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Sculptari

May 18, 2012, 8:54 AM

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Pena Ajena - no translation

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I know there are a lot of word watchers and word slingers on this forum. Here is a blog with 25 words that do not exist in English. There are two Spanish words, including one Mexican Spanish as in the title. Got to keep things on topic, right?

http://sobadsogood.com/2012/04/29/25-words-that-simply-dont-exist-in-english/
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Anonimo

May 18, 2012, 9:42 AM

Post #2 of 22 (4543 views)

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Re: [Sculptari] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Thanks! I loved that. I sent it on to a linguist friend of mine.

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


Papirex


May 18, 2012, 1:50 PM

Post #3 of 22 (4483 views)

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Re: [Sculptari] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Most Spanish words do not appear in English, or any other language. The solution is to get one or mare translating Spanish – English dictionaries. I have four of them, they were all gifted to me by my late Mexican wife, or one of her brothers over the past 40 years.


According to my Langensheit's pocket dictionary, pena means pain, sorrow, or distress, and ajena means somebody else's.


There is also an English section in the back of each book, in case you don't know the meaning, or how to spell the word in Spanish.


A translating dictionary will not make you fluent in Spanish, but they are a big help.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


La Isla


May 18, 2012, 2:39 PM

Post #4 of 22 (4472 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Most Spanish words do not appear in English, or any other language.
Rex


I´m a bit confused by this statement, Rex. Do you mean that it can be difficult to find an equivalent for many Spanish words and expressions in English? The reverse is also true, don't you think?


DavidHF

May 18, 2012, 4:32 PM

Post #5 of 22 (4452 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Expressions are alway difficult. I find it interesting that there are no Spanish words for research or accountable.


GringoCArlos

May 18, 2012, 5:12 PM

Post #6 of 22 (4436 views)

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Re: [DavidHF] Pena Ajena - no translation

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research = investigación

accountable = responsable


YucaLandia


May 18, 2012, 6:41 PM

Post #7 of 22 (4406 views)

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Re: [DavidHF] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Is this a veiled editorial comment? or humor?

I work at a "Centro de Investigaciones Regionales" here in Merida, which we think is a regional research center.
My wife's Curriculum Vitae for the Centro de Investigaciones Regionales, and her US National Institutes of Health grants say that she is "responsable" (accountable) for her lab's $11,000,000 peso annual "presupuesto de investigaciones" (research budget). Her group's research is helping to directly improve the health for 600 poor families, and the salaries paid support 40 good employees, and they have a long list of peer-reviewed research papers published in the USA by the NIH. Her group is recognized as one of the top 3 in Mexico, and her main co-worker is one of the only National Science Foundation Fellows in the Western US and coincidentally is one of the top 5 experts in Dengue in the world, so ... I am confused. These seem to be researchers who have decades of proven accountability.

There are many very talented people doing world class research in Mexico, accountable for the health and safety of 100's of millions of people in Mexico, the USA, and South America. Maybe I misunderstand the comments?
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


Sculptari

May 18, 2012, 6:41 PM

Post #8 of 22 (4406 views)

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Re: [DavidHF] Pena Ajena - no translation

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I kind of liked `Duende` a Spanish word describing a public, mental orgasm within an extreme event or performance. I could become addicted to those if I was so lucky!
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cbviajero

May 18, 2012, 7:07 PM

Post #9 of 22 (4388 views)

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Re: [Sculptari] Pena Ajena - no translation

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I kind of liked `Duende` a Spanish word describing a public, mental orgasm within an extreme event or performance. I could become addicted to those if I was so lucky!

In Mexico "duende"=fairy,goblin.


Papirex


May 18, 2012, 8:05 PM

Post #10 of 22 (4380 views)

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Re: [DavidHF] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Yes, I meant to convey that there is seldom one word in one language that means exactly the same thing as one word in another. Sometimes there is, Gringo Carlos is right about the words for Research and accountable.


One of the reasons that I like having several translating dictionaries is that they are all paperbacks, so none of them is really complete. If I really need to know a definition of a word, one of them probably has it, not always though. It hasn't happened yet, but when it does, I will really miss my late Mexican bi-lingual wife. She was very fluent in English.


I keep two of them upstairs on a shelf near my desktop computer, and two of them on an end table next to my recliner in the sala where I use my laptop computer. I should mention that I have a fifth translating dictionary, it is small, shirt pocket sized, it is a Langenscheidt too, the same publisher as the main dictionary that I use in the sala. The other one here in the sala is a Merriam-Webster, I don't remember who published the others, they are from different publishers though. That is probably a good thing.


