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Re: [Czechlist] Re: "Kde se to v nem bere?" - how would YOU translate it?

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  • James Kirchner
    ... I was interested to know that someone else does this, although I shouldn t be surprised. One of my frequent habits, when reading or listening to music, is
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 31, 2007
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      On Aug 28, 2007, at 10:16 AM, Beata Rodlingova wrote:

      > Pepa the Context-Setter is fictional, literally, and the piece of
      > fiction is a short story a friend wrote, and as we joked about how he
      > was not to ask me for translation once he decided to publish in
      > English, I started pondering over the possible translation of bits and
      > pieces of it because it bugs me when I find myself unable to get a
      > Czech idiom expressed in another language.

      I was interested to know that someone else does this, although I
      shouldn't be surprised.

      One of my frequent habits, when reading or listening to music, is to
      think about how this or that expression would be mistranslated by an
      incompetent translator. When I do this, I not only identify
      difficult words and idioms, but more often cultural cues that are
      liable to be missed.

      I even use parts of these texts or songs in my English classes to see
      how the students translate them. Even Germans who have lived in the
      US as long as 10 years, and who have what sounds like near perfect
      English, will still totally mess something up. For example, when
      given a verse that starts out, "They put up a plant where we used to
      park," they're liable to write a German sentence that means, "They
      planted a tree on our parking lot." In reality, it's obvious to
      every American that the sentence means, "They built a factory in the
      remote field where we used to kiss in my car at night."

      Jamie



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