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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Your Daily Dose of Outrage

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?????????????!: What an outrage!

There are always periods when you turn on the TV or radio in the morning with trepidation, knowing that whatever the news is, it's going to be bad. Weather, election results, demonstrations, fires, hospital reports -- it makes you want to go back to bed and wake up some time in the future, when humanity has come to its collective senses.

Since that's not an option, there's nothing to be done but ???????? ???? ? ???????? (grit your teeth and get through it).

And it's easier to bear if you have a good Russian vocabulary of outrage.

First off you can use a good, strong adverb. ????????????? comes from the verb ????????? (to upset) and is used to describe anything that upsets one's sense of morality, propriety or justice. It is can be translated as scandalous or outrageous, but it may be hard to convey the sense of indignation and righteous anger that the word conveys. ??? ????????????? -- ??? ??, ??? ????????????? ????? ?????????????? ??? ????????! (This is an outage -- as is any persecution of religion.)

Another strong, though more colloquial, word is ??????????, which means something ugly (literally something "without form") and in the figurative sense anything that is out of order or control. It's usually used in cases when there is some violation of rules, be they laws, contracts or moral codes. ??, ??? ??????? ?????????? ? ??????????? ????? -- ??? ?????? ??????????! (What's going on in the armed forces today is simply appalling.)

When you come face to face with something disgraceful or some mess (from a computer program that has gone mad to a social system that is dysfunctional), it's very satisfying to shout, ??? ?? ???????????! (What is this mess?!) Or you can also use the verb ????????? (to be created). When it is used with a noun, it can be quite positive: ?? ????? ????????? ??????. (Miracles happened on stage.) But alone, it has the sense of very nasty doings: ??? ??? ?????????! (What the hell is going on here?!) It's the thing to ask when your children are painting the kitchen cabinets with peanut butter.

Then there are phrases to use when things have gotten out of hand. ???????? ? ?????? ?????? ????? ??-??? ????????. (Driving in Moscow has gotten out of control.) ??? ????? ????????? ????????? ?????? ???????. (The recent announcement is totally out of line, literally "crosses every boundary.") When translating, sometimes you can use a similar English phrase: ?? ???? ??? ??????, ? ? ??? ???????, ??? ??? ??? ????????? ?????? ???????. (When he began to talk back to us, I told him he was out of bounds.) Another way of expressing the notion of totally inappropriate actions or words is with the phrase ?? ????? ?? ? ????? ??????, literally "it can't squeeze through any gates." ??? ?? ? ????? ?????? ????????????????, ?? ? ????? ?????? ????? ?????? ?? ? ????? ?????? ?? ?????. (This is totally inappropriate from the point of view of both professionalism and ethics.)

You can also call something ???????? -- something outrageous that simply "screams out at you." ??? ???? ???????? ??????? ??????????. (That was an egregious example of lawlessness.) Or the phrase ?? ???? ??? ?????????, which refers to anything out of the ordinary, either positive or negative.

When things are truly bad, you can use the word ?????????: literally "without limits" -- any kind of behavior or action that is out of control, out of order, usually against the law and sense of morality. It's a state of lawlessness that verges on a free for all, with everyone doing whatever he or she wants. In translating, sometimes you need to take the high road: ????? ?????????? ????????? ???????????. (We must stop the tax inspectors from acting as if they are above the law.)

But sometimes you need the low road: ?? ?????????? ??????? ????? ?????????! (Moscow highways are just plain nuts!)

Michele A. Berdy is a Moscow-based interpreter and translator.