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The Translators #1

Hello everyone! Due to the absence of interactive text translation, we have decided to give Greek learners a chance to read and try to understand real Greek texts that appear on magazines, newspapers etc or try to translate English texts to Greek.
So, the rules are:
- We will be posting a text at the start of each month. The text will be of B1 level, written in either Greek or English.
- You read it and post (after putting in some individual effort! :P) your translation.
- Then we view your translation and correct your mistakes (if any!), or answer any questions that you might have. At the end of the month, we post a "suggested" translation and you wait for the next text!

Because it's the first time we are doing this, we would like you to express your thoughts on this attempt e.g. posting frequency (for example if the texts would better be posted more or less frequently), the level of the text to be posted, or anything else that comes in mind.

So, the first text is in Greek and it is a very sweet, summerbreezing text: (you can always translate a part of it if you find it too much, but we don't suggest that!)


Επισκέφθηκα πολλά ελληνικά νησιά ως τώρα στη ζωή μου. Πήγα στις Κυκλάδες, στα Ιόνια, στα Δωδεκάνησα· συνολικά έμεινα, από δύο μέρες μέχρι δύο βδομάδες, σε πάνω από είκοσι πέντε νησιά.
Θα με ρωτήσετε: «Μα τι δουλειά κάνεις και ταξιδεύεις τόσο πολύ;».

Είμαι φωτογράφος. Πηγαίνω σε «αποστολή» να φωτογραφίσω διάφορα μέρη και από όλα αυτά τα μέρη αγάπησα τα ελληνικά νησιά. Κάθε νησί της Ελλάδας είναι διαφορετικό. Μοιάζουν, βέβαια, μεταξύ τους τα νησιά της Δωδεκανήσου, όπως μοιάζουν μεταξύ τους και τα νησιά του Ιονίου Πελάγους. Και πάλι, όμως, το κάθε νησί έχει κάτι το μοναδικό. Το αγαπημένο μου νησί είναι η Σύμη, ένα μικρό νησί δίπλα στη Ρόδο. Η Σύμη είναι σαν να έχει βγει από ταινία. Μου αρέσουν τα χρώματα των σπιτιών, η ηρεμία, οι κάτοικοι που είναι πλέον φίλοι μου.

Και οι Κυκλάδες με εντυπωσιάζουν πολύ, ειδικά τον χειμώνα. Εγώ δεν περνώ τα καλοκαίρια μου σε νησιά και παραλίες. Δεν φωτογραφίζω τα νησιά το καλοκαίρι, αλλά τον χειμώνα. Τότε είναι ήσυχα και μπορώ πιο εύκολα να φωτογραφίσω τα τοπία. Διαλέγω, βέβαια, μέρες με ήλιο, για να έχει φως. Κάποιος που βλέπει μια φωτογραφία μου δεν ενδιαφέρεται αν την έβγαλα χειμώνα ή καλοκαίρι. Βλέπει το τοπίο, το νησί, τη θάλασσα. Έτσι εγώ δουλεύω τους χειμώνες.

Πηγαίνω στις παραλίες, περιμένω την κατάλληλη στιγμή και βγάζω τις φωτογραφίες μου. Μου αρέσει να είναι η θάλασσα ήρεμη, να μην έχει κύματα. Τους χειμώνες, όμως, και ειδικά στις Κυκλάδες, έχει πολύ αέρα. Η άμμος έρχεται επάνω μου, η θάλασσα είναι άγρια και εγώ περιμένω. Επιστρέφω την επόμενη μέρα, για να βγάλω τη φωτογραφία που θέλω. Μια εικόνα που βλέπετε εσείς μπορεί να είναι δουλειά μιας βδομάδας.

Writer: Άννα Κοκκινίδου
Source: http://www.greek-language.gr/certification/dbs/teachers/show.html?id=135

We can't wait to view your translations!
Have a nice August,
The Greek Team

Here is the next post of this series.

August 4, 2017


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OK, first cab off the rank... all done off my own bat; the only words I had to look up were αποστολή and ηρεμία, although I was able to guess the rough meaning of both of them from already knowing αποστολέας and ήρεμος.

