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post #136 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Also, I wish NPR could train its journalists to understand the difference between an interpreter and a translator.

Few people understand this difference unless they actually do one or both kinds of work. Everything becomes "translator."

"So, you're a simultaneous translator?"

"What???"
post #137 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by j
Perhaps we are confused because of the difference between "will" and "would" since "would" is a sort of conditional (don't know the exact technical term) and "will" is non-negotiable.

If I said I would do something, that doesn't mean that I did do it. In fact it is often used to imply that I said I would but didn't.

And then if I said I will do something, we are talking about what I said, but what I said I would do hasn't happened yet.
I think you're looking for the subjunctive mood.
post #138 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by j
Perhaps we are confused because of the difference between "will" and "would" since "would" is a sort of conditional (don't know the exact technical term) and "will" is non-negotiable.

If I said I would do something, that doesn't mean that I did do it. In fact it is often used to imply that I said I would but didn't.

And then if I said I will do something, we are talking about what I said, but what I said I would do hasn't happened yet.

I may well be wrong to do so, but I'd phrase it differently depending -- I think -- on the recency of the conversation I'm referring to (um -- I mean, "to which I'm referring".):

A) "I spoke with him last week, and he promised he would be here on time"
B) "I just got off the phone with him, and he promised he'll be here on time."

I guess this sort of relates to that subjunctive that j is referring to; last week, the event was distant enough that plans to be on time were almost speculative, whereas now the appointment is an imminent reality.

Now, pedants, do your thing...
post #139 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by dah328
I think you're looking for the subjunctive mood.
Would that he were!
post #140 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red

"So, you're a simultaneous translator?"

Yeah, I get that a lot.
post #141 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by j
Perhaps we are confused because of the difference between "will" and "would" since "would" is a sort of conditional (don't know the exact technical term) and "will" is non-negotiable.

If I said I would do something, that doesn't mean that I did do it. In fact it is often used to imply that I said I would but didn't.

And then if I said I will do something, we are talking about what I said, but what I said I would do hasn't happened yet.

Yes, I think you're right, people assume the modal "would" translates to "conditional", whereas in the case of tense agreement, it doesn't have that value.

For those who want to take a quick ESL test:

http://www.english-test.net/esl/lear...5/esl-test.php

My answers were all correct.
post #142 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
Few people understand this difference unless they actually do one or both kinds of work. Everything becomes "translator."

"So, you're a simultaneous translator?"

"What???"


Okay, I'm probably one of those peopel who would use the words interchangeably even though I know they technically mean different things.

A translator translates from one language to another without doing any of his/her own "interpretation" right? To me "interpret" means to put in one's own words.

Correct?

bob
post #143 of 202
A translator translates a written text into a foreign language and renders it in a written form.
An interpreter translates oral material orally, you know, like from within those dark confined cabins for example (for simultaneous interpretation).

Both accomplish this hopefully without interpreting too much.
post #144 of 202
Thank you Fabienne.

In the case of rendering Japanese into English, where not a single similarity exists, the entire exercise is an interpretation (in Bob's sense of the word). Unlike French and English, which have many common Latin roots, English and Japanese have none. Syntax is utterly different also.

As a result, you can hardly translate (text) or interpret (the verbal language) without interpreting (a concept into an equivalent concept).
post #145 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nantucket Red
Thank you Fabienne.

In the case of rendering Japanese into English, where not a single similarity exists, the entire exercise is an interpretation (in Bob's sense of the word). Unlike French and English, which have many common Latin roots, English and Japanese have none. Syntax is utterly different also.

As a result, you can hardly translate (text) or interpret (the verbal language) without interpreting (a concept into an equivalent concept).

Also, with simultaneous interpreting, the Japanese booth typically has 3 interpreters working together, whereas for French, Spanish, German, etc, it's the usual 2.
post #146 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fabienne
Also, with simultaneous interpreting, the Japanese booth typically has 3 interpreters working together, whereas for French, Spanish, German, etc, it's the usual 2.

No doubt there are times when all three are completely baffled.

You would not believe the number of times I've asked a Japanese person to explain the meaning of a passage, and they say they don't understand it and that the Japanese is probably not very good.

Another difficulty with Japanese is paragraph-long sentences.
post #147 of 202
Still curious about the word "unbeknownst", I asked a friend of mine who is a professor of linguistics. Here is the information she shared:


The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1981.

Unbeknown: adj. Occurring or existing without the knowledge of: unknown. Usually used with to. [un + obsolete beknown, known, Middle English beknowen, past participle of beknowen, to get to know, Old English becnawan: BE + cnawan, KNOW.]

