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уход за флажки

English translation: crossing the line

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Russian term or phrase:уход за флажки
English translation:crossing the line
Entered by: Andrei B
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14:25 Dec 11, 2010
Russian to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Journalism
Russian term or phrase: уход за флажки
From recent interview with beaten journalist Oleg Kashin... He mentions a recent controversial article published in Kommersant. Interviewer Parfenov responds: Я когда прочитал это интервью, у меня было ощущение, что это "уход за флажки".

[In context:
- Смотрите, лет 6-7 назад, наверное, на то, что сейчас занимает то место, которое занимает - антифа, Химкинский лес и так далее, это были нацболы. О них можно было писать совершенно безболезненно и безбоязненно, потому что ты понимал, ты не перешагиваешь какую-то границу. Сейчас ты не меняешься, граница меняется. Стало меньше простора, потому что какие-то вещи, они делаются вне. И то интервью, которое было в "Коммерсанте" летом - анонимного организатора погрома в Химках, оно, в принципе, легко могло выйти лет пять назад в любой газете и никого не удивить. Сейчас оно почему-то многих шокировало. Видимо, просто меняется атмосфера и те вещи, которые раньше считались нормальными, сейчас перестают таковыми быть.

- Я когда прочитал это интервью, у меня было ощущение, что это "уход за флажки".]
jessieb
crossing the line - see explanations
Explanation:
to cross the line = to change from being acceptable to being unacceptable; to do something wrong
Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms 2006

This is closest in wording to the Russian idiom
"уходить/уйти за флажки" = break [an] unwritten rule[s], law[s]
which was inspired by the song by Vladimir Vysotsky about wolf hunting, where the narrator is a wolf

Explanation of the idiom:
In a traditional Russian wolf-hunting method, a wolf pack is encircled with a long rope having small swatches of fabric (флажки) stitched to it every few feet
Since it retains a human scent for several days, wolves tend to stay within the encircled area
In effect, the rope is a line the wolves cannot cross
In Vysotsky's song:
"For a wolf cannot break with tradition.
With milk sucked from the she-wolf's dugs
The blind cubs learn the stern prohibition
Never, never to cross the red flags!"
In the end, the wolf is crossing the line both physically and figuratively [ibid.]:
"But revolt and the life-force are stronger
Than the fear that the red flags instil
From behind come dismayed cries of anger
As I cheat them, with joy, of their kill"
(c) Kathryn Hamilton
http://www.wysotsky.com/1033.htm

The meaning is somewhat similar to
to go too far = to do more than is acceptable
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs 2002

However, whereas it is easy to imagine someone "going too far" accidentally, "crossing the line" has a stronger connotation of unwillingness to go by the rules
This is exactly the meaning of the context:
To the author, Kashin's words express an unwillingness to follow rules that have shifted over a period of five years

Thus, the entire sentence can be translated this way:
After I read the interview, I had a feeling it was [about] "crossing the line"
Selected response from:

Andrei B
Local time: 13:04
Grading comment
Thanks Andrei for such a detailed, interesting explanation!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +2crossing the line - see explanationsAndrei B
4(it was) over the top
Judith Hehir
4it just went too far
rns
3far-fetched
Jurate Kazlauskaite


  

Answers


2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
far-fetched


Explanation:
If you think the the meaning is "unbelievable" or "not readily believable".

Example sentence(s):
  • Is it really too far-fetched to suggest that the US government does not want UN arms inspectors back in Iraq?

    Reference: http://www.wordreference.com/definition/farfetched
    Reference: http://examples.yourdictionary.com/far-fetched
Jurate Kazlauskaite
Lithuania
Local time: 12:04
Native speaker of: Native in LithuanianLithuanian
PRO pts in category: 4
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
это "уход за флажки"
it just went too far


Explanation:
 

rns
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
(it was) over the top


Explanation:
variant

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 hrs (2010-12-11 21:18:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

http://www.yourdictionary.com/over-the-top

Judith Hehir
United States
Local time: 05:04
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 19

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Andrei B: What is outrageous, unbelievable, or (most of all) ridiculous in the context that makes the inteview over the top [according to your reference]?
19 hrs
  -> Did you read the other def? "adjective Exceeding the normal bounds" Thank you, Andrei.
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19 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
crossing the line - see explanations


Explanation:
to cross the line = to change from being acceptable to being unacceptable; to do something wrong
Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms 2006

This is closest in wording to the Russian idiom
"уходить/уйти за флажки" = break [an] unwritten rule[s], law[s]
which was inspired by the song by Vladimir Vysotsky about wolf hunting, where the narrator is a wolf

Explanation of the idiom:
In a traditional Russian wolf-hunting method, a wolf pack is encircled with a long rope having small swatches of fabric (флажки) stitched to it every few feet
Since it retains a human scent for several days, wolves tend to stay within the encircled area
In effect, the rope is a line the wolves cannot cross
In Vysotsky's song:
"For a wolf cannot break with tradition.
With milk sucked from the she-wolf's dugs
The blind cubs learn the stern prohibition
Never, never to cross the red flags!"
In the end, the wolf is crossing the line both physically and figuratively [ibid.]:
"But revolt and the life-force are stronger
Than the fear that the red flags instil
From behind come dismayed cries of anger
As I cheat them, with joy, of their kill"
(c) Kathryn Hamilton
http://www.wysotsky.com/1033.htm

The meaning is somewhat similar to
to go too far = to do more than is acceptable
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs 2002

However, whereas it is easy to imagine someone "going too far" accidentally, "crossing the line" has a stronger connotation of unwillingness to go by the rules
This is exactly the meaning of the context:
To the author, Kashin's words express an unwillingness to follow rules that have shifted over a period of five years

Thus, the entire sentence can be translated this way:
After I read the interview, I had a feeling it was [about] "crossing the line"

Andrei B
Local time: 13:04
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thanks Andrei for such a detailed, interesting explanation!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Nik-On/Off
2 hrs
  -> Thanks!

agree  cyhul
1 day 18 hrs
  -> Thanks!
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Changes made by editors
Dec 13, 2010 - Changes made by Andrei B:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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