||Topic: Translator's wanted...
| posted March 10, 1999 01:30 PM
After spouting all that stuff yesterday about the attitudes of some
English speaking people I have decided that maybe I could be doing a
little more for non-English speakers who visit my website. The only
problem is my French and German are diabolical (crap). I would have
liked to learn more German but when I changed schools when I was 13
they told me they didn't teach German so I had to do French.
(Nothing against it, just a darn sight harder to learn)
was wondering if any helpful person or persons would be willing to
translate A Taffer Legend or Into The Dark into their own language
so I could but it on my sight.
(I won't be on the net again till
Saturday am (GMT), so don't be annoyed if I don't answer straight
Nasha D'Shanta Translates as 'Peace be thy friend' (Malani
phrase I did make up)
| posted March 10, 1999 08:16 PM
well, my French isn't good enough to be any help, but i have a few
1 - i don't know why so many people have
trouble this, but when you pluralize things in English, you simply
add an s. no apostrophe is needed.
2 - diabolical doesn't
seem to fit where yo used it.
3 - from what i know and what i
hear, higher level german gets really hard. *shrug*
heehee... not to pick on your or anything, Jyre. just messin'
around, really .
| posted March 10, 1999 09:03 PM
German IS hard!!! In German 1 I was pretty good at speaking it and
writing it, but by German 2, ...they seem to make up a totally new
language!!! Blah!! you can bet I dropped that class faster than I
dropped an annoying chamberpot that accidently got highlighted when
I was trying to pick up a goblet.
| posted March 11, 1999 04:37 AM
German is hard? This is opposed to English where you have to
memorize a new form of a word for every tense?
All hail the Mutt Languages!
| posted March 11, 1999 10:38 AM
German is not hard. I really dont understand why almost every
not native speaker has to say it was. I had really no problems to
learn it, when I started my language development. And when even a 2
year old kid can easily achieve that language, so why do you say it
was hard to learn?
And as I emailed you, I could offer you some help, Jyre.
| posted March 11, 1999 12:22 PM
In my very uneducated opinion, we would be doing the world a big
favor by requiring second and third langauges taught to elementary
school children in the U.S. .
As things stand now we don't
require Foriegn language until high school. My understanding is
learning a second language is much easier in first through third
| posted March 11, 1999 02:12 PM
Elementry? Is that like junior (4-11?) I agree. Everything,
is easier to learn when you're young.
And, Redeye, I quote from
the Oxford English dictionary "diabolical= disgracefully bad" so my
use of it was correct. As for the apostraphy, I do blush in shame.
Always I am pointing such out to others and then I do turn round and
repeat the mistake. Ha! Hypocrit!
| posted March 11, 1999 02:39 PM
In the U.S., elementary school generally means grades 1-6. Middle
school being grades 7 & 8, and high school are grades 9-12.
I quote from the Oxford English dictionary "diabolical=
That must be across the pond, or European English then. Us yanks
tend to go by Webster's dictionary. I'm a 27 year old, well read,
college graduate and have yet to come across that use of diabolical.
Over here it is used as "cunning and evil." For example:
was finally able to thwart Constantine's diabolical plan for
Chalk it up to regional differences of dialect.
I think over in England, "I just smoked a fag." Refers to
lighting and smoking a cigarette:
Over here in Chicago, "I just smoked a fag." Means that I shot
and killed a homosexual.
Ducking and running,
[This message has been edited by Thaumaturge (edited March 11,
| posted March 11, 1999 03:21 PM
Grades? I meant years.
| posted March 11, 1999 04:28 PM
Any language is hard to learn, once you've reached a certain level.
I remember a time when I thought I could express myself in either
English or German without any noticable difference. This was shortly
after I started reading novels in English. It didn't last long,
though. I'm now far more proficient in German, because I'm not a
I'm 30 now, so I've been learning English for twenty years. It's
easy in the beginning, because a simple English is so similar to
German. But it gets really hard on an academic level. Semantics then
becomes a nightmare. Why is the British head of government a
Prime Minister, while the president's wife is the
First Lady? And to make things even more confusing, Northern
Ireland has a First Minister.
What's the difference
between liberty and freedom, except that the former is
French and the latter is German? Estimates say that there are at
least twice as many words in English than in German.
BTW, I don't believe that you have the Oxford English Dictionary,
Jyre. That has more than twenty volumes (w/o appendices) and costs a
fortune. I guess that you have a dictionary from the Oxford
University Press. But my two Collins dict. support your reading.
Must be the British dialect, because diabolical wouldn't be
used in that way in German, either.
Wouldn't it be helpful for people in, say Florida, California,
Texas, etc. to learn Spanish in elementary school, when two thirds
of the population are native speakers of the language? But who am I
to say that - I never took the trouble to learn Turkish. And you can
get really far with that in Berlin.
PS: Maybe you do have the OED, Jyre. Despite the spelling, your
language production is really superb.
| posted March 11, 1999 05:19 PM
I think I have to explain that a little better. I don't see any
difference between liberty and freedom, yet I have to
know that "liberty of speech" is just as wrong as "statue of
freedom". And why can't you say "freedom statue", which is what the
lady is called in German (or would that be hyphenated)?
the difference between safety and security? English is
easy to learn, but so hard to master.
