Рассказ женщины (Rasskaz zhenschiny) (English translation)

Proofreading requested

Рассказ женщины

Он за мною видно шел,
Взял за локоть: «Слушай Люся,
Будет очень хорошо,
Я живу в отдельном «люксе».
У него усы густы
И глаза, как две букашки,
И виднеются кусты
Из-за ворота рубашки.
Я не Люся, говорю,
А зовут меня Тамара,
И такого не терплю,
И такие мне не пара...
Десять лет варила суп, десять лет белье стирала,
Десять лет в очередях колбасу я доставала,
Десять лет учила я сверхсекретное чего-то,
Десять лет сидела я у окошка на работе,
Сердце стачивая в кровь, десять лет дите растила —
Что ж осталось на любовь? Полтора годка от силы.
Не смутился он ничуть,
Только глазом гладит платье:
«Я за вечер заплачу,
Сколько за год тебе платят.»
Я играла в мяч ручной
За спортивные награды,
И была я центровой,
И бросочек был — что надо.
Я авосечку-суму
Из руки переложила,
Кавалеру своему
Меж букашек засветила
Мне до «Щелковской» метро,
А от «Щелковской» — автобус,
А в авоське шесть кило
Овощных консервов «Глобус».
Открываю тихо дверь —
Дочка долбит фортепьяно,
Ну, а мой любимый зверь —
Он лежит, конечно, пьяный.
Снять ботиночки с него,
Не тревожа, постаралась,
От получки от его
Трешка мятая осталась.
Десять лет варила суп, десять лет белье стирала,
Десять лет в очередях колбасу я доставала,
Десять лет учила я сверхсекретное чего-то,
Десять лет сидела я у окошка на работе,
Сердце стачивая в кровь, десять лет дите растила —
Что ж осталось на любовь? Полтора годка от силы.
На плите чаек стоит,
Дочка сладко засыпает,
За окном моим ГАИ
Громко частников ругает.
Гляну в телек — дым и чад:
Поколенье молодое —
Все с гитарами, кричат,
Как перед большой бедою.
Убрала я со стола,
Своего пригрела Пашку...
Все же мало я дала
Тому гаду меж букашек.
Submitted by Sophia_Sophia_ on Tue, 12/06/2018 - 15:56
English translationEnglish
Align paragraphs

A woman's tale

Versions: #1#2
He had been following me, obviously.
He grabbed my elbow and said "Listen up Daisy,
you'll have a great time.
I live in a top-notch room"
He wears a thick mustache,
his eyes are beady1
and you can make out a bush of hair
overflowing from the top his shirt.
I told him I am no Daisy,
my name is Tamara.
And I won't tolerate such manners,
and he's not my type anyway...
For ten years I cooked the soup and did the washing
For ten years I queued to get sausages.
For ten years I studied top secret stuff2
For ten years I sat behind a desk at work.
I sweated blood and tears to raise my daughter.
What was left for love? Half a year3 at best.
He didn't flinch, only cast
a lustful glance at my dress:
"I'll pay for the evening,
what you make in a whole year".
I used to play handball.
I got some trophies too.
I played as pivot,
and my throws were pretty good.
I freed my hands
of my stringbag
and smacked my suitor
square between his beady eyes.
I'll be on the subway till Schelkovskaya
and then on the bus
and my stringbag is loaded with
six kilos of precious4 canned vegetables.
I quietly open the door.
My daughter is hammering at the piano.
As for my beloved beast,
he lies drunk as a skunk, of course.
I carefully took off his boots
without disturbing him.
From his pay, only three
crumpled rubles were left.
For ten years I cooked the soup and did the washing
For ten years I queued to get sausages.
For ten years I studied top secret stuff
For ten years I sat behind a desk at work.
I sweated blood and tears to raise my daughter.
What was left for love? Half a year at best.
The teapot is on the stove.
My girl is tenderly falling asleep.
Outside the window, a traffic cop
is yelling at some drivers5.
A glance at the telly. Nothing but rubbish.
The young generation
all screaming with guitars
like harbingers of a disaster.
I cleared the table
and warmed my Pavel in my arms.
In the end, I didn't hit the bastard hard enough
square between his beady eyes.
  • 1. lit. "look like two tiny bugs"
  • 2. she was probably working in some design office for the military, which was a huge industry in the USSR era
  • 3. lit. "a year and a half" but English doesn't have a snappy word for that
  • 4. the "Globus" brand was good quality and in short supply, so people were willing to roam the whole city to get some. In the USSR, availability of products was more an issue than money.
  • 5. lit. "private owners". Private cars were difficult to get in the USSR era. You had to order one from a factory and wait until it was manufactured, which could take years. Some people would then use their cars as private taxis to earn an additional income. This was tolerated but not strictly legal, that's why the traffic cop is yelling at them.
thanked 8 times
Submitted by GuestGuest on Thu, 05/07/2018 - 07:31
Added in reply to request by Sophia_Sophia_
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Translations of "Рассказ женщины ..."
English Guest
Idioms from "Рассказ женщины"
Treugol'nyTreugol'ny    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 08:31

