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Exploring the desert: "The Doomed City" » Russian to English

Competition in this pair is now closed, and the winning entry has been announced.

Discussion and feedback about the competition in this language pair may now be provided by visiting the "Discussion & feedback" page for this pair. Entries may also be individually discussed by clicking the "Discuss" link next to any listed entry.
 
 

Source text in Russian

Солнце было в зените. Медный от пыли диск висел в центре белесого, нечистого неба, ублюдочная тень корчилась и топорщилась под самыми подошвами, то серая и размытая, то вдруг словно оживающая, обретающая резкость очертаний, наливающаяся чернотой и тогда особенно уродливая. Никакой дороги здесь и в помине не было -- была бугристая серо-желтая сухая глина, растрескавшаяся, убитая, твердая, как камень, и до того голая, что совершенно не понятно было, откуда здесь берется такая масса пыли.

Ветер, слава богу, дул в спину. Где-то далеко позади он засасывал в себя неисчислимые тонны гнусной раскаленной пороши и с тупым упорством волочил ее вдоль выжженного солнцем выступа, зажатого между пропастью и Желтой стеной, то выбрасывая ее крутящимся протуберанцем до самого неба, то скручивая туго в гибкие, почти кокетливые, лебединые шеи смерчей, то просто катил клубящимся валом, а потом, вдруг остервенев, швырял колючую муку в спины, в волосы, хлестал, зверея, по мокрому от пота затылку, стегал по рукам, по ушам, набивал карманы, сыпал за шиворот…

Ничего здесь не было, давно уже ничего не было. А может быть, и никогда. Солнце, глина, ветер. Только иногда пронесется, крутясь и подпрыгивая кривляющимся скоморохом, колючий скелет куста, выдранного с корнем бог знает где позади. Ни капли воды, никаких признаков жизни. И только пыль, пыль, пыль, пыль…

Время от времени глина под ногами куда-то пропадала, и начиналось сплошное каменное крошево. Здесь все было раскалено, как в аду. То справа, то слева начинали выглядывать из клубов несущейся пыли гигантские обломки скал – седые, словно мукой припорошенные. Ветер и жара придавали им самые странные и неожиданные очертания, и было страшно, что они вот так – то появляются, то вновь исчезают, как призраки, словно играют в свои каменные прятки. А щебень под ногами становился все крупнее, и вдруг россыпь кончалась, и снова под ногами звенела глина.

The winning entry has been announced in this pair.

There were 21 entries submitted in this pair during the submission phase, 7 of which were selected by peers to advance to the finals round. The winning entry was determined based on finals round voting by peers.

Competition in this pair is now closed.


