 'когда ' as a sort of 'go to' word in contexts like this, instead of после, or something else. Is it general enough to be used reliably as English 'after'?

    закрепляться:- The idea of cables 'settling down' is easy to grasp for an English speaker, but I suppose it is a bit idiomatic really. I have закрепляться as 'to consolidate one's grip (on)', which better describes what the cables are doing in this case.

    I think I can see why тот is needed here; in English, it's easy to see that the lift is the thing starting to descend, but I think even I would expect to see it in Russian, as you tend to less 'loose' about these things than we are.

    'попытались закрыться' I had thought that when describing an action that didnt happen, it was usual to use the imperfective. On the basis that, because it didn't happen at all, it was not sucessfully completed?

    I'll look again at your notes on participles in the previous thread; It takes a while for things to sink in sometimes.

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    "в чердаке" should be "на чердаке"

    If 'cables' refer to those 'ropes', pulling the lift cabin, then it would be 'тросы'.
    https://www.google.ru/search?newwind...26.qcMdOJUMQCo

    Кабели (often кабеля in the conversational speech) conduct signals.

    Also it's unclear why would cables do any actions? What a grip? May be you mean, that slack тросы become tense because of extra forces appearing on the acceleration?
    Then "тросы натянулись"...
    iCake and Serge_spb like this.
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafrich
    воспользоваться шансом и на лифте доехать'
    That's definitely close enough to the meaning I was looking for.
    I'm afraid it is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by grafrich
    Instead of walking all the way to the top using the stairs, I'll just chance it and ride the lift up to the lift house on the roof
    I'm quite sure "chance" there means taking a risk that the faulty lift can fall down. but you're still willing to take that chance. This idea is further intensified by talking about how safe these lifts actually are.

    Here's the thing. Chance in English can mean both "risk" and "opportunity". In Russian it's ONLY about an opportunity and mostly about a good opportunity. So

    воспользоваться шансом means to take an opportunity. With this your original meaning gets mangled. Now from "I so don't want to walk up there that I'll risk a faulty lift" to "Hey, there is a lift here! Now I don't have to walk up there", which is kind of strange, lifts are virtually in every building nowadays

    Use рискнуть there, that'll convey your meaning well enough.
    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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    I hadnt even thought that 'шанс' wouldnt also mean risk; рискнуть it is then.
    Interesting that it's "на чердаке"; I had thought that entering the confined space of a loft would be "в чердаке", although I suppose the loft is just another storey, so "на" makes sense.

    Also it's unclear why would cables do any actions? What a grip? May be you mean, that slack тросы become tense because of extra forces appearing on the acceleration?
    Then "тросы натянулись"...
    Yes I was thinking that some of the cables (тросы would be better than кабели) might have become slack with age, and that they would 'slap' into each other a bit as they stretch/settle down under load.

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    Подающий надежды оратор Black Forest's Avatar
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    On participles: The adverbial form directly relates to the actions of the subject in the main clause, while the adjectival forms modify participial subjects or objects.

    Compare:
    "Смотреть на человека, тихо смеясь (над ним)."
    "Смотреть на человека, тихо смеющегося (над собой)."
    xXHoax likes this.
    Шварцвальд

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    "Смотреть на человека, смеясь (над ним)." Look at the person, while laughing (at him.)
    "Смотреть на человека, смеющегося (над собой)." Look at the person (who is) laughing (at you, etc.)

    I think that's right, anyway

    I used to think of the present tense adverbial participle as meaning 'while (verb)ing', and the past tense one as 'having (verb)ed'; if I went back to thinking in these terms, I think I could avoid confusing the adverbial and adjectival forms. Thanks for the nudges in the right direction.

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    'Двери уж не пытались закрываться,...'
    'Двери даже не попытались закрыться,...'

    I had thought that when describing an action that didn't happen, it was usual to use the imperfective. On the basis that, because it didn't happen at all, it was not sucessfully completed?
    Is that not the case?

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafrich View Post
    'Двери уж не пытались закрываться,...'
    'Двери даже не попытались закрыться,...'

    I had thought that when describing an action that didn't happen, it was usual to use the imperfective. On the basis that, because it didn't happen at all, it was not sucessfully completed?
    Is that not the case?
    To describe an action that didn't happen you only need не + past tense. Verb aspects are a whole different matter.

    Двери уже не пытались закрываться - this gives a notion that the doors did try to close a few times with no success and they eventually "gave up". God, are we talking about doors?
    Двери даже не попытались закрыться - this means that they haven't even tried to close. No closing action at all, neither successful nor unsuccessful.
    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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    Okay, seems I've got very rusty on working out which aspect to use...
    'Двери уже не пытались закрываться' does my use of 'уже' here contribute towards the idea that the doors tried to close but 'gave up (!), as you put it? Or is that all in the choice of aspect?

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grafrich View Post
    Okay, seems I've got very rusty on working out which aspect to use...
    'Двери уже не пытались закрываться' does my use of 'уже' here contribute towards the idea that the doors tried to close but 'gave up (!), as you put it? Or is that all in the choice of aspect?
    You started this with doors trying! things


    As for уже, sure it does but not in a sense you might be thinking of. Уже makes the action completed. Yep, 2 imperfective verbs conveying a completed action, albeit a prolonged action that's finally come to an end. If you omit уже from the sentence:

    Двери не пытались закрываться.

    That'd be a prolonged action with unclear state of completion, like the doors didn't try to close for some time.
    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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    Inanimate objects have a life of their own in my stories sometimes, just to make them appear as if they're responsible for their actions, or lack of them..
    I think I can understand the 2 imperfective verbs conveying a completed action, in that the doors had already tried (but failed) to close. It's a moot point as to whether that was actually the meaning I was looking for when I wrote it originally; I think it wasn't clear either way in my head (typical English lack of concern for whether something is finished or not..!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by grafrich View Post
    'воспользоваться шансом и на лифте доехать'
    That's definitely close enough to the meaning I was looking for. Does Russian have an expression for 'take a chance on something', as we say in English, or is that as close as we are going to get?
    Попытать счастья
    Налево пойдёшь - коня потеряешь, направо пойдёшь - сам голову сложишь.
    Прямой путь не предлагать!

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    Thanks, I thought there must be a phrase for that.

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