Re: [Czechlist] Re: Zen and the art of translation
- I guess I have already mentioned on this forum my experience with
translating a detective story which took place at a fishing boat. The
fishermen were drawing the net and the catch description included a loooong
list of fish species names. Literally translated into Czech, the list was:
treska, treska, treska, treska....
Martin (back home again)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, September 01, 2003 1:33 PM
Subject: Re: [Czechlist] Re: Zen and the art of translation
> In a message dated 9/1/03 5:24:16 AM, zehrovak@... writes:
> > Pri srovnani anglictiny a cestiny se zda, ze anglictina ma chudsi
> > inherentne expresivnich prostredku ne〓 cestina, coz vsak neznamena, ze
> > nutne mene ucinny. Expresivita v anglictine je ve vetsim mnozstvi
> > oncentrovana do lexikalnich vyrazu, ktere jsou nositeli vyhradne
> > konotacnich slozek a maji radiacni schopnost, kdezto v ceskem textu je
> > expresivita rozprostrena rovnomerneji na vetsi pocet nositelu slozek
> > konotacnich.
> As I mentioned to you off list (but will mention here for the rest of the
> people), I'm a little annoyed by her use of the word "chudsi", and it
> strikes me that Czechs who claim English to be "chuda" in one respect or
> tend not to realize how "chudy" their own command of English is. The
> way of spinning what she said would be to say that Czech is lexically
> impoverished (objectively speaking, it does have a smaller word inventory
> English, Russian, Arabic or French and has to resort to a great deal of
> circumlocution), and so it has to use nonlexical means to express nuances
> languages are able to express lexically.
> However, in theoretical linguistics we simply explain that a complex
> of inflection allows a language's speakers to use word order and other
> syntactic devices to express things, because the verb and case endings,
> word order, tell you who's doing what to whom. Meanwhile, languages that
> simple inflection or no inflection (English, Chinese, Vietnamese) find
> means to express the same or similar things.
> You can find, for example, that Esperanto has most of the syntactic
> possibilities that Czech has, simply because its inventor (a Pole) chose
to include an
> accusative ending for nouns. Just one case ending.
> Everything evens out anyway, though. In what is these days called
> American Vernacular English" there are more verb tenses than in standard
> English, so its speakers can produce sentences like, "They been had that!"
> shoulda been told me!" These meanings have to be expressed lexically in
> standard English, and even then can only be conveyed by imprecise
> However, in that same dialect one does not have the lexical means to carry
> the linguistic discussion we are having now, and so the speaker would have
> switch into more or less standard English to do it.
> Czech can use syntax more for expressive effect than English can (although
> think this point might be arguable), but there are many aspects of modern
> in which it is impossible to express oneself in Czech (at least to the
> satisfaction of the anglophone mind) without resorting to foreign terms,
> then you can't do it with quite the precision or nuance that you can in
> Graphic design and desktop publishing are one example. I also sense
> Czech lacks the financial lexicon, ranging from scientific economics all
> way to stockmarket slang, to say many things that are easily expressed in
> English. Car maneuvers are another realm in which the Czech language is
> "chudsi", to use this woman's term (but not one I would normally use).
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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- --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, Mgr. Lenka Mandryszovï¿½ <iona@v...> wrote:
> Helga isVery true. I shall send examples as I find them in weeks and months to come.
> right about changing the meaning when leaving out an important word, but we
> cannot generalize it and only examples can be, IMHO, discussed here.
> There is a very good article about the problem (in legalese) in the latestPaul sent me the article recently. I shall try to put it up on the Czechlist homepage in the near future.
> issue of ToP (Paul Sinclair - Neznalost zakona neomlouva) which aims at
> de-mystifying legalese (common attitude to legal "speech").