I did take a few liberties and there are a few sentences where I thought a literal translation of the Greek didn't sound quite right in English. So some sentences are a bit more interpreted than translated.

With regards to difficulty, I didn't find this too hard, although if I was trying to translate text of similar complexity from English to Greek, I'd have to say that I would have found it a lot more challenging.

Feedback is of course welcome!


During my life, I have visited lots of Greek islands. I have been to the Cyclades, the Ionians, the Dodecanese: all up, I have visited over 25 islands, staying between two days and two weeks.

You might ask me: "What work do you do that allows you to travel so much?"

I am a photographer. I go on assignments to photograph different places and out of everywhere, I love Greek islands the most. Every Greek island is different. Of course, there are similarities between the islands of the Dodecanese and those of the Ionian Sea. However, every island has something unique. My favourite island is Symi, a small island next to Rhodes. Symi is like something from a film. I like the colours of the houses, the serenity, and the residents, who are mostly my friends.

The Cyclades also impress me greatly, especially in the winter. I don't spend my summers on islands and beaches. I don't photograph the islands in the summer, but in the winter. It is quiet then, and I can more easily photograph the landscapes. I choose, of course, days with sun – for the light. Someone who sees a photograph of mine does not care if it was taken in winter or summer. They see the landscape, the island, the sea. Therefore, I work during the winter.

I go to beaches, wait for a suitable moment, and then take my photographs. I like it when the sea is calm, not when it is choppy. Winters, however, especially in the Cyclades, are very windy. The sand blows against me and the sea is wild. I wait. I return the next day to take the photograph that I want. An image that you see could be a whole week's work.


Whoooa, that was fast! You (as you say) did take a few liberties and the result is really good! I just want to point three things (as I don't know if the "misinterpretation" is a result of those liberties or confusion): Διάφορα means "various" and it's different from διαφορετικά=different. Also, πλέον can have the meaning of "most, more" Ο πλέον όμορφος άντρας=The most beautiful man, but in this case it has the meaning of "anymore, any longer, now (on)", so it would be "the residents who are now my friends". Last of all, this symbol (·) is the "upper dot" and has the same usage as (;) in English. Congrats on your translation!!

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Thanks Troll!

  • διάφορα/διαφορετικά = ah, yeah, that's just a mistake on my part
  • πλέον = I did wonder about this as I learned it as 'most' some time ago but I don't think I've ever come across it used in the context of 'now', so that's really good to know. That sentence makes a lot more sense now
  • ; = yes, of course, I really should have twigged that was like putting a question mark in the middle of the sentence! That's the first time I've come across the upper dot, so I learned something else today

And thanks for the feedback and kind words, much appreciated.


Notice that πλέον is used as "now" in the sense of "not before, but now". So Διαβάζω τώρα=I read now, διαβάζω πλέον=I read now (but did not before in my life).


Hah! Very well done. I don't know if I would have hit "Post" on my translation if I had read yours first :P

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Ah, there are errors in mine, and it's all about the learning anyway ;-) But thanks for the kind words!


Fantastic job!! And it's only natural that doing it from Eng to Greek will be more challenging but that will come in time.

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Thanks Jaye! Aside from shaky grammar, because I've learned so many words now (often completely out of context), I often amuse my tutor by using λόγιος words in λαϊκός contexts. "You can use this, yes, but you sound like a lawyer" ;-) I'll be interested to see how I do on the first En-El post here!


@Jaye16 I've only just seen this Jaye but what a fantastic idea, any chance of you persuading any other mods you might know to do this in other languages? My Greek is still negligible despite trying but nevertheless I applaud the efforts of you and the rest of the Greek team ...... You can't keep a good woman down eh? Talk soon? Gena :-))


How great to hear from you and I'm so happy that you like the Translators series.

Credit for the Translator series goes to Troll1995. As a team, we've all added our two cents now and again but it was Troll's concept and he's done all the research involved in presenting the passages.

And I am as grateful as you are that there is another and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Hearing from you just adds to my gratitude to Troll.



I visited many Greek islands by now in my life. I went to the Cyclades, to the Ionian, to the Dodecanese. I remained, in total, from two days until two weeks, on upwards of 25 islands. You will ask me "But what job do you do and travel so much for?"

