wood burning stoves*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes language translation programs Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "language translation programs" Watch "language translation programs" New topic
Author

language translation programs

Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4340
    
    2

i had to give it a look. i ended up at worldlingo.com
english to dutch to english:
the boy stood on the burning deck
de jongen bevond zich op het brandende dek
the boy was himself on burning covers
:roll:
it does look like the english to dutch was pretty close, but translating back was too much to ask
i think ill translate "the boy was himself on burning covers from english to dutch to english and see what i get
[ June 30, 2002: Message edited by: Randall Twede ]

SCJP
Visit my download page
Younes Essouabni
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2002
Posts: 479
Hi Randall,
spreek je nederlands?(Do you speak Dutch?)
Here is the translation provided by Google (English, French, English)
the boy stood on the burning deck
le gar�on s'est tenu sur la plate-forme br�lante
the boy was held on the extreme platform
Damn huh


Younes
By constantly trying one ends up succeeding. Thus: the more one fails the more one has a chance to succeed.
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Originally posted by Randall Twede:
the boy stood on the burning deck

Go on, finish what you started
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

http://translator.dictionary.com/text.html
English to German to English:
The boy stood on the burning deck
Der Junge gestanden auf der brennenden Plattform
The boy confessed on the burning platform
Reid M. Pinchback
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 2002
Posts: 775
You can get some pretty strange results by trying to translate Jabberwocky back and forth, but interestingly I think the nonsense phrases also give you a sense of where the translations are going to be consistently weak.


Reid - SCJP2 (April 2002)
Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4340
    
    2

younes,
no, i am just guessing the english to dutch was close. i picked dutch because the silly site wouldnt let me copy from the result window. so i had to type it in to translate back to english. didnt want any odd characters that arent on my keyboard.
i am amazed at how far from the mark it ends up sometimes. i have the feeling it is closer on first translation but any error gets enhanced on translating back.
i somehow thought a program could do better than that.
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
Funny.
English -> Russian -> English http://www.perevodov.net
The boy stood on the burning deck
Мальчик постоянный в горении палубы
Boy constant in combustion of the deck
Shura


Any posted remarks that may or may not seem offensive, intrusive or politically incorrect are not truly so.
RusUSA.com - Russian America today - Guide To Russia
Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4340
    
    2


Go on, finish what you started

i cant remember the next line...something about his feet were blistered...i think
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Randall Twede:

i cant remember the next line...something about his feet were blistered...i think

I thought it was: his fleece was white as snow.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4340
    
    2

it seems to do beter with "Mary had a little lamb."
german: Mary hatte ein kleines Lamm
english: Mary had a small lamb.
Baruch Sadogursky
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 09, 2002
Posts: 62
English>Russian>English http://www.translate.ru/
The boy stood on the burning deck
Мальчик стоял на горящей палубе
The boy stood on burning deck
How about that???
You just don't know where to look.


Regards,<br />Baruch.<p>SDFWOF<br />FGEHWS<br />FNEVGE
Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4340
    
    2

that does seem to be a superior program.
english to russian to english:
the truth will set you free
Правда освободит Вас
the truth will release you
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
How about that???

Russian (from the neighbor thread): дождик осенний поплачь обо мне
Инглиш err.. English: дождик autumn cry for me ("дождик" should be rain or something)
Russian again: Дождик осенний крик для меня - yeah, right.
You just don't know from which language to translate. Since English is inferior language, English - Russian translation can be performed without loosing anything. Translating back into English is trivial. But when we are trying to translate from Russian into English, lack of expressiveness is crying
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Original:
True is the tale that I tell of my travels
Sing of my sea-faring sorrows and woes.
Hunger and hardships heaviest burdens
Daily I've born on the deck of my boat.
From Spanish:
Truth is the story that story of my routes song of my pains and afflictions of is -faring. The heaviest loads of the hunger and the daily difficulties I have taken in the cover of my boat.
It's trying to say something!
From French:
Truth is the tale which I tell my voyages sings of my pains and troubles of life of sailor. The heaviest burdens of hunger and daily newspapers difficulties I supported on the platform of my boat.
Daily newspapers?
From German:
The history is applicable, which I sing from my clearance of my Sea faringsorgen and miserable explain. I carried the heaviest daily loads of hunger and the hardnesses on the platform of my boat.
What's the frequency, Kenneth? The history is applicable?
Italian:
To align is the story to that I say of mine race song of my displeasures and trouble of sea-faring. Difficulties heavier than daily difficulties and of hunger I have regarded the platform of my boat.
To align is, indeed, the story!
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Originally posted by Randall Twede:

i cant remember the next line...something about his feet were blistered...i think

