Выходили девушки к казакам веселым

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Arabus

Senior Member
Arabic-Aleppo
Hello,

I saw the following translation:

Выходили девушки к казакам веселым
The girls went out with cheerful cossacks

Although I don't know Russian, I have doubt about this translation. Is it correct? Or should it be "the girls went out cheerfully to the cossacks"?
 
  • Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Maroseika is right, but I would accept "The girls went out with cheerful cossacks" as a looser translation, which sounds better in English.
     

    rusita preciosa

    Modus forendi
    Russian (Moscow)
    "The girls went out with cheerful cossacks" as a looser translation, which sounds better in English.
    Very unlikely even without context, but within the context of the song it is clearly "they came out to the cossacks". The cossacks were passing through villages and the girls came out to greet them.

    Казаки, да казаки, ай да казаченьки
    Проходили поутру села-деревеньки,
    Проходили поутру деревеньки-села,
    Выходили девушки к казакам веселым
     

    Slavianophil

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Loose translations are always technically wrong.
    I am not sure what you mean by "technically wrong", but in this case the translation distorts the meaning. The Russian phrase means that the girls went out towards the Cossacks (for example, the Cossacks were waiting outside and the girls went out of their houses towards the Cossacks). If you translate "went out with", it can mean that they either walked somewhere together with the Cossacks or that they went to cafes or cinemas or theatres together or, perhaps, something else, but not what the Russian phrase means.

    Of course, to have a really correct translation we need the context. But I strongly doubt that this "loose translation" can be satisfactory in any imaginable context.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I am not sure what you mean by "technically wrong", but in this case the translation distorts the meaning. The Russian phrase means that the girls went out towards the Cossacks (for example, the Cossacks were waiting outside and the girls went out of their houses towards the Cossacks). If you translate "went out with", it can mean that they either walked somewhere together with the Cossacks or that they went to cafes or cinemas or theatres together or, perhaps, something else, but not what the Russian phrase means.

    Of course, to have a really correct translation we need the context. But I strongly doubt that this "loose translation" can be satisfactory in any imaginable context.
    Songs and poetry are frequently translated loosely (and yes, this means distorting the meaning). If you have a problem with that, don't take it up with me, because I did not invent this practice.
     

    Slavianophil

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Songs and poetry are frequently translated loosely (and yes, this means distorting the meaning). If you have a problem with that, don't take it up with me, because I did not invent this practice.
    Of course, if you translate a song as a song - to be sung and enjoyed in a different language - you normally have to do it very loosely. Sometimes the translation has very little, if anything, in common with the original. But I thought that the topic starter was not asking for this kind of translation, he just wanted to understand the exact meaning of a line in a song. In this case, we need to provide him with a translation that would convey the meaning without distorting it, even if it does not sound particularly beautiful in English.
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    Moderatorial:

    Dear foreros,

    Let me remind you the initial question: which of two translations is correct?
    Discussion of peculiaritires of loose translation of songs is far beyond this question and I suggest you to refrain from it in this thread. You may continue in the PM or open a new thread at the relevant forum of WR.
     
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