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Inspired by an old question by Kevin Lin and the communal translation of an answer by Laurent Fargues, I am proposing a communal effort to translate from Russian to English Drinfeld's famous 1988 letter to Schechtman: typeset and in the handwritten original.

I am starting a blank, communal answer below in which to whip up the translation. Thanks in advance for any contributions!

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Wouldn't it be more efficient to offer $100 to a grad school classmate who is fluent in Russian to do it in one sitting? – Boyarsky Jun 28 '10 at 1:58
Thanos, it could be helpful if you put the Russian version in TeX (as it has plenty of formulas) and then Russian text is translated. Isn't the TeX source unavailable? – Wadim Zudilin Jun 28 '10 at 2:05
@Boyarsky: That is a good suggestion, but I wanted to experiment with MO first. – Thanos D. Papaïoannou Jun 28 '10 at 2:15
@Wadim: Only the answer needs to be in community wiki, since only the answer needs to be edited by the community. But to keep my motives above any suspicions, I'm making it community wiki. – Thanos D. Papaïoannou Jun 28 '10 at 2:21
@Wadim: I'm afraid I haven't been able to procure the .tex source of the letter. – Thanos D. Papaïoannou Jun 28 '10 at 2:21
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Keith Conrad has kindly produced this translation.

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Translation done and sent to Thanos. Move on to other business, folks! – KConrad Jun 28 '10 at 5:50
It has been submitted to russian authorities for review; stay tuned! – Thanos D. Papaïoannou Jun 28 '10 at 6:21
I'm afraid I failed to obtain permission to distribute the translation of the letter publicly. – Thanos D. Papaïoannou Jun 29 '10 at 2:28
Permission obtained! – Thanos D. Papaïoannou Aug 16 '10 at 17:29
If native speakers can post comments indicating any mistakes in translation (once Thanos posts links to original versions of the letters) then they will be taken into account. – KConrad Aug 16 '10 at 18:52

I have lost the url for the Letter to use as a reference, though I was able to access it myself.


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It appears Thanos's web page no longer exists. – S. Carnahan Nov 23 '11 at 14:49
Jim, if you hold a cursor over the link to the translation in Thanos's answer then you should see what the URL is. – KConrad Nov 23 '11 at 17:58
Hello, everyone! I have re-activated the link above!, i.e. the translation is at: – Thanos D. Papaïoannou Nov 28 '11 at 1:17

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