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мамочка, etc.

English translation: mama, papa

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00:14 Jul 3, 2003
Russian to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
Russian term or phrase: мамочка, etc.
I'm translating letters written during WWII and have run into a problem: soldiers called their parents мамочка, папочка, мамуся, etc.

I'm interested in what you think about Mom/Dad vs. Mommy/Daddy. Or do you have a better translation?

Endearing little words sound childish in English sometimes, and I don't want people to get the impression that the letter writers were mama's boys.
Elizabeth Adams
United States
Local time: 06:46
English translation:mama, papa
Explanation:
What do you think of "mama" and "papa" as ways of getting across an intimate but not childish form of address for parents? This is how they normally get around it in French and other foreign literature translated into English. It helps retain the sense of "foreigness" of forms of address that might sound strange to us.

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Note added at 2003-07-03 00:27:49 (GMT)
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You could also vary it a bit, as per мама, мамуся, мамуля, мамочка, etc. by changing the \"dear\" to \"dearest\", \"sweetest\", \"darling\", etc.

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Note added at 2003-07-03 00:30:10 (GMT)
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To William:
Yes, it is \"mum\" in Brit English.
But don\'t you think that \"mum\" doesn\'t have the necessary pathos and emotion of soldiers writing from the front?

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Note added at 2003-07-07 23:53:17 (GMT)
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Elizabeth, to answer your later question:
My feeling is that \"мамуся\" is not the usual way offspring would address mothers - especially boys. It does rather beg to be translated as \"Mummy\". It has a great degree of pathos and would suggest to me that the young man is under great duress. A girl playing cute is what comes to mind when I hear \"мамуся\" (it has great \"cringe\" value), or else a boy under a great deal of strain, such as in wartime at the front.

Yes, it does sound pansy - inappropriate, even - and it is to be read with the knowledge that in desperate times, Russians tend to forget all notions of machismo or \"stiff upper lip\".
Selected response from:

Irene Chernenko
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:46
Grading comment
Thanks to all (and esp. to Alya for commentary)!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +5mama, papa
Irene Chernenko
4 +4Dear mom/ Dear dadxxxOleg Pashuk
4 +4Mom / Dad
William Stein
5 +2комментарий
Alya
5Wrong answer selected, no doubt about it!xxxOleg Pashuk
4dear Mom
Vladimir Dubisskiy


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
mama, papa


Explanation:
What do you think of "mama" and "papa" as ways of getting across an intimate but not childish form of address for parents? This is how they normally get around it in French and other foreign literature translated into English. It helps retain the sense of "foreigness" of forms of address that might sound strange to us.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-03 00:27:49 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

You could also vary it a bit, as per мама, мамуся, мамуля, мамочка, etc. by changing the \"dear\" to \"dearest\", \"sweetest\", \"darling\", etc.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-03 00:30:10 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

To William:
Yes, it is \"mum\" in Brit English.
But don\'t you think that \"mum\" doesn\'t have the necessary pathos and emotion of soldiers writing from the front?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-07 23:53:17 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Elizabeth, to answer your later question:
My feeling is that \"мамуся\" is not the usual way offspring would address mothers - especially boys. It does rather beg to be translated as \"Mummy\". It has a great degree of pathos and would suggest to me that the young man is under great duress. A girl playing cute is what comes to mind when I hear \"мамуся\" (it has great \"cringe\" value), or else a boy under a great deal of strain, such as in wartime at the front.

Yes, it does sound pansy - inappropriate, even - and it is to be read with the knowledge that in desperate times, Russians tend to forget all notions of machismo or \"stiff upper lip\".

