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autor vs. author

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  • livingston@seznam.cz
    ... Very true, and has anyone considered why that is? The Czech word commonly offered as a translation of artist - umelec - is actually a quite different
    Message 1 of 4 , May 2 11:46 PM
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      > This is another problem I came across in my editing work. It seems autor
      > has a much broader semantic range than author -- it was used all the time
      > in the Czech version of the magazine, in contexts where it just didn't
      > seem appropriate in English.

      Very true, and has anyone considered why that is?

      The Czech word commonly offered as a translation of "artist" - "umelec" -
      is actually a quite different term. "art" and "umeni" don't always match
      either.

      I think one reason for this is that "umeni" comes from "um" and therefore
      emphasizes more the "skill, craftsmanship" element of art rather than the
      creative side. Another reason is that "umelec" sounds too "nobl" in Czech.
      I don't think a Czech artist would ever call himself an "umelec" or fill in
      the word "umelec" in an application form under "povolani".

      It is very interesting to note that Czechs often resort to the German word
      "kunst" (which they pronounce "kumst") in situations when the English word
      "art" would be appropriate. For example, they hardly ever say "historik
      umeni", instead preferring "kunsthistorik". This word "kumst" lacks the
      stigma associated with "umeni" and its derivatives.

      One could use the word "umelec" to refer to a great artist, regardless of
      field. For example, "Maurice Ravel byl velkym umelcem".

      In short, I can imagine a Czech saying "jsem vytvarnik", "jsem fotograf",
      "jsem grafik", "jsem sochar", "jsem autor tohoto obrazu" or even "jsem
      kumstyr", but never, ever "jsem umelec".

      I would be curious to hear from the native Czechs their thoughts on this
      subject.

      Nathan Cutler
    • Zdenek Bobek
      ... From: To: Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001 8:46 AM Subject: [Czechlist] autor vs. author ... Czech. ... in
      Message 2 of 4 , May 3 11:16 AM
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: <livingston@...>
        To: <Czechlist@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2001 8:46 AM
        Subject: [Czechlist] autor vs. author


        > I think one reason for this is that "umeni" comes from "um" and therefore
        > emphasizes more the "skill, craftsmanship" element of art rather than the
        > creative side. Another reason is that "umelec" sounds too "nobl" in
        Czech.
        > I don't think a Czech artist would ever call himself an "umelec" or fill
        in
        > the word "umelec" in an application form under "povolani".

        Yes, quite correct.

        > In short, I can imagine a Czech saying "jsem vytvarnik", "jsem fotograf",
        > "jsem grafik", "jsem sochar", "jsem autor tohoto obrazu" or even "jsem
        > kumstyr", but never, ever "jsem umelec".

        Anybody saying "ja jsem umelec" is considered to be an idiot, while "ja jsem
        vytvarnik / grafik / malir" is OK.

        Bob
      • Michael Trittipo
        At 08:46 2001/05/03 +0200, you wrote:
        Message 3 of 4 , May 3 8:07 PM
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          At 08:46 2001/05/03 +0200, you wrote:
          << . . . seems autor has a much broader semantic range than author . . .
          contexts where it just didn't seem appropriate in English. >>

          It bears noting, though, that "author" has _in American legalese_ a range
          like Czech's: one is the author, in AE copyright law, of a painting, a
          photograph, a musical composition, a sculpture, etc. The reasons are
          partly historical, partly systematic.

          If you want an even stranger use, recall that in the U.S. Constitution's
          phrase "Science and useful Arts . . . Authors and Inventors" the word
          "Science" refers to fiction and non-fiction works (and in modern extension
          to paintings, etc.), and the word "Arts" refers to physics, chemistry,
          engineering, etc.








          Michael Trittipo
          Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
          mailto:tritt002@...
        • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
          ... I have my undergraduate degree is in painting, from a professional art school. Before I knew any better, instead of saying I was a malir, I said I was
          Message 4 of 4 , May 4 3:54 AM
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            In a message dated 5/4/01 4:10:40 AM, zdenek.bobek@... writes:

            >Anybody saying "ja jsem umelec" is considered to be an idiot, while "ja
            >jsem vytvarnik / grafik / malir" is OK.

            I have my undergraduate degree is in painting, from a professional art
            school. Before I knew any better, instead of saying I was a malir, I said I
            was trained as an umelec, and Czechs would think at first that I was an actor.

            Jamie
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