They love their f***ing family

I am trying to translate Osamu Dazai’s essay 如是我聞(Thus I heard from the Buddha) into English. The original text belongs to the public domain: You can read about the author here: You can read parts of my translation here: Here is a part of my translation: There is a group of old … Read more

Why has Marx’s “Das Kapital” been translated to “Capital” in English and not “The Capital”

Why has Marx’s “Das Kapital” been translated to “Capital” and not to “The Capital”? Actually, the article “Das” in German points out that it is not any capital, but the capital as the process of the current production mode – which is, in fact, capitalism. For example in French the translation is “Le Capital”. Is … Read more

Word for “gradually removing the vacuum”

I’m translating a description of a lyophilization procedure. One of the sentences goes like this, in my translation: After keeping the samples in the vacuum for 24 hours, we gradually relieved the vacuum, removed the samples from the shelves, and submitted them for subsequent processing. I picked “relieve” from “vacuum relief valve”. Is it okay … Read more

Can exams in university be called “session”? (Similarly to Russian “сессия”)

In Russian, the period of time when students need to pass the exams after a semester are called “sessiya”(сессия), “session”. Can the same word “session” be used in English or is it just wrong? Answer I’ve not seen “session” used for this precise meaning. A session can be “A period devoted to a particular activity.” … Read more

A meeting of an administrative body far from its usual meeting place (headquarters etc.)

Native Russian translators have trouble translating one stock phrase which means “a meeting of an administrative body (Parliament, State Council, etc.) conducted not at the body’s usual location”. Say, some Council members travel to the Orenburg Region and the President travels to the same location, and there they hold a meeting. The Russian journalistic stock … Read more

Words to say about someone being almost the same age as you are

Seeking the alternatives to saying about someone that he is almost the same age as I am, I came across the words agemate and batchmate. In the Russian language, there are several one-word terms to tell about a person born around the year you were born: ровесник — approximately of the same age with you; … Read more

Is there a figure of speech for “illlness which passes without a special treatment”?

In German we have a figure of speech: “Das geht von selbst vorbei”, which normally means that an illness will pass without the need to treat it with medicaments or something special at all. Is there a similar figure of speech known in the English language, too? Edit: Because I’m trying to translate a joke … Read more

Does the saying “speaking English like a Spanish cow” exist in English?

In French we have an expression which is: Parler (une langue, l’anglais par exemple) comme une vache espagnole which literally translates to: Speaking (a language, like English) like a Spanish cow Is this expression correct in English? Is there a similar expression which refers to non-native speakers who don’t speak the language well, or who … Read more