играть в то, как

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by moonlight7, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. moonlight7 Senior Member

    I am trying to translate this phrase in English, but it doesn´t sound right.
    "Едет Добрыня да видит: мальчики и девочки в войну играют, сражения друг с дружкой ведут…
    Подъехал к ним Добрыня, спрашивает:
    — Неужели нет у вас игры другой?
    Скучно играть в то, как дома строить да хлебы печь!
    — Но неужели же весело играть в то, как головы сечь?


    Would it be: “It’s boring to play in how to build houses and bake bread!”?
    “But is it fun to play in how to cut off heads?”?
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  2. Sincerity Junior Member

    Espagne (España, Spain)
    English - international
    - It's boring to play at house-building and baking bread!
    - But can it be fun to play at cutting (chopping) off people's heads?

    "Chopping" is a bit more colloquial (and more brutal) than "cutting". Which of the two you choose will depend on the wider context. Generally speaking, when people talk about cutting off heads you need to say "people's heads". This is more natural than just saying cutting off heads.

    Всего доброго!
  3. turkjey5 Senior Member

    English - USA
    -It's boring playing house and baking mud pies!
    -Is it really fun to play like you're chopping each other's heads off?
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
  4. moonlight7 Senior Member

    Thanks, Sincerity and turkjey5!
  5. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Would it be possible to say "... and baking breads?" Just so that the lines would rhyme like they did in the original text?
  6. moonlight7 Senior Member

    If it's possible, that will be nice! Let's wait for some native...
  7. Sobakus Senior Member

    If you want a rhyme, you can go with "baking bread - cutting off each other's head". Bread is generally uncountable, and using it in the plural denotes different sorts of bread, just like with the word fish.
  8. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    #7 :thumbsup: Excellent answer!
  9. moonlight7 Senior Member

    Thanks, friends!
  10. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Thank you for the explanation!
    I was kind of expecting that... Only... I was asking because sometimes it's ok to let deliberate misspelling slip in. Many fairy tales deliberately use the words and language constructions that sound ancient. And certain spelling errors could have the air of ancient speech (or rural speech). In modern Russian we would say "пёк хлеб". But in fairy tales and in "Жития Святых" we can find something similar to "хлебы пёк и послушания прочия выполнял справно". It's kind of different register.
    So I wondered if "breads" might sound ancient rather than illiterate...
  11. Sobakus Senior Member

    I see what you mean. If anything, it sounds like a child's mistake to me, however I wouldn't bet on it.
  12. Sincerity Junior Member

    Espagne (España, Spain)
    English - international
    "Breads" (in the plural) is only ever used when speaking of different types of breads. I agree that to use it in this context would smack of an error made by a child.

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