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What does "should" actually mean??????

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  • Helga Humlova
    Zdravim, Another translation chat I am a member at is just discussing the _actual_ meaning of should (mainly the usage and meaning of this word in
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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      Zdravim,

      Another translation chat I am a member at is just discussing the
      _actual_ meaning of "should" (mainly the usage and meaning of this word
      in instructions, manuals, etc.).

      I'd be extremely interested to hear what OUR native speakers have to
      say.

      The basic concern is: does this "should" express a "must" or a "is
      recommended"

      Examples:

      Before riding with a passenger, the driver should become highly familiar
      with the operation of the vehicle.

      Protective clothing that should be worn by the operator:

      No one under the age of 16 should operate this vehicle.


      Helga




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • spektrum2002
      Nejsem sice NS, ale ve vetsine materialu, ktere jsem prekladal, should znamenalo must . Napriklad v bezpecnostnich predpisech se vzdycky narizuje, ne
      Message 2 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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        Nejsem sice NS, ale ve vetsine materialu, ktere jsem
        prekladal, "should" znamenalo "must".
        Napriklad v bezpecnostnich predpisech se vzdycky narizuje, ne
        doporucuje.
        Petr A.
        --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, "Helga Humlova"
        <prekladatelka@c...> wrote:
        > Zdravim,
        >
        > Another translation chat I am a member at is just discussing the
        > _actual_ meaning of "should" (mainly the usage and meaning of this
        word
        > in instructions, manuals, etc.).
        >
        > I'd be extremely interested to hear what OUR native speakers have to
        > say.
        >
        > The basic concern is: does this "should" express a "must" or a "is
        > recommended"
        >
        > Examples:
        >
        > Before riding with a passenger, the driver should become highly
        familiar
        > with the operation of the vehicle.
        >
        > Protective clothing that should be worn by the operator:
        >
        > No one under the age of 16 should operate this vehicle.
        >
        >
        > Helga
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
        ... As when my ESL students ask an either/or question , my answer is yes . ... Translation: You can run the vehicle without being highly familiar with its
        Message 3 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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          In a message dated 3/2/04 7:39:23 AM, prekladatelka@... writes:

          > 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 "yes".

          > 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 don't 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 "must" 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 the office
          nickname of "The Gestapo".

          Jamie


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Helga Humlova
          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 suspicious about that
          Message 4 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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            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 suspicious
            about that because we all know that - especially - Americans "love" law
            suits and I would think that companies are extremely careful about _how_
            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

            -----Original Message-----
            From: JPKIRCHNER@... [mailto:JPKIRCHNER@...]
            Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 1:49 PM
            To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????


            In a message dated 3/2/04 7:39:23 AM, prekladatelka@... writes:

            > 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 "yes".

            > 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 don't
            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 "must"
            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 the
            office
            nickname of "The Gestapo".





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Terminus Technicus
            Ahoj Helgo, Don t think we re that desperate... in contracts, if the author wants to say someone must do something , they usually say someone shall do
            Message 5 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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              Ahoj Helgo,

              Don't think we're that desperate... in contracts, if the author wants to say
              "someone must do something", they usually say "someone shall do
              something"... haven't seen many contracts with "should" in them. In notices
              and instructions, you'll probably be able to judge what they meant by the
              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 not
              have to be written in the first place... common sense, context and instinct
              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 and
              the frustration comes from the German (and Austrian) looooove for
              "ordnung" - n'est ce pas?

              Matej




              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "Helga Humlova" <prekladatelka@...>
              To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:11 PM
              Subject: RE: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????


