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А и Б сидели на трубе... Options
Colesnicov Alexander
Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2014 6:39:26 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 1/2/2014
Posts: 1
Neurons: 5
Asking for opinion of native English speakers...

My translation of an old Russian puzzle:

А и Б сидели на трубе.
А упало, Б пропало.
Что осталось на трубе?
(Ответ: "и")

A and B sat in the tree.
A had fallen, B was stolen.
What's remaining in the tree?
(Reply: "And", because "A, 'And', B sat in the tree...")

After this, your opponent is asked to guess the second variant:

А и Б сидели на трубе.
А уехал за границу,
Б заболел и лёг в больницу.
Что осталось на трубе?
(Ответ: ничего)

A and B sat in the tree.
A had fallen to the ground,
B became mad and runs around.
What's remaining in the tree?
(Reply: nothing, because: "A had fallen to the ground"; "B became mad and runs around"; "'And' runs around".)
r0lphin
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2015 11:35:50 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 1/20/2015
Posts: 1
Neurons: 42,261
Maybe "A, And, B sat in..."?
tunaafi
Posted: Wednesday, January 21, 2015 2:07:36 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/3/2014
Posts: 4,453
Neurons: 53,503
Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
The first verse is fine.

I'd change the third line of the second verse to "A went mad, and ran around."

I think rhythm, tense and sense work better.

Helenej
Posted: Thursday, January 22, 2015 2:44:02 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/24/2013
Posts: 1,959
Neurons: 9,761
Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
Colesnicov Alexander wrote:

A and B sat in the tree.
A had fallen, B was stolen.
What's remaining in the tree?

tunaafi wrote:

The first verse is fine.

Is it, Tunaafi? Or maybe I don't know the past perfect well enough...

The sequence of events in the Russian riddle is the following.

A and B were sitting in the tree. Then A fell off and B got lost. Who is sitting in the tree now? The answer is: none.

In Colesnicov Alexander's translation the sequence of events seems to be different.

A fell off the tree. Then A and B were sitting in the tree. Then B was stolen. Who is sitting in the tree now? The answer should be: A.

Am I wrong interpeting the past perfect here?

tunaafi
Posted: Friday, January 23, 2015 6:39:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/3/2014
Posts: 4,453
Neurons: 53,503
Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
Helenej wrote:
tunaafi wrote:

The first verse is fine.

Is it, Tunaafi? Or maybe I don't know the past perfect well enough...

The sequence of events in the Russian riddle is the following.

A and B were sitting in the tree. Then A fell off and B got lost. Who is sitting in the tree now? The answer is: none.

In Colesnicov Alexander's translation the sequence of events seems to be different.

A fell off the tree. Then A and B were sitting in the tree. Then B was stolen. Who is sitting in the tree now? The answer should be: A.

Am I wrong interpeting the past perfect here?



I was looking at CA's version of the first verse simply as a riddle in verse. It seemed to work on that basis. You are right - the tenses don't stand up to close scrutiny, but that didn't worry me originally. Now that you have pointed out the problem with the tenses, it doesn't work for me any more.

There is a similar tense problem in the second verse (plus my slip in writing A when it should have been B).

My apologies. It was not one of my better days.
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, January 24, 2015 2:18:12 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/24/2013
Posts: 1,959
Neurons: 9,761
Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
Thank you very much, tunaafi.

Believe me, I didn't mean finding faults. I was just worried about my understanding of the past perfect.
What a relief!
tunaafi
Posted: Saturday, January 24, 2015 8:27:56 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/3/2014
Posts: 4,453
Neurons: 53,503
Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
Helenej wrote:
Believe me, I didn't mean finding faults.


Don't worry about that. If I make a mistake, it needs to be pointed out. If it's not a mistake, it needs to be clarified. In this case, it was, without any doubt at all, a mistake.
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, January 24, 2015 8:38:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/24/2013
Posts: 1,959
Neurons: 9,761
Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
Thank you.
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