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Re: English Vs Other Language Translations
On Fri, 25 Dec 1998, Arek Bellagio wrote:
> I've realized something that has appeared very interesting.
> Sorry for the weird example, but I believe it brings up an interesting
> point. These translations appear to be nothing more than very simple words
> used in place of compound complicated words used in English. Why is this so?
> Is there an inability in French (or Spanish, Italian, etc) to translate
> 'Post-Consumer' into similar words? I'm having trouble explaining my
> question, but perhaps everyone understands what I mean?
I may be mistaken in this; but it may have something more to do with the
French (and possibly Quebequois?) distaste for Franglais -- English words
used in French (l'usage postconsumeur or similar; bad spelling, I'm sure).
I've noticed similar translations on lots of products in this area of the
US, where French is seen increasingly on labels. I think the Franglais
bit might be at least a part of the situation.
> Is there simply nothing provided in Romantic language (or maybe languages
> other than English) for compound word usage as the English envelope example?
I think English is simply far better at / is more acclimated to such
compounding. I think German is the same way, and this may simply reflect
a Germanic capability used to excess in English, and which can not really
be done in French. This would necessitate the odd translations.
> Or.. do the users of these languages simply dont believe in
> overcomplicating matters by using too many complicating words and
> getting directly to the point?
Well, to be honest, as an English speaker, "postconsumer material" is a
bit clearer than "material after usage" or whatever. This latter _could_
be interpreted to mean material left over after usage in the factory,
whereas the former specifies that the material in question was definitely
used by some person in the country for some use.
> How do your conlangs come into the picture with this? Would you conlang be
> able to easily translate the English sentence with almost transliteration,
> or would you need to alter it as the French translation has?
First one must consider if the psycology behind this statement is in
effect in one's conculture. These kinds of labelling practices came into
being because of the conservationist and recycling movements (at least
here in Merkia). Because of this movement, and the publicity surrounding
it ("Recycling Pays Off!" "Use and Reuse!" "Buy Recycled!" etc.), such
statements started appearing on all sorts of goods. Not to mention the
little triangular three arrowed icon that indicates that the article in
question is itself recyclable.
If your conculture does not have this kind of movement, then chances are
it will not occur to the people to say or write this on their products;
let alone translate it. I do not believe this kind of thing exists in
Kemr; and a Comro papermill worker, when confronted by this statement,
might reply: "That's bloody daft. We chop up bits of rubbish and throw it
in as well! We don't go off writing it all over the bloody envelope,
> In conclusion,
> ~Arek - firstname.lastname@example.org
> "The pessimist stomps and curses the wind. The optimist whines, but keeps
> saying how everything can be better. The realist adjusts the sails and
> doesn't complain."
> - Kyle Voiles
> ....Zephyr in the sky at night, I wonder: do my tears of mourning sink
> beneath the sun?....