              > 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 suspicious
              > about that because we all know that - especially - Americans "love" law
              > suits and I would think that companies are extremely careful about _how_
              > 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
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: JPKIRCHNER@... [mailto:JPKIRCHNER@...]
              > Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 1:49 PM
              > To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????
              >
              >
              > In a message dated 3/2/04 7:39:23 AM, prekladatelka@... writes:
              >
              > > 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 "yes".
              >
              > > 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 don't
              > 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 "must"
              > 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 the
              > office
              > nickname of "The Gestapo".
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Czechlist Users' Guide:
              >
              > http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7953/newfaq.html
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
            • spektrum2002
              Tim bych si nebyl tak jist. Existuji predpisy stanovici, od ktereho veku se smi ridit jake vozidlo (maly motocykl, normalni motocykl, automobil ...). Umim si
              Message 6 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                Tim bych si nebyl tak jist. Existuji predpisy stanovici, od ktereho
                veku se smi ridit jake vozidlo (maly motocykl, normalni motocykl,
                automobil ...). Umim si predstavit vnitropodnikovy predpis o
                vysokozdviznem voziku, kde se zakazuje osobam mladsim 16 let vozidlo
                obsluhovat.
                Petr A.
                --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, JPKIRCHNER@a... wrote:
                >
                >
                > > No one under the age of 16 should operate this vehicle.
                > >
                > In this case it means "had better".
                >
              • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                You can use various expressions instead of must . For example: Protective clothing is required when handling... Wear protective clothing when handling...
                Message 7 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                  You can use various expressions instead of "must".

                  For example:

                  "Protective clothing is required when handling..."
                  "Wear protective clothing when handling..."
                  "It is necessary to wear protective clothing when..."

                  "Do not allow anyone under 16 to operate this vehicle."
                  "This vehicle is to be driven by people 16 and over."

                  One of the problems here is that we don't have a word for "nesmí". Czechs
                  say the English word for it is "mustn't", but that is hardly ever used in
                  America and it sounds humorous to us. The only close replacement, if you want to
                  use a modal, is "shouldn't".

                  I don't know how US courts have interpreted "should". For all I know they
                  may have interpreted it as equivalent to "must" in some cases. Or else it's
                  possible that some courts interpret it one way, and others interpret it
                  another. Besides, in a country where you can be sued for "excessive eye contact",
                  "insufficient eye contact", or even for saying, "Excuse me, ladies," there is
                  no way to completely eliminate your exposure to lawsuits.

                  If something is imperative, use "must" or some other expression that shows it
                  is imperative. If it's only a recommendation, use "should". Better to be
                  safe than sorry.

                  Jamie


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                  In the example about driving, in the United States when a manual says, This vehicle should be driven by people over 16, it is equivalent to saying, This
                  Message 8 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                    In the example about driving, in the United States when a manual says, "This
                    vehicle should be driven by people over 16," it is equivalent to saying, "This
                    vehicle must be operated by licensed drivers." Sixteen is the age when most
                    Americans get their driver's license, unless they have not taken a driver's
                    training course, in which case the age is usually 18.

                    So, when Americans say, "No one under 16 should operate this," it's generally
                    an unconscious euphemism for, "Only licensed drivers should operate this."

                    Jamie


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Jirka Bolech
                    ... Czechs say the English word for it is mustn t , but that is hardly ever used in America and it sounds humorous to us. The only close replacement, if you
                    Message 9 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                      Jamie wrote:

                      > One of the problems here is that we don't have a word for "nesmí".
                      Czechs
                      say the English word for it is "mustn't", but that is hardly ever used in
                      America and it sounds humorous to us. The only close replacement, if you
                      want to
                      use a modal, is "shouldn't".

                      How about 'BE not allowed to INFINITIVE'?

                      Jirka Bolech
                    • Helga Humlova
                      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
                      Message 10 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                        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.

                        H.

                        -----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
                        say
                        "someone must do something", they usually say "someone shall do
                        something"... haven't seen many contracts with "should" in them. In
                        notices
                        and instructions, you'll probably be able to judge what they meant by
                        the
                        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
                        not
                        have to be written in the first place... common sense, context and
                        instinct
                        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
                        and
                        the frustration comes from the German (and Austrian) looooove for
                        "ordnung" - n'est ce pas?

                        Matej


                        > 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
                        suspicious
                        > about that because we all know that - especially - Americans "love"
                        law
                        > suits and I would think that companies are extremely careful about
                        _how_
                        > 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
                        "yes".
                        >
                        > > 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
                        don't
                        > 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
                        "must"
                        > 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
                        the
                        > office
                        > nickname of "The Gestapo".




