RMNB’s new “Hahaha Ice” T-Shirts can be purchased here.

While we dedicate a lot of our time to RMNB, our team slaves away at full-time jobs just like you. Peter is an information architect, I’m a web designer/email marketer, and Fedor is a full-time student in Moscow and a journalist for VOA. Then there’s Igor.

Four score and seven years ago… okay, maybe not that long – but long enough that Scott Stevens was still a Capital and the Soviet Union was still a thing, Igor– fresh out of college– left St. Petersburg and the crumbling empire for America. Within a couple of months after getting off the proverbial boat, Igor landed his first job: an engineering position at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

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This is not a hockey story.

Last week RMNB published a two-part translation of an interview Michal Neuvirth gave to the Czech site iSport. Our articles contained translated, controversial quotes about Braden Holtby, Alex Semin, Alex Ovechkin, and Dale Hunter.

The story was picked up by Puck Daddy and The Washington Post, among others. Some of the articles that used our quotes excluded important passages where Neuvirth praised Holtby and Ovechkin, leading to a popular characterization of the interview that I don’t think matched what we published. On the other hand, an article for Sportsnet.ca by Chris Nichols copied our entire translation.

Before long, our translation came under scrutiny. To respond to questions from our audience, I wrote and published a note on our translation process and how much room for interpretation there is in that process, but we did not retract or correct our post. Social media and our own commenters wondered aloud if our articles had mistranslated the original article or if something had been “lost in translation.”

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RMNB recently published two articles  [I and II] translating an interview Michal Neuvirth gave to František Suchan of iSportz.Cz. The original interview was conducted in Czech and translated by Kara Martinková with proofreading and edits by our team. While we stand by the articles we published, we acknowledge that translation is as much an art as it is an academic skill. Interpretations of syntax, grammar, and idiom always threaten to transform the intent of a statement, and some of Neuvirth’s meaning may have been misconstrued.

For example, we translated Neuvirth as saying the following:

I am really sure that I have the weakest competition (Braden Holtby) I’ve ever had.

But choosing competition as an apposition for Braden Holtby is subjective. Neuvirth might have intended for competition to mean competition-as-a-thing, not as a person. Given that interpretation, Neuvirth may simply have been saying this season is the best opportunity he’s ever had to earn the number-one goalie spot.

The underlying meaning of the two statements is nearly the same, but the tone is dramatically different.

The context of the article might support that interpetation too. Later in the interview, Neuvirth responds to a question about Holtby by first saying that he is a great goalie, albeit one with less experience than Varlamov and Vokoun. Using the alternate translation above and taking into account his later comment about Holtby, Neuvirth’s statements are not so incendiary.

This same interpretative gap can apply to other parts of the interview as well. Where Neuvirth describes himself as “angry” at not starting in the playoffs, the words down or unhappy might also have been used.

The vagaries of language are challenging, and there are many possibilities to lose the intent and tone of the original statement on its path from conversation to original article to translation. We hope our readers can grant a healthy amount of leniency to Neuvirth and our translators.

Happy #TweetLikeOviDay

It’s August 8th! Today is the day where we tweet like a caffeine-addled adolescent with only a passing understanding of English syntax and a strange affinity for the close parenthesis key.

It’s #TweetLikeOviDay! So go ahead and peruse Alex Ovechkin‘s timeline for some style guide tips. Personally, I recommend flourishes of repeated vowels “bronzeeeeeee!” and not using a space between your sentences. From what I’m told, the close paren “)” key means you’re smiling, so do with that what you will. Have fun!

Best!!!!hahahahahahaaaah)))))

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Now Entering: Hockey’s Dead Zone

Does this photo bum anyone else out?

Hey everybody, it’s that time again. The season is long over. So too are the playoffs and the finals, free agency season and development camp. Stretching out before us is the red waste we call August, the month where so hockey is unimportant you’d think you’re on Long Island.

Our Caps have signed their free agents. They’ve said goodbye to one coach and hired another coach– along with two assistants that make it feel like we time-warped back to ’98. A couple prospects have signed their entry-level contracts, and the Caps have renewed their vows with Hershey (a huge relief to us and SHoE). Elsewhere in the league, that drama with Parise, Nash, Weber, and Staal has played itself out. Almost all of our questions have been answered.

Almost.

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Ian and I have made a new bet. We’re gonna share the details with you because a) it’s timely considering Knuble is a scratch again, and b) last time I didn’t pay up so this is like leverage.

The Bet: Peter bets Ian that Mike Knuble will last longer with the Caps than Dale Hunter.

The Stakes: $22 (USD) and one (1) lunch at Chick-fil-A.

The actual text of the bet is after the jump. I really think Ian is going down this time.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from RMNB

It’s February 14. It’s not just some random day that the Hallmark corporation picked out of hat so they could sell greeting cards. It’s actually the Christian co-opting of a pagan festival all about horny werewolves and blood and copulation and cool stuff like that. Now, instead of lycanthropes and sex, you spend 30 dollars on roses that will wither tomorrow.

If you’re in a relationship, prepare to disappoint your significant other. If you’re not in a relationship, revel in your solitary despair.

(I’m single, by the way.)

Behind the jump is a lovely and full-sized picture by Rachel Cohen, featuring Dmitry Orlov, who scored last night and is handsome enough to probably do the same today. Also a video.

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Capitals During Wartime: On Negativity

[Ed. note: This is our third article about the Washington Capitals before the trade deadline. Part I discussed the center position, and Part II compared the Caps home and away.]

Way back when Ian first blackmailed me into writing about the Capitals everyday, it was easy. The Caps were on the way to their best ever season, a copious and capacious 121-point campaign that was chock-full of nutritious, whole-grain scoarmoargoals. My job was basically to regurgitate some boxcar stats, writing something defamatory about the other team, and think of escalatingly ridiculous metaphors for the Caps’ awesomesauce.

It was terrific, but that’s over now.

I’m not gonna get into it, but I think we can agree that Capitals are having trouble this season– even if we differ about the precise degree of that trouble. And while there are many varied and valid ways to express our disappointment with the team, my endeavor is to be as sober and honest about the Capitals’ struggles as I had been drunken and boastful about their victories. Is that bumming you out?

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Russian Machine Never Breaks: We Suck, 2011 Edition

We just finished basking in the glow of our successes in the past year. Ahhhh… Yes, that was nice.

But now it’s over, and we must look ourselves in the mirror to see the billion things we have screwed up over the past year. We’ve got a huge collection of embarrassments and goof-ups that should have shamed us out of blogging altogether. But we’re shameless. You already knew that.

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