May I ask what this sentence means? It's not any Russian expression as far as I know. :/
True, it's not. But the English sentence is a reference to a relatively well-known stand-up routine by Eddie Izzard. He was poking fun at how the Church of England epitomises the British social anxiety and self-consciousness when compared to how the Spanish Inquisition handled its interrogations.
'"Cake or death?" That's a pretty easy question. Anyone could answer that.
"Cake or death?"
"Eh, cake please."
"Very well! Give him cake!"
"Oh, thanks very much. It's very nice."
"You! Cake or death?"
“Uh, cake for me, too, please."
"Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?"
"Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry..."
"You said death first, uh-uh, death first!"
"Well, I meant cake!"
"Oh, all right. You're lucky I'm Church of England!"'
Here's the video of the thingy - have a look, it's brilliant.
I understand English but I did not understand your explanation at all. Can you please explain everything assuming I have no knowledge of History at all?
I could try, but ultimately Izzard's entire set ('Dress to Kill'), where this routine comes from, is like a history/culture tour given by a person who knows nothing of history - so my attempts at explaining the undercurrents of his humour might very well confuse you even more. So, with that said.
Basically, the premise is this. When a church is interrogating you, they want you to submit to one of their core beliefs under the threat of death. Which means that e.g. the Spanish Inquisition would usually give you two equally unwelcome alternatives: abandon your faith in Odin or die. That sort of thing.
And then Izzard postulates that the same would not work in the Church of England because its core beliefs are the core beliefs of every Englishman. That is, when in doubt, you have to have some tea. Eat some cake while you're at it. Everything else, like believing in the right god, withholding from witchcraft, etc. is unnecessary. Meaning, if the Church of England was to suspect you of heresy or something similar, they'd bring you in for interrogation and demand that you either have some cake or you die.
I think that's because of the : there... Not sure though because in my native language, it should be lower case after :. I wouldn't expect it to be different in English, but who knows...
Shouldnt be capitalized in English unkess after a period. Hiwever you better capialize it ir the owl will eat you.
Does должы agree with the subject or the object? I don't really understand how this verb works.
The hints gave it away, the comments answered it. How awesome us that! I luvit!
This is kind of silly for non British people who've never heard of Eddie Izzard. I had to listen to it on slow a couple times to verify for sure if it was even saying cake. I went with it, but fully expected it to be wrong. I guess now I can be sure this is app is made by Brits and will temper my future answers accordingly. Colloquial terms such as these should be left out in my opinion. But whatever.
Not ALL Brits even knew it. I know who Eddie Izzard is, but had never heard this particular sketch. Although I think it's quite an amusing sentence to translate, whether or not you get the reference. I don't see why all practice translations have to be sober and sensible. If they occasionally aren't, it does test whether you are really translating, or just guessing, based on what you expect. As for the app being "made by Brits", I'm quite sure it's not! Far too many questionable English translations still standing (questionable to Brits or Americans) for the whole thing - if any - to have been produced by Brits.
I'm not criticizing the DL team, by the way - I love their work. But often, I'm left thinking: "That's not quite normal English, is it?" - even though it's much better than my Russian!
The DL staff are mostly American engineers, but the people who put the courses together are volunteers. They are usually native speakers living in an English-speaking country. Their 'preferred solutions' are sometimes awkward because they are not native English speakers. We can help make the courses better but submitting "my answer should be accepted" along with a note why, when we see something awkward. Since DL is based in Pittsburg, American English is preferred though of course it is nice to see British variations when they exist. Usually the little spelling variants take the AmE version (e.g. 'color' rather than 'colour.'
My husband helped create this course. At the time, he was the only native English speaker working on it. He's English and I'm American, but we both speak Russian. He often asked me how I'd say something so that he could include both versions. He thought it would be fun to include pop culture references when coming up with sentences. (Also he's not working on the course anymore so please don't contact me with suggestions.)
Hey btw guys, how old are you ? I'm wondering if i'm the youngest here, i'm 15 and have completed the russian skill tree once ! This is my 2nd time