Tag Archives: lingvonecrosis

The Greatest Job Producer God Created

As a linguist, I enjoyed today’s ‘press conference’ of The Clown. My conclusion:

The U.S. is on the verge of transitioning from “disgraceful”, “catastrophic” “disaster” to the “great great”, “fantastic”, “totally wonderful”, “very very”, “absolute”, “tremendous”, “extraordinary”, “very very”, “terrific”, “great great”, “very huge”, “top of the line”, “very nice”,  “greatest”, “total”, “strong”,”brilliant” … something.

This is what “Power of words” really means. Just learn a few, and repeat them again and again. People will believe you. Millions of Americans did. 🙁





I am sick and tired of Russian verbosity. Here are just a few examples of what they say and what they really mean. Recently heard on the radio and television news and sportcasts, where one would expect maximum brevity, conciseness and minimum vagueness:

1 Внешнеполитическое ведомство – External Policy Agency
2 Северная столица – Northern Capital
3 Зеленый континент – Green Continent
4 Административный центр Баварии – Administrative Center of Bavaria
5 Главная площадь страны – The Main Square of the Country
6 Стоимость углеводородов / Цена на углеводороды – Hydrocarbons price
7 В качестве главы кабинета Ее Величества – In the capacity of the Head of Cabinet of Her Majesty)
8 Венценосные особы – Crown-wearing persons
9 Туманный Альбион – The Foggy Albion
10 Страна кленового листа – The Maple Leaf Country
11 Страна утренней свежести – The Country of Morning freshness
12 Страна восходящего солнца – The Country of the Rising Sun
13 Поднебесная – The Celestial Empire
14 Страна тысячи озер или Суоми – The Country of a Thousand Lakes or Suomi
15 Футбольная столица Англии – Football capital of England
17 Четвертое (первое) игровое сочетание форвардов – 4th (1st) game combination of forwards
18 Нападающий команды страны тысячи озер – Forward of the Team of the Country of a Thousand Lakes
19 Обесшайбил финского спортсмена – ‘De-pucked’ the Finnish sportsman
20 Положил игровой диск в ворота страны тысячи озер – Put the playing disk into the goal of the country of a thousand of lakes

Sometimes it sounds plain ridiculous but that is the way they talk these days… Below are the meanings of the above samples of Russian “slovobloudie”. This is what they mean, in human-readable language::

1 МИД – State Department (in US), Foreign Ministry
2 Санкт Петербург – Saint Petersburg
3 Австралия – Australia
4 Мюнхен – Munich
5 Красная площадь – Red Square
6 Цена на нефть – Oil price
7 В качестве премьер-министра – As Prime Minister
8 Королева и ее муж – The Queen and her husband
9 Англия – United Kingdom, UK
10 Канада – Canada
11 Корея – Korea
12 Япония – Japan
13 Китай – China
14 Финляндия – Finland
15 Манчестер – Manchester
17 Нападающее звено – Offensive line
18 Финский форвард – Finnish forward
19 Отобрал шайбу у финна – Took the puck away from the Finn
20 Забил шайбу финнам – [player’s name] scored

Small wonder Russian translations of English source texts are up to 40% lengthier than the original text. In translation industry we call it “expansion”. I can at least understand the motives of a translator who inflates the number of “target language” words, but why does a sports commentator do it?..



I had that feeling when I discovered that I have to pay a cancellation fee of $42 to leave L10Nbridge’s stinking ‘MarketPlace’. They say that joining a gang is free, but to leave the gang you have to pay a price.

Lionbridge charges a fee for refusing to use their proprietary tool
Cancellation fee sucks

I am calling Lionbridge’s MarketPlace “stinking” because they are pushing translation rates down to sweat-shop levels there. Immoral? Good business practice – from shareholders’ point of view? I don’t know, but I am not playing their games anymore. In Europe, there was a massive exodus of French and Spanish translators from the ranks of this giant translation and localization joint. It seems people in the Old World have higher standards of ethics, and in general are a prouder bunch. After all, money is not everything. But here in America money still rules, people are afraid to lose income, and as a result they let the motherfuckers like L10Nbridge set their rules to rob their own providers.

The sad thing about it is that if I try to contest this outrageous charge, they’ll point me to a provision of the contract, where this mob practice is stipulated. If you want to contest it, welcome to the American Court system. I’ll pass on that. After all, I can earn enough doing certified translations for individuals as I did before.

Companies like LIOX are responsible for the slow death of translator’s occupation. Fewer and fewer professionals remain in business. Poorly educated, illiterate localizers ready to work for pennies are filling the void, and lingvonecrosis (my term) is setting in. Sad, very sad.


Tema Lebedev

He is one of those people whom you like and dislike at the same time. One day he’s a cool guy, funny and clever, says things you totally agree with, and the next day he’s such a fucking jerk – you cannot believe it’s the same person. Sometimes, he’s even witty, I have a couple of images to prove it. Look at the bottom right corner of his home pages.

Below is what his earlier homepage looked like:

He used to smoke three packs per day...

Apparently, the guy still stays away from smoking. Good for him. I remember reading his lengthy post about quitting. It’s a bummer Tema swears a lot and often writes vulgar and pathetic banalities, total shit in his blog. When he doesn’t, reading his blog, books and the content of his studio’s website is fun. Since his ancestors are highly intellectual, writers, translators and poets among them, his Russian is very good. There are very few people among the the Runet bloggers (Russian internet), who can compare with him.

As a professional translator of English (when in Russia), and Russian (after relocating to the US), I used to read Lebedev’s posts a lot. His profound knowledge of his native Russian, excellent command of English, everything and anything related to linguistics, like typography for example, as well as a keen eye on small details, would make him an excellent translator and/or interpreter. But he became a designer instead. Oh, well. It is still fun to check on him from time to time.

P.S. It’s amazing how one and the same person can be a guardian of the Russian language, and at the same time use his popularity to infect and destroy it. I call this infection lingvonecrosis (лингвонекроз). Of course it’s not only Lebedev’s presumptuous vulgarity and cynicism that kills the Russian language, there are many other counter-culture contributors, but he sure runs high in search-engine stats.


“… я равы тянул, они аж трещали”

Смешно, но я ощущаю тихую радость, чуть-ли не гордость, что наталкиваясь на такие выражения, понимаю их смысл.

А всего-то надо было – любить фотографию, в том числе цифровую, а значит быть в курсе формата RAW. Ну, и немножко представлять себе процесс обработки изображений в программах типа Фотошоп.


Кто же скажет им правду?

Интернет заполонен людьми, считающими себя профессиональными переводчиками, но не являющихся таковыми. Некоторые из них даже регистрируются в базе переводчиков Руслока…

Интересно послушать мнение переводчиков украинского языка о качестве работы их коллеги. Как работодатель, получивший этот “перевод” с опозданием на сутки, после двухкратного напоминания, я не знаю как мне поступить…

Человек не выполнил своих обязательств не только по срокам, он также нарушил прямые указания, которые ему были даны в первой же инструкции: по всем неясным вопросам, например, словосочетаниям, понятным только жителю Северной Америки, незамедлительно обращаться к указанному редактору (консультанту), не реже 2 раз в сутки, представляя список своих вопросов. Иными словами, обязательства свои он нарушил, а значит я не обязан выполнять своих – т.е. оплачивать его работу.