Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Page 2 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >
Topic Options
#152596 - 12/23/05 07:38 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences
Logwood Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 270
Loc: Israel
Truth be told, I'm still not sure I understand the first phrase at all, particularly what the "change" in it signifies (i.e. modification or leftover?)

Top
#152597 - 12/23/05 07:53 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
> It may be used in the hardness testing of plastics with pratically no change.

The difficulty arises because this is fairly typical of colloquial English usage where speech order gets jumbled. Not only is “the hardness testing of plastics” an ugly construction as already noted, but the end phrase is modifying the start of the sentence rather than the adjoining part – it’s a sort of ‘infix construction’, which is a form of usage more prevalent in Ireland than many other parts of the Anglophone world. My recast for clarity would be:

It may, with very little change, be used to test the hardness of plastics.

edit: oh, and don't confuse 'change' meaning variation (in this example) with 'change' = definition 7b. The balance that remains over and is returned when anything is paid for by a piece of money greater than its price.


Edited by maverick (12/23/05 07:58 PM)

Top
#152598 - 12/23/05 08:06 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
>>It may, with very little change, be used to test the hardness of plastics.<<

Yes. And substituting "modification" might make it even simpler to understand:

"It may, with little modification, be used to test the hardness of plastics."

As to what the word "change" means here:

"It" presumably refers to a device or procedure that is ordinarily used for something other than testing plastics. The sentence says that if this device or procedure is slightly changed, it can be used to test for the hardness of plastic, as well.

**

Pardon me for confusing things about crossing the green; I understood you to have said you were done with the examination, but I was mistaken.


Edited by inselpeter (12/23/05 08:10 PM)

Top
#152599 - 12/23/05 08:12 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences
Logwood Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 270
Loc: Israel
Ah. Thanks, thanks a lot. I got it pinned now.

Top
#152600 - 12/23/05 08:25 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences
Logwood Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 270
Loc: Israel
Ah don't worry about it, inselpeter, I'm smart enough to figure you were joking. Besides, I'm so freakishly pedantic, that if I thought you weren't, I wouldn't let get away with that without more clarifications, explanations and explications. :P

Furthermore, I'll probably be done with it by the end of this month, so I got a lot of time; and I mean a lot!

Edit: I'm looking at that sentence again, it really is a crude construction. These guy go all the way to dupe us... not too shabby.


Edited by Logwood (12/23/05 08:29 PM)

Top
#152601 - 12/23/05 08:39 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
> it really is a crude construction

yes... and fairly typical of real-world usage! Good luck

Top
#152602 - 12/23/05 08:47 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
A last note about "change." The potential confusion is that an unwary non-native speaker of English might think it refers to the plastic, and not to the subject of the sentence, "it." The potential confusion exists because "change" might be thought to refer to a "change of state" in the substance exalted noun, "plastics," which is not the subject of the sentence, and not to the lowly pronoun, "it", which is.

A further potential for confusion is that since the phrase "the hardness of plastic" refers to a physical quality of plastic, the temptation to attach the verb "change" to it, and not to the subject, "it," is reinforced.

Whew. I've been trying to make this clearer, but I'm afraid I'm just too tired.

I think the sentences were well chosen to demonstrate proficiency in dealing with specific difficulties a translator is likely to encounter in everyday English writing. It ain't easy. Fortunately, in everyday circumstances, there are usually people you can ask.

Top
#152603 - 12/24/05 05:57 AM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences
Marianna Offline
addict

Registered: 01/09/01
Posts: 427
Loc: Spain
Quote:

>>It may, with very little change, be used to test the hardness of plastics.<<

Yes. And substituting "modification" might make it even simpler to understand:

"It may, with little modification, be used to test the hardness of plastics."

As to what the word "change" means here:

"It" presumably refers to a device or procedure that is ordinarily used for something other than testing plastics. The sentence says that if this device or procedure is slightly changed, it can be used to test for the hardness of plastic, as well.





As far as I can see, y'all have got it just right, which of course is no surprise...

Logwood: this sentence is absolutely typical of the technical English of manuals, instructions, operating procedures, specifications and such. If you continue working in translation, you're going to come across this type of stuff continuously!

Top
#152604 - 12/24/05 06:41 AM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences
Logwood Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 270
Loc: Israel
If I do get the internship, I'll be translating subtitles for TV (most of the time with a handy script), so I doubt I'll run into these type of stuff continuously! not that I'm relieved, I love to know and crack everything when it comes to English.

Anyway, the thing that bothered me about the sentence is that "change" also means "money received back after paying for goods". That word in Hebrew also means "leftover, waste, extra"-- that's why I got confused in the first place. It was a rookie's mistake in translation I guess.

So this was a one-time-occurence as far as I'm concerned.


Edited by Logwood (12/24/05 06:46 AM)

Top
#152605 - 12/24/05 09:23 AM "whine and dine"?
Logwood Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 270
Loc: Israel
In one of the articles I need to translate tells about an Israeli reality show (similiar to "for love or money").

"...the contestants try to gain Sharon's affection as they "whine and dine" over a couple of months based at a villa in Caesarea."

My question is what do they mean by "whine and dine"? and the quotations are there for the record.

Top
Page 2 of 6 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 >

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8746 Members
16 Forums
13809 Topics
215505 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
bobwar, Johnreed28, Lakshman, dcsteve, Jorg
8746 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 40 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
endymion6 107
LukeJavan8 100
wofahulicodoc 81
A C Bowden 53
Tromboniator 11
tuhin 2
chicablanca 1
Jorg 1
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11609
tsuwm 10523
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
LukeJavan8 6591
AnnaStrophic 6511
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400
BranShea 5282

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith