I've been "writing" a Russian poem.

Here is a brief passage from the original English.

What's the reason I am standing here is something I don't know.
Inna leads me to a place where I don't want to go.

Google translate gives me:

Почему я стою здесь - это то, чего я не знаю.
Инна ведет меня туда, куда я не хочу идти.

I would like to change the second line to the following:

Почему я стою здесь - это то, [чего] я не знаю.
Инна ведет меня туда, куда идти не хочу.

I want to change " куда я не хочу идти" to куда идти не хочу" to make "не хочу" rhyme with знаю. May I do this with the word order? In German, the infinitive verb must come at the end, but is this true in Russian?

  • Please, tend to ask one question per post. Choose what's more important to you, try to edit it so that it will be more useful for other Russian language learners and try again. This is not a translation service (or service that helps to find rhymes to the poems you are using Google Translate).
    – shabunc
    Jan 10, 2019 at 0:22
  • @shabunc: I have re-worked the question to fit the rules. Is the question now good enough for you to reopen it?
    – Tom Au
    Jan 10, 2019 at 0:32
  • 1
    Google version is better. In short: 1. You can't remove чего if you have то. The short version could be Почему я стою здесь - [это то, чего] я не знаю. 2. The second line is also better to be Инна ведет меня туда, куда я [идти] не хочу. (There's a song of a famous band where chorus is exactly Электричка везет меня туда куда я не хочу :). The only problem is that in fact there's not too much rhythm in знаю - хочу. Jan 10, 2019 at 0:40
  • 2
    Btw., the rythm potentially could be знаю - желаю but that way it could sound too bookish... Jan 10, 2019 at 0:54
  • 3
    Почему я стою здесь, я сам, пожалуй, не знаю. Ведет меня Инна туда, куда я идти не желаю. - Just what's come to my head. And no, we do not need to put an Infinitive in the end of a sentence.
    – Elena
    Jan 10, 2019 at 6:23

2 Answers 2


In short, (almost) everything is permitted in Russian. However, every word order is different from another. As the rule of the thumb, the last word is more important, so "идти не хочу" mostly emphasizes "I don't want".

But the process of "writing poems" in Russian has many more rules than just that. And the most important thing is probably never to use many short words as you do in English. In Russian this just sucks. So the first step in any translation from English into Russian is to omit everything which is not so important. For example, the first line could be reduced even upto something like "Почему я стою здесь - не знаю". Next, one should never even try to rhyme two verbs with each other, or he will face the most severe prosecution by Russian Muses. And so on, and so on. Yet I feel it's enough on that matter, so let us not go into more gloomy details.

UPD. And by special demand here is my full version:

Почему я стою здесь? Не знаю,
Но идти никуда не хочу.
Ничего, обойдёшь - и трамваи
Объезжают мою каланчу.

  • I'd say that a verb rhyme is the lesser evil here. ))))) I am curious to see the continuation of the poem.
    – Elena
    Jan 10, 2019 at 19:07
  • @Elena Not a problem at all :-)
    – Matt
    Jan 11, 2019 at 6:54
  • Ааа, только не трамваи с каланчой, я вас умоляю! :)))))
    – Elena
    Jan 11, 2019 at 7:20
  • Regarding rhyming verbs, my second-hand Litinstitut sources say it's okay if you match the sounds of entire verbs rather than just their grammatical parts. E.g. "прощаться–вращаться". Jan 12, 2019 at 9:42
  • @NikolayErshov Вы, разумеется, правы, речь не столько о "глагольной", сколько о "бедной грамматической" рифме. Просто мне не слишком хотелось вдаваться в подробности, а кроме того, отношение к собственно глагольным рифмам, оно, вообще, куда более строгое, чем к прочим. На какое-нибудь "священный-сокровенный" никто же особо и не поморщится.
    – Matt
    Jan 12, 2019 at 10:39

This is to honor Elena's request to see what comes next, after the above. It's only two more lines of the final verse (of four) of the poem I call, Только Инны для (Only For Inna).

This product resulted from all the efforts above, and is a compendium of several comments. Thanks for all your help!

English Version:

What's the reason I am standing here is something I don't know.
Inna leads me to a place where I don't want to go.
But somehow I will follow her to wherever she would go.
Only for Inna. Only for Inna.

Russian Version:

Почему я стою здесь - пожалуй не знаю.
Инна ведет меня туда, куда идти не хочу.
[Каким-то образом я] буду следовать за ней, куда бы она ни пошла.
Только Инны для. Только Инны для.

[Words in brackets are omitted (from the Google translate version) to fit the melody.]
Here's the melody.(Vivre Pour Vivre)


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