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гнуть свои кости

English translation: to work one's (your favorite synonym for human behind) off

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13:37 Aug 8, 2006
Russian to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
Russian term or phrase: гнуть свои кости
Letter from an (eventually) homeless child, 1923.

Deborah Hoffman
Local time: 23:00
English translation:to work one's (your favorite synonym for human behind) off
Explanation:
-
Selected response from:

Alexander Demyanov
Local time: 23:00
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2doing a back-breaking job
Vitaly Kisin
3 +3to work one's (your favorite synonym for human behind) offAlexander Demyanov
2 +3to work oneself to the bone
Libero_Lang_Lab
3 +1slogging (sweating) my guts out
Andrew Vdovin


  

Answers


1 min   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +3
to work oneself to the bone


Explanation:
I think that might work in this context

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Note added at 11 mins (2006-08-08 13:48:44 GMT)
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or perhaps "to break one's back" would also work

Libero_Lang_Lab
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kirill Semenov: yes. Here the phrase is the same as the more common "гнуть спину"
10 mins

neutral  Alexander Demyanov: "gnut' kosti" means "to work hard", while "to work oneself to the bone" means "to exhaust oneself working"
13 mins
  -> i see your point... i guess it depends on the speaker's taste for hyperbole...

agree  Blithe: break one's back
4 hrs

agree  Vladimir Dubisskiy: Daniel, your variant i'd rendered in Russian like : доработаться до ручки\ ухойдокать \ уделать себя на работе- so Alex was closer
15 hrs
  -> vladimir, thanks - your reasoning makes good sense. i think break one's back is probably closer, or alex's suggestion, or to bust a gut perhaps
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
to work one's (your favorite synonym for human behind) off


Explanation:
-

Alexander Demyanov
Local time: 23:00
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 84
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kalaus
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, Kalaus.

agree  Jack Slep: Yeah, "bust your butt"!
4 hrs
  -> Thanks, Jack.

agree  Vladimir Dubisskiy: you could "openly" say 'butt' :-)) [ or it'd lssen the flavour :-))
15 hrs
  -> Thanks, Vladimir. I know I can but some peope prefere "asx", "arx" and such.
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21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
doing a back-breaking job


Explanation:
The thing is, the speaker modifies a cliche ("гнуть спину на кого-нибудь" - do hard peasant's labor) to a form that at least I never heard or met before

Vitaly Kisin
Local time: 04:00
Works in field
Native speaker of: Russian
PRO pts in category: 28

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jack Doughty
33 mins
  -> thanks Jack

agree  Vanda Nissen
2 hrs
  -> thank you Vanda

neutral  Vladimir Dubisskiy: мне кажется у вас искажение- у вас выходит, что работа очень тяжелая, а в оригинале, скорее о том, что человек слишком много работал (а работа могла быть самой примитивной)
15 hrs
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1 day14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
slogging (sweating) my guts out


Explanation:
OR:
busting my guts


Andrew Vdovin
Local time: 10:00
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 83

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Libero_Lang_Lab: just occurred to me that the more common collocation would be "bust a gut (in UK english at least), you can also slog your guts out, work your socks off, or sweat tears or blood...
4 hrs
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