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I Need Help From Russians

With everyone drunk on the nectar of National Novel Writing Month, I thought I'd mix it up a little and spend November working on a translation instead. The book I've chosen is Ilf and Petrov's The Golden Calf, and I'll post more about it here in a few days. However, I urgently need help from native speakers on a handful of baffling words and phrases that are proving resistant to attacks by Google, various dictionaries, and my translation partner, a native speaker.

I've set up a LiveJournal with the username baconmeteor where I'll be posting my questions on specific words and phrases. If you speak Russian and want to help move this delightful book into English, please take a look at some of the mysteries posted there and leave your comments.

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