I am a photographer. I go on a mission to photograph various places and of(from) all these places I loved the Greek islands. Each island of Greece is different. Amongst them, some surely resemble the islands of the Dodecanse; like, among yet others (islands), resemble the Islands of the Ionian Sea. And again, however, each island has something unique. My favorite island is the Symi, a small island near Rhodes. The Symi is like it came from a film. I like the colors of the houses, the calmness, the residents who are already my friends.

And the Cyclades impress me a lot, especially in the winter. I do not spend(pass) my summer on islands and beaches (D:). I do not photograph the islands in the summer, but in the winter. Then there is quiet and I can more easily photograph the landscapes. I choose, of course, days with sunlight(sunshine?), so that there is light. Someone that sees my photograph is not interested if I took it in winter or summer. (sing.) They see the landscape, the island, the sea. And so I work in the winters.

I go to the beaches, I wait for the appropriate moment and I take my photographs. I like the sea to be calm(?), not to have waves. In winters, however, and especially on the Cyclades, it has(there is?) a lot of air. The sand comes onto(on top?) me, the sea is wild and I wait. I return the next day, so that I can take the photograph that I want. An image that you see, can be a job of a week.

I particularly found the sentence «Μοιάζουν, βέβαια, μεταξύ τους τα νησιά της Δωδεκανήσου, όπως μοιάζουν μεταξύ τους και τα νησιά του Ιονίου Πελάγους.» to be quite troubling, I sort of got a "some like this, some like that" sense but the lack of quantifiers caused me some doubt. No matter how I rearranged the sentence I had trouble making things both grammatically tidy and to make sense in English.

For the most part it felt pretty straight forward and I enjoyed translating. Besides the names (of which Google Translate seems to think Ρόδο is "Rose"), I was only completely unfamiliar with just a few words, and a handful of others I looked up just to make sure I had the right translation/sense of the word. I enjoyed this quite a bit! I generally reserve reading articles and short stories when I'm constrained to my tablet so I'm mostly trying to work through them on context and what is in my head, it's a nice change of pace to work on a shorter and easier piece where the focus is on thoroughness and correctness. I personally would enjoy doing these as often as is fun/enjoyable for you!

I think a mix of difficulty would be good, so you can make it more inclusive in general but still challenge the more studied users from time to time. For length I think again some variation is probably good, but I would say there is no need to go too much longer than this story, but maybe with exception if one of the mods see something a bit longer that they would really like to share?

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Nice job Spoonashy!

FYI, ρόδο is actually another word for rose/τριαντάφυλλο. I seem to remember reading that this is possibly where Ρόδος the island got its name from, but that there were other etymological theories too.

That sentence you highlighted I also had a bit of trouble deciphering, but I took a best guess.



I actually didn't even consider it could be another word for a rose, that certainly explains it!


Spoonashy, you did a great job! ^.^

Oh, I can undrstand the confusion about the «Μοιάζουν, βέβαια, μεταξύ τους τα νησιά της Δωδεκανήσου, όπως μοιάζουν μεταξύ τους και τα νησιά του Ιονίου Πελάγους» sentence. To be honest, I feel like the strucutre of it was what made it difficult to comprehend. But then again, it's not such a commonly used structure, so you don't have to worry about that!

(Personally, when βέβαια is used in such a structure, I think it would be a bit helpful for the learner/translator to 'grab' that adverb away from the sentence for a bit (in other words, ignore it, so that the sentence is a bit more easily translated, then add it back in.))

I agree with most of Jaye's comments. Just a single thought from me, slightly different.

I don't mind the word 'mission' that much. Even if the literal meaning of the word is different and wouldn't quite match the context here, I do think it's used in an emphatic, not-that-literal way quite often, so it doesn't take anything away from your translation.

Also, thank you so much for the feedback. We greatly appreciate it! ^.^


Thank you so much! :>

Yes! I am definitely guilty of using "mission" in a such a loose fashion, so I would certainly agree with you there. And thank you for the tip about βέβαια, I'll keep that in mind in the future!


Spoonashy I'd like to make a few comments. You've done a note worthy job here. This is not a very easy passage and there are some tricky parts.

