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antipodes

English translation: they are poles apart

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08:43 May 27, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: antipodes
Can you say in English that two languages are like the antipodes? In a meaning - comlete/total opposites/different?
Miroslawa Jodlowiec
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
English translation:they are poles apart
Explanation:
If you want to keep the antipodean reference I'd use something like "poles apart". I think anything with antipodes is going to sound pretty odd in this context.
Selected response from:

Armorel Young
Local time: 11:07
Grading comment
Thanks to all!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +7"the two languages are the antithesis of one another" might be preferable
DGK T-I
4 +7they are poles apart
Armorel Young
5 +4Totally differentDavid Moore
3 +4I doubt languages can be antipodes...
Natalia Koltsova
4 +3they are antipodes
Sarah Ponting
1 +2opposite languagesJ. Leo


  

Answers


9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5 peer agreement (net): +2
opposite languages


Explanation:
I'm not sure, but I wonder if languages could be linguistically opposite. If the context is comparable to someone's experience with a second language it may be used. I used to say this when learning Dutch, that it's opposite from English, but this referred to word order or other grammar rule.

J. Leo
Local time: 12:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 51

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Natalia Koltsova: I didn't see your answer when I wrote mine. I do agree :)
4 mins

neutral  Christopher Crockett: It's not at all clear to me what an 'opposite' language might look like, however. The very concept is quite strange.
5 hrs
  -> That's my point. Literally I think it's not true. Languages grow more linearly. Figuratively, I say it myself.

agree  Sarah Ponting: I understand what you mean, and although it's not literally true, it could be said of two languages that are completely different. In any case, it's clear that it's an exaggeration.
5 hrs
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
they are antipodes


Explanation:
of one another.

"Antipodes:

Something that is the exact opposite or contrary of another"

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

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Note added at 2003-05-27 08:55:12 (GMT)
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Of course, in relation to languages, the meaning is figurative as they are extremely different rather than exact opposites.

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Note added at 2003-05-27 08:58:55 (GMT)
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\"Computer viruses represent great danger and malpractice - they are antipodes of what we want to achieve working on the Net and craving towards the Internet ... \"

www.royal-awards-university.org/avc/declaration.htm


\"So the situated mind would see such things as \"indirect\" but it is not indirect, it is simply \"analogic.\" We might be able to draw two antipodes here and to say that the analogic relations to the world situation and the direct relations are categorically in opposition. They are antipodes.\"

http://www.geocities.com/representational/NSR10Pers1.htm






Sarah Ponting
Italy
Local time: 12:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 67

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Natalia Koltsova
4 mins
  -> thanks, Natalia

neutral  Christopher Crockett: Sorry, Sarah, I'm normally all for figurative usages, metaphors, etc., but, in this case, just can't see two languages as being "opposite", much less "antipodal" to each other.
5 hrs
  -> well, they're certainly not opposites in the literal sense of the word, but if you wanted to stress their extremely different nature, I think you could use the term, as Natalia says. In any case, "antithesis" or "poles apart" sound more natural to me :-)

agree  J. Leo
5 hrs
  -> thanks

agree  Bin Zhang
7 hrs
  -> thanks
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
I doubt languages can be antipodes...


Explanation:
... though if you really think they differ in EVERYTHING or all the basics/important points I daresay you may call them antipodes (without 'like').


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Note added at 2003-05-27 08:56:07 (GMT)
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Strongly disagree with the first answer. There is already a definition above. Here is a historical reference:

Antipodes
Speculations concerning the rotundity of the earth and the possible existence of human beings \"with their feet turned towards ours\" were of interest to the Fathers of the Early Church only in so far as they seemed to encroach upon the fundamental Christian dogma of the unity of the human race, and the consequent universality of original sin and redemption. This is clearly seen from the following passage of St. Augustine (De Civitate Dei, xvi, 9):


\"As to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets on us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours, there is no reason for believing it. Those who affirm it do not claim to possess any actual information; they merely conjecture that, since the earth is suspended within the concavity of the heavens, and there is as much room on the one side of it as on the other, therefore the part which is beneath cannot be void of human inhabitants. They fail to notice that, even should it be believed or demonstrated that the world is round or spherical in form, it does not follow that the part of the earth opposite to us is not completely covered with water, or that any conjectured dry land there should be inhabited by men. For Scripture, which confirms the truth of its historical statements by the accomplishment of its prophecies, teaches not falsehood; and it is too absurd to say that some men might have set sail from this side and, traversing the immense expanse of ocean, have propagated there a race of human beings descended from that one first man.\"

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01581a.htm


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Note added at 2003-05-27 08:57:43 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry, I believe the first answer has been removed...

