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ot:foreign tongues and lost in translation

updated tue 27 apr 04


May Luk on mon 26 apr 04


This is either overly OT or Off Tangent. But here it goes:

Chinese is my mother tongue, English second and I study Italian for a long
time [with a few months total immersion] One quarter of my life, half my
family is italian. On my block, Portugese, Arabic, Spanish and Cockney
English are spoken.

Language and cultural behaviours are linked. There's an connection between
language and psychology.

Food is important for the Chinese. Our common greeting is "Have you eaten

Chinese logic is based on correlative duality. Trade or business is
literally 2 characters - buy/sell. Result is the 2 characters -
success/failure. Putting the contrasting words together enable one to view
things from opposite standpoints while evaluate the entire concept.

The type of language used by an individual affects his mentality. Cultural
behaviour also influence the way one thinks and speaks. The thought takes on
a different path when one speaks in a foreign tongue. Literal translation
often makes no sense if one is not familiar with the other culture. BTW:
The italians call this phenomenon "Traduttore-traditore"

Dialects are the same:
"What a wanker!" is not the same as saying "What a master baker!"

Well, I'm still looking for "Nickle and dime" equivalent in british english.

Have a good day

London, UK

From Lili:

...... Now this is not about me. This is about the fact that, for reasons I
> do
> not know, writing a language is a totally different kettle of fish from
> reading it. Among other things--and I hope both Edouard and Janet will
> help me here--one fears saying something quite dreadful, because words
> that sound alike are not necessarily the same in meaning--nor is the
> weight of a word.
> The other day, and M.le docteur Bastarache corrected my spelling, I
> wrote that it was ok to call me an "Emmerdeuse" If you look the word
> up you will be shocked--if you are an English speaker--because NO OLD
> LADY would call herself that in English (Voila, Edouard, Andre, I have
> sold several dictionaries!)--but in French that is familiar, but ok......