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Thread: How to read and use Russian doll websites

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    How to read and use Russian doll websites

    Here's a collection of links and tips for people (like me!) who can't understand Russian, but who still want to know what Marina and her Russian fans are talking about.

    Online translators (for general use)

    Two online tools, Google Translate and Yahoo Babel Fish, are able to "machine translate" either short texts or entire web pages into many languages. However, both of them often give strange and highly imperfect don't expect the same quality as a human translation!

    In my experience, Google Translate is usually better overall. But sometimes it helps to try both.

    Here are a few direct links to each translation tool:
    Google Translate: Russian to English

    Google Translate: English to Russian

    Google Translate for different language combinations

    Yahoo Babel Fish for different language combinations, including ru–en and en–ru

    (Below, there's also a simple tutorial about using Google Translate, plus a few other computer translation tips for you.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Using specific Russian websites

    Reading the DollPlanet forum thread

    One forum thread at (a large and popular Russian doll portal) is dedicated to Enchanted Dolls. Marina herself often visits that thread and comments in it (as Марина Бычкова); "our" elcatka is one of the thread's moderators (as elcato); and several other wonderful Enchanted forum members also post there, too.

    Here are two English-translated versions of that thread:
    the Enchanted Doll thread (Google Translate)

    the Enchanted Doll thread (Yahoo Babel Fish)
    ...but please note: those links will only bring you to the start of the thread. To read the newest comments there, you'll have to click ahead to the last page:

    Posting in the DollPlanet forum thread

    If you want to participate in the Enchanted Doll thread at, you'll have to register at that forum first. To do that:

    Registration Step 1:

    Visit this translated registration page, and click "I agree with these terms and conditions" at the bottom. Once you do that, the next page that you see...will be in Russian. :eek:

    Registration Step 2:

    On that second page, scroll down to the Язык (Language) field and choose British English...
    ...and then without changing anything else on that page, scroll down to the bottom and click the Отправить (Submit) button:
    Once you do that, this second page will reload...but now in English.

    Registration Step 3:

    And now that you can read that page, you can complete the rest of the registration yourself.


    Once you're registered at [see above], you'll be able to post there, just like you do here. Of course, it's a Russian-language forum, so you'll have to translate your comment(s) into Russian first!

    The translation-tool links I've provided at the top of this thread should help you do that! But here are a few extra tips:
    • "Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation for the highest quality translations. Additionally, avoid slang and use short, clear sentences."
      (This suggestion comes directly from Babel Fish...but it's equally good advice when you're using Google Translate, too!)

    • Computers often have trouble translating pronouns (For example, "she" can become "it"), so consider using full names and nouns wherever you can.

    • If you have the time and patience: translate your comment into Russian, translate the result back into English (or another language that you understand), and read that "double translation." It will almost always be a little strange...but if it makes no sense whatsoever, try rewriting it!

    Reading the dDoll blog is essentially a community weblog for doll enthusiasts...and "our" elcatka (as Cinnamon, in this case!) sometimes posts about Enchanted Dolls there.

    Here are two different English-translated "tag collections" from this site:
    all posts tagged with "Enchanted Doll" (Google Translate)
    ...or, for slightly different results:
    all posts tagged with "Marina Bychkova" (Google Translate)
    (Note: Babel Fish butchers this site, which is why I'm only providing Google-translated links.)

    ...And what about posting at In a word: Don't! The site's rules appear to discourage "mangled language" posts (e.g., by non-native speakers using machine translation).

    Other notable Russian sites...

    If you know of another Russian-language website that has regularly updated content about Enchanted Dolls, and that will be of interest to the English-language readers here in the long term, ...then please contact me so I can add it here.

    However, this page is NOT going to be used as a warehouse for every last Russian website that mentions Enchanted Dolls! So, if you instead have a Russian-language link that is only of short-term interest - like an interview, a review, or information about one specific exhibit - then use a separate thread for it instead (in the appropriate section, of course!). For tips on how to properly share a non-English website here on the forum, please read the next post.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Sharing non-English sites on the forum

    The Enchanted forum is an English-language forum, so if you want to share a non-English website here, please link to an English-translated version of it. You can use the translation tools here to make that translated link.

    For example:

    Imagine that you want to share the following Russian-language web page here on the forum:
    To do that:
    1. visit Google Translate and choose: From Russian, To English;
    2. paste in (or type in) the URL of the web page;
    3. and then click the link that appears on the right.

    Click here to see this in action!
    ...And then you can share that newly translated page, in the same way that you would share any other URL here. Here's one possibility:

    ~ ~ ~

    (The other option is to use Yahoo Babel Fish instead of Google Translate.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Other translation tips

    Automatic translation:

    If you use Google Chrome as your browser, it can automatically translate web pages for you (using Google Translate). See here for details.

    Or...if you use either Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer as your browser, you can install the Google Toolbar to provide you the same automatic translation that Google Chrome has.

    "Quick and dirty" translation:

    To translate words and short phrases, you can type your query as a simple Google search:

    Finessing a Google translation (Advanced):

    If you're using the Google Translate page and something looks especially strange or wrong, you can click on any translated word to see a list of possible alternatives:
    ...And similarly, you can also shift-click and drag words and phrases in the translation to change their order.

    When used in combination with some basic pronoun fixing, this sort of "finessing" can change a phrase like this – "Можно сделать, как в начале карьеры сделала Марина:" – from a very strange computer translation:
    "Can be done as early in his career made the Marina:"
    into a far more understandable one:
    "It can be done as Marina did early in her career:"
    (Of course, this can be time-consuming – so it's usually only worth doing in special cases.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    ...Do you have any other "FAQ-like" info to add here?

    Please let me know. Thanks!

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