“Definitely, a contextually and verbatim translation of the phrase” put up or shut up “-” make up or shut up “” - Maria Zakharova diplomatic lexicon, “digital diplomacy” and proficiency

The story of how an employee of the State Department Mark Toner said that Russia in Syria has to “make or shut up” (put up or shut up), a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova was surprised by such deviations from the protocol, I received an unexpected spread. There was talk that Russian diplomats have poor knowledge of English, to learn all the semantic nuances of expression “shut up”. Maria Zakharova decided to look myself in this matter.

Around itself in the last 7 days

A week ago I commented on the statement by the US State Department Mark Toner, addressed to Russian idiom “put up or shut up”. Unequivocal as contextually or literally, the phrase translation is - “do it or shut up.”

Diplomatic language of course, is different. And, sometimes, behind closed doors, negotiators can afford much more that ordinary people used to think about them. Previously, numerous memoirs, and today the endless leaks, do not leave any doubt in this. But the public side of the profession has clear boundaries of what is permitted. Valid irony, sarcasm, accusations, charges, in the end, someone hides expresses irritation and resentment.

The appearance and ahead of all other areas of life the development of the mass media have created a new genre of diplomatic work as “digital diplomacy”, which is an important part of the same debate. In my opinion, one of the pioneers and even the creator of a new direction in this area was the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. Acute, balancing on the edge, with a yellowish tinge, his Twitter account has become a landmark, definitely making it clear: diplomatic language is now different - who can not fast, affordable and colorful comment in the network or that event, he was not late - it is not there. This network effect can be figuratively called the epoch of transformation of official criticism in trolling.

But it sounded on the State Department briefing idiom had nothing to do with the traditional forms of diplomatic duels or innovative approaches to publications on social networks. It was obvious rudeness, may have been used to draw attention to is not the first freshness of content. But rudeness address.

Imagine my surprise when the network started up the topic is not as tough response the Foreign Ministry, and “inadequate response of the Russian Foreign Ministry” on - drumroll - “neutral comment, which is frequently used idiom.” Further more. One after another, people do not hesitate to look foolish, have begun to use this mild thesis as an ideological confrontation guns, arguing for a long time sore “already quite”: the Foreign Ministry does not know English, the translation is not correct, the words “shut up” in terms of no. I could not believe my eyes. History is a tale about the emperor’s new clothes. Word is, the expression, no matter how transfers, boorish, and it all seemed to be seen. All the evidence base “linguistic forces” built on the surprising and medieval obscurantist argument: in the Russian analogues of English idioms is not rudeness. Just think! That is, intelligent people with a straight face publicly offered not see what is written in English, and a start on the Russian analogues of this phrase. As if sustainable obscene expression “not … imagine” the English-language media interpreted by the degree of acceptability as a diplomatic “wow”.

All this begins to resemble a little-known session of practical magic. The phrases “what is taught at MGIMO” and “My English is not understood” splints ornate paint the pre-spring this farce. And then, as is usually the case on national holidays, liberated from a couple of sips of other people’s thoughts audience started dancing personal insults. The ground was richly spiced. The only thing missing - the legalization of online feasts in the influential media. And it was found! Supported on “scientific approach” the newspaper “Vedomosti”. But, apparently realizing the absurdity of the controversy, the risk did not become and have placed their material, I emphasize, a staff correspondent in heading “Opinion.”

Surprisingly, the “opinion” in the “Gazette” as a blueprint to coincide with the original posts, appeared on the Internet about “distortion of meaning in translation.” But now it is not about Assange. Naturally, the view of the Foreign Ministry in the preparation of the material did not specify one, because the author did not write an article, but only opinion. Having such a powerful trump card, bonded by a quick kraplёnogo of joker and the fifth ace on the Internet, the mass quenching calves of dictionaries.

I immediately sat down at the back post. I was worried not so much the absurdity of accusations and untenable argument, as the danger that the ignorant publication can become a dangerous source of “knowledge of the basics of linguistics”, including for young people. But I changed my mind, erased the text and made a wish: either now or never has. Or right now appears the boy in the fairy tale that tells everyone admires “but the king is naked”, or all useless - well, how much can you make people think and to fight for the defense of that and it is important and expensive to be not only to me but also THEM. After all, what Anderson said the boy needed was not a boy, it had everything. “Where is the professional translators? Where are the journalists who worked for many years in an English speaking environment ?! Where is bilingual?” - Silently cried I open Internet.

You can not ever be intelligent bystanders who do not wish to get involved in the skirmish, because “we are above the fray.” But the question is, what was in the wrong: you’re white or red? The question was something quite different: you are willing to keep silent when the ideological furnace fly book your favorite authors, simply because you are afraid of the defense seem one of the parties? Let’s then quite frankly. My unspoken question was much shorter: Are you afraid? I waited. But she believed.

Frankly, faith was worthless, and hand trembled. I wrote a friend that just is a professional translator, journalist, blogger, for many years lived in NY. I asked her to respond, because I knew that she would never agree to write something, the truth of inappropriate or her fundamental beliefs. She did not answer. I did not insist.