At the most half a year. ( nothing to do with strength)

Sophia_Sophia_    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 11:23

Полтора = 1,5

Sophia_Sophia_    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 11:25

I'm curious, why Lusya turned to Daisy Wink smile

Sophia_Sophia_    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 11:26

отдельный люкс- more like this is about number in hotel, rather that flat.

Sophia_Sophia_    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 11:31

Кавалеру своему
Меж букашек засветила--> я не очень поняла, что написано по-английски. На всякий случай скажу, что она его ударила промеж глаз. (У тебя это и написано или что?)

Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 11:37

BTW, the word "Кавалер" origins from French "chevalier" Wink smile

"Он за мною видно шел" - I think it's rather "Seems/Apparently he was following me" (but I can be wrong)
It's better to use "apartment" here, rather than "flat"
"I am no Daisy" - perhaps "not"
I don't know what's the reason of using "his" in refrain? (she's been eating that soup too, she's been washing her own and child's underwear too etc...)
"сверхсекретное чего-то" - "somewhat of top secrets" or something... My grandpa wasn't allowed to go abroad, because he was working at the factory where some top secret rockets'/missiles' components were developed. U.S.S.R reality...
"За спортивные награды" - more exactly "to get/for sport trophies"
"дитё" (a slangish of "дитя") is 1 (one) kid/child, so not "kids"
"good looks" = "good hooks" ? Wink smile

Treugol'nyTreugol'ny    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 12:05

I think it's a hotel room as well. I'm a bit puzzled with" my good looks" She freed her hand from string bag, without thinking twice. She hit her suitor right between the eyes. Also where did the "behind the grill" come from. She didn't studied in secret but rather studied some secret stuff. She must've worked in the secret government place.

Sophia_Sophia_    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 12:31

мне всегда казалось, что героиня работала в каком-то конструкторском бюро, и чертила там чертежи секретного... оружия, например.

JadisJadis    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 16:34

The next verse explains how she hit him between the eyes : " А в авоське шесть кило / Овощных консервов "Глобус". I guess it must ache ! I also had trouble in translating "Полтора годка от силы" into French, I understand now that "от силы" means "at most" (but why Полтора ?) I also wondered about "Десять лет учила я сверхсекретное чего-то", but I also concluded that this must have been usual in the USSR...

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 17:51

Canned veggies of this brand were very hard to find in Soviet era
That is why she sticks so hard to it
They are precious, not cheap Regular smile

And I don’t understand what you don’t understand about “one and a half “ I think the confusion is about “от силы”?

What was left for love? Half a year at best.
What’s left for love? Practically nothing

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 18:31

Yeah, and I would change the title to a ‘short story’

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Thu, 05/07/2018 - 21:11

Ohh, Pierre, they were not expensive either....
The price was affordable, but to find them in any store was a challenge. It’s hard to understand, but we could not just to go the closest store anytime to get them. That’s why she was carrying her string bag across the city in the subway and then in the bus...
Это про консервы

Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 03:49

In USSR price usually wasn't a problem at all for most of the people. Those who worked almost always had enough money for the goods offered on market. The problem was in the lack of goods and lack of their availability. A lot of money but nothing to buy - a real communism! Regular smile That's the reason of the queues and the verb "доставала". We didn't "buy" then, we were "getting" Wink smile

JadisJadis    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 08:07

As I understand it - but I may be wrong - the aim of the whole stanza beginning with "Я играла в мяч ручной" is here to explain that the woman is strong and athletic, and good at throwing things. So I figure that she took her shopping bag in her right hand, and in one burst hit the man with it, the point coming later : it was filled with 6kg of vegetable cans. If I'm right, this looks to me as particularly subtle humour : had the author told before, what was in the bag, so had the effect been lost. But maybe I'm going too far ?

Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 08:20

I'm sorry, for I didn't read your comment attentively first. It was done just to free her hand for punching. The reason of pointing of "6kg" was to show, what hard job she had to do to bring these cans home. Apparently she lives in some distant city district or even in suburbs, so she had to make a long way on city transport with this hard load in her hand.
Also she "переложила" the bag from right hand to left (most likely). So she freed her right hand that likely was stronger and more convenient to make a hit.

JadisJadis    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 17:29

Too bad ! Il liked the idea of throwing the bag full of cans into the guy's face. Anyway, if there were glass containers (and not metal ones), she would probably not have thrown them, for fear of breaking them. But then, if I were the author, I would have said that she had been a boxer or something like that, rather than "бросочек был".

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 18:05

Are you kidding me? How she could waste precious cans to be thrown in this douchebag’s face?
It would only happen in American movies Regular smile

BagiranoBagirano    Sun, 15/12/2019 - 16:35

I know this song from my childness and I was always sure she hit him with the bag Teeth smile

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Thu, 19/12/2019 - 23:47

The ‘shopping’ bag with cans (metal to Sof’s point) and glass 🤣

Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 08:47

Nope, that was just some impudent and bully guy (judging from description - from Caucasus), that wanted "to have fun" with her at his luxury hotel appartment. Meanwhile her real husband was lying drunk as a skunk at home.

BratBrat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 18:53
Jadis escribió:

(but why Полтора ?)

Look, it's highly idiomatic, meaning "a very few", or "uncertain". For instance,   Полторы калеки, ни два, ни полтора.
I cannot find a decent English equivalent except "And how much time is there left for love? Two shakes of a lamb's tail?" Maybe [@Gavin] could help us with a nice slang or idiomatic phrase...

Treugol'nyTreugol'ny    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 08:26

I think you are. There is no way you can hit someone between the eyes with a bag containing 6 kg. of canned veggies. We all looking for something that doesn't exist. If she played handball as a forward than she is packing a very hard punch. I've played handball in the army as a goalkeeper.Sometime the ball used to whistle past like a bullet. Anyway, she would've killed the guy with her bag.

Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 08:29

With a strong punch hitting the mentioned zone she could kill him (or at least make serious injury of his nose) even without that bag Wink smile

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 09:12

Частники- это не просто водители, а таксисты, которые занимаются частным извозом (не в официальной службе такси)

Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 09:41

Вот тоже сомневался в этом месте. Да, скорее всего это про частных извозчиков. Машину-то купить можно было (у моей семьи была с 1976-го года), хоть особо богатыми мы не были. Проблема была дождаться своей очереди на машину (некоторые (у кого "связей" не было) ждали по 10 и больше лет) Regular smile

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 10:22

Я с вами тоже согласна, хотела Uber предложить, но не уверена, что будет понятно

Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 10:31

У нас в стране он есть. Насчет России - не в курсе Regular smile В СССР - не было точно Teeth smile

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 17:35

В России тоже есть.

Treugol'nyTreugol'ny    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 10:18

How about owners-drivers.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 11:31

BTW, it was kinda illegal, this is why гаишник их ругает Wink smile

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 11:49

Pierre, you nailed it Regular smile
One tiny thing - букашки - bugs (‘insects’ are too general - mosquitos, spiders, fruit flies, etc.) Wink smile

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 11:55

Great minds think alike Wink smile

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 11:54

spiders are not insects, they have 8 legs (all insects have 6 legs)

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 11:58

Well, just testing your knowledge of zoology (or whatever it is). ;D

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 12:38

I don’t remember any harmful Russian spiders. Ну, плели там свои паутинки, что с них взять...
But here, in California, there are Black Widows and Brown Recluses - my next door neighbor was bit by BW and she barely survived, and our vendor’s daughter got bit by BR and her system couldn’t handle it Sad smile

Just remembered - in Ukrainian (I think) culture it is a bad luck to kill a spider

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 12:43

В российской культуре увидеть паука- к письму, а убить его- тоже плохая примета.

