Home > fyi > in russia, birthday wishes you!

in russia, birthday wishes you!

My brother Tom sent me a card for my birthday recently. Well, I presumed that it was a birthday card but it was all in Russian so for all I knew it was a lost set of nuclear launch codes from Siberia!

Когда ты улыбаешься,
Становится светлей,
Когда ты появляешься,
Всем сразу веселей!

И просто замечательно,
Что есть на свете ты,
Пускай же обязательно
Исполнятся мечты!

I did take two years of Russian during my misspent college career which sadly has almost entirely rusted away from disuse. Still, I love the sound of spoken Russian and I can still phonetically sound out the words (if you want to try this at home, put some marbles in your mouth to be truly authentic!) :

Cogda tee oolibyeshsya, stanovitsa svetlei,
Cogda tee payavlyaeshsya, fsyem srazoo veselei!

Ee prosto zamechatyelna, shto est na sveteh tee,
Pooskai zhe obyazatyelna eespalyatsya metchtee!

With the help of Wikipedia’s Russian alphabet page I manually copied, letter by letter, the words from the paper card into a text file. Then I tried Google’s online automatic translator:

When you smile, becomes brighten.
When you appear, all at once is more cheerful!
Also it is simply wonderful, that there is on light you.
Start up dreams will necessarily be executed!

So, not Russian launch codes after all :-).  The last line would be more poetically translated as “May all your dreams come true!”, but there is a certain Russian-ness to the way the automatic translator rendered it.

Tom, may all your dreams be necessarily executed too!

Update (2009-10-29) Thanks to commenter Natalia, I finally have a faithful translation, which is nicer and more lovely than Google’s machine translation:

When you smile, everything becomes brighter.
When you appear, everyone is more cheerful!
Also it is simply wonderful, that you exist in this world!
And may all your wishes absolutely become true!!!

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  1. Natalia
    October 29, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Hi, I’m Russian; I read your blog post, and I’d like to make some correction to the translation, if you don’t mind :-)
    When you smile, everything becomes brighter.
    When you appear, everyone is more cheerful!
    Also it is simply wonderful, that you exist in this world!
    And may all your wishes absolutely become true!!!

    Thanks Natalia! It’s great to (finally) have a good translation :-)

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