At 06:33 PM 10/1/01 -0700, you wrote:
> I do this, but I don't like to. I prefer to get a dictionary and do a
> translation of the materials myself.
>I admire you for doing this and I still want a Tibetan English dictionary
>I could do the same, but (very big but) wouldn't this just create a
>literal translation that likely lacks the subtlety of meaning that
>familiarity with the language brings?
I gotta agree with Dorje here :-)
Idioms can certainly be difficult to translate, but keep in mind also that
not all dictionaries give explanations of grammar and syntax. (Most good
ones do, but many also presuppose some knowledge about noun declensions and
verb conjugations; ie, they may simply give the forms for genitive and
dative without explaining what they mean.)
I'm a language geek, but I still don't always trust the dictionary by
itself if I don't know the grammar of a language. German, for example; I
know a few words, but I usually have to make a wild guess at
syntax. Having the German original, a dictionary, AND an English
translation means I can double-check on word definitions, and that I don't
have to worry about figuring out the sentence structure. (This is a real
example, btw; last year I was in a production of "The Magic Flute," all in
German, but the only translation our director provided us was this silly
rhyming business stuffed with "thees" and "thous"...it had *nothing* to do
with what the characters were really saying!!)
Producing your own translation is a great idea, but unless it's a language
you know well, I would still recommend having a published translation (as
modern a one as possible), or a translation by a friend fluent in the
language in question, alongside the original just to double-check everything.
And speaking of translations, my Latin homework is calling me...