50, 60, 70 rokiv tomu(50, 60, 70 років тому) (English translation)


50, 60, 70 rokiv tomu(50, 60, 70 років тому)

Зернисті кадри збляклих кінохронік,
Зернистий погляд крізь густу вуаль...
Зі звіром, що живе у мікрофоні,
Змагається маленька етуаль.
В боа потертім, витягнувши шию,
Вона почне простенький вокаліз.
І вам тепер смішний, я розумію,
Її пісень наївний символізм...
50, 60, 70 років тому
Вона співала
Про смуток і щастя,
І хто сказав, що вже не на часі
Прості слова?
50, 60, 70 років тому
Твій дід курсантом
Прибув до міста:
Афіші, танці,
Дівчачий гамір і бузковий дим.
Ось кельнери – стоокі херувими,
А ось вино – старе, та не п’янить...
Ось квіти, що колись були живими;
Усе заснуло сном десятиліть...
Їй очі сліплять навісні софіти;
Вона майне за двері кабаре
Й побачить сонце – мов цвяхом прибите:
Старе, як світ, – о, далебі, старе...
50, 60, 70 років тому
Воно вставало
Над смутком і щастям,
І хто сказав, що вже не на часі
Щедроти його?
50, 60, 70 років тому
Твоя бабуся
В пальті легкому
Проспектом бігла...
Ховала усміх у куточках вуст.
50, 60, 70 років тому
Вони зустрілись
На смуток і щастя,
І хто сказав, що вже не на часі
Історія ця?
50, 60, 70 років тому –
Вокзальні юрми,
Війна і тюрми...
Сумна співачка, чорно-біле кіно...
Сумна співачка, чорно-біле кіно...
Submitted by Sophia_ on Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:05
Last edited by Sophia_ on Mon, 22/01/2018 - 12:10
Align paragraphs
English translation

50, 60, 70 Years Ago

Grainy frames of faded newsreels,
A grainy glance through the thick veil...
With the beast that lives inside the microphone
Struggling a little étoile1
In a shabby boa, craning her neck,
She starts to vocalise simply.
Now it is funny for you, I understand,
That naive symbolism of her songs...
50, 60, 70 years ago
She was singing
About grief and happiness
And who says they ever went out of fashion,
These simple words?
50, 60, 70 years ago
Your grandfather as a cadet
Came to the city:
Posters, dances,
Girlish chatter and lilac's mist.
Here are the wine stewards - argus-eyed cherubim,
Here is the wine, it's old, and yet not intoxicating...
Here are flowers, once they were alive;
Everything fell asleep for decades...
The hanging spotlights blind her eyes;
She will rush behind the door of the cabaret
And will see the Sun, as if it nailed to the sky:
It is old as the world, - oh, truly it is old...
50, 60, 70 years ago
It was rising,
Over grief and happiness
And who says they ever went out of fashion,
All its bounties?
50, 60, 70 years ago
Your grandmother
In a light coat
Was running along the avenue...
She was hiding a smile at the corners of her mouth.
50, 60, 70 years ago
They met
For grief and for happiness,
And who says it ever went out of fashion,
This story?
50, 60, 70 years ago -
Crowded stations,
War, and prisons...
A sad singer, a black and white movie...
A sad singer, a black and white movie...
  • 1. It's in French. Perhaps "a little star"; Here: a little young girl singing on a scene.
Please don't hesitate to correct me, especially if the translation language is your native language.
With Best Regards,
© Alexander Laskavtsev
Submitted by Alexander Laskavtsev on Thu, 21/06/2018 - 09:30
Added in reply to request by Sophia_
Last edited by Alexander Laskavtsev on Fri, 22/06/2018 - 10:09
Alexander Laskavtsev    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 09:37

[@petit élève], [@Igeethecat], [@Gavin], [@Brat], [@Green_Sattva] and others: welcome to the new discussion! Regular smile

Sophia_    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 09:50

Дякую за переклад, Олександре!

Alexander Laskavtsev    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 09:53

Будь ласка, завжди радий допомогти, Софіє!

Sophia_    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 09:59

бузковий--> lilac's

Alexander Laskavtsev    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 10:11

точно - нам мужикам главное чтобы цветы, а какие - неважно! Teeth smile

Sophia_    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 10:05

How about "the hundred-eyed cherubims" ( I am not sure about that)

petit élève    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 14:09

That's quite nice. This singer seems to have very poetic lyrics.

of the faded newsreels -> no "the".

the thick voile -> I'd rather use "veil". French words don't sound as classy as in Russian (and Ukraininan I guess).
"the thick veil" hints at something very symbolic (the thick veil of the past).
"a thick veil" would make it sound more like a simple metaphor (seeing things through a veil)
I think I'd rather go for "the veil" here, but that's debatable.

With the beast that lives inside the microphone fights a little étoile -> that's a nice metaphor. Very evocative.
again I would not use the French "étoile". "star" has both meanings in English too. Actually I suspect French borrowed it from English Regular smile
and "a shabby boa" instead of "the".
what about "struggling with the beast inside the microphone, a little star in a shabby boa. She cranes her neck and starts a simple vocalise"?

they are already not in vogue -> rather "who says they ever went out of fashion, these simple words?" or something like that.

Affiches -> that one doesn't exist in English, so "posters" would maybe be safer.

