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Re: [Czechlist] Experiences as "zkusenosti"

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  • Michael Grant
    ... If I can put my two hellers in, I d say the distinction does exist but is not rigorously maintained by native English speakers, since after all it s the
    Message 1 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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      On Jun 1, 2004, at 6:07 AM, Petr Veselý wrote:

      > OK, but my dictionary says that when "experience" means "the process of
      > gaining knowledge or skills through seeing and doing things" (i.e. our
      > zkusenost/i ) it is uncountable, while when it means "an event or
      > activity
      > that affects one in some way" (our zazitek/zazitky) it is countable.
      > So, you say that experience, meaning the process of ....., is normally
      > used
      > in plural too?
      > For example, would you say "experiences (=the processes of gaining
      > knowledge....) that individual participants/towns/whatever have
      > gathered can
      > differ."

      If I can put my two hellers in, I'd say the distinction does exist but
      is not rigorously maintained by native English speakers, since after
      all it's the same word in both cases. The most careful of editors might
      put 'experience' into the singular in your example, but if he didn't
      it's not likely anyone would notice (anyone not translating the text
      into Czech, anyway). It's also quite possible that the author actually
      had discrete incidents in mind.

      Michael

      --
      The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always
      so
      certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.

      - Bertrand Russell
    • Petr Veselý
      Ok, I give up. Thanks to all who contributed. Simon wrote: Without context, I can t say how I d interpret the question. However, I doubt I d ever think I had
      Message 2 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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        Ok, I give up. Thanks to all who contributed.

        Simon wrote:
        Without context, I can't say how I'd interpret the question.
        However, I doubt I'd ever think I had an either/or choice before
        me. Since we only have the one word in English, we only have the
        one concept.

        If you have only one concept, as you claim, though my Oxford dictionary
        states two, then why do you have problems interpreting the meaning of
        experiences?

        Petr






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      • Michael Grant
        ... The asker would normally say either what is your experience with... or what experiences have you had , not use the singular along with the present
        Message 3 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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          On Jun 1, 2004, at 7:20 AM, Petr Veselý wrote:

          > If somebody asks you "what are your experiences?", would you start
          > describing all your practical skills and knowledge that you obtained
          > in that
          > field, or would you rather start telling funny stories of how you once
          > met
          > ..."

          The asker would normally say either "what is your experience with..."
          or "what experiences have you had", not use the singular along with the
          present tense. So the answer to your question could go either way, but
          only because the wording of the question itself is slightly "off".

          Michael

          --
          "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change
          something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."

          - Buckminster Fuller
        • raesim
          ... I didn t take you for a quitter. ... Okay, dictionaries may differentiate senses (the SOED lists seven), but I don t think native speakers conceptualize
          Message 4 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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            --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, Petr Veselý <veselypetr@p...>
            wrote:
            > Ok, I give up. Thanks to all who contributed.

            I didn't take you for a quitter.

            > If you have only one concept, as you claim, though my Oxford
            > dictionary states two,

            Okay, dictionaries may differentiate senses (the SOED lists seven),
            but I don't think native speakers conceptualize 'experience', in the
            way you do, as 'two words in one'.

            > then why do you have problems interpreting
            > the meaning of experiences?

            I don't have any problems interpreting the meaning of experiences.
            It's dreams I have trouble with...

            Simon
          • Petr Veselý
            Michael G. wrote: The asker would normally say either what is your experience with... or what experiences have you had , not use the singular along with the
            Message 5 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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              Michael G. wrote:
              The asker would normally say either "what is your experience with..."
              or "what experiences have you had", not use the singular along with the
              present tense. So the answer to your question could go either way, but
              only because the wording of the question itself is slightly "off".

              You are right, still it is hard for me to imagine that "the process of
              gaining knowledge and skills" and "an event that affects one" are just two
              sides of the same coin.
              To conclude the whole plight, I am so fussy about this issue because I was
              taught to be by our pí ucitelky, who kept reminding us to differentiate the
              two meanings I have advocated. :-(((
              Petr
            • Michael Grant
              ... Let s say they re two nodes in a larger semantic web. Michael -- Never wrestle a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it. - Unknown
              Message 6 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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                On Jun 1, 2004, at 9:26 AM, Petr Veselý wrote:

                > You are right, still it is hard for me to imagine that "the process of
                > gaining knowledge and skills" and "an event that affects one" are just
                > two
                > sides of the same coin.