Maybe I'm thinking of a different version...
(advert on Australian television)
The boy stood on the burning deck
his pockets full of crackers.
Flames went up his trouser leg
and blew up both his (the word is censored)
Rob Ross
Bartender

Joined: Jan 07, 2002
Posts: 2205
My favorite translation faux-paux of all time were English-to-Dan Quayle English.
Ah, those were simpler times!


Rob
SCJP 1.4
Marilyn de Queiroz
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9044
    
  10
English to German
der Junge stand auf der brennenden Plattform
German to English
the boy stood on the burning platform

English to French
le gar�on s'est tenu sur la plate-forme br�lante
French to English
the boy was held on the extreme platform (sounds familiar, doesn't it, Younes?

English to Portuguese
o menino est�ve na plataforma ardente
Portuguese to English
the boy was in the burning hot platform

Babel Fish


JavaBeginnersFaq
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Ha! Actually, it's not so bad on prose. Translated from here:
"The same as the political freedom assumes the right to cross border of the country so language and cultural freedom is an opportunity to cross border of the language and culture. Set of people still are captives of the language, and the better they speak, the more successfully they erect walls of the prison, reproduce those grammatic and lexical reserves, structural restrictions and prejudices which are imposed to them by the native language and that culture which surrounded them from the childhood.
While we do not know other language, we are in authority native and we can not seize it, we can not speak on it, it speaks us, unconsciously imposing to us the rules and rituals. Language freedom is freedom to choose language for expression of those or other ideas, and moreover is freedom to think about the same subjects in two languages to think stereometrically. To enter on border of two cultures is as from a monosound to proceed in the world stereo: to see one culture eyes another, and to see all things two eyes. The effect is similar to effect of stereomusic or a stereoscopic movie: the sound and the image suddenly find magic volume because each body of perception has the projection of a subject, and, developing, they reproduce its multiregularity. Just as for high-grade physical perception of a subject pair sense organs so are given to it as a minimum, and two languages for volumetric, "binocular" perception of idea are given to the person. Probably, stereo-textualism is the future of human dialogue when languages will serve not as replacement, but addition one to another."
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
read a minute ago: "translation is the highest form of empathy" - now tell me about "language translation programs"
Randall Twede
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4340
    
    2


But when we are trying to translate from Russian into English, lack of expressiveness is crying

