Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Zen and the art of translation

Expand Messages
  • melvyn.geo
    ... another tend not to realize how chudy their own command of English is. Knittlova also quotes Poldauf: O anglictine se […] tradicne tvrdí, ze je
    Message 1 of 88 , Sep 1, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      >>Pri srovnani anglictiny a cestiny se zda, ze anglictina ma chudsi inventar
      >>inherentne expresivnich prostredku nez cestina, coz vsak neznamena, ze
      >>by byl nutne mene ucinny. Expresivita v anglictine je ve vetsim mnozstvi
      >>pripadu koncentrovana do lexikalnich vyrazu, ktere jsou nositeli vyhradne
      >>expresivnich konotacnich slozek a maji radiacni schopnost, kdezto v ceskem
      >>textu je expresivita rozprostrena rovnomerneji na vetsi pocet nositelu
      >>slozek denotacnich i konotacnich.

      Jamie wrote:
      >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 always strikes me that Czechs who claim English to be "chuda" in one respect or
      another tend not to realize how "chudy" their own command of English is.


      Knittlova also quotes Poldauf: "O anglictine se […] tradicne tvrdí,
      ze je oproti cestine mnohem mene expresivni, vyuzíva celkem malo
      expresivnich prostredku."

      As Knittlova says "coz vsak neznamena, ze [inventar inherentne expresivnich
      prostredku] by byl nutne mene ucinny", I can't really take particular exception to her use of 'chudsi', which in this context seems to me to have little more than the force of 'less numerous', just as I might claim that German actually has a 'chudsi' == smaller array of diminutives in its lexicon than English but a more productive one in practice.

      BTW it seems to me that 'bohaty' and 'chudy' have a broader range than their English counterparts and I sometimes find myself chewing my pen (or even keyboard) over expressions like 'bohaty zivot' (eventful life?) or 'zivot chudy na udalosti' (uneventful life?).


      You say that Czech is relatively lacking in quite a few departments but then elsewhere in correspondence you say that every language is adequate to the needs of its society. I guess sometimes it just takes time. Another consideration is that having words in a dictionary is one thing, but what the majority of people actually know and use is quite another, viz the way the English refer to just about any fungus that is not field agaric as 'toadstools'.


      >Czech can use syntax more for expressive effect than English can

      This is what I understood but I am casting around for ideas about other 'inherently expressive' devices (syntactical and lexical) in Czech 'kde je expresivita rozprostrena rovnomerneji na vetsi pocet nositelu slozek
      denotacnich i konotacnich'.

      For example, Eisner says that 'a' can have expressive force in sentences like 'A je to!', 'A to se na to podivame!', 'A to ja tak nenecham!' 'A je to zlodejna zlodejska!' (of which he says: Neco nas nutka, abychom kazdou z techto vet opatrili vykricnikem. Citime totiz, ze to jsou vety prudkeho hnuti dusevniho, vety emfaticke, patheticke. To by nasvedcovalo citoslovecne povaze slovce 'a' v takovych vetach.)

      'I' can evidently have similar force ('I ty lharko jedna prolhana'). Note also the use of 'to' above. Then there are constructions with 'ze...' such as 'ze jsi to udelal ty!', which seems to have the force of 'to think that _you_ did it' or how about 'Ze ti narezu prdel' (some kind of warning, I think)? Or as Dominik Lukes has pointed out, there are little words like 'pak' and 'totiz', which can act as 'attitude indicators' (I must admit that I have difficulty grasping how they work as such). Or how about 'snad' in such sentences as 'to snad neni pravda!' 'snad si nemyslis, ze jsem to udelal ja?', 'a mam se snad posrat?' 'a mam snad blejt krev?', 'snad jsi svepravnej' atp?

      Any other ideas about inherently expressive devices in Czech, anybody?

      M.
    • melvyn.geo
      ... Very true. I shall send examples as I find them in weeks and months to come. ... Paul sent me the article recently. I shall try to put it up on the
      Message 88 of 88 , Sep 18, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, Mgr. Lenka Mandryszov� <iona@v...> wrote:
        > Helga is
        > right about changing the meaning when leaving out an important word, but we
        > cannot generalize it and only examples can be, IMHO, discussed here.

        Very true. I shall send examples as I find them in weeks and months to come.

        > There is a very good article about the problem (in legalese) in the latest
        > issue of ToP (Paul Sinclair - Neznalost zakona neomlouva) which aims at
        > de-mystifying legalese (common attitude to legal "speech").

        Paul sent me the article recently. I shall try to put it up on the Czechlist homepage in the near future.

        M.
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.