                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • spektrum2002
                        Myslim sice, ze Helze neslo tolik o to, jaky vyraz pouzit v anglictine, jako o to, jak prelozit should do cestiny nebo nemciny. Nicmene Jamieho vetu Better
                        Message 11 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                          Myslim sice, ze Helze neslo tolik o to, jaky vyraz pouzit v
                          anglictine, jako o to, jak prelozit "should" do cestiny nebo nemciny.
                          Nicmene Jamieho vetu "Better to be safe than sorry" bych aplikoval i
                          tady. Je urcite lepsi, kdyz strana A vezme doporuceni strany A jako
                          prikaz (vozidlo nesmi ridit osoba mladsi 16 let), nez kdyz prikaz
                          strany A pochopi jako doporuceni (vozidlo by nemela ridit osoba
                          mladsi 16 let).
                          Petr A.
                          --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, JPKIRCHNER@a... wrote:
                          > If something is imperative, use "must" or some other expression
                          that shows it is imperative. If it's only a recommendation,
                          use "should". Better to be safe than sorry.
                          >
                        • Helga Humlova
                          Jamie, what you say is for the direction into E. I am curious about the direction from E into another language. As we all know, most translators have a better
                          Message 12 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Jamie, what you say is for the direction into E. I am curious about the
                            direction from E into another language. As we all know, most translators
                            have a better knowledge of the language they translate into than of the
                            language of the source text. So, what I understand from your explanation
                            is that I would need an extremely deep insight of E on most various
                            everyday and contract situations to be able to judge when a "should" is
                            a "should-should" and when a "must-should".

                            H.

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: JPKIRCHNER@... [mailto:JPKIRCHNER@...]
                            Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:26 PM
                            To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????

                            You can use various expressions instead of "must".

                            For example:

                            "Protective clothing is required when handling..."
                            "Wear protective clothing when handling..."
                            "It is necessary to wear protective clothing when..."

                            "Do not allow anyone under 16 to operate this vehicle."
                            "This vehicle is to be driven by people 16 and over."

                            One of the problems here is that we don't have a word for "nesm�".
                            Czechs
                            say the English word for it is "mustn't", but that is hardly ever used
                            in
                            America and it sounds humorous to us. The only close replacement, if
                            you want to
                            use a modal, is "shouldn't".

                            I don't know how US courts have interpreted "should". For all I know
                            they
                            may have interpreted it as equivalent to "must" in some cases. Or else
                            it's
                            possible that some courts interpret it one way, and others interpret it
                            another. Besides, in a country where you can be sued for "excessive
                            eye contact",
                            "insufficient eye contact", or even for saying, "Excuse me, ladies,"
                            there is
                            no way to completely eliminate your exposure to lawsuits.

                            If something is imperative, use "must" or some other expression that
                            shows it
                            is imperative. If it's only a recommendation, use "should". Better
                            to be
                            safe than sorry.

                            Jamie


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




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                          • vollams
                            ... I m currently working on a translation based in part on standards issued by the US-based Institute of Internal Auditors. These standards are full of
                            Message 13 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                              > I don't know how US courts have interpreted "should". For
                              > all I know they
                              > may have interpreted it as equivalent to "must" in some
                              > cases. Or else it's
                              > possible that some courts interpret it one way, and others
                              > interpret it
                              > another.

                              I'm currently working on a translation based in part on standards issued
                              by the US-based Institute of Internal Auditors. These standards are full
                              of 'should', and right at the end there's an explanatory note:

                              "The use of the word 'should' in these Standards represents a mandatory
                              obligation."

                              I only mention this to add weight to the argument that even native
                              speakers are not always sure how to interpret the word.

                              Simon
                            • Helga Humlova
                              No Petre, to by zrovna nerekla, protoze pak by se nekdo mohl citit jako excluded a muze te za to zalovat, kdyz kvuli nekorektniho prekladu on ma zakaz neco
                              Message 14 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                                No Petre, to by zrovna nerekla, protoze pak by se nekdo mohl citit jako
                                "excluded" a muze te za to zalovat, kdyz kvuli nekorektniho prekladu on
                                "ma zakaz" neco delat, i kdyz ho vlastne nema, protoze se jednalo
                                "pouze" o doporuceni nikoliv o zakaz.

