Re: [gundam] Lost In The Translation

Justin Palmer (
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 10:23:55 +0000

In message <In message <Pine.GSO.4.10.9903160008390.2673-100000@pooh.sunnybrook.utor>, Chien Ting Chin <> writes
>On Mon, 15 Mar 1999, Prabal Nandy wrote:
>> Into what?
>> I've heard quite a lot of people complain that _english_ is almost
>> impossible to translate properly into other languages, simply because of
>> how idiomatic it is, how many veiled references and connotations go into
>> its speech.
>If u r talking about the word-for-word translation, then that's true. but
>a proper translation of English into anything should be easy, IF the
>translator also speak fluent English.
>What's difficult to translate in American English is jokes, which mainly
>take advantage of the fact that Americans use every words to mean
        A brief but quite illuminating insight into the problems of
international translation, particularly where translation is concerned,
can be found at the back of The Discworld Compendium, a guide to the
books by Terry Pratchett, which provides some excellent examples. Terry
Pratchetts humour is very British, and lines like Deaths famous "I COULD
MURDER A CURRY" don't translate very well, into say, Dutch - where
curry is not the cultural experience it is in Britain.
        Another insight into the difficulties of international
translation - even between countries that theoretically speak the same
language - from the same series is given by some advertising blurb for
one of the DiscWorld books from the US. One book features a Morris
Dancing troupe [1] - this somehow become an American Football team in
the US blurb!

>BTW, what's a Brit doing when he's "sucking on a faggot"? (you have to
>say that with British accent)
        *choke* *cough cough*

        That can mean one of two things; a literal dictionary definition
would be that he is eating a type of foodstuff.
        The other meaning; well, this is a family ML... ^_^

        [1] English traditional folk dancing. Has to be seen to be
believed... ^_^
I wanna have a pure time... ||
Everyones ones a noble mind; | |
Believing in a sign of Zeta, | |
Beyond the hard times from now! | |
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