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Untranslatability (was: RE: CONLANG Digest - 5 Jun 2000 to 6 Jun 2000 (#2000-155))

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Thursday, June 8, 2000, 8:33
I send this back to the list. This subject is too interesting not to submit
it to the whole community. Pablo, you participated the original discussion
on Langmaker. Do you have any comments? (especially: what does this
sentence mean? :) )

>X-WebMail-UserID: alrivera >Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2000 11:27:26 -0400 >Sender: Muke Tever <alrivera@...> >From: Muke Tever <alrivera@...> >To: Christophe Grandsire <Christophe.Grandsire@...> >X-EXP32-SerialNo: 00002783 >Subject: RE: CONLANG Digest - 5 Jun 2000 to 6 Jun 2000 (#2000-155) >X-Mailer: WebMail (Hydra) SMTP v3.61 > >>===== Original Message From Christophe Grandsire >>At 02:30 07/06/00 -0400, you wrote: >> ><snip> Ok. >> >>Interesting anyway. Do you have any natlang (or conlang) example of a >>statement that can be said without a problem in a certain language but >>cannot be translated accurately in another language without problems like >>the ones I have (uneasiness, nearly grammatical incorrectness - not really >>grammatical incorrectness but grammatical awckwardness, whatever way of >>translating you choose -)? I would be very interested to hear of such an >>example. > >One came up on another list; apparently there's a Spanish inscription: > >"El hombre se es" > >It can't be directly translated into English--because our verb "to be"
>have a reflexive sense: "The man is himself", the direct English
>means that he isn't anybody else, which isn't what the Spanish verb 'serse' >says at all. It's perfectly normal Spanish, but very difficult English. > >Err, the URL to the discussion: > >It's Exu Yangi's example, see his posts on it. > > > *Muke! > >-- > ICQ: 1936556 AIM: MukeTurtle >"No one's ever seen or heard anything like this, >Never so much imagined anything quite like it-- >What God has arranged for those who love him." > >
Christophe Grandsire |Sela Jemufan Atlinan C.G. "Reality is just another point of view." homepage : (ou :