Another paradigm: Comparisons are constructed in the Germanic
fashion, as long as the original adverb has only one or two
syllables, but in the French/Latin way when it is
tall » taller » tallest Germanic
more beautiful » most beautiful Romance
At least there's a rule
in this case.
Another one: Why, oh why is it "the president elect" and not "the
I'm not a psycholinguist (honestly, I'm not ), but I
think High School is definitely too late to start learning your
first foreign language.
Those who ha' w' Garrett bled
| posted March 11, 1999 06:26 PM
Kyloe: Ignore titles. They're always weird. The Prime Minister was
probably called that because at the time it was more accepted usage.
Or simply because it sounded cooler...
'Prez elect' is correct.
elect \E*lect"\, n. 1. One chosen or
It's old termanology again.
Liberty is the 'exemption from another claiming ownership', while
freedom is 'exemption from power and control of others.' Freedom is
the more powerful. But, in case you missed it, I'm American and I
still needed to look these up.
Shades of meaning are really bad in English. Especially here,
where tone gets left out of the picture... And then you get the even
worse effects of slang, as the people here are so diverse. A lot of
my friends don't understand me when I start talking hacker slang
(real hackers, not War3z d00d3z)... and they're all from
Massachusettes, too. And so it progresses... my friends use some of
my slang, and I was quoting Auston Powers for about a year before I
saw the movie. In tech circles (like the web) it's even worse...
(Come on, how many people would be able to say 'Linux? Yeah, it's
that freeware OS, right?' without the web?)
Enough rambling in bad english about how bad english is.
Zirnike, More Better than you.
| posted March 12, 1999 01:57 AM
from my knowledge (which i'll grant ain't much), English is hard
because of the exceptions. the rules themselves (subjectively) don't
seem so bad, but they're often broken, as it's something of a mutt
language (good call, pilfer). Consider this comparison of the verb
"to speak" en English, French, and German (heehee... i just felt
like it, ok? it kinda illustrates a point).
speak ***** we speak
you speak ***** they speak
***** you speak
pretty simple, no?
parle ***** nous parlons
tu parles ***** ils
il/elle/on parle * vous parlez
(normally, when i
conjugated things in French, I would put vous below nous - this is
the form I learned for German, actually).
spreche ***** wir sprechen
du sprichst ***** ihr
er/sie/mann(?) spricht * Sie/sie sprechen
see what that mostly useless display demonstrated? these things -
especially to the native English speaker - seem excessively complex
in other languages. combine that with genders for nouns (a
completely foreign concept to us, for the most part) and explicit
explanation of stuff like nominative, accusative, dative, and
genetive cases. to be quite honest, i'm not even sure if/how these
are implemented in English - that's the kind of stuff that i kind of
implicitly got the hang of by being immersed in the language. which,
BTW, is, AFAICT, the only way to really get a grasp of any language
- become immsrsed in it.
oh, and Thaum wasn't 100% correct in his explanation of the
school system in the US. there's some variability in that; for
instance, my elementary school was 1-5 and middle school was 6-8.
Kyloe - like I said, the only way to grasp the subtelties of any
language, IMHO, is to immerse oneself in it for extended periods of
time. different synonyms just have different connotations that most
natives tend to be familiar with. just out of curiousity, how often
do you speak with native English speakers (ok, besides this board
hrmm... should that be "besides" or "beside?" i'm stumped... both
seem a bit wrong to me for some reason)?
and in kanada, from what i hear, if you talk about "creamy, white
homo," you're discussing milk...
What's the difference between safety and security? Safety
is more a personal thing - if I drive carefully, or if I wear a
hardhat while on a construction site, that's safety. Security is
more like an alarm system for your house, or financial security, or
a security officer (rent-a-cop ). It's all
in the connotations that the native hears... And things like
"freedom of speech" could almost be seen as idiomatic. It's just the
way it's always said, so it would sound wierd any other way. ooh...
wierd. I like the fact that in German, there's a rule for i's
and e's, and it's actually followed .
And I believe, speaking physiologically, that it's best to start
learning languages before you're 6. Even most of elementary school
is a little late, but it gets really hard once you're old enough for
high school. I suppose it's just another American
hey, out of curiousity (and I hope I don't offend
anyone; this is just a stereotype...) are the French really, in
general, arrogant towards Americans?
well, there's my 2 Pfenning. hrmm... does anyone have iparty?
just a random thought...
-redEye the r337
[This message has been edited by redEye (edited March 12,
| posted March 12, 1999 01:09 PM
Have vision, my friends! No-one will ever HAVE to learn another
language in a few years time, as flawless instant speech translators
will soom be perfected. Just look at the existing tech:
Dictation software - good now, 3-4 years until perfect.
Text-speech converters - good now, flawless in 1-2 years.
Translation software - adequate now, maybe 3-4 years until
then add another 5 years for someone to realise they can all be
so we shall be free from the tyranny of insane, unintelligible
Japanese / French / German / American tourists!
