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50432RE: [Czechlist] Re: Long adjectival phrases revisited plus season's greetings

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  • Pilucha, Jiri
    Dec 30, 2012
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      Oh yes, it was harsh, and very much so; in fact quite unprecedented in the history of this forum.
      As for my discrepancy, how do I explain it? Human error, as simple as that. I spoke of "the second of your examples" where the first one was "Mytim cerena, pohybujici se bublinkova pena....." and then my eyes hastily scanned the second paragraph, "The suds, whipped up by the washing process and constantly in motion...", and in a fraction of a second I jumped to the conclusion "Hey this is exactly the right order of words", without realizing that I was actually reading an English sentence, and funnier than that, an English translation of the first one. I apologize for my error. It does not change the fact, though, that creative writers have a license to do whatever they want and an example like that is, in my opinion, irrelevant in this debate.
      And yes, I am totally missing your basic point insofar as your objective as a translator is to be looking at all costs for the least good of all options and exert enormous effort explaining how it cannot unequivocally be described as outright wrong.
      It is curious how you avoid going to an undisputable authority such as UJC or UBS. I will gladly pay the 3 hundred myself and then re-send their response. And accept their verdict, and apologize if proven wrong.
      High school teachers? Been there.

      From: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Czechlist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Melvyn
      Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2012 11:19 AM
      To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Czechlist] Re: Long adjectival phrases revisited plus season's greetings

      >Are you serious in putting forward a quote from an author of experimental prose highly idiosyncratic in his innovating usage of language (Topol) as being relevant in an argument concerning standardized grammar?

      Jiř�, you sent two messages stating that Topol wrote his sentence with the long pre-noun insert CORRECTLY (your capitals),

      Now you are coming out with a quite different argument. How do you explain this strange discrepancy?

      My interest, as I have said (viz "decent Czech or not..." etc), is actually in characterizing the style of usage, e.g. can it be described as academic, archaic, formal, literary etc etc, given that such structures do crop up? But think descriptive not prescriptive.

      Your latest argument goes to show (to me at least) that Topol can write sentences of "winged" prose, which many people admire, and yet which are found (at least by some) to be ungrammatical.

      But does that make them any less decent? Not according to your answers above. And there perhaps is the rub. It is surely quite possible to write decently and appropriately (and "literarily") without writing "correctly". We can all name dozens of other modern and not-so-modern authors who write non-standardly one way or another. And we translators have to deal with them all.

      >Some time ago you wrote here (in response to my question "What exactly would be wrong with xxx") : "Not much point dwelling on why exactly xxx is just plain wrong". I was rather perplexed at such a harsh response,

      Not harsh at all. I say exactly the same thing to anybody, native or non-native, who asks questions that can best be answered "it just is". Life is short, this way we focus on more useful tasks, and in a context where I answered two other points at some length while I was busy, well, I do not think you were too badly done by. Quite the contrary.

      I should also point out that this list has lots of non-Czechs like me who make various comments on the Czech language (and Czechs who make insightful comments on the English language) -- for your edification or otherwise. If this is ever hard to handle then there is not much I can do for you.

      >Send a written query to Jazykova poradna UJC and/or Ustav bohemistickych studii University Karlovy and ask them which of the following is decent Czech.

      Again I think you are missing a basic point that I have been making throughout this thread. I could send all kinds of professional, hypercorrect, low colloquial, slang, dialectal and archaic language with equivalents in standard everyday Czech and it would be no surprise if they pointed out the non-standard nature of the original sentences in comparison. But the sentences in question could still be the most appropriate or characteristic in their given context (e.g. use of archaic language in some ceremonies, use of obecn� če�tina in fiction and reportage - not decent Czech?). And that is what interests me - their typical style, register, domain etc. Check the thread as I am repeating myself.

      BTW I believe the language advice centre now charges a minimum of three hundred crowns for written responses. I shall check to see if they offer gift vouchers.

      >(and by the way, what "teachers" are you talking about? High school? Please give me a break.

      And what is wrong with high school teachers? A finer bunch of people I have never met.


      P.S. Jamie, I see the humour:
      But am I missing something here?

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