Polish your English with “The Master and Margarita”! Issue 38

“Поэт, для которого все, сообщаемое редактором, являлось новостью, внимательно слушал Михаила Александровича, уставив на него свои бойкие зеленые глаза, и лишь изредка икал, шепотом ругая абрикосовую воду.”

[AmB]
The poet, for whom everything the editor said was a novelty, stared at Mikhail Alexandrovich with his sharp green eyes and listened to him attentively, hiccuping only occasionally and cursing the apricot juice under his breath.

[AmG]
The poet, to whom everything the editor said was new, listened to Mikhail Alexandrovich attentively, staring at him with his slightly impudent green eyes, and merely hiccuped from time to time, damning the apricot soda under his breath.

[AmK]
Everything the editor now described was new to the poet, who listened alertly. His spirited green eyes were fixed on Mikhail Alexandrovich, and only occasionally would he hiccup and quietly curse the apricot water.

[AmP]
The poet, for whom everything the editor was telling him was new, listened attentively to Mikhail Alexandrovich, fixing his pert green eyes on him, and merely hiccupped from time to time, cursing the apricot soda under his breath.

[BrA]
The poet, to whom everything being imparted by the editor was news, listened to Mikhail Alexandrovich attentively with his lively green eyes fixed upon him, and only hiccuping occasionally, cursing in a whisper the apricot squash.

[BrG]
The poet, for whom everything the editor was saying was a novelty, listened attentively to Mikhail Alexandrovich, fixing him with his bold green eyes, occasionally hiccuping and cursing the apricot juice under his breath.

[GT 2017-09]
The poet, for whom everything reported by the editor was news, listened attentively to Mikhail Alexandrovich, fixing his lively green eyes on him, and only occasionally hiccuped, whispering abuse of apricot water.

Big Boris’ Commentary:

1. Observe the difference in the translation of “сообщаемое”. [AmB], [AmG] & [AmK] used Past Simple, [BrA] used Present Participle, while the others preferred Past Progressive. Try to explain this.
2. Observe the difference in the translation of “уставив”. Try to explain this.
3. Observe the difference in the translation of “икал” & “ругая”. Try to explain this.

Don’t hesitate to comment and propose your variants of translation!

Legend (“Am” = American English, “Br” = British English):

[AmB] — Burgin, O’Connor 1995
[AmG] — Ginsburg 1967
[AmI] — Itallie 1993 (Theatrical Adaptation)
[AmK] — Karpelson 2006
[AmP] — Pevear, Volokhonsky 1997
[BrA] — Aplin 2008
[BrG] — Glenny 1967
[GT] — Google Translate

© Big Boris 2005 – 2017

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