What is the most difficult part of your language grammar?
Auteur du fil: expressisverbis

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Membre (2015)
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
Sep 11

I am not sure if I am posting this question in the right place, so please forgive me!
Translating idioms and proverbs is the most complex and challenging task for me as a translator, because as we all know not all idioms/proverbs have direct equivalents.
An idiomatic expression or a proverb are reflections of feelings and culture and need further awareness on the part of translators.
Yesterday, I came across this one: "good fences make good neighbours", Robert Frost's phrase in
... See more
I am not sure if I am posting this question in the right place, so please forgive me!
Translating idioms and proverbs is the most complex and challenging task for me as a translator, because as we all know not all idioms/proverbs have direct equivalents.
An idiomatic expression or a proverb are reflections of feelings and culture and need further awareness on the part of translators.
Yesterday, I came across this one: "good fences make good neighbours", Robert Frost's phrase in his poem, "Mending Wall," published in 1914.
It caused me a lot of research in my native language, although I have found its literal translation (but I am not a fan of word-for-word translations).
For me, this part is the most complex but the most engaging.
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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Membre (2007)
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
@Sandra Sep 11

Usually what I struggle more with are neologisms and abbreviations and acronyms, especially those that were just “made up” and turn out to be a pseudo-neologism! I do agree with you that some proverbs are difficult to translate but fortunately I don’t come across them very often. Slang is also a fascinating challenge…

expressisverbis
Cristina Bufi Poecksteiner, M.A.
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Membre (2015)
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Good point! Sep 11

I completely agree with you, and I know the feeling, Teresa!
We can have a hard time in deciphering what all those acronyms and abbreviations stand for. It can turn into a nightmare.


 

Tom in London
Royaume-Uni
Local time: 15:36
Membre (2008)
italien vers anglais
Most of them have no equivalent in the other language Sep 11

Italian example: "tanto va la gatta al lardo, che ci lascia lo zampino"
English example: "to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"

[Edited at 2020-09-11 14:11 GMT]


expressisverbis
Cristina Bufi Poecksteiner, M.A.
Josephine Cassar
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Membre (2015)
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Tom, it is true, but Sep 11

Tom in London wrote:

Italian example: "tanto va la gatta al lardo, che ci lascia lo zampino"
English example: "to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear"

[Edited at 2020-09-11 14:11 GMT]


sometimes, we are lucky:

"tanto va la gatta al lardo che ci lascia lo zampino"
"tantas vezes vai o cântaro à fonte que um dia deixa lá ficar a asa";
"tantas vezes a mosca vai ao leite que lá fica";
"tantas vezes vai o cão ao moinho que alguma vez lá lhe fica o focinho".
https://www.infopedia.pt/dicionarios/italiano-portugues/gatta

Let me try to find the equivalents in English


Teresa Borges
Angie Garbarino
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Membre (2015)
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Like you said... Sep 11

The thing is that we cannot find a good equivalent in the other language, and although the meaning of these proverbs in Portuguese (European) is "you shouldn't push your luck" the "feeling" is lost.
I couldn't go much farther than this: "Whether the pitcher strikes the stone or the stone the pitcher, it is bad for the pitcher".
In the meanwhile, a fellow translator working with Portuguese /English pair can give me a hand when reading this.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Membre (2007)
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
@Sandra + Tom Sep 11

Translating proverbs between Romance languages is far easier than from a Romance language into a Germanic language...

expressisverbis
Tom in London
Angie Garbarino
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Royaume-Uni
suédois vers anglais
+ ...
Explaining Sep 11

For me, the hardest thing is trying to explain to customers why their English isn’t quite right.

Sometimes, I don’t know why; it just is.

Other times, I know why, but I can’t explain it.

I normally end up asking them to trust me. Danes and Norwegians usually do, while Swedes often don’t...


expressisverbis
neilmac
Mervyn Henderson
Philip Lees
Catherine Brix
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 16:36
Membre
espagnol vers anglais
+ ...
Robert Frost Sep 11

Expressis verbis, thank you for the memories you bring back!!

I had to study Robert Frost, and "Mending Wall" in particular. I was but a pupil from da bog and da Little People. My first reaction was that "good fences make good neighbours" was a veiled warning not to trespass on my roses, lest I trespass on your petunias. I may have got that wrong ...

But I did ask our teacher why a literary giant, Sir, would call it "Mending Wall" instead of "Mending The Wall" or "Mendi
... See more
Expressis verbis, thank you for the memories you bring back!!

I had to study Robert Frost, and "Mending Wall" in particular. I was but a pupil from da bog and da Little People. My first reaction was that "good fences make good neighbours" was a veiled warning not to trespass on my roses, lest I trespass on your petunias. I may have got that wrong ...

But I did ask our teacher why a literary giant, Sir, would call it "Mending Wall" instead of "Mending The Wall" or "Mending A Wall". In his infinite wisdom, Teach said "O shut up Henderson, lad, you're always complicating things." And I definitely remember that he said "O", not "Oh". I remember, oh yes. O yes, I mean. Those were our formative years.

Got to go now, because I have Deadlines to keep, and Miles to go before I sleep. Yes, like I said, Miles to go before I sleep.
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expressisverbis
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Membre (2015)
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
So true! Sep 12

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Got to go now, because I have Deadlines to keep, and Miles to go before I sleep. Yes, like I said, Miles to go before I sleep.


"I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep" is a good example of how hard is to find an equivalent in a different language!
This phrase is so true! We must use our journey in life to learn and apply (good and positive) things like how to be kinder, more sincere, more forgiving, and more understanding before our eternal rest.
I also have deadlines to meet and lines to translate, otherwise I'll be dead meat!


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:36
Membre (2006)
espagnol vers néerlandais
+ ...
The most difficult part of my language is.... Sep 15

.... that Dutch is a poor rich language. What I mean is that our country is small, as is our language. The other day I read that Dutch consists out of about 350.000 words, while the English language has about 1 million. That means we have to improvise translating an English text into Dutch, which is very well possible by the way (= translate more freely).

Is this an answer on the original question? Grammar? About that, no difficulties. I know my language (although lots of so called
... See more
.... that Dutch is a poor rich language. What I mean is that our country is small, as is our language. The other day I read that Dutch consists out of about 350.000 words, while the English language has about 1 million. That means we have to improvise translating an English text into Dutch, which is very well possible by the way (= translate more freely).

Is this an answer on the original question? Grammar? About that, no difficulties. I know my language (although lots of so called colleagues are struggling with it, looking at the rubbish I receive to proofread).





[Edited at 2020-09-15 21:27 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-09-15 21:28 GMT]
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expressisverbis
 

expressisverbis
Portugal
Local time: 15:36
Membre (2015)
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Thank you for your answer Sep 15

Robert Rietvelt wrote:

.... that Dutch is a poor rich language. What I mean is that our country is small, as is our language. The other day I read that Dutch consists out of about 350.000 words, while the English language has about 1 million. That means we have to improvise translating an English text into Dutch, which is very well possible by the way (= translate more freely).

Is this an answer on the original question? Grammar? About that, no difficulties. I know my language (although lots of so called colleagues are struggling with it, looking at the rubbish I receive to proofread).





[Edited at 2020-09-15 21:27 GMT]

[Edited at 2020-09-15 21:28 GMT]


I also know very well my language, but this doesn't mean I have no difficulties.
Note also that what makes a language rich is not the quantity, but the quality, among other things.
Thank you for your answer, I learned something (new for me) about Dutch.


 


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