KudoZ home » Russian to English » General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters

и нам жить бы да жить

English translation: it seemed that we had our whole life ahead of us...

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
14:11 Aug 8, 2006
Russian to English translations [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
Russian term or phrase: и нам жить бы да жить
A family from Grodno Guberniia had gone to live in Spasskii Uezd near Kazan because of the war (WW1 or Grazhdanskaia), but they arrived just in time for a famine to start.

Будучи на чужой стороне, отец побывал в солдатах и пришел домой цел и невредим. Я уже стал немного больше ***и нам жить бы да жить***, хозяйствовать. Как вдруг эту страну настигло несчастье, которое каждому известно, от которого гибли сотни и даже тысячи людей.
Deborah Hoffman
Local time: 19:01
English translation:it seemed that we had our whole life ahead of us...
Explanation:
This colloquial formula, "[кому?] бы [инфинитив]" is used to express regret or sorrow about *someone who could have done something, unless...* It assumes a counterpoint, real or implied. Thus, e. g., "ей бы детей рожать и воспитывать" assumes that something that followed prevented her from having kids (disease, sudden death?); or "ему бы отказаться и уйти" could be said about someone should have turned down a bad job offer, but didn't.
Selected response from:

Kalaus
Local time: 02:01
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
3 +3it seemed that we had our whole life ahead of us...Kalaus
3 +2we had our whole life ahead of usxxxsergey
4and we could live happily (well) and long
Olena Mankovska
4and we had all we needed to live well
koundelev
2 +1to live as best we could
David Knowles
3we could HAVE LIVED a calm (quiet, happy, etc.) life
Andrew Vdovin
3we could live better and better every day
Olga B
3wanted just to live an ordinary lifeDorene Cornwell
3we could live long and happily
Natalia Elo
2In context...
Libero_Lang_Lab


  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
we could live long and happily


Explanation:
.

Natalia Elo
Germany
Local time: 01:01
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +1
to live as best we could


Explanation:
..

David Knowles
Local time: 00:01
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 160

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kirill Semenov
1 hr
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
and we could live happily (well) and long


Explanation:
It is more of an archaic expression, which is mostly used in poetry or prose to create a certain narrative mood.

Example sentence(s):
  • He was a family man – a wife and two married daughters. He made some money and could live happily and without sin, but he was jealous and wallowed in sin (Candle. Lev Tolstoy).
Olena Mankovska
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:01
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in UkrainianUkrainian
PRO pts in category: 8
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
and we had all we needed to live well


Explanation:
...


koundelev
Local time: 02:01
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 32
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

33 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
we had our whole life ahead of us


Explanation:
.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 39 mins (2006-08-08 14:50:32 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

and whole lot of things to do...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 39 mins (2006-08-08 14:51:04 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

a whole lot...

xxxsergey
Local time: 00:01
PRO pts in category: 50

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Blithe
3 hrs
  -> thanks ;-)

agree  Vitaly Kisin: the most exact; the expression only means the length of time, nothing about the quality of life
8 hrs
  -> exactly! thanks :-)
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

42 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
we could live better and better every day


Explanation:
...

Olga B
Israel
Local time: 02:01
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 28
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
wanted just to live an ordinary life


Explanation:
or could have just lived an ordinary life


elements that seem important:

--Dad returning from the war well and uninjured

--the бы conditional

--the bridge between these points and "oops, wellm a famine broke out."

Dorene Cornwell
Local time: 16:01
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 24
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
it seemed that we had our whole life ahead of us...


Explanation:
This colloquial formula, "[кому?] бы [инфинитив]" is used to express regret or sorrow about *someone who could have done something, unless...* It assumes a counterpoint, real or implied. Thus, e. g., "ей бы детей рожать и воспитывать" assumes that something that followed prevented her from having kids (disease, sudden death?); or "ему бы отказаться и уйти" could be said about someone should have turned down a bad job offer, but didn't.

Kalaus
Local time: 02:01
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Galina F
5 hrs

agree  Sophia Hundt
10 hrs

agree  Natalie Lyssova
14 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day13 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
we could HAVE LIVED a calm (quiet, happy, etc.) life


Explanation:
…and we could HAVE LIVED a calm and quiet life…

They lived a calm and quiet life abiding in the Lord. They were detached from everything. Every man was bound to the Lord alone. ...
www.saint-mary.net/coptic_faith/


Andrew Vdovin
Local time: 06:01
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 83
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 day22 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
In context...


Explanation:
I started to feel life was returning to some kind of normality...

Just looking at what comes before and after it in context, it seems to me that this might fit....



Libero_Lang_Lab
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:01
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search