                                H.

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: spektrum2002 [mailto:padamek@...]
                                Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:43 PM
                                To: Czechlist@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [Czechlist] Re: What does "should" actually mean??????

                                Myslim sice, ze Helze neslo tolik o to, jaky vyraz pouzit v
                                anglictine, jako o to, jak prelozit "should" do cestiny nebo nemciny.
                                Nicmene Jamieho vetu "Better to be safe than sorry" bych aplikoval i
                                tady. Je urcite lepsi, kdyz strana A vezme doporuceni strany A jako
                                prikaz (vozidlo nesmi ridit osoba mladsi 16 let), nez kdyz prikaz
                                strany A pochopi jako doporuceni (vozidlo by nemela ridit osoba
                                mladsi 16 let).
                                Petr A.
                                --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, JPKIRCHNER@a... wrote:
                                > If something is imperative, use "must" or some other expression
                                that shows it is imperative. If it's only a recommendation,
                                use "should". Better to be safe than sorry.
                                >






                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                                Helga, now you re getting into the absurdity that the American trial law system has sunken to. In fact, anyone who breathes can get sued. Or as a lawyer
                                Message 15 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                                  Helga, now you're getting into the absurdity that the American trial law
                                  system has sunken to. In fact, anyone who breathes can get sued. Or as a
                                  lawyer told me, "If you have a lawyer and a premise, you have a lawsuit." Since
                                  we cannot live without exposing ourselves to the possibility of a lawsuit, and
                                  our estate could get sued if we kill ourselves, then the only thing you can
                                  really do is use your best judgment and err on the side of caution.

                                  Think of this:

                                  1. If an employer allows harassment to occur among his workers, either a
                                  worker or the government (state civil rights department, federal Equal
                                  Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]) can sue him, even if the harassment went on
                                  in a language he did not understand.
                                  2. If the employer forbids his employees from speaking languages he does
                                  not understand, he can be sued for discrimination by the EEOC, which persists in
                                  bringing such lawsuits even though the Supreme Court has ruled more than once
                                  that such restrictions are legal.

                                  So, a restaurant owner in a current case found that some of his employees
                                  were harassing others, and he couldn't keep tabs on it, because it was going in
                                  in Navajo. Worried about a harassment suit, he figured he'd better set
                                  conditions that allowed him to know whether anyone was being harassed. The only
                                  way to do this was to forbid the employees to speak Navajo, except with
                                  customers who did not speak English well. Even though this is legal, the EEOC has
                                  sued him.

                                  In my linguistics courses, I have to discuss a dialect called "African
                                  American Vernacular English". This is the politically correct term, and I explain
                                  the dialect in the most politically correct manner possible. Nonetheless, my
                                  department, the university legal team and I had to waste a lot of time last
                                  year dealing with an official racism complaint against me by a student who was
                                  angry that I discussed "African American Vernacular English" but then turned
                                  around and said there was no dialect called "Caucasian English". I'm sorry;
                                  there just isn't!

                                  So they have you coming and going. You can be sued for anything you do,
                                  including laughing. Just be cautious and do your best.

                                  Jamie


                                  In a message dated 3/2/04 8:45:13 AM, prekladatelka@... writes:

                                  > 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.
                                  >
                                  >



                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
                                  ... Yes, you re right. I mean a word-to-word correspondence, not an idiom. Jamie [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                                    In a message dated 3/2/04 8:46:16 AM, jirka.bolech@... writes:


                                    > > One of the problems here is that we don't have a word for "nesmí".
                                    > Czechs
                                    > say the English word for it is "mustn't", but that is hardly ever used in
                                    > America and it sounds humorous to us.   The only close replacement, if you
                                    > want to
                                    > use a modal, is "shouldn't".
                                    >
                                    > How about 'BE not allowed to INFINITIVE'?
                                    >
                                    Yes, you're right. I mean a word-to-word correspondence, not an idiom.