But at that same moment the sky, apparently letting me know that I am the human species - such as weak as those who are condemned as weakness, squeezed and popped on my page post, then the second, third … Then we went Posts in the “PM” - like a fresh rain, washing away the old dirt. Translators, journalists, bilingual … And those whom I know personally, and those who did not forget to make a reservation, do not feel to me personal sympathy - they all wrote the same thing: understanding absolutely true, no other way, the article in the “Gazette” is misleading. They did not protect me. They defended the fact. And then, after a few hours, and it was a message from my friend - its point of view coincides with the opinion of other professionals.

Of course, not all written, who would have. “Those who knew and kept silent” was much more than those who came out of hibernation. But even in a fairy tale, first the boy was alone.

I believe that no ideological differences should not kill in us the sense of justice and professional view of things. You can not beat their breasts only when you do not hit. Otherwise, we will start again translate from English is not so, as it is written, and “according to the last statement of the All.” As the newspaper “Vedomosti”. And we’ve been through. This equally applies to me. Therefore, to defend their beliefs in public, even when it does not coincide with the expectations of the audience.

Oh yes! I almost forgot. After using Mark Toner idiomatic expressions and appropriate responses (public and nonpublic) the Russian side, the State Department leadership assured that conduct with a representative of the press service of the conversation. This is for those who have tried, and who could not.

Below is the views of professionals, published on the Internet and the media on a given topic

Constantine Golota, managing partner translation company IB Translations: “Commentators claim that the phrase if not a salon, but generally harmless Indeed, the level of obscene language is reduced in both languages, English faster in other words, something for which earlier (one thousand.. ! devils) have expelled from polite society, is now quite normal sounds diplomatic communication from the process in a natural way behind, so to this day do not forget about diplomatic protocol, which still has not been canceled simple example:.. the word “bitch” in a certain context, is quite decent, censored quotes can not be, but if I used it to characterize Mr. Toner, including using an idiomatic expression, it would be highly likely to hurt. Even more, he was offended would offer “to the forest “although, of course, a number of American media could see this idiom or the desire of the Russian side of the constructive dialogue with colleagues go to unilateral steps, any proposal for pedestrian walk the two officials. The same is true in the example under discussion: an experienced diplomat used the expression that clearly can not be called decent. Rather, it is ambiguous decent, t. E., At a minimum, treatment options are possible, and the State Department employee was supposed to understand this, and are likely to understand. In simple terms, as well teased. Interviewed carriers share this conclusion: in a particular vocabulary word meaning can be decent, but use would do well to choose the contexts. This expression is actually used, including the regulator, in the context of the UK financial market, but it got there from the boxing media and invariably causes the carriers corresponding saber rattling association and calling “on the weak”. It is difficult to write off this effect on the lack of knowledge of the English language by a senior US diplomat … And, yes, shut up means “shut up.”

Alexander Ilchenko, Translator, ICAO: “With professional interest to read the article of a Ovcharenko about what is put up or shut up this supposedly is not something that just shut up, almost innocent proverb Shakespeare times In any case, the author argues that it does not hurt. .. take offense or not - a personal choice, but one thing is certain: it is quite rude and boorish expression Actually, a reference to the definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary is already allowed: … in a somewhat rude way … and this could be finish. But I wondered why the author chose to give a reference to the definition of Cambridge Dictionary (INFORMAL mark where it’s worth), and suddenly “flashed” the assertion that it is almost normal financial terms in Britain … A casket just opened. link it to this dictionary and a link to an explanation of the meaning of the expression online FT -!. 1 and 3 of the search engine Google Powerful anolitega somehow remembered the story V.Shukshin “Cut off”.

Michael Idov, a journalist who writes in English: “…” put up or shut up “, even in the shell of the phrase” just right to recall an expression “- it is really rude, shut up, and there really is used to mean” shut up ” and there is not another “loan or shut up” in this idiom has already quite rough cousin “shit or get off the pot”, which in turn is a little less scatological, but no less nasty Russian equivalent of “a cross take off, either. put on pants “- and they are all equally beyond diplomatic discourse.”

Especially to Mr. Ovcharenko with his opinion and unprofessional management “Vedomosti” newspaper, the English-language quotes cite those for whom and the native language, and diplomatic work is familiar:

Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria: “The language used in this case was diplomatically inappropriate especially given the cooperation going on between Russia and the United States over the Syrian ceasefire It’s a great pity that anyone wants to spoil the atmosphere and undermine this. cooperation It’s unnecessarily aggressive It’s almost insulting, definitely inappropriate in the circumstances We might very well say that the same can be applied to the United States -… it’s put up or shut up time for the United States too But fortunately the ceasefire is. holding. Both the US and Russia have played their role and it’s a pity that the atmosphere was spoiled by unnecessary language used by Mr. Toner “.

Oliver Miles, former UK ambassador to Libya: “That’s right, but the diplomats can say whatever they like They have to consider what the effect would be It’s not the same as simply saying..” Shut up “, it’s the world-know! expression which means that “now you have to be absolutely clear”. But it’s a very abrupt and undiplomatic way of putting it “.

5 March 2016

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