Natalia Koltsova
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:07
Native speaker of: Russian
PRO pts in pair: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  DGK T-I
18 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Christopher Crockett: Yes, the use of this word --despite the dictionary definition offered by Sarah-- seems quite awkward, to me. But then, I can't see how one language can be the "opposite" of another, either.
5 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  Sarah Ponting: yes, you can use it but it's not to be intended literally
5 hrs
  -> Thank you.

agree  J. Leo
5 hrs
  -> Thanks
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24 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
"the two languages are the antithesis of one another" might be preferable


Explanation:
"the two languages are the antithesis of one another" might be preferable.



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Note added at 2003-05-27 09:09:51 (GMT)
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Antithesis means directly opposite (in the sense of totally different, rather than physically), or comprising directly opposite ideas.

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Note added at 2003-05-27 09:13:08 (GMT)
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Antipodes is usually used in the UK to signify the opposite part of the globe (geographically), ie: Australia, the Pacific, New Zealand, Polynesia, etc - and I would say it has very much a geographical and physical resonance in the mind of hearers or readers, rather than one of ideas.


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Note added at 2003-05-27 09:17:40 (GMT)
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An example in languages would be to say, as joseph Conrad might have said, but didn\'t exactly,
\"English is the antithesis of French. In French every word has a clear precise meaning, in English the meanings of the words merge into multifarious shades of meaning.....\"

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Note added at 2003-05-27 09:26:29 (GMT)
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BUT

I think you can use \"antipodes\" as a metaphor or simile, eg: say the two languages are like the antipodes - it\'s an exageration to say languages are totally opposite, but there is nothing wrong with exageration if thats the effect you wish to produce !

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Note added at 2003-05-27 09:30:35 (GMT)
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typo: should be \"exaggerate\"

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Note added at 2003-05-27 10:45:41 (GMT)
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BUT

I think you can use \"antipodes\" as a metaphor or simile, eg: say the two languages are like the antipodes - it\'s an exageration to say languages are totally opposite, but there is nothing wrong with exageration if thats the effect you wish to produce !

DGK T-I
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:07
PRO pts in pair: 401

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  airmailrpl
27 mins
  -> thank you

agree  Marie Scarano
1 hr
  -> thank you ~

agree  sheena
2 hrs
  -> thank you ~

agree  Christopher Crockett: I agree with all your points, Giuli, which are very well taken, except for "In French every word has a clear precise meaning." The use of "opposite" --much less "antipodal"-- in this context would have to be rather severly qualified.
5 hrs
  -> Thanks Christopher ~ (I don't actually think that about French,it just sprang to mind from remembering something Joseph Conrad said once -how he wished he'd learnt French instead of English because he thought the languages had those qualities :-))

agree  Sarah Ponting: I agree - you COULD use antipodes if you wanted to exaggerate, but "antitheseis" sounds more natural (and is more easily understood)
5 hrs
  -> thank you ~

agree  J. Leo
5 hrs
  -> thank you ~

agree  Bin Zhang
7 hrs
  -> thank you ~
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52 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Totally different


Explanation:
is what I'd call them - and it's easier anyway; I can't even spell "Antipodes".

David Moore
Local time: 12:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 864

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  DGK T-I: also an option (I meant to comment 'also an option' below to Armorel, too)
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Doc.!

agree  Christopher Crockett: Sometimes there's just an advantage to being simple and direct, eschewing ostentatious pomposity and grandiloquent bombast. Why use a six-bit word when two two-bitters will do the job?
5 hrs
  -> Love it, Chris!!!

agree  Sarah Ponting: if you wanted to simplify matters ;-)
5 hrs
  -> Thank you, Sarah

agree  J. Leo
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, cauljim
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
they are poles apart


Explanation:
If you want to keep the antipodean reference I'd use something like "poles apart". I think anything with antipodes is going to sound pretty odd in this context.

Armorel Young
Local time: 11:07
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 593
Grading comment
Thanks to all!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  DGK T-I
7 mins

agree  David Moore: How right you are!
20 mins

agree  Lesley Clayton
47 mins

agree  Mike Birch: very neat
1 hr

agree  Sarah Ponting: it certainly sounds more natural than "antipodes"
2 hrs

agree  Christopher Crockett: Yes, that would work. And then would have to be qualified by an explanation of *how* they differ. Sarah's right: preserves the original intent (flawed as that might be), but more natural.
2 hrs

agree  J. Leo
2 hrs
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