Anybody here speak Russian?

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Hooch
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Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby Hooch » Sat Mar 13, 2010 4:08 am UTC

I'm trying to put a track together that incorporates a Russian folk song, and I figured, "Why not have some Russian phrases in there?" The problem is, when I translates phrases from English to Russian via internet, the translation a phonetic translation isn't provided. I've found a phonetic translator, but it's god-awful. Before I die on the inside by speaking broken Russian, does anyone here speak decent Russian, or does anyone know a more effective phonetic translator than http://www.livelaughlovelearn.com/treo/ ? Thanks in advance.
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Silas
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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby Silas » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:48 am UTC

I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for. You want to be able to feed an English word, phrase, or sentence into a translation program, and have it return a Russian sentence, in a format that you can read out loud without much training? And then you want to- sing?- use that Russian sentence in a song of your own, but you don't want to speak broken Russian?

The short answer is, it can't be done. In the first place, machine translation isn't very reliable- it's come a long way, but it still sometimes chokes on even basic idioms and gets confused about certain words. Second, even if you get a good translation (you have maybe an 80% chance of getting one), no Roman-alphabet transcription will let you get the sounds right. The sounds of English just don't match up closely enough to the sounds of Russian for you to be able to wing it.

So, if you want to get the Russian right, or close to right, you need to do one of three things:
Sample an existing Russian track;
Get someone who speaks Russian to do that part of the track with you; or
Go to someone who teaches Russian, and get them to walk you through how to read Russian out loud. You need to understand the alphabet, a phonetic feature called palatalization, and the stress pattern of the words you're reading. Then get a good translation from someone who speaks Russian. (If all else fails, try asking strangers on Omegle if they speak Russian, then check their suggestions against a translator-bot to screen out the people who are screwing with you.) You're still going to sound like a guy from Texas butchering the language, but, with luck, it'll be intelligible.
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Hooch
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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby Hooch » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:15 pm UTC

Well, not necessarily singing, but audio samples will be used.

What I primarily define as "broken Russian" more than anything else is obvious grammatical errors. If phonetics is the issue, I can do what I consider a decent job of faking it.

Getting someone to speak (legitimate) Russian for me is a second option. I'd prefer that than making the samples myself.
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tetromino
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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby tetromino » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:13 am UTC

There are over 250 million Russian-speaking people on the planet. Of course there are quite a few Russian speakers (including yours truly) on a popular forum such as this one.
What I primarily define as "broken Russian" more than anything else is obvious grammatical errors.

I could check the translation for you and verify the grammar modulo commas (Russian comma usage rules are substantially different from English ones, and I have an unfortunate tendency to mix them up).

As for machine translation—don't even bother. Google Translate is only good for English, French and Spanish; the further east on the linguistic map of Eurasia you go, the more laughable its results get. And Russian-specific machine translation software (Promt etc.) isn't all that great either.
Getting someone to speak (legitimate) Russian for me is a second option.

Speak or sing? Finding a decent Russian singer to volunteer might be non-trivial…

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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby skellious » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:24 am UTC

tetromino wrote:(Russian comma usage rules are substantially different from English ones, and I have an unfortunate tendency to mix them up).


Sort of like here then? :P sorry, couldn't resist.
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tetromino
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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby tetromino » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:38 pm UTC

skellious wrote:Sort of like here then?
No. Both English and Russian punctuation rules state that a comma has to be used before an "and" that joins two independent clauses. (In some English publications, the comma gets dropped if the clauses are short, but 10 words isn't exactly short, at least IMHO.)

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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby skellious » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

I would argue that rule is in a state of flux.
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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby Hooch » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:09 pm UTC

tetromino wrote:There are over 250 million Russian-speaking people on the planet. Of course there are quite a few Russian speakers (including yours truly) on a popular forum such as this one.
What I primarily define as "broken Russian" more than anything else is obvious grammatical errors.

I could check the translation for you and verify the grammar modulo commas (Russian comma usage rules are substantially different from English ones, and I have an unfortunate tendency to mix them up).

As for machine translation—don't even bother. Google Translate is only good for English, French and Spanish; the further east on the linguistic map of Eurasia you go, the more laughable its results get. And Russian-specific machine translation software (Promt etc.) isn't all that great either.
Getting someone to speak (legitimate) Russian for me is a second option.

Speak or sing? Finding a decent Russian singer to volunteer might be non-trivial…


Speaker, definitely a speaker. One critical line is for someone to shout, "God bless Russia!"

In Russian, of course.
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skellious
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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby skellious » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:18 pm UTC

isn't a lot of Russia atheist as a hangover from the Soviet days?
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tetromino
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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby tetromino » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:00 am UTC

Hooch wrote:Speaker, definitely a speaker. One critical line is for someone to shout, "God bless Russia!"
It would be very strange for a modern Russian person to shout «Господи, благослови Россию» unless he is being ironic or is a priest caught up in nationalist fervor. Many Russians are religious, but mixing God and the State really doesn't happen anywhere near to the degree it does in America.

You can post the text here or PM it to me, and I'll have a look at it. Also, it would be helpful if you explain the type of song you are making—humorous or serious, fantasy-like or accurately reflecting the modern day or some period in history, etc.

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Hooch
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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby Hooch » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:45 am UTC

Nothing serious going on in my song; I have no historical motivations or a plot. It's simply a hard house song that sounds nice with the (modified) melody from a Russian folk song. It would be even better if I had a sample in Russian during part of the breakdown.

isn't a lot of Russia atheist as a hangover from the Soviet days?


Well, I'm sure it polarized them. They either hated God for the Soviet days, or loved God for the fact that the Soviet days were over. = P
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AndrewFromUkraine
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Re: Anybody here speak Russian?

Postby AndrewFromUkraine » Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:10 pm UTC

Hi! I speak russian.... I am from USSR :) Now USSR is dead, i am from independent Ukraine.


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