Entries (21 total; 7 finalists) Expand all entries

Filter entries
Language variants:
Entry #18061 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Ella Gokhmark
Ella Gokhmark
Australia
Winner
Voting points1st2nd3rd
10223 x43 x24 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.503.31 (13 ratings)3.69 (13 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 6 users entered 8 "like" tags
  • 4 users agreed with "likes" (5 total agrees)
foul sky
Good term selection
Artem Nedrya
mongrel shadow
Flows well
JuliaC
r feet. At times it
Other
good synta​x
Artem Nedrya
blunt tenacity
Flows well
Natalia Nikitin
+1
sandwiched
Good term selection
Emma Fenwick
+2
1
Only occasionally a prickly skeleton of a bush, ripped out and uprooted god knows how far behind, would shoot past, twisting and jumping like a grimacing clown.
Flows well
Natalia Nikitin
the right and to the left giant rock fragments, grey and powdery as if covered in flour, would peer from within the swarms of dust flying past.
Flows well
Veera Aleksandridis
+2
like ghosts playing their own stone version of hide-and-seek
Flows well
Nadezhda Golubeva
Entry #22201 — Discuss 0 — Variant: British
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
5011 x41 x24 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.133.25 (12 ratings)3.00 (11 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 6 users entered 11 "like" tags
  • 4 users agreed with "likes" (10 total agrees)
+2
Bronzed by the dust, its disk hung in the centre
Flows well
Nadezhda Golubeva
half-hearted
Flows well
Not a 'dir​ect' trans​lation, bu​t highly s​uitable fo​r the over​all feel i​n English.
Natalia Nikitin
cracked, compacted, as hard as stone
Flows well
Concise an​d accurate
Sofia Gutkin
and so bare that it was impossible to understand where such a mass of dust had come from
Flows well
Natalia Nikitin
+2
dragged it with stubborn obstinacy
Flows well
Natalia Nikitin
+1
1
nestled
Good term selection
Emma Fenwick
At times its swirling gusts tossed the dust up to the very sky, and at other times it wound it up tightly to form a flexible, almost coquettish, cyclonic swan’s neck,
Flows well
well said
Elizabeth Kulikov
+2
whipped up into a frenzy
Good term selection
Emma Fenwick
+1
brutally pelting the back of his sweat-drenched neck,
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
+1
the loose shingle
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
+1
his footsteps rang out once again on the clay
Flows well
Ekaterina Vashurina
Entry #22216 — Discuss 0 — Variant: US
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
396 x45 x25 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.203.20 (10 ratings)3.20 (10 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 3 users entered 14 "like" tags
  • 5 users agreed with "likes" (9 total agrees)
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (1 total disagree)
+1
A peculiar shadow writhed and bristled under their shoes, at times grey and washed out, at others suddenly coming to life, acquiring sharp contours,
Flows well
K2tona
and becoming saturated with blackness,
Flows well
K2tona
-1
+3
1
There was no road here at all, nor was there even a trace of one
Flows well
K2tona
denuded
Flows well
K2tona
that it was completely impossible to tell where the mass of dust around them had come from
Flows well
Veera Aleksandridis
of dust around them had come from
Flows well
K2tona
at their backs
Flows well
K2tona
+1
istence had swept them along the sun-burnt ledge, squeezed between the ch
Flows well
TanyaKalitina
It flung its prickly suffering into their backs and hair, lashing them, brutalizing their sweat-soaked napes. It whipped their hands and ears, filling their pockets, pouring into their collars...
Flows well
Veera Aleksandridis
+1
1
give way to a compact gravel.
Flows well
K2tona
+1
1
gigantic fragments of rock, ash-gray as if sprinkled with flour, would peek out of the dust clouds.
Flows well
K2tona
The wind and heat had lent them the strangest and most unexpected shapes, and it was eerie how they would materialize fleetingly only to fade away once again like ghosts, as if playing hide and seek
Flows well
Veera Aleksandridis
+1
1
it was eerie how they would materialize fleetingly only to fade away once again like ghosts, as if playing hide and seek
Flows well
K2tona
+1
begin clomping on clay again
Flows well
K2tona
Entry #22195 — Discuss 0 — Variant: British
Natalia Nikitin
Natalia Nikitin
United Kingdom
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
354 x48 x23 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.152.90 (10 ratings)3.40 (10 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 4 users entered 7 "like" tags
  • 6 users agreed with "likes" (6 total agrees)
coloured copper
Flows well
Anna Shaughnessy
one’s
Good term selection
Anna Shaughnessy
Grey and indistinct, the shadow could suddenly come to life
Flows well
sounds idi​omatic
Artem Nedrya
funnel
Good term selection
Emma Fenwick
+5
swan-necked whirlwinds
Flows well
Emma Fenwick
+1
in a sudden fit of rage,
Flows well
Veera Aleksandridis
once again clay would be ringing underfoot.
Other
Overall ex​cellent tr​anslation
Anna Shaughnessy
Entry #21386 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Sarah McDowell
Sarah McDowell
Russian Federation
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
347 x42 x22 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.373.36 (14 ratings)3.38 (13 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 4 users entered 10 "like" tags
  • 3 users agreed with "likes" (8 total agrees)
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (1 total disagree)
+2
1
The great orb, copper from dust
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
The bastardly shade writhed and bristled
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
-1
1
was quite incomprehensible where such a massive amount of dust was coming from
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
+2
with bullheaded persistence, dragged it along a sun-scorched buttress wedged between an abyss and
Flows well
nice
Elizabeth Kulikov
+1
huge, billowing wave
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
+1
furiously hurled
Good term selection
Natalia Nikitin
+1
nor had there been anything for quite some time.
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
the thorny skeleton of a bush, ripped out at the root from God knows where
Flows well
Good choic​e of words​.
Veera Aleksandridis
Only dust, dust, endless dust
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
+1
the sound of clay once again rang out from under our boots.
Flows well
Natalia Nikitin
Entry #18152 — Discuss 0 — Variant: Not specified
Peter Skipp
Peter Skipp
Bulgaria
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
223 x44 x22 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.123.08 (13 ratings)3.15 (13 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 3 users entered 6 "like" tags
  • 2 users agreed with "likes" (4 total agrees)
diffuse shadow squirming and swelling
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
+2
so barren
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
+1
dragging it with a mindless tenacity across the sunbaked ridge
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
simply rolling it around in billowing swirls before, taken by sudden fury, hurling its prickly flour onto
Flows well
Veera Aleksandridis
the dust clouds would reveal giant fragments of rock
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
+1
give way to new expanses of ringing clay.
Flows well
K2tona
Entry #22222 — Discuss 0 — Variant: UK
Finalist
Voting points1st2nd3rd
559 x47 x25 x1
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.223.08 (13 ratings)3.36 (11 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 6 users entered 11 "like" tags
  • 5 users agreed with "likes" (17 total agrees)
+2
Its copper-coloured disk hung in the middle of the hazy sky
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
hazy sky. A revolting
Other
good clear​ constract​ion
Artem Nedrya
+2
one moment grey and indistinct, then, as if suddenly reviving, more pronounced, darker and therefore particularly ugly
Flows well
Nadezhda Golubeva
+5
There had been no trace of a road, only a lumpy greyish-yellow dried clay surface; cracked, lifeless, stone hard and so bare that it was not clear where such a mass of dust could be coming from
Flows well
Nadezhda Golubeva
+1
The wind, thank God, was blowing from behind
Flows well
sea-n-shells
Somewhere far behind, it would suck up untold masses of hideous hot dust, dragging it with utter stubbornness along the sunburnt prominence squeezed between the precipice and the Yellow Wall.
Flows well
Veera Aleksandridis
+2
rushed past twirling and bouncing like a twisting clown
Flows well
Nadezhda Golubeva
+2
There was neither a drop of water nor evidence of life
Flows well
Nadezhda Golubeva
+1
the clay underfoot would vanish, to be replaced with an expanse of rocky gravel
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
+1
eerily, emerging then vanishing
Flows well
Natalia Nikitin


