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Re: [Czechlist] Re: klaster

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  • PSS Praha - Coilin O' Connor
    ... an ... I am not trying to pick a fight :-) but I think cloister is totally fine even in a modern English context, and I have heard it used quite
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 4, 2001
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      >
      > Thank you, but this is a Czenglish translation ... The
      > word "cloister" doesn't help me, because it's not really natural to use in
      an
      > ordinary modern text, and it still doesn't tell whether the building is a
      > monastery or a convent.

      I am not trying to pick a fight :-) but I think "cloister" is totally fine
      even in a modern English context, and I have heard it used quite frequently
      in good old Catholic Ireland. It is a very handy word if you want to refer
      to monasteries and convents in general or if you don' t know whether such a
      building houses nuns or monks. It is also defined by the OED as "a convent
      or monastery" without any reference being made to its having fallen out of
      usage. I think that sometimes in our desperation to avoid Czenglish, we
      overcompensate and end up "dumbing down" our translations. We shouldn' t
      underestimate the intelligence of our target readership. As a native
      speaker, if I am reading a text on an area with which I am not familiar and
      I find a word I don' t know, I am quite willing to look up an
      English-English dictionary to find out what it means. After all, without
      over 700,000 words in the English language one can't know them all.
    • PSS Praha - Coilin O' Connor
      ... Whoops! this should be with over 700,000 words brgds Coilin
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 4, 2001
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        > English-English dictionary to find out what it means. After all, without
        > over 700,000 words in the English language one can't know them all.

        Whoops! this should be "with over 700,000 words"

        brgds

        Coilin
      • Simon Vaughan
        ... FWIW, I used Osek Monastery and the Cistercian monastery in* Osek in the Molitor catalogue I translated last summer. *I suppose at might be
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 4, 2001
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          > >which goes into the history of the Cistercian Monastery at Osek.
          > >Haven't had time to read it all but it seems pretty clear from a quick
          > >skim that it was established and operated by Cistercian monks.

          FWIW, I used 'Osek Monastery' and 'the Cistercian monastery in* Osek' in
          the Molitor catalogue I translated last summer.

          *I suppose 'at' might be preferable if (as it seems) Osek is a small
          place.

          Simon
        • Tony Long
          I don t know about precision vs. dumbing down, and my existence is so cloistered that it fails to include much modern Irish, but I think the whole debate
          Message 4 of 13 , Sep 5, 2001
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            I don't know about precision vs. dumbing down, and my existence is so
            cloistered that it fails to include much modern Irish, but I think the whole
            debate hinges on who uses the word most, to whom, and in what, and whether
            our translation will create confusion or not.

            The people who use the word 'cloister(s)' most in English are those who
            write about architecture. They do so to inform fellow architects of a
            particular kind of structure, or to describe such a structure to
            tourists/interested visitors. The word usually appears in journals and
            tourist literature.

            This structure/area may be part of a monastery or a nunnery. It is not
            usually the whole thing. My ancient Chambers Etymological Dictionary gives:
            'a covered arcade forming a part of a monastic or collegiate establishment;
            a place of religious retirement, a monastery or a nunnery' then derives the
            word from Old French and Latin for 'to shut, close'.
            A Faber dictionary of architecture (1993): 'A covered and often vaulted walk
            around an open space (or Garth) that is usually square on plan, having a
            largely solid outer wall and openings, sometimes filled with tracery, on the
            garth. A feature particularly of monasteries, in which it forms a passageway
            from the church to the chapter-house, refectory, etc.

            IMO, whatever its original meaning or use - and whatever relict usage
            survives in special circumstances such as religion-marinated Erin Go Brath -
            'cloister' as a noun refers to part of a building/complex, not the whole
            thing. As a verb, it means 'to confine', with overtones of uncomfortable but
            necessary proximity, possibly secrecy; 'he's been cloistered with the
            designers for hours. I wonder what they're cooking up'.

            In all the religious, historical, and tourist literature we have translated
            over the years, I have always avoided using the word 'cloister' at all, in
            order to avoid confusion. If it's a place, then it's a monastery, convent,
            nunnery, retreat, college, etc. If it's a covered walk with fancy vaulting
            around a courtyard, then that's what I say, one way or another. The
            definitions often mean that we have to talk to the author or even ask for
            photographs or go for a look - not always practical, I know.

            False friends always seem to invite the 'shoe-horn' approach - with
            etymology at one's side, a body of loose usage from previous literature
            egging one on, and a cosy feeling of technical rectitude, one squeezes the
            meaning into the word and leaves the text to limp on - in the assumption
            that one will never have to meet it again, a couple of years later, and see
            just how crippled it is ....

            As a hollow laugh and a reminder to beware of similar-looking words,
            especially on Latin roots, the pencil-holder on our kitchen shelf is a posh
            jar from Harrods (booty from some pharma-freebie), the label of which
            proudly proclaims: 'Home Produced Organic Marmalade guaranteed free of
            artificial preservatives'. I should bloodywell hope so - but there's a
            couple more in there as well.

            Best

            Tony
          • JPKIRCHNER@aol.com
            I liked your discussion of this word. ... It depends on what you are exposed to in life. I hear the term cloister used far less in an architectural meaning
            Message 5 of 13 , Sep 5, 2001
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              I liked your discussion of this word.

              >The people who use the word 'cloister(s)' most in English are those who
              >write about architecture.

              It depends on what you are exposed to in life. I hear the term "cloister"
              used far less in an architectural meaning than in relation to the practice of
              cloistering nuns. In that sense too, it refers only to part of the convent
              or monastery.

              Jamie
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