Επισκέυφθεηκα I have visited. (Since it's clear the writer is not finished visiting.) I have been to various...

Μα τι δουλειά κάνεις και ταξιδεύεις τόσο πολύ But what is your job that you travel....

"αποστολή" can be "mission" but it sounds too rigid it could be the military or a religious endeavor. Here you'd want "assignment"

"από όλα αυτά τα μέρη αγάπησα τα ελληνικά νησιά" of all those places I love the Gr islands

"Κάθε νησί της Ελλάδας" each Greek island (much smoother language)

Μοιάζουν, βέβαια, μεταξύ τους τα νησιά της Δωδεκανήσου The Dodecanese islands, of course, resemble each other as do the islands of the Ionian Sea. ("as" vs "like" needs a whole chapter to explain. )

"my favorite island is Symi (no "the")

"ηρεμία" peace (but calmness is also very good)

"Τότε είναι ήσυχα" then it is quiet (or then it is peaceful)

" Διαλέγω, βέβαια, μέρες με ήλιο, για να έχει φως." I choose of course sunny days (less literal but better Eng.)

" ...φωτογραφία μου δεν ενδιαφέρεται αν την έβγαλα χειμώνα ή καλοκαίρι. Someone who sees my photograph is not interested in whether ... (oh, those prepositions, you really have them down well)

"δουλεύω τους χειμώνες." I work in the winter (although the Gr uses plural the singular is more descriptive in Eng)

"Τους χειμώνες," in winter (again the sing. for general meaning)

"έχει πολύ αέρα..." it is very windy or there is a lot of wind (not air we can't live without "air" :P)

"Η άμμος έρχεται επάνω μου," there is no way to do this literally. Something like "the wind blows the sand on me" ??

Please do not be put off by the number of comments. Seeing that you are interested in learning and the great effort you have put in I thought it only fair that I give a bit of everything. I want to praise your work in the highest terms. Super.

If anything is not clear let us know. We are so happy you found this exercise rewarding and want to help in any way we can.


Thanks so much for all the feedback! I could have done a better of job of tidying up the English but I was more concerned about sticking to the Greek grammar and more literal translations. With sentences/phrases like «Η άμμος έρχεται επάνω μου», «Μα τι δουλειά κάνεις και ταξιδεύεις τόσο πολύ», «έχει πολύ αέρα...» I definitely got the sense of what was trying to be conveyed, I was just being a bit rigid with my translation. I probably should have prefaced my translation with that fact, I feel like I made you do a lot of extra work lol (maybe next time I'll try to take some more liberties/not be as literal and worry more about its' English presentation).

That being said your feedback was very helpful and thorough and the only question that remains is if there is a reason why αγάπησα and επισκέφθηκα differ in case from Greek to English? Or I guess worded another reason, you say (and I agree) that it seems clear the author is still visiting the Islands, so why do they use επισκέφθηκα? In English it definitely makes sense that they are "love" and "have visited" respectively, I just wonder why they were in the cases they were in Greek.

Thanks so much! :)


No thanks needed, you are very welcome. We are so glad you liked the passage and found it challenging to translate. You did as I said above a fine job and I only added so many comments since it was clear you were interested in the language and would like another viewpoint.

The use of "επισκέφθηκα" left me a little perplexed too I think we just have to take it as the author's choice or means of expression. For "αγάπησα" I was ready to write "I fell in love with the Greek islands." It seems to fit, doesn't it?

Looking forward to the next passage.


    The use of "επισκέφθηκα" left me a little perplexed too I think we just have to take it as the author's choice or means of expression.

    That was the first think that popped in my mind as I started reading the Greek text when it was first posted: "That's the wrong tense!" :) Coming back to this post however, it doesn't seem that bad, even if it is just a stylistic choice. Occasionally tenses are misused in Greek, like using the present tense to describe a future action: Αύριο πάω στα μαγαζιά. (This also happens in French.)


    Γεια ! -That my friend shows you are British.


    @D_... We use present in Eng. for the future. What time do you arrive? or present perfect "He's leaving on the morning flight."

