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Comments about the soundtrack for The Hunt for Red October (Basil Poledouris)

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Re: Lyrics to Hymn to Red October
• Posted by: USS San Francisco (SSN-711)
• Date: Thursday, July 28, 2005, at 10:27 a.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Lyrics to Hymn to Red October (Borya)

> Yes if you'll view a few of my questions, you'll quickly realize they are
> BARELY speaking Russian in the Movie.

> Heck the Title of the Movie, in the introduction before it goes to English
> SUPPOSEDLY in Russian...but not really...

> Krasnui

> Is specifically how it is spelt in the beginning...well...the top is
> supposed to be in cyrillic, but "Oktiabr" is spelt just like
> that...that's not russian but english...

> Russian it is "Oktyabr" spelt like this : Октябрь

> And the rest is down hill from

Russian is a difficult language for non-Russians to learn. Although the Cyrillic alphabet is easily enough translated (it's based on the Greek & Latin alphabets for the most part), since unlike English, the phonetic sounds of their alphabet is fairly rigid, but Russian is loaded with some of the ugliest combinations of consonants you'll ever see.

Also, you must bear in mind that the Hunt for Red October was intended for the American and English markets. Also, I believe the Tom Clancy book was released in England before it came to the United States. For most English speakers, the true Russian would have most likely been unreadable. There again is another prime example of a studio making certain changes for the sake of the audience - otherwise known as 'artistic license'.

Artistic license is not just practiced by Hollywood, either. Computer game programmers are just as bad. Back in the 1980's, there was a computer submarine sim game called 688 Attack Sub , in which you could command either an American Los Angeles-class attack sub or a Soviet Alfa-class attack sub (which were officially known in Soviet naval parlance as 'interceptor' subs). In the Russian mode, the controls were labled with a pseudo-Cyrillic aphabet to add a little more "atmosphere" to the game. One of the jokes in the game was the control panels were labled CCCP - but if you looked closely, you could see a faded area that said "Toshiba - Made in Japan" - where the original label once was. This was a reference to the Toshiba-Kongsberg Machine tool scandal of the 1980s that enabled the Soviet Navy to greatly reduce the noise of the Victor and Akula-class attack boats - much to the chagrin of NATO.

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