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pen portrait

English translation: character sketch / a short description of a character

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05:26 Mar 11, 2002
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: pen portrait
Context:
write a short "pen portrait" on a certain character.
Mona Helal
Local time: 09:27
English translation:character sketch / a short description of a character
Explanation:
The most common usage I've seen is in the context of a short biography (or bio for short) of the kind you receive in a conference package as background to the various speakers. I've also seen it applied to countries. Given that you are referring to a character, I'll assume that you are dealing with fictional writing. So, I would say a character sketch - probably used to outline characters of a story either under development, or in summary of an existing story.

HTH

Selected response from:

Michael Sebold
Canada
Local time: 19:27
Grading comment
Thank you and thanks to everyone who contributed.
2 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +4character sketch / a short description of a characterMichael Sebold
4 +1to draw smb in outline, to outline smb's character
Vladimir Dubisskiy
5retrato escrito/perfil escritoxxxOso
4 +1See explanation
Kim Metzger
4biographyFuad Yahya
4describe the accomplishments of a personwrtransco


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
retrato escrito/perfil escrito


Explanation:
Hola Mona,
Dos opciones para tí.
Buena suerte y saludos del Oso ¶:^)

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Note added at 2002-03-11 05:37:32 (GMT)
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Sorry, Mona, I did not see that you need an answer in English, not Spanish, but here\'s another option for you: a writen profile of someone.
Oso ¶:^))

xxxOso
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in pair: 138
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
See explanation


Explanation:
I would say that the task is to do a kind of painting with words. Where an artist uses a brush and paint to create a portrait, the writer has only his or her pen. The objective is to write in such a way as a reader can almost see the person being described.


    English composition teacher
Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 18:27
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2249

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxOso
11 mins

neutral  Chris Rowson: ... ONLY his pen? ;-)
1 hr
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38 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
character sketch / a short description of a character


Explanation:
The most common usage I've seen is in the context of a short biography (or bio for short) of the kind you receive in a conference package as background to the various speakers. I've also seen it applied to countries. Given that you are referring to a character, I'll assume that you are dealing with fictional writing. So, I would say a character sketch - probably used to outline characters of a story either under development, or in summary of an existing story.

HTH



Michael Sebold
Canada
Local time: 19:27
PRO pts in pair: 10
Grading comment
Thank you and thanks to everyone who contributed.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Chris Rowson
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Chris.

agree  cochrum
1 hr
  -> Thank you.

agree  John Kinory
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, John.

agree  Tatiana Neroni
10 hrs
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53 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
to draw smb in outline, to outline smb's character


Explanation:
to outline=1.describe the main features of; summarize
in outline=sketched or represented as an outline

Vladimir Dubisskiy
United States
Local time: 18:27
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in UkrainianUkrainian
PRO pts in pair: 19

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Berni Armstrong: Quite apart from being the dictionary definition, this is the most concise and accurate answer IMHO.
1 hr
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
biography


Explanation:
The term is unrestricted in actual use. Any biographical writing may be called a pen portrait. It does not have to be short, sketchy, or particularly picturesque. There are no requirements as to length, style, or content other than being biographical. You can find many examples of pen portraits on the internet. A simple search will yield many.

Fuad

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Michael Sebold: Assuming that it was done intentionally (i.e. not as another word for "person"), how do you explain the use of "character" in the context?
44 mins
  -> Good point. With this insight, I would modify my answer to "written character account." I still find no basis for restricting "pen portrait" in terms of length or style, hence my avoidance of terms like "sketch," "outline," "summary," "short," etc.
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