Author Topic: Translation of Australian Poetry into Russian  (Read 3450 times)


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Translation of Australian Poetry into Russian
« on: April 10, 2008, 06:17:01 PM »
  I am trying to translate Australian Poetry to share with Russian communities in Australia and Russia and am having trouble with some words which may be unique to one language or the other.
  Can anyone help me with the phrase .....
    "There was movement at the STATION"
  Where "station" is not a railway station but a sheep or cattle station. Kind of like what the Americans would call a "ranch"

  Also the phrase ....
   "Camped down by a BILLABONG"
    Where a "billabong" is a large pond, water hole or a very small lake or dam, usually formed by the drying up of a small river or creek.

  If anyone knows of the existence of the publication of accurate translations of the work of the famous Australian poet Andrew (Banjo) Barton PATERSON (1864-1941) I would be deeply grateful to discover them.


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Re: Translation of Australian Poetry into Russian
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 06:35:43 PM »
Hello, this is a very interesting post. Well here is my translation for those words for you:

station-ферма, billabong-жёлоб (or there is even a Russian word биллабонг).

I hope it helps you.


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Re: Translation of Australian Poetry into Russian
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 12:49:37 AM »
Hi,  Thank you so much for your interest.
      I had considered ...ферма, for "station" but I felt it conveyed the idea of agriculture and producing crops more than the grazing of sheep and cattle on wide plains which is the exclusive use of a "station" in Australia. The ultimate test, however is what image it will bring to the mind of a Russian listener. Would the above distinction be clear ?

      I had never even considered ...жёлоб  for billabong. It could be what I am looking for but a 'computer' translation tells me the Russian meaning is ... trench, which to me is ... work in progress on a messy building site, while a billabong can be in a beautiful setting in the picturesque though harsh Australian bush.
The best I have been able to find so far is … источник, spring.
Again the test is the image to a Russian speaker.

    As for ...биллабонг, it is perfect, being all but transliteration but would an average Russian understand what a billabong is?

    I apologise if I seem to be pedantic but I am passionate about learning the Russian language and sharing the Australian culture (specifically 'Banjo' Paterson) accurately and what translations I have found seem to be very inaccurate and do not convey the true meaning or feeling.
    I must admit that translating poetry is probably some of the most difficult translation possible. I have been studying Russian for only 2 years and now realise to achieve my ambitious goal I will need to live and work in Russia for some years, which I intend to do. Until then, the only way I can see to get Australian poetry accurately into such a rich language as Russian is a word by word, phrase by phrase discussion with highly literate Russian speakers.
    Oh for an evening discussion with Pushkin. Not possible !   
    So you will understand how much I appreciate that you are there.


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Re: Translation of Australian Poetry into Russian
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2008, 01:51:54 PM »
Station - овцеводческая ферма; овечье пастбище
Billabong - старица; заводь (я бы предпочел заводь)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 12:19:53 AM by Freeloader »


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Re: Translation of Australian Poetry into Russian
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2008, 03:51:27 PM »
Alan, it seems like a good suggestion. Thank you Freeloader.


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