The Tale of Igor's Campaign (Сказание про Игорев поход, 1972) by Nina Vasilenko

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The Tale of Igor's Campaign
The Lay of the Warfare Waged by Igor
Сказание про Игорев поход
Skazaniye pro Igorev pohod (ru)
Cuộc viễn chinh Ihor (vi)

Year 1972
Director(s) Vasilenko Nina
Studio(s) Kievnauchfilm
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) History
Literature (Rus./East Slavic)
War & battles
Animation Type(s)  Cutout
Drawn (cel)
Length 00:24:55
Wordiness 11.24 profile Ru, En
406 visitors

Skazaniye pro Igorev
Date: November 23 2022 19:20:42
Language: English
Quality: good
Upload notes: 204 characters long (view)
Creator(s): Irina Petrova, Chapaev, Eus, Niffiwan

Skazaniye pro Igorev
Date: October 03 2022 08:17:28
Language: Russian
Quality: unknown
Upload notes: 99 characters long (view)
Creator(s): Chapaev, Eus, Niffiwan

Skazaniye pro Igorev
Date: May 12 2023 01:59:49
Language: Vietnamese
Quality: unknown
Upload notes: 2430 characters long (view)
Creator(s): Cynir

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An adaptation of the 12th century Old East Slavic epic poem about a failed raid of Igor Svyatoslavich (d. 1202) against the Polovtsians of the Don River region.

An English translation of the original poem can be read here (the same as the one in the subtitles).

The Lay is one of the only secular literary documents that survive from that early period of Russian history. Generally considered to be a masterful example of epic poetry, it describes the unfortunate tale of how the princes of northern Rus, led by Igor, decided to go on a war for glory, land and slaves against the (Turkic nomadic) Polovtsians during a time of peace between the two peoples, were defeated badly in battle, and in turn provoked a major raid of the Polovtsians into Rus.

1972 - Nyon, Switzerland - 5th Documentary and Short Film Festival - Special Jury Prize




This is an excellent work of Ukrainian cinema what based on the traditional art of lacquer. The English translation has some typographical and time errors, it should be very fixed. In Vietnamese alone, there are three translations, but the quality is poor because the translators lack cultural connotations. So I have to edit it !

Replies: >>2


>The English translation has some typographical and time errors, it should be very fixed.
Do you mean the very latest subtitles? I fixed a whole bunch of typographical and timing errors last autumn - please tell me where you see any left and I'll correct them.
It is indeed difficult to have the context for a document from over 800 years ago. I think the English translation does a pretty good job, all things considered. What are some errors you had to fix in the Vietnamese ones?

As far as the film goes, I mostly like it but I think that the decision to show events (and read the text) out of order was a mistake.

Replies: >>3


Hanoi is unusually cold in the middle of summer, so I have many opportunities to translate some difficult documents like this, but I did not expect it to take three days to complete. I also found you an English text, but it still does not seem to match the text you provided. Here, I was just changing "Russia" to "Rus" and related adjectives, mostly just about timing (my experience is, each sentence should be spaced at least 100 seconds - if we are lazy, otherwise 500 is best ; in your translation and Uncle Eus there are some jumbled lines on the screen). Funny saying that, Ukrainian persons would probably be very upset if they read your translation with Russian-style places. :D Our Vietnamese language has undergone colonization, so today we can write foreign nouns according to foreign standards without needing separate ones like Russian, English and Chinese. Also, there seems to be a sentence that still has the word "daleko" (far), but I have not found it yet, maybe you should check it again.

Replies: >>4


>Funny saying that, Ukrainian persons would probably be very upset if they read your translation with Russian-style places.

The translation isn't mine - it was done in 1981 and I link to the source in the description. I don't generally like to change another professional translator's word choices (particularly if it would cause a change in the number of syllables or the word endings) unless I have a good reason, and you have to do it carefully. It can cause all kinds of literary side effects.

Also, I haven't checked all of them, but the two other English translations I've looked at (by Vladimir Nabokov and Leonard Magnus) also use "Russia". Maybe the avoidance of "Russia" in English before a certain time period is a newer trend that wasn't around when those translations were done? I'm not really sure.

Replies: >>5


I do not know about English versions. However, the issue of place names is perfectly acceptable in a modern context, for example : Please "russia" must be replaced with "rusi". Personally, I figured that this film was produced by Ukrainian ones, so it's in Ukrainian texts, and the Russians will, of course, use their style. Actually, since I am Vietnamese, in case I use Chinese transliteration, it is still correct.

Replies: >>6


>"russia" must be replaced with "rusi".
Yes, I saw that in your edited subtitles you replaced "Russians" with "Rusians" and "the Russian land" with "Rusland".
The problem with "Rusland" is that I haven't seen it used in English - it simply seems to be the modern Dutch-language name for "Russia". I guess it's useful for those who simply don't like looking at the word "Russia", though, and choose to associate it only with the modern state, so we could have that as an option.

I looked this up a bit, and it seems that back then, they used either a single "S" or a double "S" in spelling it, and
the double "S" only became standard in Peter the Great's time, probably due to German/Dutch influence. For example, see this analysis of the 1377 Laurentian Codex:

"Руская земля" (л.1 об.)
"море Руское" (л.3 об.)
"рускаго князя" (л.6 об.)
"людье рустии" (л.11 об.)
"Русьскую землю" (л.50 об.)
"самовластец Русьстей земли" (л.51)
"князь русьскый" (л.54 об.)
"земле Русьстей" (л.58)
"русьскым именемь" (л.78)
"землю Русскую" (л.101 об.)
"князи русские" (л.103 об.)
"Русскую землю" (л.169)

A single member of the ethnos was "русин" (in "modern" Russian, this word can still be encountered in the context of old bylinas (about bogatyrs such as Dobrynya, Alyosha, etc.) that use older language, and it is still used by the so-called Rusyn people of Central Europe). The whole group was "русь" (rus'), and one of the names for the land was "русь-ск-ая земля" (rus'-sian land). Logically (if you analyze the grammar), that seems to be the original form, which was then shortened to either "русская"/russian (dropping the soft sign) or even further to just "руская"/rusian (as in modern Ukrainian). But the point is that all of these, back then, referred to the same thing and were interchangeably used - the differences were due to different grammatical tenses or lazy spelling, as in the examples above. Much, much later, different spellings became standard in different places, but the actual name (as it sounds when spoken) never seems to have changed.

I think this may also have been the perspective of the earlier English translators who decided to use that spelling.

>Personally, I figured that this film was produced by Ukrainian ones, so it's in Ukrainian texts, and the Russians will, of course, use their style.
Well... Vladimir Nabokov and Leonard Magnus published for Western editors. I also don't know if there is a distinction between "Rusian" and "Russian" in Ukrainian... if the standard way in Ukrainian to spell "Russian" now is with one "s", then how is it possible to differentiate between "Rusians" and "Russians"? Isn't that precisely why they call Russians "Muscovites" instead?

But like I said, I'm fine with having two versions...



Maybe it is not that bad ! In Vietnam, we are often taught that, "Russia" means "Eastern Rus", so it is absurd to use "Russia" in the context of the 12th century.

Replies: >>8


>In Vietnam, we are often taught that, "Russia" means "Eastern Rus", so it is absurd to use "Russia" in the context of the 12th century.
Well, "Russia" has meant different things at different times and places. So whether it is absurd or not depends on which meaning you're using...
Until WW1, and often even after, the discourse in Russian and English imperial capitals and academic centres was that "Russians" are what are called "Eastern Slavs" today, and could further be split into "Great Russians" (Velikorossy), who mainly live in what's now known as Russia, "Little Russians" (Malorossy) who mainly live in what's now known as Ukraine, and "White Russians" (Belorossy) who mainly live in what's now known as Belarus (the country that has kept its name the closest). Kind of like Americans being separated into Yankees, Dixielanders, Appalachians, etc, but with a longer history and more language/dialect divergence.
As a result of WW1, due to both external (Germans conquering and ruling much of the Western Russian Empire for some years) and internal (communists coming to power) forces, the names shifted. But not everybody used the changed terms or was even aware of what this shift of terminology meant or why it was done.

I'm not quite sure, but I have this impression that in the medieval era, and also in the Imperial era until WW1, if you'd asked most people in any of those three regions what they were, they would have said "I'm Russian", and if you asked them to specify further, they would have said "I'm Great Russian" or "I'm Little Russian" or "I'm White Russian". After WW1, the "Great Russians" kept answering "I'm Russian" but the others were encouraged to not answer that way any more, and their native language/dialect variations were heavily promoted by the state (for various reasons, such as wanting the Soviet state to be more multicultural).

Perhaps if the capital of the East Slavs had stayed in Kiev/Kyiv, the locals would have gained more territory than they ended up having and been proudly calling THEMSELVES the "Great Russians" and eventually simply "Russians", while the people living in Moscow might've been encouraged to call themselves Novgorodians or Pomorians or something, and speaking Novgorodian or Pomorian which honest-to-goodness has nothing to do with "Russian", and is a member of the civilized Scandinavian family of nations... ;)

So eventually, you got the current situation where "Russian" usually means what "Great Russian" used to mean (in English it can also just mean "citizen of Russia", while in Russian that's two different words), and "East Slav" means what "Russian" used to mean.

But the famous 19th century writers are still widely read, so the old meanings are not forgotten either! It causes a lot of misunderstandings, since two people can use the same words and mean very different things by them. If you want to increase the risk of eventual conflict between people, that's a pretty good way to do it...


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