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ні пуху ні пера!

English translation: Good luck!

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Ukrainian term or phrase:ні пуху ні пера!
English translation:Good luck!
Entered by: Russ
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

07:13 Oct 19, 2002
Ukrainian to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
Ukrainian term or phrase: ні пуху ні пера!
I don``t understand clearly the meaning of this expression, nor the origin.Can you tell me something about it, please?
What is the literal translation and when is it applied? Thanks. Russ
Russ
Local time: 10:34
Good luck! More power to your elbow! (I wish you) god-speed! Success to your effort!
Explanation:
"Ni puha ni pera" is a very idiomatic Russian form of "good luck" that's why, for the translation, I wanted to find English idiomatic forms. Above I give you all the variants I found.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 11:57:47 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This expression originates from the language of hunters. Literally :

\"No down, no feathers\"

Down - means Animals
Feather - means Birds (ducks, tetras, etc)

It is a \"negative form\" of \"good luck\". Its negativity can be explained by usual hunters\' \"euphobia\" : they don\'t want to jinx, to put a whammy (jinx) to the person who go out hunting.

So, the phrase can be also translated as follows:

I would like to wish you good luck but I keep my fingers crossed!
I touch wood in saying \'good luck\" to you!
I knock on wood and wish you good luck!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 12:39:20 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The reply \'k chortu\' (go to devil) has the same hidden meaning - it is a negative form of \'God will bless you\' or \'God will save you\'.

BTW, \'k chortu\' is used not only as reply but also directly, i.e. in the same context as \'ni puha ni pera\', good luck\', \'bonne chance\'.

Today we use the both expressions (\'ni puha ni pera\' and \'k chortu\') as synonyms.

There exists another similar custom in Russia - if you want somebody to be successful you have to damn him.
For example: when a student go to his exam he tells his mother (instead of \'good bye\') :

Please damn me! (\'rugaj menya, mama\')

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 13:11:04 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Dear Asker, above you asked \"when this expression is applied\".
Certainly it is used as \"good luck\", mostly orally, and please note that it is rather familiar. E.g., it can not be used in business letters or official political communications, etc.

Please find below some samples.
The 1st sample was found in the archive of Huntclub, the 2nd - in students\' communications. The 3rd sample is the title of an article, in the journal \"Pravda Severa\".

Здоровья! Ни пуха, ни пера, и красивых выстрелов!
(Из архива конференции \"Охотничье ружье\")
http://www.huntclub.ru/cgi/bbs/guns?r=9699&l=1166

Студентам -отлично сдать сессию,удачи и ни пуха ни пера))
http://619.forumcity.ru/arch.cgi?read=7688

Газета Правда Севера - интернет версия
Ни пуха, ни пера вам. острые перья \"ПС\"!
http://www.pravdasevera.ru/2002/04/20/19.shtml

This 3rd interesting because it uses a play of words (\'ostrye perya\' means \'fine pens\' - it means \'skillful journalists\', but this expression is also idiomatic and uses the word \'pero\' because many yeras ago journalists used goose-quills as pens).
So this phrase wishes \'no feather\' to \'good feathers\'.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 14:05:13 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry for Russian samples in Ukrainian KudoZ. But I have no Ukrainian keyboard here. Will try however to send you some samples in Ukrainian. If they will not be visible or will be distorsed on the screen due to ProZ problems you will at least see the URLs so you will be able to use them:

... нога через сiдло, гельма на голову, завiв мотор, нi пуха нi пера - к чорту
http://jobs.h1.ru/tr_gizycko.htm

... забобонний. ъднак це не заважаÏ йому вдало виступати на змаганн$х i турнiрах. уо ж, нi пуху, нi пера, майстре!
http://www.franko.lviv.ua/publish/kameniar/arhiv/8/inter.htm

....Ъу що ж, $кщо iснуЇ обТЇкт дл$ полюванн$ Ц нi пуху нi пера, громад$ни!
http://proEco.visti.net/naturalist/oracle/verves.htm

... рибалка, тобто ?закудикуватиї; заперечнi формули типу нi пуху, нi пера! (побажанн$ мисливцев=);
http://litopys.narod.ru/ukrmova/um110.htm
Selected response from:

xxxVera Fluhr
Local time: 15:34
Grading comment
Thank you, Vera, for your comments and elucidations, as good as always!! Thank you very much for the useful links!!
you know Ukrainian too, hey, great! I didnґt expect to see you here! By the way, did u find a similar expression in French? How come you know French so well? Incidentally, which is your mother tongue, Russian or French? OK, nice to see ya again! Bye-bye! Adiуs! Nos vemos! Russ

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +6good luck!
Mariana Prokopovych
5 +4good luck!
Vladimir Shapovalov
5 +3break a leg!
Rusinterp
4 +3Good luck! More power to your elbow! (I wish you) god-speed! Success to your effort!xxxVera Fluhr


  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
good luck!


Explanation:
Basically, the expression means "good luck"! Very appropriate to use when wishing good luck to someone going to take an exam or undergo something else which is significant/important.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 08:33:05 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Usually the person to whom \"ні пуху ні пера\" (ни пуха ни пера in Russian) is wished will reply with \"К черту!\"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 08:44:28 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

some relevant info (in Russian) can be found at http://www.gramota.ru/konkurs_itog.html?nn=4

Vladimir Shapovalov
United States
Local time: 06:34
Native speaker of: Native in BulgarianBulgarian, Native in RussianRussian

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

agree  Vladimir Dubisskiy
10 hrs
  -> thank you Vladimir!

agree  Rusinterp
19 hrs
  -> thank you!

agree  Mariana Prokopovych
4 days
  -> thank you Mariana!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +6
good luck!


