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Home The Feuilleton of MilSan and MikWag The translation workshop
The Translation Workshop


This section contains translation workshops.


A translation workshop is simply a PDF file that includes the original feuilleton, a sequence of drafts, and the final translation.  When lost in translation, we, the translators, use MS Word's Comments to identify and discuss the options (quite obsessively, to be honest, at times).


A workshop shows the problems that arose in a translation--metaphors that don't translate, allusions to little known persons or events, slang, onomatopoeia--and how we solved them.


We strive to create a translation that bridges the gulfs of language and time that separate the modern reader from the author.  Our goal is for the modern reader to experience the work like the author's original reader--whether the original reader was a Soviet citizen circa 1923 or Alexandr Pushkin's nanny Arina Rodionovna.


We ourselves judge the success of the final translation by the extent to which it is faithful to the original -- and just as vivid.


We, frankly, can't stop until we hear the ringing of the genuine article, until the translation passes the gold-coin-bounced-on-the-table test.  We don't care whether it is a chervonets or a franc that we are bouncing as long as it is real.  We don't even care about the exchange rate.  We are, quite frankly, obsessed.


Translation Workshop - Zoshchenko's "Administrative Ecstasy"

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A trio of eFeuilleton's translators cranked on this piece for a week, including time spent giggling, smoking, and conflict resolution...entirely by email.  Because of this dynamic, the problems and solutions are more clearly set out than usual.

To view this translation workshop, please click here.


Translation Workshop - Bulgakov's "The Funhouse Mirror"

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In this workshop are revealed a few more of the The 50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship.  (No,we don't go into chiaroscuro, but thank you dear Reader for the excellent idea).

To view the sequence of versions, which start with Bulgakov's original, please click here.