Thursday, February 15, 2007

A postscript to Tuesday's circus:

Later that night, a friend sent us a link to an item on the Russian online news site, - here (RUS).

It's a translation of the Slate piece, with a few minor changes. First, there's this headline:

The reaction of the Western bloggers to Putin's speech: "He has inherited his speechwriters from Brezhnev."

Mishah and I, Western bloggers :)))

Then, they translate my quote - with my name and all - but fail to translate the word "chutzpah." Their take on it:

When will they ask him about Anna Politkovskaya and about Chechnya directly?

In the morning, though, I received an email from a dear Kyiv friend: she attached a Feb. 13 Wall Street Journal piece by Bret Stephens - titled "Russian for Chutzpah" :)))

Here's the first paragraph:

The nearest equivalent the Russian language has for the word chutzpah is naglost. In you, Vladimir Putin, the Russian nation has found the embodiment of naglost.

I didn't have the time to read the piece to the end, but I love this "lost and found in translation" twist...


Oh, okay, here's one thing. This part did catch my eye:

Naglost: Speaking of feeling unsafe, a recent item in the Daily Telegraph reports that a Russian court in the southern city of Novorossiysk condemned nine members of the ethnic minorities-rights group Froda for having an "unsanctioned" tea with two German students.

"We were told that, under the new law [on NGOs], any meeting of two or more
people with the purpose of discussing publicly important issues had to be
sanctioned by the local administration three days in advance," Froda
director Tamara Karastelyova told the Telegraph. New legislation also
requires NGOs to receive official clearance for any planned events months in

At Munich, you airily dismissed any suggestion that Russian NGOs operate
under repressive conditions by claiming your registration requirements are
"not that different from registration systems in other countries." Just what
other countries did you have in mind?

I just feel that Munich would've been a good place to ask Putin directly/with chutzpah about this particular case: after all, those NGO people allegedly got busted for their contacts with Germans, not just some abstract foreigners...


  1. Ukr bitchy,

    What the fuck "Chutzpah" means? Is it xoxlytsky slang or what?

  2. Veronica, you may find amusing the translation of the WSJ "Russian for Chutzpah" piece here: In the translation the word "chutzpah" is explained as "v angliyskom yazyke est' ochen' vyrazitel'noe slovo chutzpah".

    The lexically challenged user petari who has commented above may find it amusing, in his own turn, that the word in question is not "xoxlytsky", but actually Hebrew.

  3. My God, Neeka - it really is the Soyuz again.

    Leonid - isn't chutzpah Yiddish out of Aramaic?