i believe that is because english relies on context to convey meaning. more than other languages? for example many words are verb or noun depending on context.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
i believe that is because english relies on context to convey meaning. more than other languages? for example many words are verb or noun depending on context.
Interesting idea. Verb/noun dichotomy is purely grammatical and out of interest for me, although some crazy grammaticians may find this field rather fruitful In broader sense, "english relies on context to convey meaning"... I remember when I started to learn English it stroke me as a cold unemotional language, and as a matter of revenge I would love to hear congruent opinions of English native speakers learning Russian
To avoid accusation in allegation, let's take already used example "дождик осенний поплачь обо мне". 3 words out of 5 have neutral emotional coloration: (I put * after them) autumn's* rain cry about* me*
However. Two remainding words do have emotional load I do not know how to convey in English (disclaimer: it doesn't mean there are no ways to convey it). First, "дождик" (dogdik) is a passionate form of "rain" formed by using a special suffix (ik) that adds a notion of something small, perhaps young, perhaps weak, that's how "kitten" is made out of "cat" in Russian, this suffix is at work when parents talk to kids and this always raise a wave of early childhood recollections - I hope you got an idea. It's like to say "Thomas" and "Tom" except that you can transform any word this way. To say "rain" here is to say nothing.
The second word, "поплачь" (poplach) could be be loosely translated as "cry" if not its prefix. Among other possible trnsformations, "po-" means "to do it for some time", which always has obertones of an action that isn't of particular importance, and/because its result isn't that important either.
Putting it all together, the whole phrase has a mixture of pointless yet warm sadness, whereas its English counterpart "autumn's rain cry about me" suggests that the author should better visit a psychiatrist
I am sure, reverse situations also take place. I have one example, not so emotional though... There is only one word for "row" and "paddle" in Russian, so when translating from English this distinction would be lost. And if you want to preserve it, you would have to use an ugly many-words construction an thus put unintentional emphasis on the verb. A Russian reader would notice that you take a pain to describe an action in full details - so there is something especially important about it, ha? Whereas in an original it's just a verb, without any special emphasis. :roll:
I remember reading Chesterton in translation, I particularly liked one joke, so I decided to go and check how it looks in original - thanks God, his stories are freely available on the Internet. And you know what? There was no joke in original, the translator made it up! And why I liked it - because it followed the rules of my language, that's why I was wondering how it relates to English, that's why translator made it up - the language itself suggested it. I used to have a rule, never read poetry in translation, since then I quited reading prose in translation also
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
"Autumn's rain cries about me," actually is very poetic in English. To this native English speaker it does impart a certain lonliness and sadness. In fact, there is a certain ambiguity in the phrase. What does the author mean with the word "about"? Does he mean that the rain is crying because of him or is the rain falling around him?
[ July 09, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2001
Posts: 1746
    
    2
Map> I remember when I started to learn English it stroke me as a cold unemotional language, and as a matter of revenge I would love to hear congruent opinions of English native speakers learning Russian.
Hmm. Me? I don't think of either language as cold or unemotional. Both have their beauties. When I first started learning Russian, I found it rather telegraphic. (Or at least my inexpert translations -- before I started actively thinking in Russian -- back into English seemed telegraphic.) But that impression went by the wayside many years ago.
Incidentally, I don't do much Russian at all anymore. At the peak of my skills, I was pretty darn good. But life changes have lead me to drop all things Russian for awhile. (It's been about 5 years.)
Map> emotional load I do not know how to convey in English (disclaimer: it doesn't mean there are no ways to convey it).
That's one part of the problem. Language is fun: in speaking our native languages we engage in all sorts of wordplay. But even those of us who've mastered a foreign language don't always move to the level where we can have fun in the acquired language -- the kind of wordplay native speakers seem to intuit. Map, don't get caught up in finding one-to-one matches for Russian language fun in English. It won't happen. Rather, find the native-speaker ways of having fun in English.
(A Russian friend, a skilled speaker of his language, finally mastered American English vowels to the extent that he could accurately make the distinction between "bitch" and "beach." He opined: there must be some good puns or sayings or jokes in English based on purposefully confusing the two words. I replied not really. That's not how we play with the word "bitch." For various reasons, we're more likely to play off the similarities with "witch" ("rhymes with 'witch'"). He never seemed to accept this, always wishing English wordplay worked how he wanted it to.)
The other part of the problem is that people, in comparing "languages," often focus at the wrong granularity. Don't get caught up in the translation of individual words. Focus on more abstract levels: the utterance, the sentence, the paragraph.
(I mean, one of the most expressive (and most misunderstood, by both native speakers and foreign learners) features of Russian is word order and the interplay between word order and intonation in speech. It's subtle and beautiful. And it operates at a much more abstract level than "words." But does it ever get discussed in conversations such as these? No. People just trot out individual words that do or do not translate well. I have damn good word order when I speak Russian -- much better than most Americans who speak Russian -- but does anyone ever compliment me on it.)
Map> "дождик осенний поплачь обо мне"
Autumn rain, cry for me.
Cry for me, autumn rain.
Imperfect, but better than what you've suggested, I believe. No native speaker of English would say "autumn's rain" here. I don't care if "for me" is not a perfect translation of "obo mne"; anything other than "for me" is unidiomatic.
Map> Putting it all together, the whole phrase has a mixture of pointless yet warm sadness, whereas its English counterpart "autumn's rain cry about me" suggests that the author should better visit a psychiatrist
No native speaker of English would produce "autumn's rain cry about me."
I would contend that part of the Russian original is just about rhythm and euphony -- plain and simple. Dozhdik and poplach' aren't necessarily used because of the lofty reasons you suggest, but because the speaker needs two-syllable words instead of one-syllable words so the passage scans well.
Map>
First, "дождик" s a passionate form of "rain"...to say "rain" here is to say nothing.

