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Mar. 29th, 2009

je suis désolé de m'être énervé.

translate this into english, si vous voulez.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
nightspore
Mar. 30th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
Sorry I got upset.
jones_casey
Mar. 30th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
it makes me wonder about the limits of translation in any language to communicate the nuances of art.

the actual line in english was "sorry i blew my stack."

the idea gets translated but not the qualities of the idea.
nightspore
Mar. 30th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
Well, that's a double translation, no? And context might help: that is, a more informal context would give "blew my stack" or "lost it." OTOH "Sorry" is more clipped than you might ordinarily think "je suis desolé" would be.

I think if you know another language, the problems don't kick in so much. But I also think it's interesting that I'm pretty confident of my sense of French nuance (French, not French-Canadian), but still get literal meanings wrong from time to time.
jones_casey
Mar. 30th, 2009 05:14 am (UTC)
yes and yes.

funnily enough, this led me to stumble upon a 1993 paper by
cognitive scientist lawrence barsalou, which discusses 'blew my stack' in the section on metaphor in regards to universality of meaning.

another example of the type of thing i don't think translates well:
[man exits elevator in which he was escorted by four humanoid robots]
man: vous avez rencontre les gorilles?
(man: have you met the goon squad?)

it's frustrating that one often can't do a double translation, can't translate it back into the exact words that were used, even in context.

Edited at 2009-03-30 05:14 am (UTC)
jones_casey
Mar. 30th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
or, even better:

en quelque sorte, nous sommes entre deux feux.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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