Giant sausages full of what?
January 24, 2006 3:22 PM   Subscribe

In this photo, does anybody know what these bicycle riders are transporting in the giant sausages? Does the Russian caption (which I don't read) explain it?
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts to Grab Bag (13 answers total)
Best answer: When I saw this it said that they were transporting (seriously, now) stolen natural gas.
posted by fixedgear at 3:23 PM on January 24, 2006

Yeah, I saw a similar photo a few months back. People stealing natural gas in China froma pipeline.
posted by GuyZero at 3:26 PM on January 24, 2006

Best answer: I third the natural gas explanation. I came across this photo a few weeks ago via Slate
posted by Good Brain at 3:45 PM on January 24, 2006

Best answer: Thanks. I was able to find these photos of Chinese gas theft but I havn't yet found the source of the photo I linked.

This article says
In the first few months of 2004, Ukrainian police discovered more than 150 holes in the nation's oil distribution system. Oil crooks there and elsewhere can find an unguarded length of pipe and make their own tap.
so I don't know if the photo is of Chinese, Ukrainians, or others.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 3:52 PM on January 24, 2006

My lousy Russian translates it as:

Chinese energies stole valuable experience and Ukrainian colleagues.

So.... um... yeah.
posted by ORthey at 5:02 PM on January 24, 2006

Plus it might actually be IN Ukrainian. Also "experience" could be "experiments."
posted by ORthey at 5:04 PM on January 24, 2006

Best answer: It's a joke. Chinese entrepreneurs learning from the experience of their Ukrainian colleagues.

It's making light of the Russian/Ukrainian confllct over gas pipelines, implying that Chinese and Ukrainians are stealing from Russia.

I don't understand the spelling of the first word, but I am pretty sure that opyt would be dostiv in Ukrainian. Either it's slang, or perhaps Belorussian.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:36 PM on January 24, 2006

Was the text the same?

I may be projecting irony onto it.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:00 PM on January 24, 2006

Best answer: It's Belarusian. Interpolating from my good Ukrainian and my weak Russian, 'Ketajskie energetiki perenyali tsennyj opyt u Ukrainskix kolleg' would be 'Chinese energeticians took [have taken] valuable experience at [from] Ukrainian colleagues'.

Geeky linguistic details follow:

The easy giveaway for Belarusian is in the i-like letters. Ukrainian doesn't use ы; Russian doesn't use Latin-style i; Belarusian uses both. The slightly harder giveaway is what gesamtkunstwerk noticed: Vowels (in this case e) that don't make sense in Ukrainian or Russian (should be, in each of those, the letter that transliterates as i; Belarusian also has a lot a lot of unexpected a replacing o, as if some kid had tried to spell phonetically in a dialect with strong akanie).

I confess I'm fudging the translation of perenyac', since is down at the moment and I haven't got a Belarusian dictionary on paper. There is no exact parallel (perenyaty) in my Ukrainian dictionary, but Ukr. prynyaty is to receive or to accept. And IIRC -- whoops, I was about to write something about the possible convergence of pere- and pri-, which I think did take place in Polish, but while looking for evidence I happened to open Herman's Dictionary of Slavic Word Families exactly to the page where Russian perenyat' is translated 'adopt'. So, yeah, 'take' will work.

And the word that gesamtkunstwerk is looking for is dosvid. Molodets, sir.
posted by eritain at 10:01 PM on January 24, 2006

No, you are molodets! You've made a hell of an impression on me with your first MeFi comment; welcome, eritain, and I'll be watching for your username. And I just bookmarked—thanks for that.
posted by languagehat at 6:16 AM on January 25, 2006

Thanks, eritain. I kind of get Ukrainian through Russian, but there's always something I miss. I must try my luck with Belorussian.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 6:45 PM on January 25, 2006

Response by poster: I'm still impressed by the photo but haven't been able to google its source.

As so abley shown above, the caption is a Belarus joke about Ukrainians and Russians.

The 4 googleable pics, (1, 2, 3, and 4) tend to cast the Chinese gas thefts as fairly amateur.

The starting photo shows well organized efficient tech for stealing gas.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 7:02 PM on January 26, 2006

I first saw a photo like this through this post - Russia reduces gas export to Ukraine.
posted by Chuckles at 11:44 PM on January 27, 2006

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