    @lhwebster As for being British I'm not I'm American but I do teach EFL so must adhere to all versions and I've become really fond of the present perfect. :P


    thanks my friend ;)


    Yes! This is SUCH a good initiative! :D I just won't post my translation here because I'd rather translate the texts into my native Portuguese (which is easier for my brain to do, Portuguese and Greek grammars have more in common than one may imagine... :P)

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    Absolutely awesome, thank you! Personally I'd quite enjoy one of these a week, but then that's a lot more work for you guys. I think the level seems about right for anyone who has finished the course and perhaps done a little bit of outside learning. Personally, I can (roughly) understand a higher level than this - I now read Cretan news websites every day, and by gosh some of the language is hard - but for anything too far beyond this, I'd probably find it hard to provide an accurate translation and I'd need to look up tons of words. So this is spot-on. My translation will be coming through shortly.


    Wow! Thank you. :)

    Greek is such a beautiful language!!... :D Happy to be learning it!


    And we are happy to know that you like the Greek language. :D


    Thanks troll! It is a very good idea that can substitute the absence of Immersion in Duolingo. I propose too to upload your own texts in Greek. It doesn't matter how long they are or the subject, unless it insults the humanity and personal rights and beliefs of the members here. In this case the moderators can delete it.

    But texts like the above are ideal to promote learning. There could be a productive dialogue that could be beneficial with all members here, native Greek or English speakers or not.


    I could get the jist of the text as I am at level 12, I didn't look anything up and I am pleased with my result so far through Duolingo, this is excellent which shows I have along way to go. Thank you Duolingo team.


    Excellent initiative to read the article for gist without looking anything up. You may want to come back to the same passage after a while to see your progress.


    This was very useful, even though I didn't actually write a translation down (I will try next time!). One thing I found interesting was the use of the verb 'βγάζω' for 'take' (as in take a photograph). I am more familiar with Cypriot dialect, in which the verb 'φκάλλω' is used so this was a new one for me! Thanks.


    Φκάλω is βγάζω in Cypriot Greek, I think. See: θέλω να βγάλω μια φωτογραφία (MG), θέλω να φκάλω μια φωτογραφία (CG). Those words must share the same ancestor (as a native Greek, I see them as the same word with different pronounciation).


    I think my grandparents would use the verb τραβώ, "θέλω να τραβήξω μία φωτογραφία." Is this still used, old, incorrect?


    Yes, it is still common to use. ;)


    Thanks, yes - this was what I was getting at, but you expressed it better i think...


    The idea for translations is a good one but the set up is very awkward. Found this by chance. Am I missing some more convenient link?


    By now in my life I visited many Greek islands. I went to the Cyclades, to the Ionians, to the Dodecanese; I stayed overall from two days to two weeks in more than twenty-five islands.

    You will ask me, "But what work do you do and can travel so much?" I am a photographer. I go on "assignment" to photograph different places and of all these places I loved the Greek Islands.Each of the Islands of Greece is different. Certainly the islands of the Dodecanese resemble each other, just like the islands of the Ionian sea resemble each other. My favourite island is Symi, a small island next to Rhodes. Symi is as if it came out of a film. I like the colours of the houses, the tranquility, the inhabitants are all my friends.

    And the Cyclades impress me a lot, particularly in winter. I do not spend the summers on islands and beaches. I do not photograph the islands in summer, but in winter. Then it is quiet and I can more easily photograph landscape scenes. I choose, of course, sunny days in order to have light. Someone who looks at one of my photos is not interested if I took it in winter or summer. He sees the landscape, the island, the sea. So, I work the winters.

    I go to the beaches, I wait for the appropriate moment and I take my photos. I like the sea to be calm, to not have waves. But in wintertime, particularly in the Cyclades, there is a lot of wind, The sand comes at you, the sea is rough, and I just wait. Just to take the picture that I want I come back the following day. A single image that you see could be w week's work.



    Hope you don't mind if I make a few suggestions just to polish the Eng. a bit. Seriously, this is exceptional.

    You mentioned the awkwardness of the lay out and we recognize that. If you have any ideas on how to make it easier to translate we'd appreciate your input.

    "...I visited" would be better in Eng. as "...I have visited"

    "...L went to" I have been to

    "....interested if I took" not interested in whether

    "So, I work the winters. So, I work in winter.


