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20003RE: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????

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  • Helga Humlova
    Mar 2, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      No, no, no, no, no. Imagine you translate a "must-should" as
      "should-should" and something happens, because the user saw it as
      "recommendation only" and for various reasons did not do what he was
      "recommended" to do because you translated it as "should-should" which
      showed it as not being imperative.
      On the other hand, if you translate a "should-should" as "must-should"
      and it is actually only a "should-should" you might get in trouble with
      someone for excluding him/her from something because he/she does not
      fulfill this "must-should" requirement, even though it is only a
      "should-should" requirement and this person, had he/she known that it is
      only a "should-should" requirement would not have had to refrain from
      doing/using because of the non-fulfillment of a requirement, which
      actually was not meant to be an imperative requirement.

      It seems that something I never saw as being a problem is actually more
      than a problem.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Terminus Technicus [mailto:czechlist@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:22 PM
      To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????

      Ahoj Helgo,

      Don't think we're that desperate... in contracts, if the author wants to
      "someone must do something", they usually say "someone shall do
      something"... haven't seen many contracts with "should" in them. In
      and instructions, you'll probably be able to judge what they meant by
      meaning/context of the sentence...

      In the bus driver example you gave, I think it's safe to assume it means
      MUST, or at least it SHOULD mean must :), otherwise the sentence would
      have to be written in the first place... common sense, context and
      should be enough to carry you trhough most problems... but I've got a
      feeling that your question/discussion comes from a German-speaking group
      the frustration comes from the German (and Austrian) looooove for
      "ordnung" - n'est ce pas?


      > So, how in the world a non native speaker of E knows, when "should" is
      > actually "must" and in which cases it is "recommend". I am so
      > about that because we all know that - especially - Americans "love"
      > suits and I would think that companies are extremely careful about
      > they say things. So, if I were a US company I would avoid the word
      > "should" when I mean "must" because any US lawyer would interpret
      > "should" as just being a recommendation and as we all know,
      > recommendations are not binding. So if I only "recommend" something,
      > this is not binding for my client and therefore he can sue me that I
      > have not told him that this and that is absolutely imperative.
      > From what I have said so far I come to the point, that for the purpose
      > of _correct_ translation it is extremely important for us to exactly
      > understand what a certain word stands for, or the translation may be
      > totally wrong. I think you would agree with me, that it is definitely
      > wrong to say "musite udelat/mit/...." when the author actually meant
      > "byloby dobre, kdybsyste...." and vice versa it would be even worse.
      > So, what am I supposed to do, think, believe??????
      > Helga
      > > The basic concern is: does this "should" express a "must" or a "is
      > > recommended"
      > >
      > As when my ESL students ask an "either/or question", my answer is
      > > Examples:
      > >
      > > Before riding with a passenger, the driver should become highly
      > familiar
      > > with the operation of the vehicle.
      > >
      > Translation: "You can run the vehicle without being highly familiar
      > with
      > its operation, but you could get yourself into big trouble if you
      > orient
      > yourself first. So you had better get familiar with it."
      > > Protective clothing that should be worn by the operator:
      > >
      > In this case, it means "must".
      > > No one under the age of 16 should operate this vehicle.
      > >
      > In this case it means "had better".
      > In general speech, "should" usually means "ought to" or "it is
      > recommended".
      > However, it can sometimes mean "you had better, if you don't want
      > trouble,
      > but it's still your choice". Occasionally, someone uses the word to
      > sound
      > friendly when they really mean "must", or at least where a German or a
      > Czech
      > would want to say "must".
      > Remember that in English we don't say "must" as much as the Germans or
      > Czechs, possibly because we have a longer history of egalitarianism.
      > German
      > managers coming to the US often have to be trained to stop saying
      > unless they
      > are being extremely forceful. It is to be replaced with "should" or
      > "have
      > to", so that, as in one case I know, the German does not end up with
      > office
      > nickname of "The Gestapo".

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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