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Re: On the translation problem

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  • Arun
    Hi Divya, That is amazing, so we d have to translate right as to the east when you face north ? Best, -Arun
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 4, 2012
      Hi Divya,

      That is amazing, so we'd have to translate "right" as "to the east when you face north"?

      Best,
      -Arun
    • subrahmanyas2000
      Why is this so surprising ? In Samskritam/most indian languages too, this is mostly the case.. The directions are all relative to the East. So - dakshinam -
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 5, 2012
        Why is this so surprising ?

        In Samskritam/most indian languages too,
        this is mostly the case..

        The directions are all relative to the East.
        So - dakshinam - means both "right" and "south" (because
        a person facing the east has the right hand to the south)
        uttaram - also means both "left" and "upper"

        poorvam / paschimam also mean before / after.




        --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "indigenous1985" <indigenous1985@...> wrote:
        >
        > Apparently there's this community somewhere in Australia that
        > does not have words for "left" and "right", etc.
        >They use words like "east" and "west" instead.
      • indigenous1985
        ... But how do you know where the East is? Most people have to look at the sun or the stars to figure that out. This is not the case with this community in
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 5, 2012
          --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "subrahmanyas2000" <subrahmanyas@...> wrote:

          > Why is this so surprising ?
          > The directions are all relative to the East. >>>>

          But how do you know where the East is? Most people have to look at the sun or the stars to figure that out. This is not the case with this community in australia because they hone the ability to determine the directions from a very early age.
        • subrahmanyas2000
          1. Well, we are discussing based on wikipedia information as well as opinions of western-linguists as reported in the media. So there are 3 imprecise
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 6, 2012
            1. Well, we are discussing based on 'wikipedia' information
            as well as opinions of western-linguists as reported in the media.
            So there are 3 imprecise sources:
            wikipedia, western-linguists, reporters.
            This in itself reduces the accuracy levels quite a bit.

            2. One can expect a half-informed Indologist to hear the
            line -
            paschima-utpiiTikaayaah dakshine aham sthaapitavaan'
            and translate as
            "I left it on the southern edge of the western table.

            One could say that the words paschima, dakshina in the
            line above are 'absolute' directions just by translating
            paschima and dakshina as 'west' and 'south'.
            -Which of course is nonsense.

            3. My guess is that this could be another instance of western
            linguists misunderstanding and misinterpreting the language
            of the indigenous people.


            Just as reference:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_direction
            Most human cultures use relative directions for reference, but there are exceptions. The Australian Aboriginal people the Guugu Yimithirr have no words denoting the egocentric directions in their language; instead, they exclusively refer to cardinal directions, even when describing small-scale spaces. For instance, if they wanted someone to move over on the car seat to make room, they might say "move a bit to the east". To tell someone where exactly they left something in their house, they might say, "I left it on the southern edge of the western table." Or they might warn a person to "look out for that big ant just north of your foot". Other peoples "from Polynesia to Mexico and from Namibia to Bali" similarly have predominantly "geographic languages".[1]



            --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "indigenous1985" <indigenous1985@...> wrote:
            >
            > --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "subrahmanyas2000" <subrahmanyas@> wrote:
            >
            > > Why is this so surprising ?
            > > The directions are all relative to the East. >>>>
            >
            > But how do you know where the East is? Most people have to look at the sun or the stars to figure that out. This is not the case with this community in australia because they hone the ability to determine the directions from a very early age.
            >
          • indigenous1985
            ... Actually, I heard it on a radio program that had nothing to do with language or translation but was more about orientation and finding one s way. Whatever
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 6, 2012
              --- In TheHeathenInHisBlindness@yahoogroups.com, "subrahmanyas2000" <subrahmanyas@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > 1. Well, we are discussing based on 'wikipedia' information
              > as well as opinions of western-linguists as reported in the media.

              Actually, I heard it on a radio program that had nothing to do with language or translation but was more about orientation and finding one's way. Whatever the translation issues, the fact remains that these people can tell their east from their west no matter where they are, and even indoors. Most human beings cannot do that.

              By the way, isn't there also a word like vaama to say left? Maybe sanskrit speakers are lost in the woods because they have many words for left and right and not just those derived from the directions. Just guessing.
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