Girls' fuss -> I think "girly" or "girlie" or "girlish" would sound nicer here

Here is the waiters -> "are", and you could use "wine stewards" or even "sommeliers" if you like a French touch Wink smile

but not intoxicates you -> would be "doesn't intoxicate you" or maybe "and yet not intoxicating"

blind her eyes off -> that sounds a bit extreme, as if her eyes were melted away. Don't know what the Ukrainian means though.

as if it is nailed with a nail -> Sounds a bit heavy. "as if nailed to the sky" or something ?

its bounties -> ??? I would expect "her" instead of "its", and "bounties" sounds odd. "riches" or something?

In the light coat -> what light coat? If you can't think of a precise object, go for the indefinite article.

in the edges of the lips -> her lips. The image is a bit unusual, maybe "at the corners of her mouth" or something?

Station crowds,
A war, and prisons -> crowded stations, war and prison...

Gavin    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 14:21

There'a little one you missed: "a vocalise" - no such noun in English. You could have "a vocalisation" or you could instead say "She starts to vocalise simply"

Igeethecat    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:25

Дівчачий гамір - it's really about 'girls making noise', so 'girlish' doesn't work here, sorry, Pierre.

Gavin    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:33

Noisy girls? Chattering girls?

Alexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 06:25

There must be a noun, that pictures the "noise" that makes a crowd of girls.

Rene Fabri    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 07:03

Girls talk, chitchat, chatter, gossip, or jabber, tattle, babble, gabble, cackle, prattle.

petit élève    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 09:44

I don't want to sell my adjectives at all cost, but "girlie/girly chatter" would do nicely here, I think.
"gabble" is more like "babble deliriously".

Gavin    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 09:50

Hmm - I don't want to tread on any toes but I do think "Girlish chatter" sounds good.
I think that was where we started wasn't it?

petit élève    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 12:51

"girlie talk" is what girls chat about among themselves (including things that would horrify their boyfriends).
As a male social worker surrounded by women, I had to endure more than my share of that.

Gavin    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 15:30

PS could you take a look at this when you have a moment? Before I revise it to death... Wink smile

Gavin    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 13:12

Yes that's right. So "girlish talk" is the sound of girls chit-chatting to each other. It does work, you could say "The bar was filled with girlish talk when I entered" Sounds fine. Regular smile

Alexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 13:31

So, "talk" or "chatter"? (I prefer to use classic British English)

Gavin    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 13:40

chatter is more descriptive I think. Regular smile

Alexander Laskavtsev    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 14:25

[@petit élève] There's no such word as "етуаль" in Ukrainian as well. A poet used this french word intentionally, to make it sound more classy, so I would like to leave this, to keep the style Regular smile

Alexander Laskavtsev    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:02

As for spotlights: the spotlights blinded her eyes (temporary) Wink smile
Please read my translation once again...

Sophia_    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:38

May I ask you, how to say in Russian "Звіряється"?
"Доверяется" or something?

Gavin    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:43

What is this small creature you have become? It's very cute!

Sophia_    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:55


I like this Kipling's story and I also like a Russian cartoon

Gavin    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 17:47

Charming! I just watched it all. Fortunately it wasn't necessary to understand the dialogue. Regular smile

Alexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 06:35

Хм... мне не совсем нравится как это звучит, но лучше слова мне в голову не приходит Wink smile Очевидно, она - поэтесса, и использует много необычных слов. Вообще в словаре это "Виявляючи довір'я, повіряти кому-небудь свої думки, таємниці, розкривати почуття". Может быть "открывается" лучше?

Sophia_    Fri, 22/06/2018 - 08:20

Да, мне кажется, "открывается" хорошо подходит.

Gavin    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:10

Looking good!

Here's a good one for you - Cherubim is already plural (the single is cherub) so no cherubims. Regular smile
Maybe say "the hundred eyed cherubim"

You could even say "Argus-eyed cherubim" if you want to be a smartass Wink smile

I agree that "blind her eyes off" sounds a bit much. "Blind her eyes" seems enough.

Alexander Laskavtsev    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:14

Thanks a lot! My Ancient Hebrew is sooo poor! Teeth smile
The problem is that in Slavic languages there's a single "Heruvim" and "Heruvimy" for plural.

Gavin    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:17

Well I confess mine isn't that extensive Wink smile

I just know that one talks of "the cherubim and seraphim" for the angels collectively.

Igeethecat    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:17

And who says they ever went out of fashion,
These simple words?

Do lyrics go out of fashion? or out or style? or?
'fashion' sounds like related more to clothes, not songs?

Alexander Laskavtsev    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:20

Well, I could tranlsate this literally: "Who says they are not up to the time" but I don't like this phrase...

Igeethecat    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:27

I agree, I would say 'out of style', but I am not native Regular smile

Gavin    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:37

I think either "out of style" or "out of fashion" are fine here.

Words are just as prone to fickle trends as clothes and haircuts Regular smile

Either way, it's still rock and roll to me.

Igeethecat    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:43

Thanks Gavin, your comments are very helpful!

She was hiding a smile at the corners of her mouth.

prepositions are always a trap for foreigners Regular smile is it 'at the corners' or 'in the corners'?

Gavin    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 15:48

Hmm good one...

"In the corner" *is* the more usual expression, but "at the corners of her mouth" seems fine. Maybe because it's figurative? I guess also it's not really "in" the mouth but rather the ghost of a smile that isn't quite showing but is hinted at around the corners.

Sorry, that's probably a bit vague!

Igeethecat    Thu, 21/06/2018 - 17:59

it's not vague. Maybe, there is some nice English expression for this... All we are trying to say is 'she was hiding a grin/smile' Regular smile