Artemy Lebedev

§ 128. Paper doesn’t blush

January 29, 2006

Russian publishing house KUDITS-Obraz has translated and published the book by John McWade “Before & After”. The annotation says:

“As this book was written by an American, measurement units may appear unusual, but computer programs will easily convert everything into units you are more comfortable with. The author uses American paper formats that are barely known in this country. However, the described approaches can be easily employed with paper formats generally accepted in Russia.”

The author hasn’t heard about computer programs offering any tools to facilitate the reading of books. If a calculator is meant, let’s call a spade a spade. There’s nothing worse than a book whose translator didn’t take the trouble to convert imperial units into metric ones.

The transport newspaper Eurasia Vesti (whose name alone bears witness to the fact that the editor has been having little success honing his Russian skills) brought out an interview with Director of the Perm Locomotive Repair Works Leonid Dobagov:

“How did your works manage to make so much headway within such a short period of time?”

“The design bureau established in late 1990s has reached the peak of its creative capacity. The results of its activities are pretty convincing: it has created Switch & Crossing Undercutter MKT-1P that will be showed at an exhibition in Kaluga along with UTM-2M and some other track maintenance equipment produced by Remputmash.


“Our enterprise overhauls MPT-4 locomotives; AS-1А.2, AS-1М, ADM railcars; DGKu; carts for UTM-2M machines, RSM. Complete overhaul and renovation account for 71.6 per cent of the enterprise’s output.”

Eurasia Vesti, August 2004

If the interviewer had a stack of product flyers to speak to, it should have been plainly stated. A man of flesh and blood can’t orally produce such a string of markings and indexes.

A printing press spitting out useless paper ought to be supplemented with a shredder. Paper won’t blush still another time.

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