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Mhhmm

English translation: *

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17:56 Nov 11, 2003
English to English translations [PRO]
Linguistics / Transcription question
English term or phrase: Mhhmm
A rather silly question to end the day ...

I have been asked to check a transcription of an English group discussion which looks like it was transcribed by a monkey who learnt English from a 1950s textbook.

Anyway ... every time the respondents say something, the interviewer says "Mhhmm". I don't want to leave this the way it is - as I have already purged the text of countless "Ehmmms" and suchlike - but can't think of what to replace it with. I'd like "[murmurs approvingly]" or something similar, but my brain is not cooperating.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Ian
xxxIanW
Local time: 06:20
English translation:*
Explanation:
Personally, I wouldn't use "stage directions" such as "[murmurs approvingly]." I actually would leave the mhmmms, if this is a transcription. Alternatively, I would leave them out altogether (if they don't have any real meaning), or replace them with yes/no/I see, as the case may be.
Selected response from:

ntext
United States
Local time: 23:20
Grading comment
Good answers all round. In the end, I got rid of them all, occasionally substituting "OK" or "yes".

Whatever about non-native speaker translations, non-native speaker transcriptions are a nightmare - I didn't leave a single sentence unchanged!

Thanks again
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +9*ntext
1 +3do you think this text is for translation purposes?
lim0nka
3 +1sound of encouragement
jerrie
3follow -up sounds
Clauwolf


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +9
mhhmm
*


Explanation:
Personally, I wouldn't use "stage directions" such as "[murmurs approvingly]." I actually would leave the mhmmms, if this is a transcription. Alternatively, I would leave them out altogether (if they don't have any real meaning), or replace them with yes/no/I see, as the case may be.

ntext
United States
Local time: 23:20
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Good answers all round. In the end, I got rid of them all, occasionally substituting "OK" or "yes".

Whatever about non-native speaker translations, non-native speaker transcriptions are a nightmare - I didn't leave a single sentence unchanged!

Thanks again

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  NancyLynn: exactly
4 mins

agree  Claudia Iglesias: agree with replacement
14 mins

neutral  jccantrell: Be careful about adding more to the text than the original--'approvingly' could just be a pause.
40 mins
  -> No argument there. If the customer doesn't like the grunts, I'd get rid of them in all places except where leaving them out would impact the meaning.

agree  Gayle Wallimann
47 mins

agree  Refugio: I would leave them as is or omit them, but not try to guess their meaning from a transcription. The tone of voice and facial expressions could modify the meaning greatly, e.g., give a sardonic, negating, or even just acknowledging inflection.
1 hr

agree  Mario Marcolin: I'm in favour of bracketed stage directions and simplification. Spoken language behaviour is very different from written language. If you transcribe faithfully, most people won't acknowledge having said what they actually did(half words, murmurs and all)
2 hrs

agree  Dorene Cornwell: Agree with Ruth.
5 hrs

agree  melayujati: agree with Ruth. No replacement. Maybe omission.
6 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
6 hrs

agree  vixen: I would leave them out, especially if it is the interviewer who is doing the murmuring.
17 hrs
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
sound of encouragement


Explanation:
murmurs encouragingly/encouragement
murmurs in acknowledgement
murmurs contemplatively

I'm not sure you can get away from murmurs unless you transcribe as 'sound of'..
makes a contemplative/thoughtful/encouraging/acknowledging sound.

Have you used any uh-huhs?!

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:20
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 23

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  mbc
2 hrs
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26 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
follow -up sounds


Explanation:
:)

Clauwolf
Local time: 01:20
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 12
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29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +3
mhhmm
do you think this text is for translation purposes?


Explanation:
if so, can't you get rid of such words? just delete them instead of saying: murmurs, hesitates etc?
think of the poor translator who will be reading each sentence several times trying to guess what those people are talking about... :(
trust me, it's a nightmare

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 17 hrs 53 mins (2003-11-12 11:49:35 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

what about: [...] OR -- OR ... ?
just to indicate a pause in the text

lim0nka
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:20
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in PolishPolish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Catherine Norton
23 mins

agree  Marie Scarano
1 hr

agree  chopra_2002
6 hrs
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Changes made by editors
Jun 15, 2005 - Changes made by ntext:
Field (specific)(none) » Linguistics
Jun 15, 2005 - Changes made by ntext:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO


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