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Monday, January 04, 2010

Putin (Cartoon Character): ‘Unruly Yushchendogs’

On Russia’s #1 channel. On New Year’s Eve.

This time, Kyiv, we request
That you pay us cash for gas
Not those tangos-fandangos
And unruly Yushchendogs

That’s as closely as I can poetically translate it.

Ющенками (plural declined form) is a portmanteau of Ющенко and щенок (Yushchenko and dog). Literally, щенок means a puppy, but when applied to humans it means a dog.

I first heard this portmanteau during the Orange Revolution, from an elderly Yanukovych supporter who kept screaming “Вы щен-ки! Вы щен-ки!” (“You’re dogs! You’re dogs!”) Vastly outnumbered, she faced a cheering crowd of “Ю-щен-ко! Ю-щен-ко!” (“Yu-shchen-ko! Yu-shchen-ko!”) supporters.

And guess what? Nobody laid a finger on her. Nobody swore at her. Meanwhile, Yanukovych would call Yushchenko supporters “kozly” (“jerks”) and “Orange rats.”

He wouldn’t apologize until the Orange Revolution hit him hard. When he did apologize, he justified himself with a neo-Biblical interpretation of the word kozly (literally, goats) as meaning traitors.

The integrity of his Orange rat exegesis rivaled Tymoshenko’s exegesis of Putin’s jokes and her joyful reaction to them.

I digress. I wonder if Medvedev-Putin cartoon made Tymoshenko laugh again. Or how about this one?

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Anonymous said...

Hey Taras, would you be willing to translate the entire Putin and Medvedev cartoon? I am learning to speak Russian and unfortunately cannot understand the whole thing yet...

Taras said...

You’re learning a difficult language, Natlie:)!

I took the time to translate the Yushchendog part because it shows how Russia routinely treats Ukraine with chauvinistic disdain.

It’s hard and time-consuming for native speakers of Slavic languages to translate poetry into foreign languages. It would take me hours, if not days, to translate the entire cartoon.