This billboard caught my eye recently, reminding me of World War II, Soviet-era artwork, bold and powerful and simple.
In a nutshell, it’s from SKB bank, publicizing easy loans. The two bottom lines in black print are about that, easily translated, He can get credit without a problem.
But the top two lines, in red, had me puzzled for a while. Say, perhaps you would like a glimpse into the always intriguing world of translating? Made even more interesting because I know just enough Russian to be dan-ger-ous!
1) Here's the off-the-cuff version I developed there on the street: Maybe you can’t leave with your husband the pilot, (But he can get credit without a problem). . . Hmmm. On second thought, this didn’t seem realistic. I'm not seeing pilots exiting en masse. Besides, pilot needs to be the subject of the sentence. On to version 2.
2) The chew-on-it-at-home version: Got a photo of it, brought it home and got out the dictionary:
*Может - maybe
*не (not) вышел - Has gone out; has got out; has appeared; etc etc etc)
*из мужа - from; of; out of. . . husband
*пилот - pilot – This is the subject of the sentence.
Maybe the pilot has not gone out of the husband. Hmmm. . . On to the next version.
3) Version using an on-line translation service (babelfish): Maybe, pilot did not leave the husband, then he will take credit without the troubles. (Huh?) This is wackier yet. Just wondering, could there be an idiom in the phrase?
4) Version 4, based on the on-line translation program but adding a twist of personal color, : Maybe your husband has not gotten piloting out of his system, regardless, he can get credit without any trouble. (or…maybe your husband is still a pilot at heart….). Well, moving right along. . .to native speakers of Russian.
5) Version: Checking with dear Lyda, with 5 years experience translating:
Maybe the husband is not good enough to be a pilot,
BUT he is good enough to take a loan without efforts.
Diplomat that she is, Lyda suggested going with this version:
The husband needs efforts to become a pilot,
But he doesn't need efforts to take a loan.
6) Well, let's confirm with dear Nadya, who has been translating 15 years. She hooted aloud, by the way, when she heard the version from #3, above, from babelfish. Maybe the husband wasn’t able to become a pilot, (Literally, maybe a pilot didn’t come of your husband), But he can get a loan without any problems.
8) Based on all that, I'd like to go with this:
Maybe it didn’t work out for your husband to become a pilot,
But he can get a loan without any problems.
Okay, we've got the main idea here. Need a loan? Zip on over to SKB Bank.
Oh the joys of translating. Okay Sveta in Moscow and Ludmila wherever you may be, have at it! I'm betting that you two have lots of experience with translating, not to mention first-hand experience with personal loans.