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 12:44

Паук на потолке – к всяческим благам.
Паук на стене, на полу – к известию. Черный – к плохим новостям, белый – к хорошим, красный – к денежным.
Паук в углу – к письму. Сформировавшаяся плотная паутина указывает, что известие запаздывает (по вине почты или из-за нежелания отправителя сообщать новости).
Паук упал на стол – предупреждение о враге. Чем крупнее и неприятнее на вид животное, тем сильнее и зловреднее неприятель.
Паук в раковине, в ванной, в туалете – к денежным потерям. Финансы «утекут» вместе с водой.
Паук на двери – к гостям. Если дверной косяк оплетен паутиной, визит затянется. Светлый цвет указывает на приятных гостей, темный – на нежеланных.
Паук на пороге – к возвращению «блудного сына» или появлению старого друга.
Паук на зеркале – к неожиданному известию.
Паук на окне – к деньгам или новостям.
Паук в кровати, на постели – к получению новостей.
Паук над кроватью – к большому счастью. Но только при условии, что особь светлая.
Паук на кухне – к новостям, касающимся семьи. Если в помещении постоянно копится много паутины, возможно расставание супругов.
Паук в холодильнике, в еде, в чашке – к улучшению материального благополучия.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 12:46

Ой, блин, до чего насекомые довели ;D

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 12:52
Igeethecat escribió:

Ой, блин, до чего насекомые довели ;D


Увидеть летающего жука - к несчастью
Жуки леатют вечером - к хорошей погоде
Если крупные черные тараканы появляются в доме, то это предвещает богатство, благополучие, деньги, особенно если их появление произошло внезапно.

Развелось много белых бабочек-капустниц – к войне.
Увидеть белого таракана – к лютой стуже зимой.
Осиное гнездо в доме – к счастью.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 12:57
Green_Sattva escribió:

Увидеть летающего жука - к несчастью
Жуки леатют вечером - к хорошей погоде
Если крупные черные тараканы появляются в доме, то это предвещает богатство, благополучие, деньги, особенно если их появление произошло внезапно.

Развелось много белых бабочек-капустниц – к войне.
Увидеть белого таракана – к лютой стуже зимой.
Осиное гнездо в доме – к счастью.

А тараканы в мозгах к чему?

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 13:04
Igeethecat escribió:

А тараканы в мозгах к чему?

К тому, что их требуется проветрить, наверное Regular smile

Меня про осиное гнездо больше всего впечатлило.

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 13:30
Green_Sattva escribió:

Меня про осиное гнездо больше всего впечатлило.

В доме - впечатлительно

BratBrat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 18:18
Igeethecat escribió:

Just remembered - in Ukrainian (I think) culture it is a bad luck to kill a spider

Just remembered a passage from Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn":

Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriv- eled up. I didn’t need anybody to tell me that that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me. I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast every time; and then I tied up a lit- tle lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches away. But I hadn’t no confidence. You do that when you’ve lost a horseshoe that you’ve found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but I hadn’t ever heard anybody say it was any way to keep off bad luck when you’d killed a spider.

And another one about a rattlesnake:

“Now you think it’s bad luck; but what did you say when I fetched
in the snake-skin that I found on the top of the ridge day before yes-
terday? You said it was the worst bad luck in the world to touch a
snake-skin with my hands. Well, here’s your bad luck! We’ve raked in
all this truck and eight dollars besides. I wish we could have some
bad luck like this every day, Jim.”
“Never you mind, honey, never you mind. Don’t you git too peart.
It’s a-comin’. Mind I tell you, it’s a-comin’.”
It did come, too. It was a Tuesday that we had that talk. Well, after
dinner Friday we was laying around in the grass at the upper end of
the ridge, and got out of tobacco. I went to the cavern to get some,
and found a rattlesnake in there. I killed him, and curled him up on
the foot of Jim’s blanket, ever so natural, thinking there’d be some
fun when Jim found him there. Well, by night I forgot all about the
snake, and when Jim flung himself down on the blanket while I
struck a light the snake’s mate was there, and bit him.
He jumped up yelling, and the first thing the light showed was the
varmint curled up and ready for another spring. I laid him out in a
second with a stick, and Jim grabbed pap’s whisky-jug and begun to
pour it down.
He was barefooted, and the snake bit him right on the heel. That
all comes of my being such a fool as to not remember that wherever
you leave a dead snake its mate always comes there and curls around
it. Jim told me to chop off the snake’s head and throw it away, and
then skin the body and roast a piece of it. I done it, and he eat it and
said it would help cure him. He made me take off the rattles and tie
them around his wrist, too. He said that that would help. Then I slid
out quiet and throwed the snakes clear away amongst the bushes; for
I warn’t going to let Jim find out it was all my fault, not if I could
help it.
Jim sucked and sucked at the jug, and now and then he got out of
his head and pitched around and yelled; but every time he come to
himself he went to sucking at the jug again. His foot swelled up pret-
ty big, and so did his leg; but by and by the drunk begun to come,
and so I judged he was all right; but I’d druther been bit with a snake
than pap’s whisky.
Jim was laid up for four days and nights. Then the swelling was all
gone and he was around again. I made up my mind I wouldn’t ever
take a-holt of a snake-skin again with my hands, now that I see what
had come of it. Jim said he reckoned I would believe him next time.
And he said that handling a snake-skin was such awful bad luck that
maybe we hadn’t got to the end of it yet. He said he druther see the
new moon over his left shoulder as much as a thousand times than
take up a snake-skin in his hand.

They might have had a good time chock full of superstition in the US amidst that XIX century, indeed. Teeth smile

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 19:05

Так, базар был о насекомых, ну я как бы случайно восьминогих придвинула, но о пресмыкающихся вроде не вспоминали. Мы их уже боимся

Treugol'nyTreugol'ny    Thu, 12/07/2018 - 08:23

They called huntsman spiders. Very skinny and they have very dangerous venom , but because it's a minute amount, it's harmless. My mum wouldn't let me kill those spiders. According to my mum they would bring some good news. And yes, it happened in Ukraine.

Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 12:49

Our spiders are small and mostly harmless. Moreover: itsy-bitsy spiders are considered to be useful creatures (in villages, of course), for they kill such annoying creatures, like flies Wink smile

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 13:02

Инси Винси Паучок спустился по трубе
Сверху шла водичка и смыла паучка
Потом вышло солнышко и осушило всё
И Инси Винси Паучок полез в трубу опять

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 13:08

Большего маразма я в своей жизни не слышала

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 17:34

А детям нравится!

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 12:47
Igeethecat escribió:



Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 12:58

Увидеть летающего жука - к несчастью
Жуки леатют вечером - к хорошей погоде

Стало быть, увидеть летающих жуков вечером - ко многим несчастьям в хорошую погоду? Wink smile

Как человек со строго рациональным (и не мифологическим) складом ума я всегда замечаю такие нелепицы Regular smile

Sophia_Sophia_    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 13:02

Верно подмечено!

Alexander LaskavtsevAlexander Laskavtsev    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 13:06

Хотя знакомые байкеры мне рассказывали, что для них "летающий жук" действительно может быть "к несчастью" - когда на скорости километров так 180 в час ты задеваешь майского жука шеей, например, - это похоже на выстрел пули в тебя...

IgeethecatIgeethecat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 13:04

Летают только майские жуки June bugs? Или я опять что-то не понимаю?

BratBrat    Fri, 06/07/2018 - 19:53

Ah, there's one error in the original lyrics that has probably put you off the proper understanding:
Он за мною видно шел,->Он за мною, видно, шел,
That should be "He obviously followed me and then...." instead of your "He came to me conspicuously," that would rather mean "Он открыто (не скрываясь) подошёл ко мне"...

Sophia_Sophia_    Wed, 11/07/2018 - 13:58

Кто-то долго думает Regular smile

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