• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Paul Clapham
  • Ron McLeod
  • Bear Bibeault
  • Liutauras Vilda
Sheriffs:
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Junilu Lacar
  • Henry Wong
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Moores
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Jj Roberts
  • Tim Holloway
  • Piet Souris
Bartenders:
  • Himai Minh
  • Carey Brown
  • salvin francis

language translation programs

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 664
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Map, just like Java bean? That reminds me of russian saying "he has beans for brains in his head" :roll:
"mind" can be "soznanie", which is closer to consciousness, and can be "pamyat'" as in memory. My guess is there are more, but I can't think of anything else... "I changed my mind" can be translated into "Ya izmenil svoe mnenie", but then again it is closer to opinion... My mind is bogged.
Shura
 
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"mind" can be "soznanie", which is closer to consciousness, and can be "pamyat'" as in memory. My guess is there are more
hey, what about "razum"? :roll:
------------------------------
'I am a philologist, and thus a misunderstood man'
--JRR Tolkien, _The Notion Club Papers_
[ July 10, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand
Posts: 664
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah, that. And volya. Wait, it's "volya and razum"...or something...
(leaves the room humming something remotely similar to "Marseillaise")
 
whippersnapper
Posts: 1843
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howzabout Blestiashchii um?
[ July 10, 2002: Message edited by: Michael Matola ]
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"Blestiashchii um" is probably about as close to the original as it can be. One thing that puzzles me though, is that it can be applied to the movie about umm... ordinary Nobel prize laureate, when the whole idea is that he is not! But "beautiful mind" doesn't seem reflect this either? After seeing the movie one can read the title in ironical sense, it turns itself inside out and this effect could and shoul be avoided -- for it the title should be ambivalent! I suspected that I miss something in "beautiful mind" but as Thomas explained it, nothing is up to the film's idea - it's the same mind that produces ingenious discoveries and what we arrogantly call "craziness".
Interesting, that "mind" apparently can't be translated into Russian without losing something. "Um" is nothing but "intellect", then there is "rasum", which is probably the closest to "mind" except it is typically used to characterize groups of living beings, not individuals, and it is more like "yes - no", humans have "razum", vegetables don't. Well, not quite, but in the nutshell it's "collective intellect".
Of course, Michael Matola would say "Don't focus on individual words. Focus on the passage" - but heck, I do not want to focus on the passage, I want to focus on individual words, why there is no good word for "mind" in Russian, ah?
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1871
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Only Russian word I know is "Vodka"
which I like very much
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Do you like the word or its denotation?
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 92
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


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


English is neither dry nor unpoetic. A language reflects the culture of it's land of origin. The English are not given to flamboyant displays of emotion, so the language tends to favour subtleties rather than a wild and vehement mode of self expression.
[ July 11, 2002: Message edited by: Lalooprasad Yadav ]
 
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Lalooprasad Yadav:

English is neither dry nor unpoetic. A language reflects the culture of it's land of origin. The English are not given to flamboyant displays of emotion, so the language tends to favour subtleties rather than a wild and vehement mode of self expression.
[ July 11, 2002: Message edited by: Lalooprasad Yadav ]

That is an interesting chicken/egg question. Are we limited by our language or is our language limited by our needs for the language? Imagine a language that had no way to express abstract thoughts. Would native speakers of that language have difficulties thinking in abstract thoughts?
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes! It's both we speak the language and the language speaks us!
I remember my Lalooquoted impression about "dry nature of English" was born. I learnt English word "paper" and wondered is it all? In my proprietary language you can add various suffixes and get for example a disparaging variant, which would mean "unimportant piece of paper" - this variant is in broad use when we speak about official documents Well, I already figured that English doesn't employ the same mechanism but instead provides you with a separate word, often of totally unrelared root. (that's by the way, how swollen vocabulary of English, they are so proud of, is made! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!). However, I didn't find one-word equivalent for "unimportant piece of paper" and wondered, how do Americans convey this idea - do they say "unimportant piece of paper"? It's ugly. Then I thought that perhaps they just do not say it - why do we say it? Because the word is here, that's why!
Whether I mistakenly take my unfamiliarity with one-word equivalent for "unimportant piece of paper" for its absence or not, but I did notice that local population doesn't tend to see things in disparaging manner as much as Russian population does. Maybe a language-induced effect, who knows.
 