                Let's say they're two nodes in a larger semantic web.
                Michael

                --
                Never wrestle a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.
                - Unknown
              • Zemedelec@aol.com
                ... Have you ever noticed how many of the skinny kids who get picked on in school become policemen? (Anon.} Leslie [Non-text portions of this message have
                Message 7 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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                  In a message dated 6/1/04 9:25:33, trans@... writes:


                  > "I have had several experiences with rude policemen."
                  > > = On several occasions I have dealt with rude policemen.
                  > >
                  >
                  "Have you ever noticed how many of the skinny kids who get picked on in
                  school become policemen?" (Anon.}



                  Leslie


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Petr Veselý
                  ... I didn t take you for a quitter. Well, I used up all my ammo without even shaking your idea of concepts , there was nothing else what I could do. If I
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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                    --- In Czechlist@yahoogroups.com, Petr Veselý <veselypetr@p...>
                    wrote:
                    > Ok, I give up. Thanks to all who contributed.

                    I didn't take you for a quitter.

                    Well, I used up all my ammo without even shaking your idea of "concepts",
                    there was nothing else what I could do. If I knew your address, I would pop
                    out to Vaclavak, found some of the British blokes you were writing about,
                    told them your opinions about them, then your address, and I am sure that
                    they would easily persuade you that your "concept" of English is totally
                    wrong and their's is right. :-)))

                    Petr
                  • James Kirchner
                    ... If someone interviewing me asked, What are your experiences? just like that, I would immediately ask, With what? Jamie [Non-text portions of this
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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                      On Tuesday, June 1, 2004, at 08:20 AM, Petr Veselý wrote:

                      > And a question to NSs:
                      > If somebody asks you "what are your experiences?", would you start
                      > describing all your practical skills and knowledge that you obtained
                      > in that
                      > field, or would you rather start telling funny stories of how you once
                      > met
                      > ..."
                      > This is basicallly what I'm after.

                      If someone interviewing me asked, "What are your experiences?" just
                      like that, I would immediately ask, "With what?"

                      Jamie


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • James Kirchner
                      ... Events that affect one are part of the process of gaining knowledge and skills. ... I think this is one of those hyper-distinctions that exist in the
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jun 1, 2004
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                        On Tuesday, June 1, 2004, at 10:26 AM, Petr Veselý wrote:

                        > You are right, still it is hard for me to imagine that "the process of
                        > gaining knowledge and skills" and "an event that affects one" are just
                        > two sides of the same coin.

                        Events that affect one are part of the process of gaining knowledge and
                        skills.

                        > To conclude the whole plight, I am so fussy about this issue because I
                        > was taught to be by our pí ucitelky, who kept reminding us to
                        > differentiate the two meanings I have advocated. :-(((

                        I think this is one of those hyper-distinctions that exist in the
                        formal grammar taught to foreigners but that do not exist as clearly in
                        the rules of native speakers. Think of overlapping fields, rather than
                        two distinctly separate definitions.

                        Another one is how they tell you that "burned" is American but "burnt"
                        is British. Actually, almost all Americans I know use both forms, but
                        they assign slightly different meanings to each.

                        Every so often I find out I was taught some distinction in German that
                        stimmt nicht with real Germans. Sometimes one has to oversimplify to
                        get concepts across when teaching a language. I definitely do that
                        when I teach tenses in ESL. And we have to remember that the German
                        language is not based on English, and that the English language is not
                        based on Czech.

                        Jamie


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Jirka Bolech
                        Hi Petr, sorry for responding so late, but I haven t been able to earlier. I think that quite a lot has been said on this thread, but anyway... your last
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jun 2, 2004
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                          Hi Petr,

                          sorry for responding so late, but I haven't been able to earlier. I think
                          that quite a lot has been said on this thread, but anyway... your last
                          posting sounded like you were not completely getting it yet.

                          > Based on what you are saying, you would then happily translate "jaké jsou
                          > tvé zkusenosti?" as "what are your experiences?"

                          There isn't enough context, but in most situations I wouldn't. Why should I?
                          I never even indicated it would work as your above query suggests. In the
                          light of knowing how things work as described in Mr. Albert Einstein's
                          General Theory of Relativity, Sir Isaac Newton's Universal Law of
                          Gravitation is also a simplification, yet you can apply it 'happily' in your
                          everyday life. Who would bother considering non-linearity when it's so small
                          at speeds you practically encounter? That is unless you're a professional
                          physicist. And that's what you are to languague as a translator.

                          I admit the simplification of translating 'some experience' as "zkusenosti"
                          and 'experiences' as "zazitky" is a fairly good one, at least for students
                          of English as a foreign or second language. Not good enough to insist on its
                          100% accuracy in the translating interpreting trade, though. The problem is
                          there isn't a word in Czech which would _exactly_ reflect the concept of the
                          English word 'experience'. Saying that, any two people in the same nation,
                          speaking the same language, may not always mean the same using the same
                          words when the concepts are complex.

                          I haven't used up my ammo, but I am not in want of killing so I'd rather
                          close this for myself...

                          Jirka Bolech
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