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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 "You need a change: try Canada" "You need a change: try China" --fortune cookies opened by a couple that I know