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For Michael Matola

Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Eugene: Actually, I found it online, -- I don't have a hard copy.
This is funny, I came across the same site few days ago. They have lots of books online which I will probably never have time to read.
But I have a question to Al:
Maybe so, I say, but how can you consider Russian a complete language given that it doesn’t even have... it doesn't even have any articles?
Articles? Fu! Who needs them! Who needs articles!
You may not realize this Vadim but articles are crucial to a language.
Oh yeah? How! Pushkin didn't need them... Tolstoy didn't... Even I've spoken Russian for thirty years without using a single one and I've managed to live a normal healthy life thank you very much...
Here Vadim stops:
... Hey, pass me one of your cigarettes, would you...?

I laughed here, but did you do it on purpose or I read in too much?


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
A quick word for P.G.Wodehouse.
He wrote the best English comic novels of the last century. Best known for Jeeves (the gentleman's gentleman i.e. more genteel) than Wooster (the gentleman). I don't have "Jeeves and Wooster" to hand but I do have "A Damsel in Distress". I can't see any odd uses of articles. But then perhaps I'm not conditioned to spot them. I'd refer to buttterfly as 'it' and , I think, so would PGW.

regards
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Al: Sorry, Map, which experiment were you referring to?
Grrr... I guess, I should have said "the experiment", ah?
Actually, I did feel that "an" isn't a good fit, but "the" was even worse. Now trying to analyze my own thinking, I basically was trying to map Russian "спасибо за эксперимент" into English "a-the-zero article" grid. Neither of "a/the" choice was appropriate, as "an" suggests far too abstract "experiment" and "the" instead too particular instance. I guess, my "эксперимент" is somewhere between, I was thankful not only for this particular demonstration, but for the Platonic idea of experiment as such. In other words, "the" was too small, too down-to-earth to be useful. Not sure if all this makes sense...
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"Strip me of all my Java certifications, but please don't ban me from MD!" -- Eugene Kononov
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Okay, here’s a better example. You and I talk about a car that I want to buy. The next day I call you up and say, "I bought the car." In response, you would say "Congratulations!" Alternatively, I call you up the next day and say, "Hey, guess what? I bought a car!" What would you say here? You would say, "Really, which car?" Believe me this is true.
Hm... What language do we speak? If English, then I have to believe you if Russian, well, you would either use intonation , or some referring words like "ту машину", or -- this is very possible! -- I had to ask "the car you told me about?"
Of course 90% of the time you can understand from the context, but every once in a while this ambiguity creeps up and bites you.
I agree! Actually, I think in Russian we often have to ask extra questions to make sure we understand what exactly the speaker means, while in English it could be conveyed with articles.
I didn’t mean to imply that all meaning would be lost without articles—just that the meaning of that joke would be lost.
Why would it be lost??? I do not understand!
I suppose you and I could do an experiment of sorts with me writing in English without using articles, and you writing in Russian without using gender. It would be quite instructive indeed to see which of us sounds more ridiculous...
Hm. You, I guess. Me writing without gender -- but grammatical gender *is* meaningless, my writings might look grammatically atrocious, but all the meaning of the sentence would be here. In contrast, articles *do* have meaning, at least in English where they cannot be substituted by word order, intonation, something else...
[ November 11, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Thinking aout it, the English have a curious habit of avoiding all gender references and direct references like "you". They use the particularly useful "one" ?
What does one think ? One does not do... But one would ....
It's use is diminishing. Though one could still find it useful in many formal situations.
regards
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
But all this is not important!
What *is* important - "anti-translatability" problem!
I changed my mind.
I said that I do not want this book to be translated, and I was on to something. But it was wrong something.
I was thinking it cannot be adequately translated, while the real problem is it must be translated. Adequately or not.
The Russian text is already there, in the book.
Where is this "old lady/vase" picture??? It’s the same with English/Russian text - hard to say what is figure and what is phone.
More to follow -- I need to wrap my mind around this...
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"Strip me of all my Java certifications, but please don't ban me from MD!" -- Eugene Kononov
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I didn't mean to imply that all meaning would be lost without articles; just that the meaning of that joke would be lost.
Why would it be lost??? I do not understand!

oops... I meant to say that without gender the meaning of the joke would be lost. By the time I realized the mistake I'd already posted it and it was too late to correct it. (It seems I'm a second-class, i.e., unregistered, citizen without any sort of editing privileges!) I thought I'd try to let it slide, but of course you called me on it.
Al: I suppose you and I could do an experiment of sorts with me writing in English without using articles, and you writing in Russian without using gender. It would be quite instructive indeed to see which of us sounds more ridiculous...
Map: Hm. You, I guess. Me writing without gender -- but grammatical gender *is* meaningless, my writings might look grammatically atrocious, but all the meaning of the sentence would be here. In contrast, articles *do* have meaning, at least in English where they cannot be substituted by word order, intonation, something else...
Good point....
Map: if Russian, well, you would either use intonation , or some referring words like "ту машину", or -- this is very possible! -- I had to ask "the car you told me about?"
I once did an experiment where I had my Russian students translate the following passage into Russian:
"...This group of students was unique in that each knew English from A to Z, and would have spoken fluently if not for articles: It is so difficult, they complained. I know, I said. Can you explain it to us? they asked. I'll try, I said. Can you try again? they pleaded. I just did, I said.
But we still don't understand!
Patiently, I tried to be patient. Understandably, they tried to understand. But it was hopeless. The mistakes continued. The three women struggled, then despaired, then eventually accepted their fate, each coming to terms with it in her own way: Irina used the; Irina used a; and Irina, the laziest of the three, simply omitted articles altogether.
And a time passed. And the English improved. And like King of Clubs I led our discussions through forests of grammar, often becoming lost, but never once dying. Our fourth lesson was devoted to the color blue; the fifth to red; the sixth to measuring the intricacies of the Russian Soul. It was Irina who started the conversation:
A Russian Soul, she explained, is a very root of our society.
That's truth, Irina agreed, It is very important concept.
Have you heard about it. . . ? Irina then asked.
Vaguely, I answered, but I still don't understand what it is specifically.
It's a. . .
It's the. . .
It's. . ."

Of course, my students tried all kinds of remedies, including the old "та/ту" trick, and the result was absolutely awful. In other words, the literal meaning was more or less rendered, but the language itself wasn't real Russian, because nobody actually talks like that.
[ November 11, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
I edited your post, just to fix markup, sorry.
( " " pretty much neutralizes "sorry", doesn't it?
It seems I'm a second-class, i.e., unregistered, citizen without any sort of editing privileges!
This is true. You cannot delete your own posts either. Another drawback -- anybody can impersonate you, posting as "<Al Labout>" Another thing, our political arguers tend to look down at unregistered participants. All this you get for being unregistered! Ok, here is (are? :shocked; ) good news: you can register. Here. Of course, I committed an act of civil disobedience when called you Al Labout, because this name is very perpendicular to our offical policy on registered names, but this policy covers all our forums except Meaningless Drivel! What I am trying to say, as long as you do not post in "BEA/Weblogic" or "EJB Certification (SCBCD)" forums, you are just fine .
[ November 11, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
I once did an experiment where I had my Russian students translate the following passage into Russian:
if you gave a whole sentence, we could try to do something to it, but how you wrote your text... As much as I hate to say it, there is no solution. Which is to say I do not see any. You win
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"Strip me of all my Java certifications, but please don't ban me from MD!" -- Eugene Kononov
 
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subject: For Michael Matola