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[Xmca-l] Re: Help with Russian translation

Your "over-literal" translation captures the grammatical structure of the excerpt in a way that makes a lot of sense, David. Thank you for that. I will definitely borrow from it. The word otnosheniyi, which I have translated as "life-projects" is usually translated as "relations" or "life-relationships" but as I understand it, it is the bolded word in statements like: "The Party's *orientation* to improvements in agriculture was affirmed." and "The Central Committee's *priorities* were outlined by the Secretary." I also have in mind that the otnosheniya are *realised as* activities, not even "realised by", so in a sense they are the inner form of activities. A "life-project" is both inner and outer really, but this seems appropriate to all the ways otnosheniyi is translated.
*Andy Blunden*
On 7/08/2015 9:04 AM, David Kellogg wrote:

I think this somewhat over-literal translation might help:

"The real (or the actual, factual--DK) basis of the human personality
consists of the totality of its social-in-nature relations to the world;
however, these are relations which are realized, and realized in their
activeness, or more precisely, in the totality of their multi-formed

We have in view the subjective activeness which is the source of the
"units" for the psychological analysis of the personality: not actions, not
operations, and not psycho-physiological functions or building-blocks of
these functions; the latter characterize activity and not directly

I'm cheating a little here, both by being over-literal and also by
distinguishing between subjective activeness and the activities which
realize it. But I think that is Vygotsky's intention. First of all, to
identify the basis of human personality in relations with the world taken
as a whole, and then to distinguish between the personality and the
specific actions that apparently make it up but which cannot exhaust its

David Kellogg

On Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 7:01 AM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:

Sorry, I am absolutely unqualified to translate this! But I am wondering
if the “life projects” Vygotsky had in mind were akin to what Vera
John-Steiner has called in her book Creative Collaboration “network of
enterprises” and what you call “life projects” in your intro the recent
book on collaborative projects that you edited and to which Vera has
contributed. I doubt this helps with the translation, but I am hoping that
I am on the right path to understanding the passage.

On Aug 6, 2015, at 6:28 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

Could some of our wonderful Russophiles criticise my translation of the
following excerpt:
       *Р*еальным базисом личности человека является
       совокупность его общественных по своей природе
       отношений к миру, но отношений, которые реализуются,
       а они реализуются его деятельностью, точнее,
       совокупностью его многообразных деятельностей.

       Имеются в виду именно деятельности субъекта, которые
       и являются исходными "единицами" психологического
       анализа личности, а не действия, не операции, не
       психофизиологические функции или блоки этих функций;
       последние характеризуют деятельность, а не
       непосредственно личность.

which I have translated as:

       The real basis of a person’s personality is the
       totality of their life-projects, which are social by
       nature, but life-projects which are realised, and
       they are realised by their activity, or more
       precisely, by the totality of their various
       activities.Here we have in mind in particular the
       activities of the subject that are initial “units”
       of the psychological analysis of personality ‒ not
       actions, not operations, not psychophysiological
       functions or the blocks of these functions, which
       characterise activity, but not directly personality.

But there are parts of this which are really unclear to me, and perhaps
a better translation would clear it up. The standard English translation
does not help.
*Andy Blunden*