Map> The second word, "поплачь" (poplach)
Don't focus on individual words. Focus on the passage.
Map> I am sure, reverse situations also take place. I have one example, not so emotional though...
I had a devil of a time once coming up a satisfying translation of John Donne's "numberless infinities of souls" in Russian. The Russian word for infinity just doesn't work as a plural. (And derivationally, it's constructed from the words "without" and "number," which makes a combination with "numberless" difficult.) I fumed, postured, blamed the language for its limitations, etc. Eventually a friend helped me come up with "beschislennoe mnozhestvo dush" -- which I think is pretty darn good. The trick was not translating "infinities" as a plural noun, but eventually as an adjective. I learned something from that experience.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
We have discussed the issue of translation before. I heartily recommend, "Le Ton Beau De Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language" by Douglas R. Hofstadter to anyone who hasn't read it.
The NY Times had a recent article about the problem of translation. There is a book written in French which is a mystery story about the disappearance of a Mr. E. The trick in the book is that the story doesn't contain the letter "E"! The author is able to cover up the disappearance in such a way that one barely notices the the letter "E" is missing. Trying to translate that into English is virtaully impossible. The letter "E" is so crucial to English speakers that a book missing that letter feels unnatural.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Michael Matola:
Autumn rain, cry for me.
Cry for me, autumn rain.

I think I prefer, "Autumn's rain cries about me". Although perhaps it is adding an ambiguity that isn't in the original.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
By the way, Hofstadter translated the Pushkin novel, "Eugene Onegin" into English. He did this without actually knowing Russian!
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0465020941
Another one of his books is titled, "The Mind's I" which is a play on the term "The Mind's Eye". The book is an exploration of how the human mind can see and understand itself; how does the mind understand itself as a unique entity. I wonder how the title would be translated into Russian. Would it lose the play on words?
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2001
Posts: 1746
    
    2
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

I think I prefer, "Autumn's rain cries about me". Although perhaps it is adding an ambiguity that isn't in the original.

The original is an an imperative with a vocative. It's a request -- hey, you, RAIN, cry for me. Map's translation turns it into a statement. (Map leaves out the comma in the original Russian.) I think that's a significant change in meaning, not to be taken lightly.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Michael Matola:
I would contend that part of the Russian original is just about rhythm and euphony -- plain and simple. Dozhdik and poplach' aren't necessarily used because of the lofty reasons you suggest, but because the speaker needs two-syllable words instead of one-syllable words so the passage scans well.
Re-reading your earlier response, I came across this. Hofstadter talks about this problem in the book I mentioned earlier. The French poem that he translates is full of word play that is very difficult to translate into English.
Dante's, "Divine Comedy" comes to mind. No non-Italian speaker can ever truly appreciate the work because of the limitations of translation. Here is a quote from an article about translating "Inferno":

The Commedia's first tercet, perhaps the most recited in western literature, sets the tone for Dante's entire poem. It is an end-stopped tercet with two extremely important rhyme words, vita 'life' and smarrita 'lost', which De Sua calls "opposing semantic spheres" (De Sua).
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
ch� la via diritta era smarrita.

