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Попросили, чтобы принёс что-нибудь ещё.

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by wonlon, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    It is from my Russian reading. I have a paragraph which I am not sure about the meaning, though (I thought) I know every word by itself.

    ...
    Главное я всё-таки узнал от отца: "Счастье - это когда свой хлеб человек добывает любымым делом."

    Сначала я думал: любимое дело - работа с мальчишками. Работал в летнем лагеру, был фотографом. В газету зашёл случайно. Статью взяли и попросили, чтобы принёс что-нибудь ещё. Через месяц редактор позвал меня к себе. Он спросил, не хотел бы я работать в газете. Мне, показалось, что редактор смеётся.

    My translation:
    The main thing I still learned from my father: "Happiness is when a man earned his own bread with his favourite work."

    At first I thought a favourite work is just a job with a small child. I worked in a summer camp as a photographer. I accidentally called in a newspaper office. They took an article and asked .....??? After a month the editor called me to see him. He asked if I wanted to work in a newspaper. It seemed to me that the editor laughed.???
     
  2. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    They asked him for another article. "что-нибудь ещё" means to say "ещё какую-нибудь статью". He wrote some article "accidentally" (this one is not said explicitly but left implied), then "accidentally" walked in the newspaper's office with his article, they published the article that he wrote, and asked that he wrote some other article and brought to them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  3. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    Would you do me a favour to re-translate my translation? I feel that my translation is just not quite comprehensible.:(
    And my difficulty with this passage is that I am really not confident if I understand every sentence well.:(
     
  4. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    By the way, in "Статью взяли и попросили... the subject (in the nominative) is missing. As I know, this is a kind of sentences with indefinite subject, with the verb in 3rd-person plural, used when the subject is not important or when the writer do not want to mention it, right? And the hidden subject can be singular or plural (a person or more than one person), right?
     
  5. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    Why, you understood the thing all right, except three sentences. As for the title sentence, I already said what it means: that they accepted his article and asked for more. As for the editor's laugh, it just seemed to the young reporter that the editor was joking at him. I guess, by the specific style, that this is a Soviet-time account about working and living people; at that time, having a job in a newspaper was, I think, more prestigious than today, people might well see something mystical in writing abilities, not available to anyone but few, and such offer could very well seen as a joke by a youngster.
    Also: "работа с мальчишками" is "work with children", "work with boys", like in schools or in pioneer summer camps.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  6. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    This is also used to mean that it is the organisation, not specific people, who undertakes the actions, which is here the action of accepting the article. In such cases it is always the third person plural. Sure, it was most likely one person who expressed acceptance, but the story-teller either does not remember him or does not find it worthy to mention him, for he intended to make and made conversation with the organisation about his official matters, not with people about his or their personal matters.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  7. CathrineW Senior Member

    n/a
    n/a
    It is a word-by-word translation )) It is not good. You should first understand the phrase "добывать хлеб". "Добывает хлеб" в этом контексте означает получать заработок, зарабатывать деньги, зарабатывать на жизнь, зарабатывать на пропитание (также можешь говорить "рубить бабло" или"зашибать бабло", если твой заработок, личные доходы очень большие).

    "Счастье - это когда свой хлеб человек добывает любымым делом."

    To be happy means to make a living by doing things you love the most.
    To be happy means to make a living by doing what a man likes (or what you like).
     
  8. willem81 Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
  9. CathrineW Senior Member

    n/a
    n/a
    My bad!Of course, it is correct. I just didn't check out this phrase in a dictionary.
     
  10. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    I modified my translation:

    The main thing I still learned from my father: "Happiness is when a man earned his own bread by doing what he likes most."

    At first I thought to doing what one likes most is just something a child does. (Then) I worked in a summer camp as a photographer. I accidentally called in a newspaper office. They (the editor or the company, definite subject unknown) took an article (from me) and asked me to bring in some more articles (чтобы (я <hidden) принёс). After a month the editor called me to see him. He asked if I wanted to work in a newspaper. It seemed to me that the editor was just joking.

