There's about 15 seconds of speech in Russian in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The subtitles on the DVD don't show what they're saying. I didn't see any other requests for translation with the tag. Would it be on-topic to ask what they said?

I realize that this site is for science fiction experts, not experts in Russian, but at least one person on the site knows Russian. This meta question is related, but it doesn't make it clear whether my question would be on topic.

Update: I posted my question here.

  • This site addresses my question, but the way it reads, it sounds like the person who wrote that doesn't know whether it's true. – Molag Bal Apr 17 '16 at 1:06
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    I was about to say "no, take it to Russian Language SE", when I found precedents: one, two. So yes. – Rand al'Thor Apr 17 '16 at 1:08
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    @Randal'Thor Guess I should have kept looking. I expected translation requests to have the translation tag. – Molag Bal Apr 17 '16 at 1:14
  • @amarillo maybe they'd be better tagged with the language in need of translation? – AncientSwordRage Apr 17 '16 at 1:19
  • I didn't know we had a translation tag! Editing now! – user31178 Apr 17 '16 at 1:53
  • My question hit Hot Network Questions, so I suppose one way to try to get a question answered is to put it on any site, and then hope a Russian expert sees it in the HNQ list. – Molag Bal Apr 17 '16 at 6:42
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    ....and it worked. Someone with a Russian-looking name just popped in and made their first post on the site as an answer to my question. – Molag Bal Apr 17 '16 at 8:01
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    @Randal'Thor - Interestingly, simple requests for translation are off-topic on most of the language sites, including Russian:SE – Valorum Apr 17 '16 at 9:31

Requesting a translation to English of a specific short passage or clip in a foreign language, in a work of SF/F written mainly in English, is on-topic.

None of the following questions have ever been VTCed, giving us a clear precedent:

A good rationale for this policy would be that understanding what's being said in such passages/clips may be important for complete understanding of what's going on in the book/film. Often they're just for flavour, giving the reader/watcher the atmosphere of being in a foreign country or around foreign speakers, but there will always be perfectionists who want to understand every last thing being said, especially on a site like this.

Usual disclaimers apply: please don't start flooding the site with questions asking for translations of every foreign-language clip in every SFF film ever.

  • Let me know if I missed any loopholes that would allow for silly questions to be posted while sticking to the letter of what I just said is on-topic ... – Rand al'Thor Apr 17 '16 at 1:20
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    Thanks. If only I could ask for the entirety of Solaris (1972) to be translated, just in case the subtitles missed something... – Molag Bal Apr 17 '16 at 1:21
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    I was going to point out my question, but you already had. Whoo, free publicity! – user31178 Apr 17 '16 at 1:53

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