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Picture of BobHale
posted
As my last poem of the day for my visit to Harrow, I posted this bit of doggerel,

"Goodbye" is "God be with you",
And "adieu"'s the same.
"Auf wiedersehen" and "Au revoir",
"Until we meet again"
"I bow to you" - "Namaste!"
"Sayanara" - "If it be thus."
"Cheerio"- "Be of good cheer"
And leave with little fuss.
There are many ways to part
Many more than I can tell,
But my preference is to wish you all
A "safe journey" with "farewell."

A regular correspondent posted this as a comment.

Καλο ταξιδι

Google Translate identified it as Greek and translated it as "Bon Voyage". I was intrigued because, although we use it, I've always considered "Bon Voyage" as French. In fact it has the same derived meaning as "Farewell" - "have a good journey". I investigated further. Google Translate translated "farewell" into French as "adieu" which is more or less the same as "Goodbye" - "Go with God". But "Goodbye" it translates int French as "au revoir" which is the same as the German "auf wiedersehen" and means "until we meet again".

I'm thoroughly confused by this sequence of translations.

Translating the original Greek a word at a time indicates that it actually means "Good trip" so "Bon voyage" is pretty accurate.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
posted
Remember some while back when we discussed the fun of using translation programs several times to see what gibberish came out? Maybe this is a short version!

BTW, you left out "Vaya con dios!" Big Grin
 
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Picture of zmježd
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Sayanara

Usually translated as sayounara or sayōnara. In Japanese, 左様なら: the first two kanji mean , literally 'left' and 'manner, situation, way'. The compound of the two kanji, sayou, means 'such; of that kind; like that; yes; indeed; well; like that, that's right; so, such'. The hiragana at the end, nara means '1: if; in case; if it is the case that; if it is true that; 2: as for; on the topic of; (Conjunction) 3: (Colloquialism) (Abbreviation) if that's the case; if so; that being the case'. I'll ask my Japanese teacher next week about it, but it is interesting as I just learned the words for left (hidari and right (migi) in our lesson yesterday. (All Japanese characters (kanji) have at least two readings, a Japanese one kun-yomi, (in the case of 左 above), hidari, and a Chinese-derived one on-ymoi (sa). (An aside, I usually complain about English "spelling", but Japanese has a much worse writing system.)

You are talking about etymological meaning. Saying goodbye or asking about one's state of being are what linguists call phatic expressions (link). They really do not have a literal meaning, but so have a function in social rituals. It's a fun exercise, nonetheless. Ripuarian German has tschüß (< French adieu) and it has spread to the rest of Germany.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Picture of BobHale
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I know. All of these expressions are effectively saying the same thing. I am intrigued though by how the Google Translate program picks between the alternates.

My translation of Sayanara is loose but based on

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=sayonara
 
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Picture of zmježd
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I am intrigued though by how the Google Translate program picks between the alternates.

I'd say that each of the language pairs uses a different dictionary, compiled by different lexicographers. Machine translation and its idiosyncrasies are fun though.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Translation Party uses Google to translate back and forth between English and Japanese until the phrase doesn't change.

quote:
How long has this been going on?
どのくらいこの状態が続いているの?
Of how this situation continues?
の方法は、この状況が続け?
How is this situation continue?
どのようにこの状況を続けますか?
How do you keep this situation?
どうやってこの状況を続けるのですか?
Why this situation continues it?
なぜこのような状況が続け?
Why this situation continues?
なぜ、この状況が続け?
Why this continues?
なぜこのまま?
Leave it?
それを残す?
Leave it?

Equilibrium found!


Interestingly, you get different results at different times.
 
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quote:
Equilibrium found!

Eigenphrase found!
 
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