Voices from Russia

Saturday, 5 September 2015

5 September 2015. Further Adventures in Translation Land…

00 shrug shakespeare 050915


Это у Шекспира, «быть или не быть»…

А у нас, «эх, была не была!»


Literally, Это у Шекспира, «быть или не быть» comes out as “It’s in Shakespeare, “To be or not to be”… that’s easy. However, А у нас, «эх, была не была!» is trickier. Literally, была не была is “was not was” (or more precisely, was not-was), but it’s really an idiomatic expression such as the New York English, “Get out of here!” or “Forget about it”. That is, it’s an interjection not meant in its literal sense. The best way to English it, I think, is “it sure wasn’t (was it)!” so, the above bon-mot in English would be:

Shakespeare put it as, “To be, or not to be!”

Today, we say, “Well, it sure wasn’t!”



Thursday, 30 August 2012

2012 Paralympic Games Open in London

The Russian team at the Paralympics… it’s time to back the homeboys…


On Wednesday night, the opening ceremony for the 14th Summer Paralympic Games was held at London’s Olympic Park, and who better to help welcome the Paralympians than a scientist who showed the world that physical limitations don’t limit human potential? “Enlightenment” was the theme, physicist Stephen Hawking the guide, and Olympic Stadium the venue, as London welcomed 4,200 athletes from 166 nations and territories to the 2012 Paralympic Games. The extravaganza, directed by Bradley Hemmings and Jenny Sealey, included 73 deaf and disabled professional performers and 68 disabled people among its 3,250 volunteers.

Over the next 11 days, Paralympic athletes will contest 503 sets of medals in 20 sports, including archery, cycling, rowing, equestrian, sailing, sitting volleyball, wheelchair rugby, wheelchair tennis, and wheelchair basketball. Wheelchair basketball, shooting, swimming, and track cycling are amongst the events set to feature on the opening day. Queen Elizabeth declared the London 2012 Paralympics officially open, during a spectacular opening ceremony watched by some 80,000 spectators.

Britain’s first Paralympic Games gold medallist, Margaret Maughan, 84, had the honour of lighting the cauldron. Paralympics chief Lord Coe told the crowd, “Prepare to be inspired, prepare to be dazzled, prepare to be moved”. Earlier, athletes paraded around the Olympic Stadium. Professor Hawking and actor Sir Ian McKellen played prominent roles in the ceremony, which also featured a host of deaf and disabled artists, local children, and performers newly-trained in circus skills.

Some 3,000 volunteers took part in the event, which organisers entitled Enlightenment and said was “profoundly about science and humanity”. Throughout the ceremony, Prof Hawking acted as a guide to Miranda… a character from William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, who was central to the show… whilst Sir Ian played Prospero, another character from the play. Inspired by uncertain British weather, umbrellas were also a big theme in the ceremony, which was described as “both spectacular and deeply human” by organisers.

Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee, welcomed the Queen before members of the British forces carried the Union Flag into the stadium. It’s the first time a British monarch officiated at the openings of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In a statement released before she opened the Games, the Queen said, “It’s with tremendous pride that the people of London and the United Kingdom welcome the world to the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The Games are returning to the country where they first began, more than 60 years ago”.

30 August 2012

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

In case you didn’t know, Russian Paralympians are eligible for the titles of Master of Sport, International Master of Sport, and Honoured Master of Sport, just as Olympians are. In short, this is the real deal, it’s recognised as such by the state; it ain’t no sorry-ass Special Olympics


Monday, 27 August 2012

Richard III’s Remains may be Under Car Park

A Portrait of King Richard III

Unknown Artist

late 16th century


The Shakespeare play Richard III is one of the most popular on the English stage. At its centre is the domineering terrifying figure of the hunchback king. Today, archaeologists hope they’ve found the body of the real King Richard. Still, the medieval king isn’t in a very regal resting place. Shakespeare’s Richard III is alive and well, currently playing at the Globe Theatre in London. However, the real king died at the age of just 32. He fell at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. No one ever found his body. Now, a team from the University of Leicester thinks they know where his royal remains may lie… in Leicester town centre, buried deep below the concrete of a council car park.

Richard Buckley, the co-director of the Archaeology Service at the University of Leicester, said, “In the middle of an industrial town, the friary where Richard III is said to have been buried after Battle at Bosworth was long demolished. It disappeared after 1538, when Henry VIII dissolved all the monasteries. That’s where the record suggests where Richard III was buried. Therefore, what we’ve done… we’ve looked at lots of map evidence and we’re doing ground-probing with radar. Then, we’re going to try to dig to see if we can locate the remains of the church buried underneath”.

The consequences of the discovery could re-write history. Philippa Langley certainly hopes so. She’s a member of Richard III Society. On what should be the excavation site, she told me what she really wants from the dig, “For me, it’s actually finding him, because then we can give him a proper resting place to make him a real man. There’re so many fables surrounding him, that he was born with withered arm, that he was two years in mother’s stomach before he was born, and that he was born with hair, teeth, and nails. There’s just so much out there. We just want to roll that back and start painting the true picture of the man”.

State-of-the-art radar technology and DNA analysis will increase the chances of the excavation being a success. However, there’re complications, archaeologist Buckley said, “Although we know that Francisco buried Richard III at a ceremony in the church after Bosworth, when the friary was demolished, we don’t know what happened with the remains, whether they stayed there or… stories were circulating years later which say that his remains were exhumed and thrown in the river. So, hopefully, that isn’t the case and they’re still here”.

“So wise is so young, they say, do never live long!” These prophetic words were lines spoken by King Richard in Shakespeare’s play… as Richard himself didn’t live long. After his death, the King’s reputation was slashed, with Shakespeare as the chief culprit, but this dig could give the King’s reputation a second chance, rescuing him from the terrifying picture drawn by Britain’s best-known playwright.

27 August 2012

Voice of Russia World Service


Friday, 24 August 2012

24 August 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. In Search of the King of England

In Search of the King of England

Sergei Yolkin



A spokesman for the University of Leicester announced that British archaeologists have started large-scale excavations in Leicester, whose purpose is a search for the body of English monarch Richard III, the last king of the House of Plantagenet.

24 August 2012

Sergei Yolkin



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