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Re: CHAT: Hello

From:Frank George Valoczy <valoczy@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 2, 2001, 17:26

I'm sorry for having made the statement about translating the UN human
rights thing; even for Dalmatian it would be out of place IMO. When I said
that I was just being. ...(I don't know the word)... the only reason I
said, "now this would be a translation exercise", is I thought at first
only about the complexity of said document.

On Wed, 2 May 2001, Roger Mills wrote:

> Irina Rempt wrote: > << Translating *anything* lengthy from the Bible (or modern-day > political texts, or Kipling, for that matter) into Valdyan calls for > many words for concepts that don't exist in Valdyan (the *concepts* > don't exist, it's not just that I don't know the words yet) which > will forever after be part of the Valdyan vocabulary, that is, of the > culture. By translating something alien to the culture I've > contaminated the culture by concepts alien to it, and I don't want > that to happen so I take care only to translate things either neutral > or fully compatible (like the Vlami story or the Draseléq play). >> > > I fully agree with Irina's position. Some of us, clearly, put a great deal > of care and thought into the creation of the culture(s) underlying our > languages. Those that are Not of This Earth, or of This Time, by > definition, will lack, perhaps will not need, certain concepts that we > members of theW.European/Judeo-Christian world take for granted. And > indeed, some of those things we take for granted seem odd, quaint, _alien_ > to many others of our own species. So how will they be seen by a truly > alien culture? > > It is also true that some of us probably ascribe more reality to our created > cultures than would the casual observer. Perhaps, even, more than is > healthy-- but that's a judgment call, and I haven't seen any evidence here > lately of severe mental imbalance. > > I have translated bits and pieces of the Bible into Kash; it's readable, but > if Kash people truly existed, they would be asking "What this all about?" at > almost every phrase, and a really adequate translation would thus require a > vast explanatory apparatus. "A God who speaks (!) to "His" people? What > kind of "God" creates a paradise but enjoins the 2 residents not to touch > one particular bit of it? In what way are murder, theft, or adultery > "sins"-- crimes yes, but that's a legal matter isn't it? If I commit an > offense against my society, the society has ways of dealing with it-- what > does "God" have to do with it? If I offend my neighbor, surely it's up to > me to make amends, if at all possible; and if I do so adequately, then it's > up to my neighbor to accept it, and we get on with our lives. > > "We can speak of "redeeming" a coupon, or a bond; we know about "ransoming" > a kidnap victim; but how do you "redeem" a person? From what, with what? > What is this 'original sin'? Do you truly consider yourselves inherently > sinful? How odd. > "Give us this day our daily bread"-- in what way is this "God's" concern, > and who are we to be giving God an order? Even as a figure of speech, isn't > my daily search for physical and spiritual sustenance my own problem?" > > > Re the Declaration of Human Rights: they would ask, "what's with you people, > that you have to be _told_ how to live in harmony with one another?" (Also, > it's just too long and dreary to translate....) > > Not that I view the Kash as perfect specimens. They get up in the morning > and go to work; cheat and lie; they eat, drink and shit. They dislike and > distrust their Gwr neighbors. They occasionally kill. They do take far > better care of their planet than we do, and, having been civilized longer > than we, tend to think things through more carefully. > > I have read and used the _I Ching_; to me it's an amusing game, not totally > understood even with all the footnotes; at a higher level, the _Tibetan Book > of the Dead_ in English translation. Grammatical yes, but almost > incomprehensible to me. Alas, I'm not a member of the cultures that > understand and respect these things, and it would take years, perhaps a > lifetime, to achieve such understanding. Sometimes, mere translation isn't > enough. >
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