    Thank you for your reply and your suggestions are appreciated. It is always a challenge for me in doing such exercises to find the balance between "translation" and "interpretation".

    Some preliminary thoughts ....

    Could these "Translations" be incorporated under a tab such as "Labs" and allow participants to register for the activity.

    Perhaps a split page set up with the text on the left might reduce the back and forth scrolling.

    Would there be an automatic announcement sent to participants when a new text is posted?

    I think that texts of this length and difficulty can be posted at least every two weeks. Such exercises are very helpful in learning to find the balance between translation and interpretation.


    Thank you for your encouragement and suggestions.

    We would love to have a set up like labs but as mods, we don't have the abilities. For what it's worth when I review an article I do a split-screen on my monitor and find it convenient in lieu of a more advanced system.

    Spoonashy (see below) had the idea of announcing the new translations right here on the stream. Anyone who is following it will be notified. We cannot, of course, use email or even request email addresses.

    As for more frequent posts that will have to be decided by the team and while it is a team effort there are some members who were the inspiration and who did all the research for sources etc. I just stepped in to do reviews and I must admit I like what I see. I hope this gets a greater following; it's an invaluable means to learn a language.

    Thank you again and keep up the in put.


    Sadly I think the labs section is fairly limited in capabilities and currently only a few languages can use it at all (of which Greek is not one). But I could be wrong

    As for notifications, although mods, as far as I know, can't directly send notifications, they could post that a new text has been posted in this thread, and anyone following the discussion will be alerted (and in fact, you can use this trick to make an announcement thread that is locked so only mods can post in it, to post announcements, and anyone interested would subscribe to it)

    Also well done on your translation!


    Thank you for the feedback. I do hope that a practical option will be found. If the capabilities of the labs section are limited would the team consider developing classes using another web application to create a class or classes? May I suggest that someone from the team take a look at and explore the possibilities of using something like a teaching platform such as, for example, <https://krispii.com/>. Perhaps Duolingo can take a similar approach in helping further the skills of the more advanced learners.


    Hi Team, With only three participants for #1 will this exercise continue? I do think something more challenging in addition to the Greek lessons in the skill section will be a valuable addition in helping those who have completed the exercises.


    This is a valuable exercise. I hope it continues. I read the passage, translated it, but saw that my translation was very close to another's that I didn't send mine in. I read many of the discussion posts. So, I want to add my voice/vote even though I did not send in a translation. Thank you for all the work!


    I know I am a bit late to these, but I am giving it my all to do all of these translations this summer! Here is my translation of this first story:

    "I visited many Greek islands up to now in my life. I went to the Cyclades, the Ionian Islands, and the Dodecanese Islands. In sum, I stayed from 2 days to 2 weeks in more than 25 islands. You might ask me, “but what is your job and why do you travel so much?” I am a photographer. I go on mission(s) to photograph different places and, from all of these places, I loved the Greek islands. Every Greek Island is different. The Dodecanese islands, of course, resemble each other as do the islands of the Ionian Sea. Again, however, every island has something unique. My favorite island is Symi, a small island next to Rhodes. Symi is like it has come out of a movie. I like the colors of the houses, the peace, and the residents, who are now my friends. The Cyclades impress me a lot, epecially in the winter. I do not spend my summers on islands and beaches. I do not take pictures of the islands in the summer, but I do in the winter. Then it is calm and I can more easily take pictures of the land. I choose, of course, sunny days, for the light. Someone who sees my photos does not care whether I took it out in the winter or summer. They see the landscape, the island, and the sea. So, I work in the winters. I go to the beaches, I wait for the right moment, and I take my pictures. I like the sea to be calm without waves (lit. to have no waves). In the winters, however, especially in the Cyclades, have much wind. The sand comes against me, the sea is ferocious. So, I wait. I come back the next day to take the picture that I want. One picture that you see can be a week’s work long."

    Please feel free to critique if anyone wants to!


    The new one is up! Take a look here ;)


    Hi! I'm a level 10 Greek learner here, and I can't translate this excerpt. What is the minimum level I must reach on Duolingo if I want to understand this little (story?) you've posted? Can you suggest some websites where I can find easier exercises? I'll be obliged if you could help.

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