[In the middle of our life's walk
I found myself in a dark wood
for the straight road was lost]
Dante uses hendecasyllabic meter based on the magic number three, which represents the Trinity, and multiples of three: in particular, three-squared, which represents Beatrice, and three times ten, the symbol of perfection, or God. There are thirty-three syllables per tercet and three metrical units per line, nine per tercet. The rhyme scheme (ABA BCB CDC, etc.) is Dante's own invention, and has the effect of bringing the action of the poem forward like a gently rolling wave folding over into itself, weaving it into a huge, complex net: transmogrify just one tercet, and the rhythm and flow are interrupted, unsettling the tercets that follow. Bickersteth is among many who assert that "in no other very long narrative poem in European literature . . . are form and content so closely integrated" (xxviii). He traces the terza rima directly to the sirvantese of the Proven�al poets in which two or three mono-rhymed hendecasyllables are followed by a quinario that supplies the rhyme for the next stanza: AAAb, BBBc, CCCd, etc. The implication, of course, is that Dante created terza rima as a tribute to the Proven�al poets, without whose contributions his "divine comedy" could not have been created.(1) Given this, it might seem improbable that the translator's first decision is whether to render or not to render the terza rima, which seems indispensable to the structure of the poem. For some translators, however, there is too high a price to be paid in trying to reproduce terza rima in English (Musa viii), a relatively rhyme-poor language in comparison to Italian.(2) Indeed, rhyme can be an absolute dictator in a poem such as the Commedia, which demands the production of as many as 4,500 triple rhymes, and in fact Dante's intricate rhyme scheme has been referred to as a "no-tresspassing sign, protecting the text" (Merrill x).
Reid M. Pinchback
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 2002
Posts: 775
Originally posted by Rob Ross:
My favorite translation faux-paux of all time were English-to-Dan Quayle English.
Ah, those were simpler times!

Yes, and the translation in the reverse direction was simple too. Any statement he made always translated to "I am a complete idiot, and somebody voted for me anyways".
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
That's one part of the problem. Language is fun: in speaking our native languages we engage in all sorts of wordplay.
Wordplay is fun, yes, but I do not miss this part of my linguistic arsenal too much, for wordplay rarely suggests anything profound. I do ocassionaly find something that looks like "wordplay" to me in English, must be kind of fun that amuses native speaker at the age of 5 I am having a special pleasure in presenting Michael Ernest with my findings. My last wordplay caused an emotional derangement in him -- sort of deep despair -- he's been playing poker with Patrick since then.
(I mean, one of the most expressive (and most misunderstood, by both native speakers and foreign learners) features of Russian is word order and the interplay between word order and intonation in speech. It's subtle and beautiful. And it operates at a much more abstract level than "words." But does it ever get discussed in conversations such as these? No.
Are you kidding? Myself cannot quit complaining about dry and unpoetical nature of English for presicely this reason. Some time ago Omar Khan said that English is not such a bad language yet when it comes to poetry nothing close to Italian and Urdu
I would contend that part of the Russian original is just about rhythm and euphony -- plain and simple. Dozhdik and poplach' aren't necessarily used because of the lofty reasons you suggest, but because the speaker needs two-syllable words instead of one-syllable words so the passage scans well.
Well, I'll leave it to Michael Ernest to deal with your theory of poetry , but whether they were used "because of the lofty reasons" or not, "lofty effect" is here and asks for preservation.
Map> The second word, "поплачь" (poplach)
Don't focus on individual words. Focus on the passage.