    Better and correct now?
     
  11. willem81 Senior Member

    Russia
    Russian
    The second sentence is incorrectly translated. I would translate it thus:
    Сначала я думал: любимое дело - работа с мальчишками. = At first I thought that my favorite occupation was the work with boys.

    The rest seems to be correct.
     
  12. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    Moderatorial:

    Dear foreros, let me remind you the subject of this thread:
    Попросили, чтобы принёс что-нибудь ещё.
    Please stay within this scope.


    Rule 5: No proofreading. These forums respond to specific questions about text. They do not provide proofreading and rewriting of texts. Thus, discussion should center on the word or phrase in the thread title.

    Rule 3: If you wish to talk about a related subject that is different from the question posed in the first post
    of the thread,
    open a new thread.
     
  13. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Hi wonlon, your version (and the others) are not bad, but there are one or two things that need adjusting (but we're not allowed to proofread ;).)

    Your query about "... попросили, чтобы принёс что-нибудь ещё" is a standard grammatical construction in Russian after (по)просить [кого, чтобы +verb in past tense]. It translates in English as "to ask someone to do something", e.g.:

    Капелло: "Мы попросили, чтобы Бекхэм отправился с нами в ЮАР" (source: novoteka.ru) - Capello: "We asked Beckham to come/go with us to South Africa."
    Босс на работе попросил, чтобы я взглянул на его компьютер, почему он так медленно работает (source: pikabu.ru) - "My boss asked me to have a look at his computer to find out why it's so slow." (source: pikabu.ru)

    As the other posters pointed out, neither the subject (who asked? - кто?) nor the object (who did they ask? - кого?) is expressed in your sentence. But they don't need to be expressed here because the subject (the people at the newspaper office) and the object (me) are the same as in the narrative so far, and there's no reason to suggest that there is any other subject or object in this sentence. In Russian, once the subject of a given narrative has been established (even if only by implication), and there's no risk of misunderstanding, there's often no need to repeat it.

    The same applies in the previous couple of sentences. Сначала я думал: любимое дело - работа с мальчишками. Работал в летнем лагеру, был фотографом. В газету зашёл случайно. Here the subject of работал, был and зашёл is the same я as at the beginning of the sentence. There's no need to repeat it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  14. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    Actually I am still not sure verb in 3rd-plural like "Меня зовут Wonlon" and "Статью взяли и попросили" Can the omitted subject be singular?
     
  15. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    Actually it is not important. The person who accepted the article and asked for more articles may well be single, but the grammatical subject never appears in this kind of statement, so it cannot be neither singular nor plural, it is just not there. This kind of statement is also often used when some feeling of the acting people's superiority is meant; for example, a child can talk about his teacher in 3rd person plural without any subject, making the perception that the teacher's actions are no-one's actions, they are just the fact of the Universe. Not very good way of talking, I think, but usable sometimes.
     
  16. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    I usually translate these kinds of sentences into English in passive, otherwise I have to put a subject by guess, right?
    By the way, my Russian teacher (who is not so good) told me this pattern is not Russian passive.
     
  17. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian
    I think the second option is better, but the first option may be good, too, if the clause permits (sometimes there is no direct object in the clause).
    He is right. It's an impersonal active construction. I think this kind of impersonal constructions is called "неопределённо-личные предложения" in Russian grammars of the Russian language. Literally, 'indefinitely-personal clauses'. It may be different in foreign grammars, though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  18. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    You're right, wonlon. These "third-person plural with no nominative subject" sentences can often be translated by an English passive or by using "they", even when it's not clear in English who "they" are. This point is explained with a number of examples here (source: russian.cornell.edu), e,g,:
    "Говорят, что он хороший преподаватель."
    It is said that he is a good teacher [formal, even a bit stilted]
    He is said to be a good teacher [formal enough for any context]
    He's said to be a good teacher [less formal because of the "he'"s contraction, but still acceptable in any context]
    They say he's a good teacher [conversational, informal]

    There are other ways of saying it too, e.g. "Word has it that he's a good teacher".
     

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