When thy life is cleft and
When death and despair leap at thee,
Beat not thy
breast and curse thy evil fate,
But thank the Builder for the
trials that shape thee.
| posted March 12, 1999 02:27 PM
Sigh... and here I am, 17 and trying to learn Japanese. Why? Why why
why? And more importantly, how? I swear, if I ever have brood, I'm
gonna have 'em multilingual by age 8. I hear that after about age 12
(was it?) that no matter how 'fluent' you become, your brain
patterns, as you speak the language, will never be the same as those
of a native speaker... I wonder if a form of hypnosis or even
self-hypnosis would be useful in putting the mind in the right state
to most efficiently learn a language? If I can mentally regress
myself to the state of a 4 year old for about an hour a day
(heeheehee), then maybe sit myself down in front of a bunch of
foreign films and what not, maybe I'd pick things up better.
Boku wa baka desu. And I've entirely given up on learning
Japanese as a written language... 3 writing systems? Give me a
break!!!!!! All hail romaji.
Archdaemon, Grandmaster of Perdition,
otherwise known as "He Who Names His Lint"
| posted March 12, 1999 03:45 PM
I recall having read in several separate articles that the brain
starts to "weed out" unused linguistic by the time a child is a
toddler. Apparently, as I recall reading, if you aren't introduced
to a language before age three or so it becomes increasingly harder
for most people to learn.
Of course, this has to be tempered with the fact that at a more
mature age you can approach learning systematically. But I don't
think it makes up for the grasp you pick up from being immersed in a
language/culture. Then again, when kids screw up a verb tense or
some grammatical rule, they generally don't get as embarassed or
frustrated as I do
Time to wrap up this little diatribe. Speaking as an American
with absolutely no talent for languages -- not even my supposedly
"native" tongue, as is most likely apparent from my posts -- I have to
admit I kind of enjoy English's knack for acquiring words. As I
recall, doesn't the Academy of France actually forbid the use
of foreign words in official and/or public capacities? Wasn't there
a rule passed several years ago stating that babies may only be
given French names?
Pilfer, IgNoRiNt BuTt LeRnIn'
| posted March 12, 1999 07:52 PM
Couple of things:
1) The school thing. In England Infants/Juniors
or Primary is for kids aged 4/5-10/11 (Years 1-6)
for 11-16yrs, (Years7-11) after that you can go to sixth form or
college, uni etc.
Normally second languages are introduced at the
start of secondary, which is way to late.
2)Reading all this has
reminded me of something we did at A-level English concerning the
learning of languages. There was a deaf/dumb couple with a kid and
the kid could use sign language perfectly but couldn't speak
a word because she/he (can't remember which) never had any
interaction with people who could talk. The couple used to sit the
kid in front of the T.V. but because there was no interaction s/he
never picked any of it up. So, it pretty much proved (along with
some other studies) that in order to learn a language you do have to
immerse yourself in it. And I remember something language patterns
becoming fixed after a certain age as well.
3)(I know I said a
couple. I lied ) Forget
the rules! My grammer is pants! Say what sounds right and most
people'll understand. And I know what you mean about the regional
thing. I've lived in two countries (England and Scotland), and two
different regions in England so I've had to pick up different
meanings of words just to get by. (I'm 20, by the way) Which is why
I sometimes come out with things no-one else understands.
Okay, Kyloe, I confess, it's the 'concise' Oxford English diconary
Along with the thesauras, book of grammer and book of English usage
(all of which I rarely consult)
And whilst I was writing this I noticed the little advert for
mortgages and thought to myself 'mort' is French for death (isn't
it?). So the loan people take out for property is a deathgage?
Pretty gruesome, huh?
Nasha D'Shanta -
Peace be thy friend.
Algar D'Shanta - Peace be thy guide.
D'Shanta - Peace be thy death.
[This message has been edited by Jyre (edited March 12,
| posted March 13, 1999 04:03 AM
Hang on folks there be a flood o'cant comin yer way.
There be a unique predisposition in brains what humans got fer
the aquirin o'symbol systems early on. Not jest language but culture
This gets us inter the nature o'human development as opposed to
other animals. Yer see, bipedalism be at the core o'the issue.
Women's pelvic openins can't be any wider er they can't be walkin,
so a human bairn's brain can't be any larger than , what? 375cc, er
somethin like that. Other mammals are basically born w'their brains
half they adult size. While humans are born with a brain more like a
third adult size. This relation between birth canal and brain size
be called the "growth curve." If humans followed a growth curve like
a close relative in the great apes fer example, human gestation
would be around 21 months er so. That means human brains be takin
experiences in the outside werld with a brain that ain't as ready as
a close relatives is fer a year. Follow?
If we look at whats come out o'the ground in Africa we can see
that when tools first appeared was the same time as our ancestors
brains were around 825cc (more than double the constraint o'375cc).
Likely the differnce in brain development enabled a new kind
o'learnin what got selected fer over time. So how long afore yer
brain were half adult size? About the time learnin languages stops
being native learnin and starts being something yer werks at.
Hist and Ho