Re: CONLANG Digest - 7 Jun 2000
|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Friday, June 9, 2000, 14:46|
On Fri, 9 Jun 2000, Muke Tever wrote:
> >Anyway, in my opinion something is untranslatable only
> >to the extent that it is vague or undefined.
> Very good! Ranges of vagueness ought to be very hard to retain across
> languages... "El hombre se es" has a different range of meanings than a
> word-for-word English translation has.
The trick is that this polysemy is really immense, which is what makes
translators like the Babelfish so piss-poor. Douglas Hofstadter lists
something like 15 Italian equivalents for "the fact that" and about
20 German ones for "hard"....
John Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
"You need a change: try Canada" "You need a change: try China"
--fortune cookies opened by a couple that I know