Украинские слова-реалии: перевести непереводимое

Украинские слова-реалии: перевести непереводимое

  |  Интересное   |   Читати українською

Порой трудно найти общий язык с иностранцами: некоторые культурные и социальные явления, присущие Украине, — непонятные и непереводимы для жителей других стран. В лингвистике они даже получили специальное название «лакуны» — понятие, отсутствующие в данном языке, однако имеющиеся в другой. Мы попытались частично решить эту проблему и создали некий «словарь» — подробно перевели и объяснили английском оригинальные украинские слова и фразеологизмы. Пора разъяснить иностранцам, что такое «маршрутка» и почему «улучшение» звучит для Украинской неутешительно.

1. Перепічка – “perepichka”

Traditional Kyivan patty with sausage filling. Really greasy and nourishing, it`s sold at one exact catering stand down at Bohdana Hmelnitskogo street in the citycenter: this place can be easily recognized by a long line of hungry people, queuing to buy a perepichka for 20 cents.

2. А голову ти не забув? – Haven`t you forgotten your head as well?

A most common “pun”, used by teachers to tease a pupil who`s forgotten his journal or/and homework. Became a popular meme which`s used by adults as well, to make fun of a forgetful person in various situations.

3. Да ну ні напевно – Yes well no maybe

Despite apparent literal nonsense, this collocation is actually used to express uncertain denial, equating “probably not”.

4. Останній дзвоник – The Last Bell

Annual prom celebration, which marks the bell ringing for school-leavers, denoting their last lesson at school.

5. Маршрутка – “marshrutka”

An unusual combination of public transport and taxi: mini-bus in a poor condition (usually yellow, but other colorings also possible), which runs along the routes of buses and trams more frequently than other types of public transport, but tickets for which are more expensive.

6. Оселедець під шубою – Herring in a fur-coat

Traditional salad, which consists of herring, covered with layers of onions, potatoes, carrots, chopped eggs, beetroot and mayonnaise. May sound unusual, but has been approved by numerous generations of foodies and is an essential dish on every New Year`s menu.

7. Борщ – “borshch”

Traditional beetroot soup, usually cooked on base on veal broth and seasoned with sour cream.

Украинские слова-реалии: перевести непереводимое (1)

8. Диванна сотня – Sofa’s hundred (a hundred on the sofa)

While Maidan events took place in Kyiv, numerous activists were divided into squadrons (hundreds) of people – that was the way of organizing the crowd. Most of the squadrons were given specific names or ordinal numbers (e. g. Women’s hundred, Medical hundred). People, who were leading revolution on Internet, commenting and posting on social networks instead of being physically present at dangerous locations in the streets of the city, received an ironic name of a “sofa’s hundred”.

9. Два козаки – три гетьмани – Where there are two Cossacks, there are three Hetmans

While “Cossack” is a name of an ordinary soldier of Ukrainian army in XVII-XVIII century, Hetman is Commander in Chief of the whole army and Head of State at the same time. This idiom stresses such traits of Ukrainian national mentality as inability to obey authorities, independence and urge for obtaining the power.

10. Говорили-балакали, сіли й заплакали – We were chit-chatting, than we sat down and began crying

Idiom is used to describe a situation, when you`ve been negotiating and thought, that you`ve reached some consensus, but in the end of the conversation you suddenly realize that the whole argument was useless and didn`t lead to any important results.

11. «Совок» – “sovok”

Literally having the same meaning as “scoop”. Anything with a negative tinge of Soviet Union heritage (e.g. primitive narrow-mindedness, poor functioning community services, bureaucracy etc.)

12. Накрити стіл – To set the table

You don`t only set the table for family dinners – usually you`re supposed to do that for a person, who`ve made you a favor, person, to whom you owe something, to pay back – for example to your Department members at university after you’ve graduated.

13. Гальорка – “gal`orka”

Literally having the same meaning as “the gallery”, upper side of the theater on the opposite side of the stage, in universities we use “gal`orka” to denote the last rows of the auditorium, usually inhabited by D-students or ones, who want to have some sleep at the lecture.

14. Зрада/перемога – Betrayal/victory

As this two words have been widely mentioned and misplaced during Maidan events, Ukrainians got used to using this high-flown concepts in their everyday life. For example, if your friend ate the last cookie without sharing it with you – it`s #ABETRAYAL, and to be in time for your train while you had chances to be late is #AVICTORY.

Украинские слова-реалии: перевести непереводимое (2)

15. Подвійний листочок – Double sheet

Ukrainian schools are still using specific types of notebooks for pupils, their size and formatting being strictly regulated (for example, usually you are not allowed to use blank A4 sheets for your notes or tests). When the teacher announces that “Everyone should tear a double sheet out of their notebooks right now”, it usually means that the class is going to have a test, answers for which are written on the abovementioned papers.

16. Перший хлопець на селі – The best guy in the whole village

Used to ironically describe “the coolest person” of some company or the one, who`s trying to appear that way, but fails.

17. А ваша Галя балувана – And your Galya (Ukrainian name) is a spoiled girl

An idiom, used to describe a person, who`s not satisfied while he or she actually should be; a person, who`s asking for too much.

18. Вечорниці – “vechornitsi”

Traditional Ukrainian mass events, that historically were a common type of social entertainment (mostly in villages): people gathered to sing, dance and communicate. Nowadays this tradition is still alive in some universities and as part of festivals, dedicated to praising Ukrainian culture.

19. Проплачений мітинг – Pre-paid meeting

Political demonstration, which is organized and financed by a political party or an interested person/organization. “Activists” who do that unpleasant job are most usually students or retired people, for whom it became an easy source of income. Salary is paid for every hour spent at the demonstration, shouting mottos loudly and energetically waving flags. A sad but unfortunately widespread practice.

20. «Покращення» – Improvement

Was widely used by ex-president Yanukovich during his promo campaign in 2010. Due to that fact, this word now acquired a negative meaning – we call “an improvement” or “an improvement right here and right now” any ineffective, useless, dumb or corrupt actions of authorities.


Автор Олександра Даруга


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