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No to UK/US separation!
Thread poster: Daniel Marcus

Daniel Marcus
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:02
Portuguese to English
Oct 17, 2001

It has been suggested in some quarters that there be separate sites for translators into Uk English and US English. I say this is unnnecessary and undesirable.

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Liv Bliss  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:02
Russian to English
+ ...
Right on, Daniel! Oct 17, 2001

Couldn\'t agree more that a UK-/US-English split on ProZ would impoverish both language groups. As a Brit resident in the US for 20 years, I actually enjoy the schizophrenia of it all.

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:02
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No to separation Oct 17, 2001

100% agreement. I am sure that neither would the Portuguese desire to split into Brazilian and European, even though the differences may be greater. Nor the French. And as for the Spanish community, how many countries could we comtemplate splitting into!



At times a disscussion on the differences in vocabulary or usage between different countries even becomes peripheral to answering the question, but it is never a wasted effort, as we all learn something new.



If the country (target or source) is important to understanding the question, or to supplying the correct answer, it is up to the asker to explain it, just as s/he should also explain *all* aspects of the context that might be relevant to choosing the correct answer.





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Daniel Marcus
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:02
Portuguese to English
TOPIC STARTER
native v non Oct 17, 2001

It appears to me that the people who get most upset by the presence of UK/US differences tend not be native English speakers. British People, Americans and other natives seem perfectly mellow about the whole thing. When I (a Brit) see an American word I say \'Oh the American version\' if I notice at all and just get on with it. The odd thing is that the same people who complain about UK/US usage are usually fairly relaxed about differences within their own languages.

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Alison Schwitzgebel
Germany
Local time: 00:02
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
It's not the words that are the problem, but the language usage Nov 23, 2001

Now don\'t get me wrong here, I do not wish to see the English community split into UK and US variants, but we must distinguish between the two.



It would be nice if the only difference between UK and US usage was the spelling, but on many occasions the word order, style, \"feel\" and cultural references are totally different.



An example: As a Brit I might say \"It knocked me for six\" - a reference any UK speaker would understand as it refers to cricket. My American husband would say \"It knocked me clean out of the ball park\" - because the Americans play baseball, not cricket.



When writing, I deliberately try to avoid these type of UK or USisms, but you have to be aware of them in the first place!!



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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 18:02
German to English
+ ...
Alternative suggestion Nov 23, 2001

Or adopt Canadian English: \"anything goes\"

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John Kinory
Local time: 23:02
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Not separated by a common language, but united by two Dec 7, 2001

Werner, you crack me up I have worked with Canadians and it\'s as you say ....

I agree with Alison to some extent. My wife is American (I am a Brit, natch) and it took us some time to iron out the cricket/baseball thing. But we should not try to eliminate it. Idioms enrich a language. Are you saying we should aim for an antiseptic style with no reference points in a living culture?

I simply ensure that I know whether the client needs BE or AE (in the latter case I ask my wife to give it the once over, to make sure no \'night watchman\' or \'third slip\' has managed to slip in
[addsig]


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Klaus Dorn
Local time: 01:02
German to English
+ ...
what about purity? Jan 17, 2002

No, I\'m not for a separation of the US/UK communities, but I certainly would like to make a point about purity. Every language has an origin that also encompasses the way it should be used. For example, I cannot agree, that in the US the past participle of \"get\" is \"gotten\", simply because someone thought to simplify the original English, obviously deriving \"gotten\" from the past participle form of \"forget\" - \"forgotten\". This is in my humble opinion inexcusable. Whilst (notice, not \"while\") I count myself as native in both German and British English, someone might argue I belong to the group of non-natives \"who seem to have problems with it\" as pointed out by a colleague submitting a reply here. Well, let me tell you that I am equally horrified by what has been made of the German language by Swiss and Austrians. Yes, languages develop, but there is no reason to change anything that has a sound grammatical, phonetical or ortographic base. To replace \"how do you do?\" by the grammatically wrong phrase \"how are you?\" just doesn\'t make sense. For the record, I teach both British English and \"High\"-German as foreign languages, I have philosophically studied the origin of both languages and I can see the beauty of their original forms, hence the disgust when this beauty is being destroyed.

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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 18:02
German to English
+ ...
Shakespeare's English was closer to AE than BE Jan 18, 2002

Let\'s not forget that Shakespeare\'s English (also in terms of pronunciation) was closer to today\'s American English than British English.



Fact is that BE evolved, while AE maintained some of the older stuff. The same thing has happened to Spanish in Latin America.


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:02
Member (2004)
German to English
Eaxactly Werner! Jan 18, 2002

So when we as Brits use AE we\'re actually reverting to older English - regressing the language!

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Alison Schwitzgebel
Germany
Local time: 00:02
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Oh no! Not Canadian English!!! Jan 18, 2002

It took me years to get rid of the scars of my Canadian primary school (sorry - grade school) education when I went back to Scotland. I always got lower grades because of my \"funny\" spelling. Not to mention the other kids laughing at my pronunciation!!!



(No offence Werner )

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-01-18 15:38 ]


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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 18:02
German to English
+ ...
None taken! Jan 18, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-01-18 15:37, alison1969 wrote:

It took me years to get rid of the scars of my Canadian primary school (sorry - grade school) education when I went back to Scotland. I always got lower grades because of my \"funny\" spelling. Not to mention the other kids laughing at my pronunciation!!!



(No offence Werner )

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-01-18 15:38 ]





But keep in mind that we, for the most part, use UK spelling. Does that mean that UK spelling is \"funny\" too?

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Alison Schwitzgebel
Germany
Local time: 00:02
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Do you mean funny ha-ha or funny wierd Jan 19, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-01-18 17:49, AbacusTrans wrote:



But keep in mind that we, for the most part, use UK spelling. Does that mean that UK spelling is \"funny\" too?





I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

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Alexandra Hague  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:02
French to English
Well, Klaus you "gotta" get used to gotten... Jan 19, 2002

I\'m sorry, Klaus, you may not agree with the usage of \"gotten\" but that is the way the proverbial cookie (and not the biscuit) crumbles. Languages are in constant evolution and the notion of a language being \"pure\" is not only an impossibility, but a bit, quite frankly, a bit scary.

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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:02
German to English
Jan 20, 2002

Quote:


On 2002-01-17 23:20, kaypeedee wrote:

No I\'m not for a separation of the US/UK communities, but I certainly would like to make a point about purity. Every language has an origin that also encompasses the way it should be used. For example, I cannot agree, that in the US the past participle of \"get\" is \"gotten\", simply because someone thought to simplify the original English, obviously deriving \"gotten\" from the past participle form of \"forget\" - \"forgotten\". This is in my humble opinion inexcusable. Whilst (notice, not \"while\")... Yes, languages develop, but there is no reason to change anything that has a sound grammatical, phonetical or ortographic base. To replace \"how do you do?\" by the grammatically wrong phrase \"how are you?\" just doesn\'t make sense ... I can see the beauty of their original forms, hence the disgust when this beauty is being destroyed.



Klaus, please! Do you know what this sounds like? First of all, gotten/forgotten/while were the *original forms.* While comes from Old English (hwile). Where\'s the sound grammatical, phonetic or orthographical base? In what way is *how are you* ungrammatical? If you\'re going to discuss the differences between BE and AE, please get your facts right first. But above all, what do you propose we do with all those Americans bastardizing (a term you\'ve frequently used) the English language? What\'s the final solution? I wish I could sit down with you in Turkey and have a cuppa so we could talk about this.

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