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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: Tovarich Kolya
• Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2007, at 12:41 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Lyrics to Hymn to Red October (Pierre)

I'm rather dismayed by the translations I have seen for the Hymn For Red October. While they may give a GENERAL idea of what's being said (sung), it is by no means accurate. Rather like saying that "bonjour" means "hi" in French, when it more accurately means "good day".

Here is MY translation of the beginning of the Hymn:

Cold, gloomy
And dark in my soul
How could I have known (literally: How could know I)
That you would die?

Goodbye, dear shore (literally: Goodbye, shore dear)
How difficult for us to believe, that it is not a dream (literally: How for us difficult to believe ...)
Motherland, dear home (literally: Motherland, home dear)
Goodbye, Motherland!

("Rodina" is a Russian term used to show affection to Russia. It roughly translates to "Motherland")

Perhaps it sounds obsessive, but I am a stickler for wanting to know EXACTLY what I'm saying when learning another language. I could never understand when I was a kid in French class why we weren't taught that way. We were always told that "ca va?" meant "how are you?" -- but when we would say this to our French teacher, he would say, "Oui" (Yes). I finally said, "That doesn't make sense", and then I was FINALLY told that "ca va?" literally means "it goes?" (like, "how's it going?"). I said, "Well, if it MEANS 'it goes' then TELL US it means that!".

When learning Russian, finding out what they are LITERALLY saying has made things a lot easier. It also gives you an idea of how they structure their sentences.

As for the translation that I've been reading on this site for the "Hymn for Red October", it isn't even close in some areas! Don't be fooled!


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