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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: dzhacon   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, January 26, 2008, at 8:45 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Lyrics to Hymn to Red October (Tovarich Kolya)


I agree that the translations I have seen for the Hymn to Red October are terrible. For the most part they are just bad translations, but translations that try to be too literal aren’t really any good either. The problem with that is that you lose the meaning of the text when you try to give an exact word for word translation. On the flip side though, if you are not literal at all, you loose the meaning that the author originally intended.

Having said all of that, here is my translation of the Hymn to Red October:

Холодно, хмуро... (Holodna, hmura...)
Cold, overcast
И мрачно в душе (I mrachna v dushe)
And my soul is filled with despair.
Как мог знать я что ты умрёшь? (Kak mog znat’ ya, shto ti umryosh’?)
How could I know that you would die?

До свиданья, берег родной! (Da svidania, bereg radnoy!)
Until I see you again, native shore!
Как нам трудно представить, что это не сон... (Kak nam trudna predstavit’, shto eto nye son’…)
How difficult for us to realize that this is not a dream…
Родина, дом родной, (Rodina – dom radnoy,)
Motherland - native home,
До свиданья, Родина! (Da svidania, rodina!)
Until I see you again, motherland!

Эй! И в поход, и в поход! (Ai! I v pohod i v pohod)
Hey! Take to the sea! Take to the sea!
Нас волна морская ждёт не дождётся. (Nas volna marskaya zdyot nye dazhdyotsya.)
The sea's waves await but will not wait forever!
Нас зовёт морская даль И прибой! (Nas zavut marksaya dal’ i priboy!)
The distances of the sea and the breakers beckon us.

Салют отцам и нашим дедам – (Salyut otsam i nashim dedam-)
Salute our fathers and our grandfathers-
Заветам их всегда верны. (Zavyetam ikh vsegda verni.)
We will always be faithful to our oath to them.
Теперь ничто не остановит (Teper’ nishto nye astanovit)
Now there is nothing that can halt
Победный шаг родной страны! (Pabedniy shag radnoy strainii.)
The victorious advance of our native country.

Ты плыви, плыви бесстрашно, (Ti plivi, plivi besstrashna,)
You sail on, sail on fearlessly,
Гордость северных морей, (Gordast’ Severnih Maryey,)
Pride of the Northern Seas
Революции надежда, (Revolyutsii nadeshda,)
Hope of the Revolution,
Сгусток веры всех людей. (Sgustok vyeri vseh lyudey.)
The solidifier of the faith of all the people.

В октябре, в октябре (V okytabre, v okyabre,)
In October, in October,
Рапортуем мы наши победы. (Raportuyem mi nashi pabedi!)
We will report out victory!
В октябре, в октябре (V okytabre, v okyabre,)
In October, in October,
Новый мир дали нам наши деды! (Noviy mir dali nam nashi dedi!)
A new world was given to us by our grandfathers!

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!

> Kolya

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