Ha! This shift of levels matters!
And you are speaking from a practitioner's position (translator in this case), I am more interested in "why" than "how". If it were only that there is no one-to-one word map, it would be interesting enough, but it is not about one word. It was something I didn't realize until I learned another language. There are mechanisms to modify any (or almost any) word, well, nouns in case of suffix, to express attitude. The whole mechanism is absent in English - not one word. Russian mays share this grammar aberration with other Slavic languages, I am not sure. Compared to languages of Latin origin, Russian has some unsophisticated barbarian taste for me, its organization is precedent/accidental rather than logical, but then, Michael Ernest would say the same about English...
No native speaker of English would say "autumn's rain" here.
Tangenial to this particular phrase, one thing I learnt during my attempts to say in English what I would say in Russian is that if there seem to be no way to say a thing, then this thing shouldn't be said. Each language has its own spectrum of ideas it is optimized to express. I like Walter Benjamin's idea that translation should not simply repeat an idea in another language, but to complement the language of the original to one universal "super-language".
I had a devil of a time once coming up a satisfying translation of John Donne's "numberless infinities of souls" in Russian. The Russian word for infinity just doesn't work as a plural.
I've never heard it as a plural, but it wouldn't be such a crime to use it this way in poetry - after all, this is what poetry is about - to overcome language limits (and I am leaving it to Michael Ernest to deal with my theory of poetry).
(And derivationally, it's constructed from the words "without" and "number," which makes a combination with "numberless" difficult.)
The Russian word for infinity? It's constructed from "without" and "end". But I do not understand the whole idea of "numberless infinities of souls" - does that mean that 1) a soul is infinite 2) there are many of them?
I fumed, postured, blamed the language for its limitations, etc. Eventually a friend helped me come up with "beschislennoe mnozhestvo dush" -- which I think is pretty darn good.
"neschetnoe" would also work, but if my understanding above is right, "beschislennoe mnozhestvo dush" isn't accurate, it means just "uncountable set" if to ignore that Russian word for "set" is made out of "many" - "manyness", sort of
The original is an an imperative with a vocative. It's a request -- hey, you, RAIN, cry for me. Map's translation turns it into a statement. (Map leaves out the comma in the original Russian.) I think that's a significant change in meaning, not to be taken lightly.
That's why even professionals translate from learnt language into native, not the other way around!
[ July 09, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Another one of his books is titled, "The Mind's I" which is a play on the term "The Mind's Eye". The book is an exploration of how the human mind can see and understand itself; how does the mind understand itself as a unique entity. I wonder how the title would be translated into Russian. Would it lose the play on words?
Yes And I cannot find any replacement... I don't know how it would be translated, once I wanted to write my friends about "Beautiful Mind" movie and wondered what title it got in Russia, because "beautiful" isn't so broadly applicable in Russian and "Beautiful Mind" would sound unnatural. Turned out, it was translated as "Mind's games" and I do not know how good/bad the traslation is because I do not know what is there in calling mind "beautiful".
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2001
Posts: 1746
    