Non-finalist entries

The following entries were not selected by peers to advance to finals-round voting.

Entry #20329 — Discuss 0 — Variant: British
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry3.003.00 (14 ratings)3.00 (15 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 3 users entered 5 "like" tags
  • 4 users agreed with "likes" (4 total agrees)
floated in the centre of a dirty faded sky
Flows well
Natalia Nikitin
becoming crisp and deeply black,
Flows well
Natalia Nikitin
+1
1
scree
Flows well
K2tona
+1
Everything around them was hellishly hot.
Flows well
Like it.
Natalia Nikitin
+2
it was frightening to watch them appear and disappear, like phantoms, playing a game of hide-and-seek.
Flows well
nice job
Elizabeth Kulikov
Entry #22208 — Discuss 0 — Variant: British
Emma Fenwick
Emma Fenwick
Netherlands
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.902.93 (15 ratings)2.87 (15 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 4 users entered 9 "like" tags
  • 1 user agreed with "likes" (1 total agree)
  • 1 user disagreed with "likes" (2 total disagrees)
-1
1
It was high noon.
Flows well
Valentina Kozyreva
+1
1
adulterated
Good term selection
Ekaterina Vashurina
danced and undulated
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
did it explain how there had come to be such an enormous amount of dust
Other
Fronting i​s an excep​tionally g​ood choice​ to transl​ate this p​art of the​ sentence!
Irina_Smirnova
Somewhere, a long way back
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
blunt perseverance
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
before simply rolling in a billowing wave
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
twirling and jumping like a japing jester
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
-1
1
The wind and the heat lent them the strangest, most unexpected forms
Flows well
Sofia Gutkin
Entry #22114 — Discuss 0 — Variant: US
Rating typeOverallQualityAccuracy
Entry2.842.58 (12 ratings)3.09 (11 ratings)
Entry tagging:
 
 
  • 3 users entered 6 "like" tags
  • 2 users agreed with "likes" (2 total agrees)
mongrel shadow
Flows well
Vika Neborak
filling with darkness
Good term selection
Valentina Kozyreva
+1
absolutely unclear where all this dust was coming from
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
+1
Somewhere far-off behind me it sucked in the incalculable tons of heinous torrid powder and with blunt tenacity swept it along the sun-burnt ledge,
Flows well
The whole ​sentence i​s a job we​ll done!
Valentina Kozyreva
maniacally beating the sweaty back of my head
Good term selection
Sofia Gutkin
making funny faces like a wandering showman
Good term selection
Valentina Kozyreva