Explanation:
Literally this expression means "neither down nor feathers" and originates from hunters' slang - a humorous wish "to the contrary" (not to put an evil eye!) to a hunter that goes hunting, say, wild ducks - may he bring no prey from his hunting. The hunter (or the person to whom it is addressed) usually answers "K chortu!" - "Go to devil!" I did not find an exact English match. The paralel Italian expression is "In bocca al lupo! - Crepi!".

Mariana Prokopovych
Ukraine
Local time: 16:34
Native speaker of: Native in UkrainianUkrainian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Olex
9 mins

agree  Vladimir Shapovalov
17 mins

agree  Ludwig Chekhovtsov
4 hrs

agree  Rusinterp
19 hrs

agree  xxxVera Fluhr: I like your Italian sample! Tried to find a same in French but couldn't...
1 day7 hrs

agree  Marichka
102 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Good luck! More power to your elbow! (I wish you) god-speed! Success to your effort!


Explanation:
"Ni puha ni pera" is a very idiomatic Russian form of "good luck" that's why, for the translation, I wanted to find English idiomatic forms. Above I give you all the variants I found.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 11:57:47 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This expression originates from the language of hunters. Literally :

\"No down, no feathers\"

Down - means Animals
Feather - means Birds (ducks, tetras, etc)

It is a \"negative form\" of \"good luck\". Its negativity can be explained by usual hunters\' \"euphobia\" : they don\'t want to jinx, to put a whammy (jinx) to the person who go out hunting.

So, the phrase can be also translated as follows:

I would like to wish you good luck but I keep my fingers crossed!
I touch wood in saying \'good luck\" to you!
I knock on wood and wish you good luck!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 12:39:20 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The reply \'k chortu\' (go to devil) has the same hidden meaning - it is a negative form of \'God will bless you\' or \'God will save you\'.

BTW, \'k chortu\' is used not only as reply but also directly, i.e. in the same context as \'ni puha ni pera\', good luck\', \'bonne chance\'.

Today we use the both expressions (\'ni puha ni pera\' and \'k chortu\') as synonyms.

There exists another similar custom in Russia - if you want somebody to be successful you have to damn him.
For example: when a student go to his exam he tells his mother (instead of \'good bye\') :

Please damn me! (\'rugaj menya, mama\')

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 13:11:04 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Dear Asker, above you asked \"when this expression is applied\".
Certainly it is used as \"good luck\", mostly orally, and please note that it is rather familiar. E.g., it can not be used in business letters or official political communications, etc.

Please find below some samples.
The 1st sample was found in the archive of Huntclub, the 2nd - in students\' communications. The 3rd sample is the title of an article, in the journal \"Pravda Severa\".

Здоровья! Ни пуха, ни пера, и красивых выстрелов!
(Из архива конференции \"Охотничье ружье\")
http://www.huntclub.ru/cgi/bbs/guns?r=9699&l=1166

Студентам -отлично сдать сессию,удачи и ни пуха ни пера))
http://619.forumcity.ru/arch.cgi?read=7688

Газета Правда Севера - интернет версия
Ни пуха, ни пера вам. острые перья \"ПС\"!
http://www.pravdasevera.ru/2002/04/20/19.shtml

This 3rd interesting because it uses a play of words (\'ostrye perya\' means \'fine pens\' - it means \'skillful journalists\', but this expression is also idiomatic and uses the word \'pero\' because many yeras ago journalists used goose-quills as pens).
So this phrase wishes \'no feather\' to \'good feathers\'.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-19 14:05:13 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry for Russian samples in Ukrainian KudoZ. But I have no Ukrainian keyboard here. Will try however to send you some samples in Ukrainian. If they will not be visible or will be distorsed on the screen due to ProZ problems you will at least see the URLs so you will be able to use them:

... нога через сiдло, гельма на голову, завiв мотор, нi пуха нi пера - к чорту
http://jobs.h1.ru/tr_gizycko.htm

... забобонний. ъднак це не заважаÏ йому вдало виступати на змаганн$х i турнiрах. уо ж, нi пуху, нi пера, майстре!
http://www.franko.lviv.ua/publish/kameniar/arhiv/8/inter.htm

....Ъу що ж, $кщо iснуЇ обТЇкт дл$ полюванн$ Ц нi пуху нi пера, громад$ни!
http://proEco.visti.net/naturalist/oracle/verves.htm

... рибалка, тобто ?закудикуватиї; заперечнi формули типу нi пуху, нi пера! (побажанн$ мисливцев=);
http://litopys.narod.ru/ukrmova/um110.htm

xxxVera Fluhr
Local time: 15:34
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 20
Grading comment
Thank you, Vera, for your comments and elucidations, as good as always!! Thank you very much for the useful links!!
you know Ukrainian too, hey, great! I didnґt expect to see you here! By the way, did u find a similar expression in French? How come you know French so well? Incidentally, which is your mother tongue, Russian or French? OK, nice to see ya again! Bye-bye! Adiуs! Nos vemos! Russ

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ludwig Chekhovtsov
1 hr
  -> Thank you, Ludwig

agree  Nik-On/Off: a good job done, as usual
1 day3 hrs
  -> Thank you, Nikon

agree  Mariana Prokopovych
4 days
  -> Thank you, Mariana
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

21 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
break a leg!


Explanation:
This is the equivalent English idiom, and it originates from the slang of English actors, who would wish each other the same type of "luck to the contrary", so as to prevent the evil eye.

Rusinterp
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Mariana Prokopovych
10 hrs
  -> Thank you

agree  beserg: that's my personal favourite too.
1 day2 hrs

agree  Yelena.
71 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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