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Re: to translate or not

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 2, 2001, 5:17
In a message dated 5/1/01 9:52:34 PM, dirk.elzinga@M.CC.UTAH.EDU writes:

<< This attitude shows remarkably little interest, in and respect

for the creation of others. If you're not interested in seeing

how others' languages work, then you really have no call to ask

them to do translation exercises or belittling them for not

participating. >>

    I think you missed my point.  It's not the languages I have no interest
in--it's the cultures.

<<You seem to have missed the point. I once attended a concert by

the King's Singers. One of the encores they performed was an

arrangement of the Beatles' "Can't buy me love" in the style of

an Elizabethan madrigal. It was fun to listen to but hardly

worth taking seriously--the elements were just too incongruous.>>

    Yes, that does seem hardly worth taking seriously.  Does that make it not
worthwhile?  Do you regret having heard "Can't Buy Me Love"?  I myself have
heard an operatic version of "She's Got a Ticket to Ride" by some female
sopranist (I can't remember the name), and let me tell you, though I didn't
take it seriously, I didn't regret hearing it.  Why must everything be taken
so seriously?  I certainly don't take language creation as seriously as
everyone else, and, thus far, it seems I have a language that's more complete
than many others I've heard of.  Is it as good as some others?  That's a
matter of opinion, and thus far I've heard no opinions either way.  But I
really don't sit there and worry about whether or not other people brand my
language one way or another because it has a word for "God" in it (or "god",
for that matter).
    Anyway, back to some more basic points.  You say it matters greatly
whether or not certain words are in a language?  I say it doesn't matter at
all because you don't even have to record them, if you're just doing a
translation exercize.  You say there are better ways to show off a grammar?
Well, it looks to me that translation exercizes are the way we show off our
grammars on this list: Someone puts up a phrase to translate, people
translate it.  So, I suppose if someone posts something that would be
offensive to the culture of one of your languages, then you don't have
translate it--no one's forcing anyone.  So, what's the better way to show off
a grammar?  I guess you could make up your own translation exercize, making a
note that the current one is offensive or incomprehensible to the nonexistant
speakers of a language only you know.  That's fine.  Is it necessary to post
messages of the like, though?  This is conlang, not conculture (and there's a
definite reason why I'm not a part of the latter).



dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Frank George Valoczy <valoczy@...>