Obies Using Languages: Dennis Kachintsev ’15

Dennis is a member of the class of 2015 and is currently pursuing a major in Computer Science. At Oberlin, he has used his Russian to do extensive translations.

Master and Margarita is in my opinion one of the finest novels ever written. The English translations that my friends brought me failed to capture that, though, and my American friends were unimpressed. This made me extremely disappointed, because Master and Margarita is a part of me, and not being able to share that is really awful. Master and Margarita is a novel that my family and I consistently quote to each other, it’s imbued in my Russian speech and comes as naturally to me as quoting Drake comes to other people. However, in English I can’t quote it at all, and even if I do it goes over everybody’s head. It’s a shame, and I really really want it to become popular. It’s too good of a novel for the English-speaking world not to appreciate it. That’s what got me into translation; I tried to get my friends to read it, but nobody got past the first chapter, so I started translating my favorite parts and they got into it.
At Oberlin, Professors Tim Scholl and Kazim Ali have been great; they really helped me learn how to translate properly as well as catch the true air of a noble. I have other translations, too. I’ve translated a ton of poems, and I’m currently working on a spoken word piece by a person named Eracles Andronikov.


Read the first chapter of Dennis’s translation-in-progress, The Master and Margarita. It can also be accessed through the CILC’s homepage.



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