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[SOLVED] Please help find correct English words

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Member
<a href="/sv/translator/cpenguin" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1432560">cpenguin</a>
Medlem: 05.09.2019
Pending moderation

Hello everyone, I'm working on a song translation from Russian to English, and the main problem for me is finding correct English words. Below the specific lines I can't figure out how to optimally translate, my current approximation, and the specific issue. For context, the song is: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/add-artist-name-here-%D0%B3%D0%B8%D0%BC%D...

Когда свободу ставят на колени,
Только в полный рост имеешь право петь.
— When they make freedom stand on knees,
You only have the right to sing in your full size,
— I think that's some expression that should not be translated so literally into English.

Наступит наш час, и кровавая банда
Не выдержит гнева народа-гиганта.
— Our hour will come, and the bloody pack
Will not withstand the wrath of the giant people.
— Not sure that «банда» can really be translated as "pack"; also, "giant people" is not exactly «народ-гигант»

Становись в наш строй и с нами вместе пой,
— Go into our formation and sing together with us,
— I don't think "formation" is actually the best word for «строй».

Thanks in advance for any help! And tell me if would have been better to post this in the "Slavic language" category.

whimsical chatterbox
<a href="/sv/translator/silenced" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1423036">silenced</a>
Medlem: 29.05.2019

I don't really know which gender would fit best for freedom. Technically it should be neutral, but I suppose a personification would rather be feminine, like most of its representations. Given the love of English for capital letters, I suppose a personified Freedom would get a big F too? so I would propose "when they bring Freedom to her knees". Or possibly the passive "when Freedom is (being) brought to her knees"

The passive variant might work better in the complete sentence:
"You cannot stay quiet while the earth is on fire / and Freedom is being brought to her knees"

Next line seems straightforward enough: "you can only sing upright", or maybe "only upright are you allowed to sing" if you really want to insist on the "иметь право" ("own the right"). Using the expression directly makes for a pretty heavy "you only own the right to sing when upright". Or you might invert the proposition, like "you can't sing unless you're standing". It might sound better that way.

Наступит наш час -> I think "our time will come" would be the most usual.

кровавая банда -> I found nothing specific about this pack/gang in the rest of the lyrics. It's about the rulers/oppressors, so I guess a "bloody gang" is more likely than a "bloody pack" (of wolves) Regular smile

народ-гигант -> these "double nouns" are a bit of a pain to translate. There is nothing quite like it in English. I would rather adapt it.
Maybe not the best idea, but for instance "the bloody gang will be swept away by the people's wrath" (using the verb to carry the idea of a huge "tidal wave" of people)?

Становись в наш строй -> Apparently the idea is to enlist in their army, so I'd say "join our ranks and sing along" (especially when the next line goes "shoulder to shoulder, we'll march to the final battle" Regular smile )

Super Member
<a href="/sv/translator/uncommon" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1414669">Schnurrbrat</a>
Medlem: 07.03.2019

I will second @silenced there. please do not use "bloody pack" and "giant people", 1st one could be understood differently, 2nd no one will understand the way you want it to be. Bloody bunch? (there was a cool western film named "the wild bunch" btw) and maybe something like the Mount of the people?
there is also an idiomatic expression "to stand tall" instead of "in your full size,"/https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/stand_tall
Hope it helps.

whimsical chatterbox
<a href="/sv/translator/silenced" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1423036">silenced</a>
Medlem: 29.05.2019

What about "clique" for "банда"? It has a nice "corrupt politicians" ring to it, and besides it's French (très chic !) Wink smile

Super Member
<a href="/sv/translator/uncommon" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1414669">Schnurrbrat</a>
Medlem: 07.03.2019

I would go with a gang or a bunch. I once suggested to use "posse" instead of the "банда", but my fellow translator rejected it. I've enriched my vocabulary with this word after following the feud between LBJ and Phil Jackson (NBA talk). The word apparently changed its meaning with time.

Member
<a href="/sv/translator/cpenguin" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1432560">cpenguin</a>
Medlem: 05.09.2019

Thanks to you two for the suggestions, I translated it now. Regular smile

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