Monday, February 10, 2014

"Hot.Cool.Yours." What Does Sochi's Motto Even Mean?

Although I enjoyed the opening ceremony and over the weekend I've been immersed in a variety of winter sports that I wouldn't usually watch, one thing about the Sochi games has been niggling in the back of my mind. What does "Hot.Cool.Yours." even mean?

Whilst each word is separated by a full-stop (or period) it is very odd to have no spacing after each one. Why couldn't it have been written as "Hot. Cool. Yours."? This seems even weirder given that the Russian version appears to have been rendered as "Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.", complete with spaces.

Aside from the painfully poor spacing in the English version, let's have a look at the words. Initially, like most English speakers, we will look solely at the English translation as they will have no access to or understanding of the Russian language.

"Hot" or "Жаркие"

What does hot mean? It clearly can't refer to temperature. These are the winter games, after all. The events take place on ice and snow, so it can't be temperature. Does hot mean sexy? Sure, there are a lot of events where aerodynamics are key and as a result, skin-tight clothing is required. Regardless of your sexual preference, there is certainly a good amount of "eye candy" on display. However, we doubt this is what the marketing team were going for.

In fact, the Russian word "Жаркие" does refer to both heat and passion. The heat is apparently in reference to the heated competition and the passion of the games.

"Cool" or "Зимние"

As cool can refer to temperature and how fashionable something is, we're fairly happy with its inclusion as a fragment in this mantra of a motto. When the motto was announced, many preferred translating " Зимние" as "wintry". For me, "Hot.Wintry.Yours." is just as confusing and ambiguous as the official translation.

The Opening Ceremony at Sochi.
"Yours" or "Твои"

It seems that everyone, including the organisers and even the internet, is in agreement that "Твои" simply means "yours". Apparently this is because the games are "ours". As a Brit, I'm not so sure that the games are "ours", even if we are aiming for a record medal haul.

Whilst we could hope that "Жаркие. Зимние. Твои." is really clever and awesome in Russian and the English translation is just simply missing the beautiful nuances of the source language, it seems that some Russians think it's just as stupid as I do.

Sorry Sochi, we're really enjoying the games and the opening ceremony was cool, but we just can't deal with "Hot.Cool.Yours.".

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