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand
Posts: 664
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Map, maybe they compensate with intonation? I should've posted this in You most hated word forum. It is driving me nuts to a point when I want to...uh...nevermind. You know, when you see 2 american women meeting each other, there goes "Huuuelloooouuu!!! How are yoouuuu!!!" With intonation like they both just saw a mouse, syllables jumping up and down like from a wood saw. And what is worse, you know they are not even pals, they are *acting*. Some people think it's polite, I think it is moronic. But hey, what do I know.
Map, there's also "unimportant piece of paper" (literally in quotes). You know the one "bez bumazhki ty kakashka".... I wonder if that is also translatable.... I find we have a lot of sad sarcazm in Russian language. Maybe there's more realization of what's not *real*.
Shura
[ July 11, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Map, there's also "unimportant piece of paper" (literally in quotes). You know the one "bez bumazhki ty kakashka"....
Well, it's not quite a word, it's just a.. um.. shift in duration!
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Finally I know what I am trying to say
When there is a word for some idea, it means that the idea can be expressed in the minimally possible form which gives a feeling of elegance.
Symmetrically, I enjoy "use-misuse" or "famous-infamous" kind of constructions, both absent in Russian. In English I can say something like "to that end we can misuse HTTP" and this irony is technically impossible in Russian.
Now speaking about symmetry and mutually-complement languages, in Russian "I" is "i" and "you" is "You" (the last case is oversimplification, though, because there are two "you" -- like in Spanish, but polite form is "You"). That's perfectly shows that Russians are more modest, polite and less egoistic people than Americans.
On the other hand, that's why Russians need to brag so much - to compensate for our grammatically oppressed egos.
[ July 11, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Lalooprasad Yadav
Ranch Hand
Posts: 92
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator


Thomas Paul:
Imagine a language that had no way to express abstract thoughts. Would native speakers of that language have difficulties thinking in abstract thoughts?


Not really.


Bjarne Stroustrup:
A language is said to support a style of programming if it provides facilities that makes it convenient (reasonably easy, safe, and efficient) to use that style. A language does not support a technique if it takes exceptional effort or exceptional skill to write such programs; it merely enables the technique to be used. For example, you can write structured programs in Fortran, write type-secure programs in C, and use data abstraction in Modula-2, but it is unnecessarily hard to do because these languages do not support those techniques.


Even if English does not readily support such a paradigm there are always workarounds .
This is an example.


William Shakespeare:
Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe
That unsubstantial Death is amorous,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
For fear of that I still will stay with thee,
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again: here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chambermaids; O! here
Will I set up my everlasting rest


Rampant passion. Never fails to send a shiver up my spine.
[ July 11, 2002: Message edited by: Lalooprasad Yadav ]
 
Lalooprasad Yadav
Ranch Hand
Posts: 92
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mapraputa:
how do Americans convey this idea - do they say "unimportant piece of paper"?


Perspective. It's not the paper that is unimportant, it's what is written on it. So I would say something is not worth the paper it is written on rather than make disparaging comments about a harmless little piece of flattened wood pulp . Most foreign speakers of English attempt to covert foreign idioms to English. It does not work that way. You need to restructure the idea from it's foundations before you attempt to express it in English.
 
