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#152586 - 12/23/05 08:12 PM Simplification of insidious sentences  
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Logwood Offline
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Israel
In the application-test for the translation college (which I am to submit within a week) they gave us particularly insidious sentences to see if we could figure them out. In most of them the "catch" was a no-brainer, but a few sentences did manage to get the better of me. Here they are:

1. It may be used in the hardness testing of plastics with pratically no change. (I'm not sure I see the catch here)
2. He took a car from the pool. ("pool" as in "storage", right?)
3. She crossed the green. (what does it mean? is it an idiom? should I just translate it as it sounds?)
4. The Federal Bank surprised Wall Street big time. (where's the catch here?)
5. Empty vessels make the most sound. (I know it's an idiom, what does it mean? I didn't manage to google an answer for that).

Would appreciate any help.

#152587 - 12/23/05 08:24 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences  
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sjmaxq Offline
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"green" here refers to a green "space" a park or other public area of greenery. It's a rather English sort of English, I suspect, often used in conjunction with the word "village".

"The Federal Bank surprised Wall Street big time"
My guess would be that the catch is the idiomatic nature of the phrase - "big time" simply meaning "a great deal" or "very much", with no literal connexion to time of any size.

"Empty vessels make the most sound." (I know it's an idiom, what does it mean?

People with nothing to say are the ones talking the loudest. Shakespeare's line "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" expresses a similar idea. . If you bang on an empty vessel, it will make a lot of noise precisely because it's empty. Likwise, a person bereft of meaningful contributions to a discussion will balther on endlessly, hoping to obscure the absence of quality by the excess of quantity.

#152588 - 12/23/05 08:25 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences  
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TEd Remington Offline
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The test may come in trying to figure out what to do with them during the translation. But here;s my take:

1. "It may be used" is passive voice, and I would recast as follows: ONe may use the product in . . ..

2. Look up steno pool. It is an idiom for a reserve group. A term you might use in translating is fleet instead of pool. A carpool is a different thing altogether: a group of people who commute together in a shared vehicle.

3. A green is a common or a park. See Boston Common.

4. I don't see a catch.

5. The louder someone is (partcularly in a meeting), the less there is in the person's brain.


TEd
#152589 - 12/23/05 08:25 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences  
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Guesses:
1. One might be confused as to whether the prepositional phrase "with..." modifies the "plastics", "testing of plastics," or "it."

2. That's probably close enough, but more, I think, like "reserve."
The main thing is not to use the same words as a swimming pool (unless it has a similiar connotation in the target language).

3. Well, one might make a cross at the sign of some green object - but it should be "transit the golf course" or "walked across the green field."

4. The actions of the Chairman of the Federal Bank surprised investors, etc., many of whom have jobs on Wall Street. (Something like that.)

5. I've never heard this, but I think it might mean something like:
The person who is devoid of ideas or any depth of personality chatters the most.

#152590 - 12/23/05 08:58 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences  
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tsuwm Offline
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>2. He took a car from the pool.

this indicates that there is a quantity of autos available to the organization, from which individual members thereof can avail themselves for business of said organization -- like a motor pool in the military.

Last edited by tsuwm; 12/23/05 09:00 PM.
#152591 - 12/23/05 09:12 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences  
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Logwood Offline
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That's as I suspected, tsuwm. Thanks (to everyone who replied)

As for:

1) I'm not quite sure what do you mean, TheFallibleFiend, maybe I just like to believe (self-delude) I'm too smart to even see the catch here..

2) I was able to found a satisfying word for "pool" in the context. And yes, the direct translation of "pool" in Hebrew only means "swimming pool".

3) Ah, I did not even consider that! but it makes perfect sense. I actually intended to translate "green" as the colour. But I get it now, and there's a word that means "lawn, green, grassplot", which I'm glad to use instead.

4) Ah, no troubles here then. I guess I'm just a paranoid sometimes.

5) got it! thanks.

edit; wuuoo... you guys never let me down.

Last edited by Logwood; 12/23/05 09:20 PM.
#152592 - 12/23/05 10:06 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences  
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Logwood Offline
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In one of those insidious sentences they try to throw us off with "inflammable"... how lame is that eh? there are a total of 25; all sorts of slang and idioms, and sentences that looks the same but means different things... and even words that are problematic to translate to Hebrew... but I think (er, hope) I picked on every one of those skullduggeries...

I just hope the other people were dumb enough to fall for them, so I'll have a clear path for the internship. It's really unnerving not knowing who you're up against...

Last edited by Logwood; 12/23/05 10:07 PM.
#152593 - 12/23/05 11:34 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences  
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1) I'm with fallible fiend: the prepositional phrase "with practically no change" could mistakenly be thought to modify "in the hardness testing of plastics." Also, "in the hardness testing of plastic" is an awkward construction, and might be confusing. It would be better cast "in testing the hardness of plastic."

"She crossed the green" means she entered the church on St. Patrick's day.

#152594 - 12/23/05 11:42 PM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences  
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Quote:



"She crossed the green" means she entered the church on St. Patrick's day.




Are you serious? Given that the question was asked in an examination context, if your comment was in jest, would not indicating so be in order?

#152595 - 12/24/05 12:23 AM Re: Simplification of insidious sentences  
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my comment was in jest

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