Unbeknownst: adj. Unbeknown. - adv. Without the knowledge of. Used with to: "a haunted castle which ... unbeknownst to anyone, is still occupied" (Patrick Dennis). [UNBEKNOWN + -st, as in amongst, amidst.]

From:
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage, 1989. (This is a dictionary of problematic words and expressions in English which discusses usage from a linguistic standpoint, i.e. the main criterion for whether something is "correct" or not is whether good writers use it, not whether prescriptivists have maligned it in the present or past, though the latter will always be discussed and critiqued.)


The history of unbeknown and unbeknownst is relatively straightforward. Unbeknown was first recorded in 1636, unbeknownst in 1849 (exactly how the -st came to be added is not understood). The OED labeled unbeknownst colloquial and dialectal, but the OED Supplement notes that it is "now of much wider currency than in the 19th century." According to our evidence, in fact, both unbeknown and unbeknownst are now in widespread standard use and have been for many years. Unbeknownst is the more common form:

... had fetched them unbeknownst to the Western ocean - Conrad Richter, The Trees, 1940

... unbeknownst to the procurement agent - Atlantic, December 1951

... who unbeknownst to us had shifted his position - New Yorker, 13 Mar. 1954

... had been doing this unbeknown to Harriet - Elizabeth Taylor, A Game of Hide-and-Seek, 1951

Unbeknown to me - Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated, 1 Apr 1974

In contrast with the fairly simple history of the words themselves, the history of opinions about them is rather a tangle. The first contributor to the general confusion was Bache 1869, who noted that "Unbeknown is obsolete in good usage" (he did not mention unbeknownst). Bache's opinion is not supported by the evidence in the OED, which includes 19th-century citations for unbeknown from Charles Dickens and A.E. Housman, among others. Vizetelly 1906, however, called unbeknown "a vulgar provincialism used chiefly in the form of "˜unbeknownst'." MacCracken and Sandison in 1917 made no mention of unbeknown but dismissed unbeknownst as a "˜provincial error for "without my knowledge'." In 1926, Fowler observed that both forms were "out of use except in dialect or uneducated speech." Krapp called them "humorous, colloquial, and dialectal" in 1927. Jensen in 1935 called unbeknownst "vulgar and dialectal for unbeknown, unknown," which presumably indicates that he found nothing wrong with unbeknown. Evans 1957 noted that "neither of these words occurs in natural speech today". And so on. The latest to put in his two cents worth is John Simon 1980, who returns to Jensen's position by saying flatly that unbeknownst is a "vulgarism for "˜unbeknown'."

Almost the only thing - besides hostility to one or both words - that these varied opinions have in common is that, at least with regard to current usage, they are all incorrect. A few more examples should be adequate to show that both unbeknown and unbeknownst are now standard, and that neither is limited to the spoken language:

... unbeknownst to the jewel thieves - Cornelia Otis Skinner, New Yorker, 27 Oct 1951


... unbeknown to their staffs - Anthony Bailey, New Yorker, 29 October 1973

...unbeknown, undoubtedly , to the corporations' stockholders - Elizabeth Drew, New Yorker, 6 Dec. 1982

... unbeknownst to the teachers - Richard T. Schaefer, Sociology, 1983

... unbeknown to most historians - Paul Kennedy, Times Literary Supp., 28 May 1982

... quite unbeknownst to her - E.G. White, New Yorker, 7 Apr. 1956

Unbeknownst to them - Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon Days, 1985
post #148 of 202
Oooh, I've just thought of another one and this drives me absolutely fucking crazy; people who don't know the difference between "bereft" and "devoid." They use "bereft of x" because they think it's a fancy way of saying "lacking x." In fact, however, it's derived from "bereaved," so the implication is that if you are bereft of x, you once had x, but then you lost it. So, people say: (1) "I'm bereft of ideas" when they mean: (2) "I don't have any ideas" (1) implies that you used to have some ideas, but then you lost them. If you really want to use a fancy construction, you'd probably have to say (3) "I'm devoid of ideas"
post #149 of 202
Webster says the alternate definition is acceptable:
Quote:
lacking something needed, wanted, or expected -- used with of <the book is... completely bereft of an index -- Times Literary Supplement>
post #150 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by trogdor
Oooh, I've just thought of another one and this drives me absolutely fucking crazy; people who don't know the difference between "bereft" and "devoid."


If I understand correctly, each of the two clauses separated by a semi-colon must be able stand alone as a complete sentence; your use of the semi-colon is not consistent with this requirement.
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