Russian Birthday Poems, Toasts with English translation

When your Russian girlfriend or boyfriend has a birthday, you always want to surprise her/him. Here is a good way to show your creativity by learning or just sending a text message/sms on your friend's birth-day. Your attention is very important on this special day. These poems are specifically designed for birthdays. If you are at a birthday party, sometimes you forget words, in this case, you can take out your postcard with your birthday poem in Russian and read it out loud. The poems can also be used as a toast. It will impress your Russian speaking friend, for sure!

If your birthday wish is sincere, it will definitely come true!

1. Желаю радости всегда
И настроения бодрого,
Не знать печали никогда
И в жизни всего доброго.
Никогда не унывать,
Не видеть огорчения
И дни с улыбкой начинать,
Как в этот День Рождения!

Russian to English translation for this poem is:

I wish you to be always happy,
I wish you a great mood,
I wish you to never know sadness,
I wish you all the kindness in your life,
I wish you to never be sad,
I wish you to start your days with a smile,
Like on this Birth Day!

The pronunciation of the poems is:

Zhelayu radosti vsegda
I nastroenija bodrogo,
Ne znat' pechali nikogda
I v zhizni vsego dobrogo.
Nikogda ne unyvat',
Ne videt' ogorchenija
I dni s ulybkoi nachinat',
Kak v etot Den' Razhdenija!

What is the best Russian online translator out there?

Today our world has no boundaries. Internet has interconnected people from different places, with different cultures and speaking different languages. Many thanks to online translation websites which offer machine translations in numerous languages.  

Several years ago the quality output of online translators was decent. Simple sentences like "I want to go home" were easily translated in most cases by a great number of free translators. It was good enough for a person who does not know the language to snatch out several words, expressions and phrases out of a complex sentence. But the actual meaning of such sentence could be mistakenly perceived in a wrong manner.

Computer technologies develop in a great pace these days. One can see improvements in every aspect of computer/online world, including free text translators.

We decided to put to a test and compare several online translators by picking three most popular and biggest online translation websites. All of them offer translations free of charge. We chose:

-Google Translator (translate.google.com);
-Bing Translator (www.bing.com/translator‎);
-PROMT Translator (http://translation2.paralink.com/);

All three translation engines handled simple phrases and sentences with no issues and we gave them all an A!

But when it comes to more complex and linguistically rich sentences, all of the above translators had certain flaws.

We will demonstrate and let you decide the winner (if any) of this "translation competition". As a sample text we plugged in the following extract in Russian language:

"В конце ноября, в оттепель, часов в девять утра, поезд Петербургско-Варшавской железной дороги на всех парах подходил к Петербургу. Было так сыро и туманно, что насилу рассвело; в десяти шагах, вправо и влево от дороги, трудно было разглядеть хоть что-нибудь из окон вагона."

Every person who considers herself or himself a big admirer of Russian literature and culture overall would recognize this piece. The extract is the opening from Dostoevsky's one of the greatest novels - The Idiot.

You can see Google translator's work below:
In late November, a thaw, at nine o'clock in the morning, train Petersburg-Warsaw railway on all cylinders coming to Petersburg. It was so damp and foggy that hardly dawned, in ten steps, right and left of the road, it was hard to see anything out of the windows of the car.


Here is Bing's translation:
In late November, during the thaw, hours at 9 a.m., the train of the Petersburg-Warsaw railroad at all pairs came to Petersburg. It was so damp and foggy that nasilu at dawn; ten steps to the right and to the left of the road, it was difficult to make out anything from the Windows of the car.
The funny part of Bing's translator was that it translated windows as Windows into English (capitalizing the word like they were talking about their Windows operating systems).

And finally, PROMT (though it was difficult to choose PROMT's translation, because they offered four of them!):
In late November, in a thawing weather, hours per nine mornings, a train of the »ÑÔÑÓíÒÓú߬«-Warsaw railway at full speed approached to Petersburg. Was so humid and foggy, that насилу рассвело; in ten steps, to the right and to the left from road, it was difficult to make out though something from windows of the car.
We are not going to make a linguistic analysis of the translation results, but instead, we decided to post a professional Russian translation of Eva Martin. She translated the whole book. You can see for yourself if you like any of the translations above comparing to her translation.

Towards the end of November, during a thaw, at nine o'clock one morning, a train on the Warsaw and Petersburg railway was approaching the latter city at full speed. The morning was so damp and misty that it was only with great difficulty that the day succeeded in breaking; and it was impossible to distinguish anything more than a few yards away from the carriage windows.
If it were me, I would go with Google's translator, because for one- it translated ALL the words. All in all, I think all three translations were OK. If you have something that really matters and needs to be translated as close to a professional translation as possible, my advice would be to translate it by three online translators. Each translation will compensate one another. 

How Russians are named by other nations

Names for Russians by other nations

Let's hear how people around the world name or used to name Russians.

We will start with the closest Russian friend and neighbor - Ukraine. Ukrainians (and Polish people) call Russians KATSAPs. This word is usually used in a negative tone. They say that there are two possible ways of the origins of the word. The first is that the word originated from Ukrainian for goat. Russians with their beards looked like goats to shaved Ukrainians. Another possible etymology of the word is Turkic language; Kasap translates as a bandit.

Another commonly used name for Russians among Ukrainians is Moskal.

In return Russians called Polish people psheki and Ukrainians - khokhly.

Koreans and Chinese called Russians mauchzhe which also reffered to the beard Russians liked to wear.

Germans called Russians Ivans, because Ivan was the most "truly Russian", and the most popular name. Even these days if you want to point out that a person is a simpleton, you can call him Vanya (Vanya is a diminutive for Ivan).