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A (apparently inciting) political poster has been posted in the city of Kamianske, reading as follows:

Взнала, що внук голосував за "регіони", переписала хату на кота

My friend (non-native) translated it as "after my son had voted for the 'regions', I found out, he rewrote 'hut' to 'cat'", but could also not make sense of it.

I gather it is somehow ridiculing the 2016 renaming of Dniprodzerzhynsk to Kamianske, but I would like to understand the statement completely. It seems like there is some wordplay I don't really get, referring to the Ukrainian accent or something?

I learned about this poster because somebody sent me this meme, replacing 'регіони' with 'НКР', which I also don't understand.

Meme version of the poster

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    Strictly speaking, this is off-topic because your meme is in Ukrainian. But the second part of the poster, "переписала хату на кота", has identical spelling and meaning (but quite different pronunciation) in both Russian and Ukrainian. The word "хата" is a Ukrainianism in Russian language, meaning "Ukrainian house".
    – il--ya
    Feb 18 at 8:57

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Apart from main meaning "to overwrite" переписать also can mean "to reregister". "Переписать на кого-то" means to change some legal record so that ownership is reassigned to a new person. It is not necessarily a hereditary thing. One can say: "Я переписал машину на жену, чтобы было меньше головной боли" (I signed the car over to my wife, so there'd be less headaches.)

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    Some obligatory ex-USSR context: Most people own their apartments and that's the lion's share of personal wealth. So, the granny makes sure her grandson gets nothing after her death by making a stranger (or a cat) an owner of her wealth. She's not just rewriting her will since courts do not have to honor them in such cases.
    – alamar
    Feb 16 at 14:27
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The text is in Ukrainian, not Russian. It reads:

[I] found out [my] grandson was voting for the NKR. [I] signed [my] house over to [my] cat.

In Russian it would be:

Узнала, что внук голосовал за «НКР», переписала дом на кота.

While it would make sense for NKR to refer to the Party of Regions, I can find no evidence it is ever called the NKR.

Russian and Ukrainian are both Slavic languages. They use similar alphabets, have similar pronunciation, and much of the vocabulary is the same. However, mutual intelligibility is only around 50%, mainly because some of the most used words are different, plus there are differences in which verb conjugations predominate and differences in the meanings of shared words. And in Ukrainian there is more use of possessives, an additional masculine dative ending, and extensive use of the long form of the feminine instrumental singular (-ою).

Here for example, the grandmother says "що" rather than "что". This is not an attempt to represent a Ukrainian accent, that is simply the Ukrainian spelling. She also calls her house "хата", a word quite rare in Russian. And she says "голосував" which in Ukrainian means simply "he voted" rather than "having voted" as it would in Russian.

The verb переписать is used in both languages. It is composed of the prefix пере- which indicates a transfer and the verb писать which means to make a writing. Signing real estate over to one's children instead of willing it to them is a common practice in Ukraine. Signing her house over to her cat has the same effect as disinheriting her grandson.

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  • Thank you for stating the correct language! Feb 16 at 22:05
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    The Ukranian spelling is "голосував", not "голосoвав"; and I won't even go into making suggestions what that could mean in Russian.
    – DK.
    Feb 17 at 20:04
  • @DK Thanks, I have fixed the spelling. As for what it means in Russian, I meant that in Russian the -ав ending makes a gerund. For example "сказав" means "having said".
    – David42
    Feb 17 at 20:42
  • "in Russian the -ав ending makes a gerund" - well that only works for perfective verbs anyway. In Russian, you can say "проголосовав", but not "голосовав". I think this whole argumentation is quite redundant, as the very first word "взнала" clearly indicates that this is not Russian, but Ukrainian.
    – il--ya
    Feb 18 at 8:14
  • @il--ya Good point. And I will change my translation to convey the imperfective aspect. As you may have noticed, I am trying to explain that Russian and Ukrainian are broadly similar but they differ not just in vocabulary but in their selection of morphological features from the Slavic language family. So what is голосував? Is it a short-form past tense like мог or вёз in Russian?
    – David42
    Feb 18 at 12:43
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"Регионы" — политическая партия.

"Переписала хату на кота" — означает, что квартира была завещана внуку. Внук проголосовал за партию, которую бабушка не любит. Бабушка решила, что лучше завещает квартиру коту, чем внуку.

Это один из шаблонных мемов: внук делает что-то, что не нравится бабушкe (обычно политическое), за это бабушка делает наследником квартиры не внука, а кота.

Google Translate:

"Регионы" is a political party. "Переписала хату на кота" means that the apartment was bequeathed to the grandson, but then he voted for a party that the grandmother doesn't like. The grandmother decided that it would be better to bequeath the apartment to the cat instead of her grandson аnd rewrote her will.

This is one of the patterns of the memes: the grandson does something that the grandmother doesn't like (usually political), and as punishment, the grandmother makes the cat the heir to the apartment, and not the grandson.

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I've found the origin, and more context here. This is a poster for a Fallout game mod, and "НКР" here probably stands for "Новая Калифорнийская Республика", New California Republic. It doesn't make much sense really, as this is not a political party which you can vote for. The original meme referred to the Ukrainian Party of Regions.

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