The shirt pocket sized dictionary is probably the best of all of them for me , since almost every definition in them is in clear English. I started carrying it in my laptop computer case on trips after I made a trip to see my kids in California. I have lived here for so long, that I forgot the English words for avocado and and I could only think of aguacate and for garlic, I could only think of ajo. I had to tell them how they were used, so they could remind me of the English names for them.


I used to have one of those electronic translators. If you didn’t know how to spell a word correctly in Spanish, it was useless. I don't have it anymore, and I don't miss it. I don't remember if I gave it away or what, but it is gone, good riddance.


While I know my Spanish grammar is lousy. I can usually make myself understood in stores, and restaurants. Business and Government offices are difficult, because very few people in this area speak any English, and no one cares if you don't understand them. It is extremely rare to find someone that speaks English in Cuernavaca, except in some restaurants.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Vichil

May 19, 2012, 5:56 AM

Post #11 of 22 (4345 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Pena Ajena - no translation

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It has nothing to do with Spanish, each language /culture has their own ways of understanding the world around them or their own view of it and it is sometimes eaier to describe than to translate. Translations sometimes have to give the idea but sometine with differnt words as the concept may not exist or the word in another language has different connotations. This is why translating poetry is extremely difficult and usually does not work.

We had a singer in France called George Brassens whose songs just cannot be translated. They are translated but they lose all their meaning.


La Isla


May 19, 2012, 9:15 AM

Post #12 of 22 (4310 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Pena Ajena - no translation

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It has nothing to do with Spanish, each language /culture has their own ways of understanding the world around them or their own view of it and it is sometimes eaier to describe than to translate. Translations sometimes have to give the idea but sometine with differnt words as the concept may not exist or the word in another language has different connotations. This is why translating poetry is extremely difficult and usually does not work.

We had a singer in France called George Brassens whose songs just cannot be translated. They are translated but they lose all their meaning.


I agree completely with Vichil's comments. I've always held that it is impossible for a non-poet to translate poetry from one language to another, and even then what is created is only an approximation, often a recreation, of the original. Even when I engage in more pedestrian translations, from Spanish to English in my case, for example, wall labels for museums, the translation never carries quite the meaning of the original. But I enjoy the challenge all the same!


YucaLandia


May 19, 2012, 10:12 AM

Post #13 of 22 (4291 views)

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Re: [La Isla] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Even with the precision of scientific language, when translating technical works (especially abstracts) from Spanish to English, it takes a lot of liberties to communicate the ideas precisely, and even more liberties to do it with a bit of style. The Spanish style of incredible numbers of linked clauses does not lend itself well to simple word-for-word translations. Maybe early Spanish type-setters had lots of commas, but few periods? Kind of like the artifact of no accent marks on capital letters?
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


La Isla


May 19, 2012, 10:22 AM

Post #14 of 22 (4285 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Even with the precision of scientific language, when translating technical works (especially abstracts) from Spanish to English, it takes a lot of liberties to communicate the ideas precisely, and even more liberties to do it with a bit of style. The Spanish style of incredible numbers of linked clauses does not lend itself well to simple word-for-word translations. Maybe early Spanish type-setters had lots of commas, but few periods? Kind of like the artifact of no accent marks on capital letters?


I've done a few translations of scientific articles and studies from Spanish to English. In general, I've found that they avoid the usual pitfalls of linking clause after clause with commas that you find in a lot of Spanish prose, maybe because the authors do a lot of reading in English of scientific articles in their field, so they have picked up some of the English style of writing. No translator worth her (or his) salt ever thinks of doing "simple word-for-word translations" because that's not what the craft is about. It's about transferring meaning from one language to another, and apart from things like lists of vocabulary items, a word-for-word translation results more often in gobbledegook than in understandable language!


sfmacaws


May 19, 2012, 7:59 PM

Post #15 of 22 (4222 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Pena Ajena - no translation

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I too agree with Vichil, it is one of the more interesting things about language and culture. That we see the same world and describe it in different ways.

I'm reading a book now, Arrancame la Vida, and I found the verb in the title, arrancar, to not be easy to describe in English. Yes, it means to yank or grab but it is not used in the same way those verbs are used in English. I guess that is it, you can have a word that has a similar meaning in another language but it is used differently - about different things. Another verb like that is estrenar, we don't have a commonly used verb in english for doing something the first time, or using something the first time. You can say it, debut I suppose, but it doesn't sound right to say you debuted a car or a boyfriend or shoes.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Vichil

May 20, 2012, 6:27 AM

Post #16 of 22 (4191 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Better the Mayas in the highlands, I do not know about other parts have no word for blue, grey and a bunch of other colors, they just sat a tyoe od green or back or white, like the Chinese they do not have a word for an absolute NO but a bunch of negative words. No word for bad but again negative forms of good and so on, I find it fascinating that we cannot even agree on colors or NO. They have a bunch of words for sister, depending on age and sex of the person talking and so on.


