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13112language sources (was documentation for A&S?)

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  • Ariane Helou
    Oct 1, 2001
      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.
      >>
      >>Smiles,
      >>Despina
      >>
      >I admire you for doing this and I still want a Tibetan English dictionary
      >so that
      >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?
      >Dorje

      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...

      valete!

      Vittoria
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