June 5, 2013

Two Russians fighting over a painting make a Dutch woman rich

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 12:20 pm

Auction house Christie’s in London has sold ‘Still Life With Fruit’ by Russian avant-garde artist Ilya Mashkov for an unexpected € 5.5 million euro, a painting owned by an unnamed Dutch woman who bought it for a few thousand guilders back in 1976. In 1913 the painting was adorning Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum as part of an exhibition that also featured Kandinsky and Mondrian.

It is a world record price for the artist, the value of which appears to have been driven up by a bidding war between two Russians. The previous owner bought the work 35 years ago from a Dutch art dealer. She was persuaded to put it up for sale by a Christie’s expert who had valued it for insurance purposes a decade ago and believed the time was right to cash in.

(Link: amsterdamherald.com, Image: Ilya Mashkov by Boris Grigoriev)

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March 14, 2013

24oranges celebrates Russia -The Netherlands 2013

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 12:42 pm

In addition to a year chocked full of serious cultural activities that feature the Russian-Dutch connection, 24oranges proudly presents some articles you might have missed that have a bit of the Russian soul in them as well:

1. ’50 years of human space flight’ out now

Dutch-Canadian writer Steve Korver has this obssession with Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gargarin that will suck you in as well.

2. Russian goes free thanks to Google translation error

It reads like a bad Russian joke and it reminds us all that a real translator beats a human being any day of the week.

3. Dutch Eurovision entry: cultural suicide

Dutch Eurovision’s entry in 2010 was a flop from the get-go and mentioned Leningrad, which was the name of the Russian city of Saint-Petersburg between 1924 and 1991.

4. Hiddink not happy with vodka named after him

We have lots of vodka-related stories, but this one was a good one. Hiddink’s spokesperson said that he never wanted to be associated with tobacco, alcohol or sex, so I guess that means vodka as well.

5. Maybe the Dutch king should have a beard

Once you get past the actual story, there’s a nice educational bit about Peter The Great taxing men with beards and his historical role in changing the Russian alphabet.

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August 18, 2010

Russian goes free thanks to Google translation error

Filed under: Online,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:24 am

A Russian trucker in Dordrecht involved in a bar brawl was released because the summons he received was poorly translated from Dutch into Russian using Google translate. When the trucker was being questioned at the police station, he had a Russian interpreter and claimed to have understood what he had to do, although he never signed the summons.

The Russian interpreter showed up in court, but not the trucker. She was asked to then translate what was written in the summons. Instead of (here I am translating this from Dutch) ‘you are to appear in court on 3 August 2010’, it went more like ‘you have to avoid being in court on 3 August 2010’. In Dutch, ‘vóórkomen’, with the stress on the first syllable, means ‘to appear’, while ‘voorkómen’ means ‘to prevent’.

With Google translate, the Dutch infinitive verb ‘voorkomen’ (no way to indicate which of the two identically spelled verbs you want translated) still today produced the infinitive verb ‘to prevent’ ‘предотвращать’ (imperfective aspect) and not even a hint of the perfective aspect of the same verb, ‘предотвратить’. In any decent dictionary both aspects are given so people can use the right one.

In Russian, if you pronouce the perfective verb ‘to write’ ‘написать’ with the wrong stress, you’re pissing instead of writing, so yes, stress matters.

(Link: depers.nl)

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