                                    Jamie


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Terminus Technicus
                                    Jo jo jo jo jo :) To uz prece davno vime, ze existuji areas kde nejde prelozit ABC jako DEF tak, aby to melo absolutne stejny vyznam a jeste aby to znelo
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Mar 2, 2004
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                                      Jo jo jo jo jo :)

                                      To uz prece davno vime, ze existuji "areas" kde nejde prelozit ABC jako DEF
                                      tak, aby to melo absolutne stejny vyznam a jeste aby to znelo jako original
                                      veta v cilovem jazyce... nerikam, ze je to jasne nebo jednoduche, ale od
                                      toho tu jsme, abychom posoudili a prelozili jak nejlip umime...

                                      Vim, ze se mnou v tomhle nesouhlasis, Helgo, a tohle je jeden z prikladu,
                                      kde bychom mohli diskutovat do zblbnuti...

                                      Cestina je tady IMHO asi tak stejne striktni jako Nemcina - i nase povahy -
                                      pokud jde o prikazy a zakazy - jsou rekl bych blize nes ty za
                                      oceanem/Anglickych mluvcich..., ale presto mi to nepripada jako takovy
                                      problem....

                                      ve vetsine pripadu proste zhodnotim, co tim autor myslel (see Jamie's
                                      comments) a pak to nejak pojednam... pokud by na tom jedinem sluvku zavisel
                                      zivot, (neco us oudu, nebo ten priklad co uvadel Simon) - prelozim to stejne
                                      tak (aby to bylo co nejblize zamyslenemu vyznamu - pokud jej znam), plus
                                      dodam poznamku podobnou jako uvadi Simon (ze jako v A neni nekdy jasne,
                                      jestli should je muset nebo moci, nebo melo by.., takze at si daji
                                      pozor...)... ale jak rikam, troufam si tvrdit, ze tak v 90% mych prekladu
                                      (smlouvy delam bezne, ale na soud ani podobne veci se nespecializuji) tenhle
                                      problem nenestava - tedy alespon pokud si zachovam chladnou hlavu a nezacnu
                                      ve tri rano zmatkovat a vymyslet 99 verzi jedne vety zavisejicich na
                                      drobnych nuancich kazdeho slova v ni (coz se nekdy stava)..

                                      A vim, ze se mnou nebudes souhlasit :), ber to jako muj nazor, zivot neni
                                      skoro nikdy nalinkovany a cernobily, tak proc by takove mely byt i vsechny
                                      popsane papiry (i kdyz nektere by takove SHOULD byt :)

                                      Matej



                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: "Helga Humlova" <prekladatelka@...>
                                      To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Sent: Tuesday, March 02, 2004 2:41 PM
                                      Subject: RE: [Czechlist] What does "should" actually mean??????


                                      > 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.
                                      >
                                      > H.
                                      >
                                      > -----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
                                      > say
                                      > "someone must do something", they usually say "someone shall do
                                      > something"... haven't seen many contracts with "should" in them. In
                                      > notices
                                      > and instructions, you'll probably be able to judge what they meant by
                                      > the
                                      > 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
                                      > not
                                      > have to be written in the first place... common sense, context and
                                      > instinct
                                      > 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
                                      > and
                                      > the frustration comes from the German (and Austrian) looooove for
                                      > "ordnung" - n'est ce pas?
                                      >
                                      > Matej
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > > 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
                                      > suspicious
                                      > > about that because we all know that - especially - Americans "love"
                                      > law
                                      > > suits and I would think that companies are extremely careful about
                                      > _how_
                                      > > 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
                                      > "yes".
                                      > >
                                      > > > 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
                                      > don't
                                      > > 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
                                      > "must"
                                      > > 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
                                      > the
                                      > > office
                                      > > nickname of "The Gestapo".
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Czechlist Users' Guide:
                                      >
                                      > http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7953/newfaq.html
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • Josef Hlavac
                                      ... I second that. Many Internet-related standards (RFCs) contain a section that defines the exact meaning of terms such as must , must not , should ,
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Mar 8, 2004
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                                        > I only mention this to add weight to the argument that even native
                                        > speakers are not always sure how to interpret the word.

                                        I second that. Many Internet-related standards (RFCs) contain a section
                                        that defines the exact meaning of terms such as "must", "must not",
                                        "should", "may", etc.

                                        In this case, "should" usually means "recommended".

                                        Joe

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