Wanderer
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
However, I didn't find one-word equivalent for "unimportant piece of paper" and wondered, how do Americans convey this idea - do they say "unimportant piece of paper"? It's ugly.
Well, it works. Alternately we could go with "scrap of paper" or "worthless scrap of paper" for example. Generally if we don't have a one-word term for something we can construct something appropriate by cobbling together several words. Much the same in any language I'd imagine - no matter how rich the feature set of a language, some concepts are not expressable in a single word, so at that point you have to use more words. Sure, a language like German may allow you to build a new word on the spot by putting together a bunch of smaller words, but it's the same basic idea. The combined words may not have the elegance they have in another language - them's the breaks.
Then I thought that perhaps they just do not say it - why do we say it? Because the word is here, that's why!
I'd guess that English speakers are probably less likely to express this particular concept, because it's not quite so easily accessed in the language. As Laloo suggests, we might well shift the focus to something other than the paper itself. But not too difficult to disparage the paper directly if the need arises. I think you are on to something here in that language can guide us towards thoughts that are easier to express in that language, but it's just a tendency, not an absolute limitation, IMO.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Lalooprasad Yadav:
Most foreign speakers of English attempt to covert foreign idioms to English. It does not work that way. You need to restructure the idea from it's foundations before you attempt to express it in English.


What do mean by "idioms", by the way? Unless you are a fan of expansive definitions, of course... If you mean constructions like "to be in somebody's shoes" - is it a big surprise they do not work in another language? A surprise is that some do work.
I have a gut feeling that you confuse accidental and regular in the language. Idioms are built by chance, there is no inherent mechanism in a language on which one can construct new idioms. What I am talking about is word-formative mechanism, which is the same (or at least very similar) in Russian and English. Prefixes, suffixes, sticking two (seldom more) words together. Now what kind of concepts a set of suffixes express in each language is worth comparing, examining, cross-examining, vivisecting, extolling and ridiculing, IMHO.
My example with disparaging variant of "paper" works for many other nouns (not all), "house", "soul", "river" quickly come to my mind. Ah yeah, "mind" too. And even new words, borrowed from other languages, can be modified in the same fashion - in fact this process is so enjoyable that new words are always welcome to Russian, so we can make fun of them Nothing close to French concern about purity of the language exists.
[ July 11, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd guess that English speakers are probably less likely to express this particular concept
Gee, speaking of subtleties. Actually that's what I mean, "they don't" not in the sense "they never do it" but "they don't do it on a regular basis, routinely, as a matter of habit".
I think you are on to something here in that language can guide us towards thoughts that are easier to express in that language, but it's just a tendency, not an absolute limitation, IMO.
Well, yes, it's only about routinely, automatic speaking. On a deeper level sometimes we have a thought and cannot find an exact word for it, so we "cobble together several words" and thus are able to express the meaning. In this sense the language isn't a limitation. Yet it is. One of my favorite philologists ("philologist" in a broad sense ), Mikhail Epstein, is known for his manner to constantly invent new words, which I must admit I found irritating. (One example is "Intelnet", which he constructed as "Intellect + Internet", "intellectual network devoted to the advancement of interdisciplinary ideas in the humanities"). Partly he is doing it for the sheer fun of it, I am sure, but partly it's a necessity. When you think at the edge of known and traditional, lack of words is unavoidable problem. "Cobbling together several words" do not solve it because there is an existential difference in a status of a concept when there is a word for it (thus the language "supports" it, if to lalooquote Bjarne Stroustrup) and when you have to resort to word-combinations. For what there is no word, doesn't exists - "several cobbled words" is an accidental and unstable construction. "Unimportant piece of paper" can live without a designated word, theoretical concepts hardly.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think that the concept of an "unimportant piece of paper" is a bit odd to English speakers. It's not the paper that is unimportant but the writing on it. I don't say, "that is a useless piece of paper". I would say, "that is a useless memo". I can always find a use for a piece of paper. My son likes to tear them. My daughter can use her crayons on them. I can add them to recycling. I think Jim's comment about "not being worth the paper it is printed on" is more the English speakers mindset. In other words, insult the message not the messenger! Maybe that's the problem with Russian. They confuse the message with the medium. Maybe for Russians it was always too dangerous to insult the message directly.
 
