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"Reset" Translation Error - The School of Russian and Asian Studies

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Image of the Month Series
Produced by:
The School of Russian and
Asian Studies SRAS.org
Resources on Russia
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Challenge Yourself - Study Abroad!
SRAS.org
Pereza… Что?
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gifted this “reset button” to Russia's
foreign minister Sergei Lavrov as a symbolic resetting of US-Russia relations.
However, one can immediately notice that the Russian phrase “перегрузка,”
for some reason, has been written with the English alphabet. One might also
note that “перегрузка” does not mean “reset” in Russian.
“Перегрузка” means “to overcharge” (a battery or a customer) or “to overload” (a truck or a system). The word
that the State Department meant to write is “перезагрузка,” which actually means “to reset” or “to reload” (a
computer program). Lavrov joked that the button represented the “overload” of issues that the US-Russian
relationship is currently burdened with. Some commentators, however, were not as forgiving, such as a reporter
on Russia’s 24-hour news channel, Vesti, who reported that the mistake shows that the Russian and US sides are
still a long way from understanding each other.
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Photo by Reuters Pictures. The website http://www.alphadictionary.com/ was used as a source in creating the text below.
SRAS has lots more material for those learning Russian and about Russia! See www.sras.org
Uses of «пере-»
The verbal prefix “pere” has several meanings. It can mean “over,” or “across.” It can denote the completion of
an action for a second time (i.e. to “re”-do something, such as «перезагрузить» - to reset/reboot). Last, it can,
when used with non-motional verbs, metaphorically denote excess. Here are some examples:
Мы переидём через улицу и увидим большую надпись: «Добро пожаловать в Москву». We will cross the
street and see the large sign “Welcome to Moscow.”
Мы как-нибудь переживём это. We will live through this somehow.
Он перечитал заметку еще раз, но всё равно не понял. He reread the note again, but all the same he didn’t
understand.
Что делатъ, чтобы не переедать? What can you do to not overeat?
Пригласите его зайти к нам и обо всем переговорить. Ask him to stop over and we'll talk everything over.
Тest yourself!
Read the sentences and fill in the missing blanks using the new vocab list at the bottom of the ехcersize (don't
forgot to conjugate the verbs!). Translate the sentences into English.
1. Он_____________________на сторону добра.
2. Дикие звери_____________________места свои, то есть сменят места обитания
3. Я_____________________библиотеку в спортзал.
4. Никто из обычных людей не может_____________________через эту стену.
5. Все девочки_____________________озеро, кроме двоих.
6. Она_____________________волосы, то стала на мышь похожа.
7. Тебе нужно лишь указать номер телефона, на который ты хочешь_____________________звонки.
8. Конкурент не может_____________________мне цену.
New vocabulary:
Перебить цену – to outbid
Переменить – to shift, alter, vary
Перейти – to cross over (can be in the metaphorical sense)
Переадресовать – to forward, readdress
Переделать – reajust, redo, remake, remodel
Перелезть – to climb over
Перекрасить – to recolor, repaint
Переплыть – to swim over, across
For the answers, check the bottom of this web page: SRAS.org/image_of_month
Critical Thinking
Imagine that you are an American reporter attending a news conference at which the Russian Foreign Minister
has given the US Secretary of State a symbolic button labeled "оверлоад."
1. Write a one page newspaper article about the incident and its significance.
2. Try to capture your arguments in a shorter piece (1-2 paragraphs) written in Russian.
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