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бессовестный

English translation: a couple of options...

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09:50 Dec 1, 2004
Russian to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
Russian term or phrase: бессовестный
You know, I have never found a suitable translation for this word that would carry into English the tone of disgust (of the speaker to the party addressed) that it has in Russian, particularly as used during the Soviet era. There is something about this word that carries such judgemental character, so much drama.....I'm just lost every time I want to use it in an English context. Any suggestions?
Alina Mamlyuk
English translation:a couple of options...
Explanation:
Alina, I am of the thought that words such as this one cannot have one true translation that will work in all cases. Surely the English language is rich enough to offer more than one option, particularly when it comes to expressive and emotional language.

Please see below for a modest list of options.

shameless
Synonyms: shameless, brazen, barefaced, brash1, impudent, unblushing

These adjectives apply to that which defies social or moral proprieties and is marked by a bold lack of shame.
- Shameless implies a lack of modesty, sense of decency, or regard for others' rights or feelings: a shameless liar; a shameless accusation.
- Brazen suggests flagrant, insolent audacity: a brazen impostor; brazen arrogance.
- Barefaced specifies undisguised brazenness: a barefaced hypocrite; a barefaced lie.
- Brash stresses impetuousness, lack of tact, and often crass indifference to consequences or to considerations of decency: a brash newcomer; brash demands.
- Impudent suggests offensive boldness or effrontery: an impudent student; an impudent misrepresentation.
- Unblushing implies an inappropriate lack of shame or embarrassment: an unblushing apologist; unblushing obsequiousness.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shameless
Selected response from:

Mikhail Kropotov
Russian Federation
Local time: 08:15
Grading comment
Thank you for all the options. I think I've completed my negative proof that no exact, one-applicable translation for the word exists in English. The different synonyms and the explanations are great, though :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +3Unconscionable
Kurt Porter
3 +4a couple of options...
Mikhail Kropotov
4 +3shameless
Konstantin Kisin
4... who has no concsience
Alexander Onishko


Discussion entries: 11





  

Answers


22 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
бессовестный
... who has no concsience


Explanation:
"I Used to Think I Loved You"
... kept it hid. For you provide a handle A means to hurt and maim To those
who have no concsience Who play the romance game. For one ...
www.spydersempire.com/forum/poetry/messages3/1342.htm

Alexander Onishko
Local time: 08:15
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in UkrainianUkrainian
PRO pts in category: 71
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
бессовестный
shameless


Explanation:
imho :)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 32 mins (2004-12-01 10:23:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

imho means in my humble opinion

as for my proposal - imho :) it really depends on the context.

Shameless exploitation of workers is quite a common combination and here it means exactly \"bessovestnyi\".

Konstantin Kisin
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:15
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 32

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alexander Demyanov
4 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  Rusinterp
6 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  TranslatonatoR
19 hrs
  -> thank you
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39 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
бессовестный
a couple of options...


Explanation:
Alina, I am of the thought that words such as this one cannot have one true translation that will work in all cases. Surely the English language is rich enough to offer more than one option, particularly when it comes to expressive and emotional language.

Please see below for a modest list of options.

shameless
Synonyms: shameless, brazen, barefaced, brash1, impudent, unblushing

These adjectives apply to that which defies social or moral proprieties and is marked by a bold lack of shame.
- Shameless implies a lack of modesty, sense of decency, or regard for others' rights or feelings: a shameless liar; a shameless accusation.
- Brazen suggests flagrant, insolent audacity: a brazen impostor; brazen arrogance.
- Barefaced specifies undisguised brazenness: a barefaced hypocrite; a barefaced lie.
- Brash stresses impetuousness, lack of tact, and often crass indifference to consequences or to considerations of decency: a brash newcomer; brash demands.
- Impudent suggests offensive boldness or effrontery: an impudent student; an impudent misrepresentation.
- Unblushing implies an inappropriate lack of shame or embarrassment: an unblushing apologist; unblushing obsequiousness.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shameless

Mikhail Kropotov
Russian Federation
Local time: 08:15
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 480
Grading comment
Thank you for all the options. I think I've completed my negative proof that no exact, one-applicable translation for the word exists in English. The different synonyms and the explanations are great, though :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Svetlana Potton
37 mins
  -> Thank you!

agree  xxxJoeYeckley: It depends on the context. The adjective that fits for a politician will be different from what you would apply to an athlete or scientist.
42 mins
  -> Thank you for that comment, I fully agree!

agree  Alexander Demyanov
4 hrs
  -> THANKS

agree  Rusinterp
5 hrs
  -> Thank you.
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
бессовестный
Unconscionable


Explanation:
1. Beyond all reason: obscene, outrageous, preposterous, ridiculous, shocking, unreasonable. Idioms: out of bounds, out of sight. See USUAL. 2. Vastly exceeding a normal limit, as in cost: sky-high, steep1, stiff, stratospheric. See BIG, USUAL. 3. Lacking scruples or principles: conscienceless, ruthless, unethical, unprincipled, unscrupulous. See HONEST.


    Reference: http://www.hyperdictionary.com/dictionary/unconscionable
    Reference: http://www.bartleby.com/62/62/U1596200.html
Kurt Porter
Local time: 10:15
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 42

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  David Knowles: While no one word will do in all contexts, I think this is the best single translation.
19 mins
  -> Thank you, David.

agree  GaryG
2 hrs
  -> Gary, thank you.

neutral  Alexander Demyanov: These don't work for "the tone of disgust " I've heard the exact expression (w/"got") in movies often enough to rebuff your "correct/incorrect" notion. If it's the way ppl choose to express themselves, it's legit
3 hrs
  -> Native speakers of English don't use this word to sugarcoat how they're feeling when they use it. The tone is reflected in English. Also, I wouldn't use "Have you got no shame?" "Have you no shame?" is correct.

agree  Kevin Kelly: I'm with David. Alexander, some people say "Ain't you got no shame?" The issue is not legimitacy, it's which form is preferable in a given context. As for me, "ain't ain't a word, and I ain't gonna use it."
18 hrs
  -> Thank you Kevin! I know, I'm unconscionable, and I have no shame! :) :) :)
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