5

The question is in the title of my post.

Somehow this simple idea made me really confused as to how I can express it in Russian.

My first attempt was:

(1) Я не боюсь писать всё.

But I guess this variant rather means "I am not afraid to write it all." Then I thought about the following variant:

(2) Я не боюсь писать ничего.

But I feel that something is wrong here. The problem is that the negation "не" applies to "боюсь," not "писать," so the use of "ничего" after "писать" seems questionable.

A separate issue is the choice between писать and написать. I find it hard to tell whether the perfective or imperfective form is the best suitable.

The context of the original sentence is this: A journalist possesses a lot of sensitive information and says she is not afraid to publish whatever she wants to. She is not talking about any specific upcoming article. She is talking in general terms.

Please kindly help a confused student.

13 Answers 13

18

To eliminate the awkwardness of such double negations a safer approach is to (steer away from English patterns and) use сложноподчиненное предложение, e.g.:

Нет ничего, о чём я побоялась бы написать.

and similar constructs.

  • 1
    This seems close enough to the meaning of the original question. However, the correct translation of this phase will be: "There is nothing I am afraid to write". If this change is not critical for the question author, then it is a good answer. – RadioLog Jul 29 at 12:20
  • "There is nothing, of which I would be afraid to write about" is another possible English translation. – Dennis Jul 29 at 21:24
  • 2
    I'd put this as "There is nothing I wouldn't dare to write about". But look, guys, this is not about the most precise translation (or, at least, it shouldn't be). The OP wants to convey a certain idea in Russian. She simply asks her question in English because few of us read Japanese. She also has a habit of not accepting any answer and proceeding straight to yet another question, so it's hard to figure out whether she's ever happy with any of them or not :) I'm still trying to guess what she meant by "talking in general terms", though... – tum_ Jul 29 at 21:40
  • 1
    @Dennis Except that’s not English. “There is nothing which I would be afraid to write about” would be an actual English version of it. ;-) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 30 at 11:45
  • 1
    @tum_ : >> She also has a habit of not accepting any answer and proceeding straight to yet another question << I usually choose the best answer days or weeks after posting a question, because an early acceptance of an answer is likely to discourage others to add their thoughts. Look at my profile, and you will see that most of my questions have an accepted answer. – Mitsuko Jul 30 at 17:40
12

I believe the tum_'s answer is very good in the context.

A shorter version without the сложноподчиненное предложение would be

Я ни о чём не побоюсь написать

4

Я не побоюсь что бы то ни было написать.

A relatively seldom-used but fitting equivalent of "anything"; all one pronoun, functionally at least. I'd say tum_'s rewording works better overall, though.

  • 3
    Sorry, but nobody talks/writes like this – Sanctus Aug 1 at 11:26
3

The most suitable translation is:

Я ничего не боюсь (на)писать

Order of words is impotant in this phrase. Changing the order is grammaticaly acceptable, but will create strange emphasis.

3

The closest translation will be:

Я не боюсь писать о чём угодно.

If we are talking, for example about some journalist.

or...

Я не боюсь (на)писать что угодно

...about some guy who paints words on walls.

2

I am a native Russian speaker. When you say "I am not afraid to writing anything", 'anything' does not carry any meaning, it is just for emphasis. This is the reason it is hard to translate. So,

Я не боюсь писать.

is a real translation. All other translations here, except for the first one are not real language.

  • 1
    I would say that this is not really a correct translation. It back translates as "I am not afraid to write" and means that the person is not afraid of becoming a writer in principle (e.g. they do not get all anxious about it, oh god what they are going to think about me, it's so much pressure, I can't take it etc). It does not really convey a journalist that is not afraid to publish sensitive materials. – GSerg Jul 29 at 14:12
  • @GSerg, no it is not. It means exactly what Helen said, when you have context. Out of context majority of Russian sentences makes no sense anyway. – Sanctus Aug 1 at 11:28
1

Yes this phrase is kind of awkward in Russian. The best way i could pull it off would be

Я ничего писать не боюсь

It also can be rendered as

Мне ничего не страшно (на)писать

Note that ничего is placed before the verb, which resolves some of the awkwardness.

  • 1
    first one sounds awkward to me, second one is better – Dennis Jul 29 at 21:22
1

As an option

Я не боюсь писать о чём бы то ни было.
Я не побоюсь написать о чём бы то ни было.
0

Нет ничего чтобы я боялся писать

The equivalent English translation would be: There is nothing I am afraid of writing.

  • 4
    что бы..... or better still in my view Нет ничего, что я боялся БЫ написать – Баян Купи-ка Jul 29 at 19:50
0

Your second sentence is almost correct, we use double negation all right, but I would have changed it just a little.

Я не боюсь писать ни о чём.

  • 2
    That phrase is ambiguous between "I'm not afraid to write about anything" and "I'm not afraid to write about nothing" (that is, I am not afraid to produce stories that do not have a point). – GSerg Jul 29 at 21:05
  • The context just helps in this case. – V.V. Jul 30 at 14:57
0

A somewhat learned version could be: "я не склонен к самоцензуре",

while a very colloquial version is:

"у меня не заржавеет написать что угодно"

This is a good example of a nice and juicy colloquial employment of the verb "заржаветь". Generally, the construction looks as: "у меня (или у кого-нибудь) не заржавеет сделать что-то потенциально предосудительное". It contains a connotation to a rusty mechanism unable to move -- with an emphasise that I (or someone) will not be like that stuck mechanism.

  • 1
    Always heard (or rather read) it as за мной не заржавеет and this kept me wondering what exactly is not going to rust behind them :) – tum_ Jul 31 at 0:43
  • @tum_ Yes, "за мной не заржавеет" also is a legitimate option. Another synonym is: "с меня станется". E.g., consider the following dialogue: "Oн способен быть доносчиком?" "С него станется!" – Michael_1812 Jul 31 at 5:33
  • Ну, тут уж другой смысл. Negative connotations only.. – tum_ Jul 31 at 5:36
  • Even though these are valid options, not sure if "за мной не заржавеет" fits journalists and serious tone. Also never saw in text "у меня не заржавеет", usually it is "за мной", but its just my experience – Sanctus Aug 1 at 11:31
0

says she is not afraid to publish whatever she wants to.

и она не боится писать то, что считает нужным

But journalists usually publish about something so alternative

и она не боится писать о том, о чём посчитает нужным

0

I am a native speaker, and "Я не боюсь писать ничего." sound fine to me.

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