    2
Wordplay is fun, yes, but I do not miss this part of my linguistic arsenal too much, <snip> My last wordplay caused an emotional derangement in him [Michael Earnest] -- sort of deep despair -- he's been playing poker with Patrick since then.
deep despair
playing poker with Patrick
O how you toy with your readers, Map. Hmm, it seems the Russian for "alliteration" is alliteratsiia. Didn't know that one.
My definition of wordplay is quite expansive (aren't you a fan of expansive definitions?) and encompasses much more than children's games and amusements.
Matola> I mean, one of the most expressive (and most misunderstood, by both native speakers and foreign learners) features of Russian is word order.
Are you kidding?
Absolutely not. I love Russian word order. It's one of my favorite things about the language.
It was something I didn't realize until I learned another language. There are mechanisms to modify any (or almost any) word, well, nouns in case of suffix, to express attitude. The whole mechanism is absent in English - not one word.
Ha! This shift of levels matters!
"lofty effect" is here and asks for preservation
But why do you think that the mechanism for achieving a given effect must be the same in different languages. If Russian happens to use affixes of various ilk to achieve some effect, why do you find English deficient for not having those same mechanisms available. Find the English mechanisms and use them -- to great effect.
The Russian word for infinity? It's constructed from "without" and "end".
You're absolutely correct. I was mixing up some words. See how rusty my Russian has become from disuse.
"neschetnoe" would also work, but if my understanding above is right, "beschislennoe mnozhestvo dush" isn't accurate,
But I do not understand the whole idea of "numberless infinities of souls" - does that mean that 1) a soul is infinite 2) there are many of them?
You tell me my translation is inaccurate, but then you tell me you're not sure you understand the original. Numberless infinities of souls. That's a lot of souls. Metric buttloads of souls. Dush do figa.
"beschislennoe mnozhestvo dush" ...<snip>... means just "uncountable set"
Ugh. You drained all the life out of that one.
[ July 09, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Matola ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
My definition of wordplay is quite expansive (aren't you a fan of expansive definitions?)
I am, but beware of English connoisseurs, they are always here to put you and your definitions in your place
and encompasses much more than children's games and amusements.
Um... What else does it encompasses? Actually, after I wrote "rarely suggests anything profound" I thought that Tom gave counter-example right in this thread - "The Mind's I". But one needs to be Hofstadter to find this kinds, and there are only so many Hofstadters around... Ok, I changed my mind: wordplay can be an art - in good hands. It's not wordplay's fault that it is usually performed by dilettantes - like everything else.
You tell me my translation is inaccurate, but then you tell me you're not sure you understand the original.
Hey, it was in reverse order: first I said that I am not sure what original means and then if (if) my misunderstanding is right, then tranlation is inaccurate.
Numberless infinities of souls. That's a lot of souls. Metric buttloads of souls. Dush do figa.
Ah, last expression gave me an idea, thanks. Speaking about "Dush do figa" and translation of "Eugene Onegin", there was a project to translate "Eugene Onegin" into Russian slang - very funny, I am not sure authors finished it, though.
But from your explanations I see that the author has a problem with cardinal numbers - that's why I was confused by his conglomerate of infinities. I do not blame John Donne, because the theory was developed far after his time. But basically, a set of souls isn't particularly infinite, it's not a continuum as his "Numberless infinities" could suggest, it is the set of the smallest possible infinite size, they are called "denumerable", it is a countably infinite (or denumerably infinite) set. "Numberlessness" doesn't really apply here.
Ugh. You drained all the life out of that one.
I tried "uncountable set" sounds as much of math term as I could make, even though we know it isn't correct. Note that my "uncountable set" translation preservers the authors' meaning up to isomorphism.
Ok, now I see that not your translation is incorrect, the original itself is incorrect!
It should be:
"...arise from death, you denumerable set of souls, ..."
-- or something like that.
[ July 09, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
My definition of wordplay is quite expansive (aren't you a fan of expansive definitions?)
And there is even a dictionary of expansive definitions -- a paradise for any serious English connoisseur! Seriously, all English connoisseurs are welcome!
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
John Donne was a poet so he can get away with stuff like that! "Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee." Such an expresive piece of poetry that Hemingway stole it to name one of his novels.
As far as wordplay goes, Hofstadter is a great practicioner (One could argue that GEB is nothing but wordplay) but there are lots of great players besides him at that game.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
The dictionary says that BEAUTIFUL applies to whatever excites the keenest of pleasure to the senses and stirs emotion through the senses. MIND is the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons.
If we think in terms of a beautiful sunset, it is something that we receive pleasure simply from looking at. The idea of A BEAUTIFUL MIND is that we receive pleasure simply from watching it work.
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
"numberless infinities of souls" - "beschislennoe mnozhestvo dush" works for me. Again, context is king, it might sound poetic or soleless given a wrapper. So what, each language has mechanisms to express something others don't. Otherwise, it would be a subset of other language, and therefore, destined to be extinct.
Russian word order? What is that? You must be reading too many translation manuals. Last time I've been back to Russia, I was stunned how orthogonally patterned their news commentator's speach is. How fast you think a guy would get fired in US if he'd start bringing news like that "Uh, and again, this situation sort of turned out to be not really what many people kind of expected" "Opyat je, situatsiya kak-to obernulas' ne sovsem tem na chto mnogie ludi, voobshem, raschityvali"
Would be nice if we had "common language" where most our languages were converted to. Esperanto, apparently didn't wokr out well, and to my mind English is just too dry, even for the French
Shura
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Tom: The dictionary says that BEAUTIFUL applies to whatever excites the keenest of pleasure to the senses and stirs emotion through the senses. MIND is the element or complex of elements in an individual that feels, perceives, thinks, wills, and especially reasons.
I see. Still cannot understand why in Russian "beautiful mind" doesn't sound Ok. "beautiful" can be applied for animated and inanimated objects, then, "beautiful idea", "beautiful theory", "beautiful solution" all are possible, bot not "beautiful mind".
Shura: "Uh, and again, this situation sort of turned out to be not really what many people kind of expected"
Somebody on our TV quoted another person on the same TV who expressed himself in "kak-by otez moy..." manner- "sorta my father..."
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
[b]I see. Still cannot understand why in Russian "beautiful mind" doesn't sound Ok.
Just wondering... does Russian have the same differentiation between mind and brain as English?
[ July 10, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Mmm... yes. "brain" has more or less direct analog, and "mind" has it too, but it cannot be used in "I changed my mind" kind of expressions.
Ah, maybe here is the difference, in English "mind" can mean both "mind as such" and "state of mind", whereas in Russian "mind" is stateless
[ July 10, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: language translation programs