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I'm looking for one word to describe the body location which has driven me crazy at times due to notalgia paresthetica. It's the middle of my back at a point which is impossible to reach with my fingers, and can best be scratched with the TV remote.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
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If you will accept a word with the right metaphorical sense, perhaps "gomukhasana..."

http://totalwomenscycling.com/...-arms-cow-face-arms/


RJA
 
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I think that means the yoga position, not the spot on the body which is at that point. Regardless, I couldn't assume that pose.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Hey guys, you want just ONE word, you gotta let me derive an etymology that includes the phrase "and by poetic extension, the spot where the hands meet..."

Believe I shared a similar derivation a while back. In Japanese, kinuginu is the onomatopoeia for the rustling of silk, hence the silken kimono, and by poetic extension, the sound of lovers dressing each other in the morning.

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RJA
 
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No


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
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No indulgence? OK then, proofreader.

Looks like you're stuck with "A bit above a pain in the buttocks..."

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RJA
 
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quote:
a pain in the buttocks

...inches above...


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Arvanitis:
To goofy -- It is always possible to find at least an approximate translation between two languages.

But as zmježd notes in sense (2), there are cultural associations which may be missed or absent.


Yes of course, but those cultural associations can be translated. It's not like people who speak another language are aliens.
 
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Quite right goofy.

Even with aliens, our space ventures have sought common ground in mathematical constants.

Here on earth it may take a paragraph to convey the cultural matrix within which a single word is embedded.

We already noted that when a woman says "fine," it is dangerous to assume it is so.

Similarly, there are jokes that are funny in one language but flat in another.


RJA
 
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Now think about "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." Which "fine" do we hear?
I remember my daughter once saying something was "fine." I said, "Oh, oh. That means something is wrong with it. What's wrong?" She said, "Nothing is wrong. I meant that it was 'fine.'" I then noted that when she says something is "fine," it clearly is not. She objected. Then...her husband spoke up and said, "Yes, Catherine, you know 'fine' means something is wrong!" She bared her soul about what was wrong...

z, you've captured my definition of untranslatable here:
quote:
2. "Untranslatable" means that besides the denotation (or "translatable meaning") there is a whole slew of "untranslatable" connotations which are culture-bound in luggage X. (This would be the Portuguese saudade kinds of words.
If people who translate don't have an intimate knowledge of the culture, they often mess up.

Still, remember my Chinese friend, who got her PhD in the U.S. so she understands English fairly well, says that there are words she just can't even translate accurately into English. Maybe she means "perfectly," and I could see that.
 
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I came across this Wikipedia article about untranslatability. Now, there is a note that says the page could be improved upon, so I realize that there are issues with it. However, I was struck by the discussion of "adaptation" or "free translation. Does that mostly occur with translating literature (such as their example with names being translated in other languages) or more broadly? What is the difference between using your own words to translate a word (because there is not an equivalent word in English) and free translation?
 
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I was struck by the discussion of "adaptation" or "free translation. Does that mostly occur with translating literature (such as their example with names being translated in other languages) or more broadly?

Not everybody does this. Sometimes names in other languages have a transparent meaning, but are left in the original language. You could handle this with a footnote, when mentioned the first time or in an appendix or afterword.

What is the difference between using your own words to translate a word (because there is not an equivalent word in English) and free translation?

Do you mean paraphrasing the meaning of a word rather than come up with a single one word to one word correspondence?

My favorite part of the article was the sentence "That the word 'poppycock' is untranslatable is balderdash."

Speaking of the article, you should look at the Talk tab where a meta-discussion of the article is going on.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I hadn't seen the talk tab, z. It was an interesting discussion - reminds me of the discussions in the OEDILF workshops.

Interestingly, when I went back to the original Wikipedia article to see what it said about balderdash or poppycock, I couldn't find that discussion when I searched for it. Could you please point me to it?

What I meant, z, was is a multi-word discussion of a word (such as poppycock) free translation? If not (you seem to think it's paraphrasing), is free translation taking more a poetic license when translating? I can understand, for example, that you'd have to do that when translating poetry.
 
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In re-expressing an idea from one language to another, the mapping may never be exact.

The human eye can only perceive a limited range of light frequencies, so astronomical and satellite images are often presented in “false color.” We get to understand the differences and gradations, but we’re not seeing the actual thing.

In old Guangdong, the first people who saw a Western motorcycle called it a “put put chair.” Suspect we wouldn’t call that a translation, so much as a “this is where it fits in my own cultural matrix…”

We work with what we’ve got, to quote a famous fellow.


RJA
 
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quote:
Could you please point me to it?


It's on the Talk tab, not in the article (although from the context it seems it once was). Here's a link. Seems the actual sentence should read: "The claim that "poppycock" is particularly untranslatable is balderdash."


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Originally posted by Robert Arvanitis:
The human eye can only perceive a limited range of light frequencies, so astronomical and satellite images are often presented in “false color.” We get to understand the differences and gradations, but we’re not seeing the actual thing.


I'm not sure that analogy works. You're comparing translation difficulties to a fact of all humans, whatever language they speak.
 
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It's on the Talk tab, not in the article (although from the context it seems it once was).
Oh, yes, I saw it on the talk tab. However, as you said, it seemed to indicate it had been in the original Wikipedia article - otherwise why bring it up? I had wanted to read the original. I've sometimes found that those who cite other articles (paraphrasing and not quoting) often will get it wrong. Come to think about it, I wonder if that's why people say words are untranslatable sometimes.
quote:

I'm not sure that analogy works. You're comparing translation difficulties to a fact of all humans, whatever language they speak.
I see what he's saying, though, goofy - with the "differences" and "gradations." To me, that's like the "differences and gradations" that are included in dictionaries about words. A noun, such as a "chair" or a "table," is fairly easily translatable, unless you get into nuances (barcalounger). But what about something more subtle, such as "empathy" or with opposite meanings, such as "terrific?"
 
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If you really want to read it, there's all the history of all the edits to that article. You can try to figure out when the sentence was edited out and go to that time in the history of the article and try to find it. It may be more trouble than it's worth. Alternately you could try googling the sentence.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Occasionally a free translation is recognised as better than the original. A very famous John Keats poem, On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer, is about how the author had read the sober academic translations of ancient works, but was never truly interested in Homer until he read George Chapman's more liberal translation. The literati of the time ignored or dismissed the point entirely — one even going so far as to propose that, since Keats was relying on translations instead of reading the original Ancient Greek, he was obviously not qualified to be an authority on the subject.

There's another case where a particular Portuguese translation of H Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines has actually been translated back into English and some people feel it's the better book.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Robert Arvanitis:
My favorite is "yuanfen," reminiscent of the red string.


緣分 yuán fèn “destiny, fate” is composed of the characters for “thread” and “divide”.
 
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It does seem like a complex concept, though, and I wonder if our translation of it is the same as theirs, particularly because it draws on the principles of predetermination in the Chinese culture.
 
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