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marian m

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Marian, this is the rather lax use of the quotation marks in Greek and does not convey anything even in Greek (IMO). Placing them in English (or italicising or whatever) overstresses a point that was probably never there and betrays the message instead of being faithful to it.

Nick,
I see your point and allow me to make another observation.  The stuff that I've translated (mostly EL>EN) tends to have a lot of ridiculously long sentences and I can't figure out why. Is it the language? The way writing is taught? A sign of poor grammar? My journalism background (both in writing and editing) makes me hypersensitive to issues like grammar, punctuation, style, tone, etc.


banned8

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Long sentences are not always ridiculous; nor are ridiculously long sentences a prerogative of journalistic language. Or of the Greek language. I suppose that ridiculously long sentences are just a sign of poor writing. Given that, the question that arises is this: does the translator translate into RLS in the target language? Or does he intervene by breaking them up in the best way possible? Philip, over to you.




banned8

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what's RLS?

Ridiculously Long Sentences :-}

(I think you've just created a new term, and an acronym, to boot.)
« Last Edit: 01 Aug, 2006, 22:46:27 by nickel »



marian m

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(I think you've just created a new term, and an acronym, to boot.)



If you say so! ;-)

And here's some food for thought:
The best writers make the fewest words go the longest way. -- Anonymous
« Last Edit: 02 Aug, 2006, 02:54:53 by nickel »


wings

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Philip

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Hi Marian.  You ask
Quote
How else could I convey the writer's tone? Is there perhaps another option in English . . . like italics?  It seems like something is needed.

and I agree with Nickel's reply to you.  Writers' (or for that matter speakers') tones don't always go unproblematically from one langugae to another.  What is a harmless remark in Greek may be hurtful in English, and vice versa.  An episode from my early days in Greece many years ago.

I was in the house of a dentist friend, when his small daughter came into the room with a cut finger.  She said "μπαμπά, στάζει αίμα".  His reply was, "Τι θες να στάζει, ζάχαρη;".

This horrified me.  How could he be so cruelly sarcastic when she had come for help and sympathy?  Clearly, this was not his intention, and his whole manner was one of concern.  Many years of similar experiences have taught me that things work differently in the two languages, and the translator has the unenviable job of trying to construct a path that gets the reader from one side to the other with as little damage as possible.

An unsympathetic English comment on what the girl said would be it's a statement of the bleedin' obvious.  To translate the dialogue into English though presents problems.  If one writes "I'm bleeding" or "my finger's bleeding", it leaves no room for a close and comprehensible translation of the reply.  ?"If you cut yourself, what do you expect" is the most natural I could get it.  As for sugar, no way, without sacrificing naturalness.  If you sacrifice naturalness for literalness, you end up giving English readers the impression that Greeks are cruel or very odd people.

Exclamation marks are another thing: don't get me started!

But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot understand? How shall they understand that which is kept close in an unknown tongue?

THE TRANSLATORS TO THE READER
Preface to the King James Version 1611


marian m

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On the other hand, you can't expect everybody to be a good writer.:-)))
Ah Viki . . . only in a perfect world! ;-) But I still have to make a great translation--even if I'm handed gibberish! And so . . .
<img src="http://static.realone.com/rotw/images/buttons/playsm.gif" width="20" height="20" border="0">A Girl's Gotta Do (What A Girl's Gotta Do)
Enjoy!

Hello Philip,
Speaking of perfect . . . your example was, as you say in the UK, "spot on!"

Exclamation marks are another thing: don't get me started!

And now that you're on a roll . . . tell the world what you think about exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 

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