Maesonna

May 20, 2012, 7:10 AM

Post #17 of 22 (4182 views)

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Re: [GringoCArlos] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Expressions with "accountability," though, are sometimes more accurately translated with versions of "rendir cuentas." Conversely, "rendimento de cuentas" is sometimes perfectly translated with some version of "responsibility" or "accountability," or even "settling of accounts," while in other contexts none of those fit the bill, and "rendimiento de cuentas" becomes extraordinarily hard to translate.


mevale

May 20, 2012, 8:44 AM

Post #18 of 22 (4159 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] Pena Ajena - no translation

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I too agree with Vichil, it is one of the more interesting things about language and culture. That we see the same world and describe it in different ways.

I'm reading a book now, Arrancame la Vida, and I found the verb in the title, arrancar, to not be easy to describe in English. Yes, it means to yank or grab but it is not used in the same way those verbs are used in English. I guess that is it, you can have a word that has a similar meaning in another language but it is used differently - about different things. Another verb like that is estrenar, we don't have a commonly used verb in english for doing something the first time, or using something the first time. You can say it, debut I suppose, but it doesn't sound right to say you debuted a car or a boyfriend or shoes.


Actually, the translation given by the English version is not too bad: "Tear This Heart Out". There's also been a movie made based on the book. It's a worthwhile watch.


YucaLandia


May 20, 2012, 10:32 AM

Post #19 of 22 (4133 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Highland Maya do not have an absolute "No". How ironic!

The Yucatec Maya do not have a word for a firm "Yes" . They have words that mean affirmative ( "bey" ) but not exactly "yes" . Too funny! " Are you coming tomorrow at 8:00 AM to start work? " "Bey."

The "bey" shows an intent to come, but it really is not definitive. The two poles of not having a "yes" for one group, and missing a "no" for a neighboring group may speak volumes about how they experience the world.

Off in a different direction, consider the roots of languages and how they affect us. (Brythonic peoples, Angles & Germanic Saxons, conquered by Romans, then conquered by Danes/Norwegians, then conquered by French intruders, etc) => English's French, Latin, and Germanic/Teutonic/Scandanavian roots give English a rich variety of words to describe subtleties of meanings, which makes it one of the best languages on the planet for writing precise contracts. In contrast, Spanish words often describe some general concept, where the precision has to be inferred from the context: e.g. Crudely, consider arriba vs over, on top of, above, upwards, high, up high, overhead, up, upstairs, more than . . . etc (One common word in Spanish for 10 English variants?)

Turkish, Spanish, and other languages however seem to capture emotive qualities better.

Yiddish anyone? Feh! Nu?
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on May 20, 2012, 10:41 AM)


Vichil

May 20, 2012, 12:22 PM

Post #20 of 22 (4108 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Pena Ajena - no translation

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When our zapotec friends came to San Cristobal, they declared that the Maya were speaking backwards and all their directions were backwards...not sure if it was compared to Spanish or Zapotec but they were not impressed....


sfmacaws


May 20, 2012, 5:46 PM

Post #21 of 22 (4069 views)

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Re: [mevale] Pena Ajena - no translation

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I'm enjoying the book, almost finished, and I will pick up the movie once I've finished the book. It is a good read and it is based on real characters from Mexican history. I got a list of who all the characters were in real life and I've googled some of them, interesting times.

That English title gets the meaning fairly well, I think I was hobbled by trying to keep the words similar. I have nothing but admiration for translators, it's an amazing feat to do it well.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




YucaLandia


May 20, 2012, 6:45 PM

Post #22 of 22 (4052 views)

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Re: [Vichil] Pena Ajena - no translation

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Funny! I have often wondered if dyslexia is unusually common in some Native groups: My Lakota family and friends were as likely to say "Turn right" while gesturing left (while giving directions), or to describe how something up ahead as being on the left, as they nod towards the right... ?? - along with very very bright guys doing frustratingly poorly in school. Great at tearing down a motor or disassembling a carburetor, and keeping track of the position of every part (no memory issues), but struggling to read instructions. ???
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com
 
 
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