Irene Chernenko
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 259
Grading comment
Thanks to all (and esp. to Alya for commentary)!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  William Stein: "Dearest" is a good idea.
4 mins
  -> Thanks, this is one of those tough "easy" questions!

agree  Mark Vaintroub
16 mins
  -> Thanks, Mark!

agree  lyolya
1 hr
  -> thank you

neutral  Jack Doughty: Maybe it was different for GIs, but not "mama & papa" for a British Tommy, unless he was from the aristocracy (Little Lord Fauntleroy or some such), in which case he would have been an officer anyway, regardless of what sort of an idiot he might be.
3 hrs
  -> I imagine the context would make it clear that it was not the British upper class usage of "mama and papa",

agree  Rusinterp: variation of the endearment term of address is a great way to express it
4 hrs
  -> Thank you - one has to be creative in getting across the tone of an original.

agree  Alya
11 hrs
  -> Thank you, Alya
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Mom / Dad


Explanation:
I think Mom or Dad is fine. Mommy/Daddy is definitely for little children. In England it's probably Mum, but you should wait for confirmation from the Brits.

William Stein
Costa Rica
Local time: 07:46
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 320

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxOleg Pashuk
43 mins

agree  Anatoli Prasalovich
2 hrs

agree  Jack Doughty: Mum in UK English (confirmed by a Brit).
3 hrs
  -> Confirmed: Mum's the word!

agree  Сергей Лузан: Quite close.
4 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Dear mom/ Dear dad


Explanation:
---

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Note added at 2003-07-03 02:21:05 (GMT)
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This is what young soldiers would use I reckon.

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Note added at 2003-07-03 02:22:55 (GMT)
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And - not \"mommy\" or \"daddy\"

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Note added at 2003-07-03 22:42:50 (GMT)
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And, I don\'t think that ANY young adult would use the term \"мамуся\"

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Note added at 2003-07-03 22:45:03 (GMT)
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(the above comment is in reference to the Asker\'s question in \"Notes added\")

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Note added at 2003-07-05 16:31:58 (GMT)
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I think \"Dear mom/ Dear dad\" is just right: it is not too sissy, and yet it does reflect true feelings of young soldiers...



xxxOleg Pashuk
PRO pts in pair: 619

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  GaryG: This is best for US usage, although there are variations. You'll see children, especially upper-class children in New England, address their father as "Father" and Southerners address him as "Daddy".
42 mins
  -> thank you. There are some regional differences indeed but I think the above version is still very common throughout the US

agree  Сергей Лузан: Of that kind.
3 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Arianna Niero
19 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Sergey Strakhov
2 days5 hrs
  -> thank you
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
dear Mom


Explanation:
not Mommy; dear dad less likely daddy)..
then, probably papa; Ma and Pa.

Vladimir Dubisskiy
United States
Local time: 08:46
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in UkrainianUkrainian
PRO pts in pair: 1408
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1 day16 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
комментарий


Explanation:
Видите ли, Элизабет, дело в том, что многие солдаты были не умудренными жизнью взрослыми людьми, а совсем молодыми ребятами, лет по 17-20, -- прямо со школьной скамьи, с первых курсов университета. Не забудьте, что у нас действовала и до сих пор действует система тотального призыва (conscription) -- обязательной военной службы для молодых людей, которых, как правило, забирают в армию вскоре после окончания средней школы.

И конечно, в таких условиях было бы странно стыдиться того, что ребята вспоминали о доме, о маме. Не думаю, чтобы в обычных, невоенных условиях часто употребялись нежные, ласковые обращения к матери, но военная обстановка, и опасность быть убитым в ближайшем бою, конечно, должны были усиливать чувство тоски по дому и по родным. Так что я не считаю, что это было проявление чрезмерной слабости и выражениями, характерными для "маменькиных сыночков". Другое дело, как передать эту прощальную нежность на Вашем родном языке...

Alya
Russian Federation
Local time: 16:46
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in pair: 398

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sergey Strakhov
14 hrs
  -> спасибо

agree  Irene Chernenko
3 days7 hrs
  -> спасибо
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5 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Wrong answer selected, no doubt about it!


Explanation:
100%

xxxOleg Pashuk
PRO pts in pair: 619
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