Advanced High/Superior Literal Translation

Watch an excerpt from Oleg Dorman’s talk about his documentary Подстрочник (word-for-word translation). Director Oleg Dorman offers a fascinating glimpse into the process of creating his documentary about Lilianna Lungina and through her, the story of the nation. Lilianna Lungina is an amazing translator from French, German and Swedish (her most notable translation is "Malysh i Karslon"by Astrid Lindgren, but she also translated works by August Strindberg, Boris Vian, Henrik Ibsen and many others) and mother of film director Pavel Lungin. She is also a remarkable raconteur.

It took 12 years to get this documentary on Russian TV. Split into 15 parts and shown over four days in summer of 2009 this TV hit was giving a very high rating on TV channel Kultura, and was the most talked-about documentary in the Russian blogosphere. Lungina tells the stories of her life while effectively not placing herself centrally in the narrative, but reclaiming the Soviet cultural history. The stories she shared with listeners are well structured, follow certain narrative conventions and put viewers right at the table in a traditional Russian "kitchen conversation."

Using this episode you may practice telling stories. Story-telling is not an easy task to master. Listen to how the director is narrating and outline what should be practiced in the classroom – narrative structures, elaboration, and cohesion. Pay attention to skillful uses of lexical choices, figurative language, epithets, reported speech, imagery, and descriptive details. Make a list of evaluation and elaboration strategies. Find in his monologue narrative linguistic markers of particular narrative structures such as description, narration, expression of beliefs and opinions, hypothesizing, explanation, and argumentation.