Mыши кoлoлиcь и плaкaли, нo вce paвнo пpoдoлжaли есть кaктус

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by Etcetera, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Hi all,

    Мыши кололись и плакали, но все равно продолжали есть кактус is one of my most favourite phrases.

    I am wondering how we could say that in English. A literal translation of this phrase (The mice were pricking themselves on the cactus and crying, but still they were eating it) would sound rather clumsy... or not?

    Thanks in advance!:)
     
  2. DSA

    DSA New Member

    spb
    Russ
    I think you mean the phrase ''Мыши кололись, плакали, но продолжали жрать кактус''?
     
  3. Crescent

    Crescent Senior Member

    England
    Russian, (Ukraine)
    Hi, Etcetera! :)

    Well, to be honest with you - I've never heard of this saying before... Where is it from? A movie or a book, perhaps? And why do you seem to like it so much? Is there some hidden sense in what the phrase is saying?

    My translation isn't much better than yours, but..here it is anyway. :)

    ''The mice pricked themselves and cried, but they still ate the cactus.''
     
  4. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    That sounds too rude. I prefer the version I wrote above.

    Yes.:D I don't know where the phrase is from, but it's very popular among my friends. Look here if you want to know how these mice look like!:)
    The "hidden meaning" is that, however unpleasant something may be, we still continue doing it. For example, if I am preparing for my exam in History of Foreign Literature and am reading a novel I don't like at all, I would say to my Mum, pointing to the book: Мыши кололись и плакали, но продолжали есть кактус!..

    It definitely sounds better than my version!:)
    But the action requires Past Continious (or maybe Present Continious), in my opinion. How about The mice were pricking themselves and crying, but still they were eating the cactus? Or does it, too, sound a bit awkward?
     
  5. DSA

    DSA New Member

    spb
    Russ
    voila!
    The mice were having stitches, crying but continued gobbling cactus
     
  6. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    I had to look up "to gobble" in my dictionary.:)
    I am sure that there should be "the" before "cactus", because we're speaking of a particular cactus.:D
     
  7. (in righteous indignation) Etcetera, I feel compelled to confess that I never expected from a nice sophisticated young lady like you to be fond of such abominable examples of enjoyment caused by the suffering sustained by poor weak defenceless animals!!!:mad: :D
     
  8. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    These poor weak defenceless animals attacked a nice cactus and started eating it! Isn't it even more abonimable?:D
    Anyway, the sentence in general means that the mice could leave that poor cactus, but for some reasons they prefer to continue their meal...:cool:
     
  9. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    My suggestion:

    The prickly cactus brought the mice to tears, but they continued to nibble on it.
     
  10. Maroseika Moderator

    Moscow
    Russian
    As far as I know, in the Runet this phrase is used in a sense of "не нравится - не ешь" (if you don't like it - don't eat it", meaning the one who uses to visit a forum or something like that, critisizing its style, content, threads, other foreros, but - still keeps visiting it.
    The logical question: if you don't like it so much, what are you doing here?
    To avoid repeating such a question every time, or maybe in order not to seem too didactic, one just sends to the carper this mouse picture.
     
  11. Crescent

    Crescent Senior Member

    England
    Russian, (Ukraine)
    Thank you enormously for the explanation, Etcetera! :) Now, it is crystal clear to me what you mean by this phrase, and I can't believe that I couldn't have guessed it myself! :eek: Now that I think about it - it is totally obvious what the author meant..

    As a matter of fact (although a little bit off topic :eek:) this reminds me of the mice in Чеполино :p who kept eating the candle whilst they were in the dungeons (if I remember correctly) because they were hungry and there was no other food to eat (I suppose that it the exact reason why the mice eat the cactus too - because they're starving to death and there is absolutely nothing else around! :(). The thing is, the first time I watched that cartoon, I was only about 7 or 8 - and the mice made the candle look sooo delicious, that it made me want to try licking a candle too to see what it tastes like!!! :eek::p (thank goodness my grandma talked me out of it...)

    I must say that I approve entirely of the version that Elroy has supplied us with. :thumbsup:
     
  12. Crescent

    Crescent Senior Member

    England
    Russian, (Ukraine)
    Thank you, Maroseika. :) To tell you the truth, I never saw this side to this quote, until you mentioned. I automatically assumed that Etcetera's version was the only correct one, and the only one which made the most sense (to me at least) but now that you mention it - I guess in a way you're right too. :)
    But like I said before - I thought that the mice ate the cactus because there was nothing else to eat :p, in the same way that (using the example you gave us) someone might not like the members or the topics of this forum (although I cannot for the life of me imagine who could not like it here :D) but come here anyway because they need to ask questions about the language they are learning. :)
     
  13. Cactusenok

    Cactusenok New Member

    Germany, France
    Russian, USSR
    What about a version:
    Pricking themselves and crying, the mice kept on eating the cactus through.
     
  14. And mind you! Cactusenok is meant to know!!!:D
     

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