Michael Matola
whippersnapper
Posts: 1843
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Idiom -- roughly, a language construction whose meaning as a whole cannot be deduced from the meaning of individual components. Almost a "whole is greater than the sum of the parts" thing. Often an idiom relies on a figurative interpretation of at least one component. "Idiomatic" tends to mean "how native speakers would typically express an idea"
Thomas Paul -- sounds like you've never been to Russia, if you haven't encountered many "unimportant pieces of paper." (Overall I'm agreeing with you, but I'd frame it more as a Russian realia thing than a Russian language thing.)
I remember taking a Peruvian friend to the airport for his first trip to Russia. He waved his Russian visa in the air and said (with a Spanish accent) "Look at this little scrap of paper they call a visa!" (He scrunched his face up when he said "little scrap of paper.") I thought, man, you just wait. Tell me about all the little scraps of Russian paper when you get back!
-- Gotta jam, folks. Leaving on vacation.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I think Jim's comment about "not being worth the paper it is printed on" is more the English speakers mindset. In other words, insult the message not the messenger! Maybe that's the problem with Russian. They confuse the message with the medium. Maybe for Russians it was always too dangerous to insult the message directly.


Nope! Nothing even close!
"Message" itself is eligible for the same technique of disparage, so it will be "short and probably unimportant message", ha-ha-ha!
Hm. I wonder if it only proves Tom's conjecture, though.
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think Jim's comment about "not being worth the paper it is printed on" is more the English speakers mindset.
Credit where it is due - that was Laloo's comment.
Thomas Paul -- sounds like you've never been to Russia, if you haven't encountered many "unimportant pieces of paper."
You mean roubles?
[running away again...]
[ July 12, 2002: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
Credit where it is due - that was Laloo's comment.

As I was typing, I was thinking, "Are you sure that was Jim?" I need to get more sleep!
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You mean roubles?
Americans! All tey can think about is money!
rouble (if to use your spelling :roll: ) is a neutral form.
Tender, passionate form: roublik
Disparaging form: roublishko
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I think that the concept of an "unimportant piece of paper" is a bit odd to English speakers. It's not the paper that is unimportant but the writing on it.


Well, my "unimportant piece of paper" was an attempt to show what a certain suffix does to the word "paper". Now to call an official document "a paper" is an insult by itself - here the message is made equal to its media = there is no message at all. On the same token, hardware is called "iron" in Russia and I would expect to hear some parallel insults on this side of the globe
However, to make discussion more grounded, I poked my nose into in "Reference of Russian grammar", to get a full collection of suffixes to check if I missed something.
<digression id="i1"> I asked my parents to send me this book in the year 2000. Turned out, all books that have the word "reference" in its title, need to be accompanied by a special permit from regional Ministry of Culture to be send abroad. I am not kidding. I have this paper: "Permit to export cultural values. Where: USA. Goal: personal use" etc. :no suitable icon:
Still wonder why it's not enough to call this permit "paper" and there is a need to add disparage suffix?
"To add insult to injury " - *now* I am convinced that there is no translation, only complement to the Full Language!
</digression>
<digression id="i2">
Some time ago I read about a research where psychologists asked people to evaluate various things and then statistics was calculated: which properties are hm... orthogonal and caused most of results. They found three axes:
1) "good-bad"
2) "strong-weak"
3) "active-passive"
Looking at those, it's easy to spot that the axes capture aspects of a single most important factor: "danger". The fact that the same suffix often suggests both "small" and "good" proves this hypothesis.
</digression>
The set of Russian suffixes largely overlaps with that of English (suffixes that signals that the word means occupation or place etc.) but there are 2 sets that are different: aforementioned "passionate-disparaging" form and "big-small". They map loosely to the first two scales of "semantic differential", how it was called. Interesting, that the third scale is absent, phenomenon I have no explanations for. Was it considered of less importance by a collective linguist or limited applicability prevented it from being...
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 4716
9
Scala Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
my small knowledge of foreign languages is limited to spanish german and french...none of which i speak fluently. the one thing i find fascinating is the compulsion in spanish(and other latin languages i believe) to divide everything in the world into masculine and femine. especially strange is the fact that, in the case of animals, it has nothing to do with the actual gender of the animal. a cat is el gato even if it is a female
 
I am Arthur, King of the Britons. And this is a tiny ad:
Thread Boost feature
https://coderanch.com/t/674455/Thread-Boost-feature
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic