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¡° not so much what he wanted them to say, as what they would want to say if they

English translation: attempt!

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08:40 Dec 2, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: ¡° not so much what he wanted them to say, as what they would want to say if they
Analyzing this, Weil attributed it in part to His tendency to interpret what people told him as ¡° not so much what he wanted them to say, as what they would want to say if they shared his outlook.¡±

what's the meaning of this sentence?
discourse
English translation:attempt!
Explanation:
Actually I don't think the sentence itself is very complicated linguistically, it just seems to be the product of a very twisted mind.. anyway:
I agree with Dusty that it would help to know if Weil, 'his' and 'he' are the same person.
When 'He' interpreted what people told him he usually interpreted it as follows:
They are telling me what they would say if they had the same opionion as me. They are NOT just telling me what I want them to say.
Hope that makes more sense.
Selected response from:

Nesrin
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:26
Grading comment
Thank you very much!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +2attempt!
Nesrin
3 +1See comment below...
Tony M
3 -1when understanding/seeking the meaning in other people's words,xxxCMJ_Trans


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -1
when understanding/seeking the meaning in other people's words,


Explanation:
he was NOT influenced by his projection of what they were saying but instead he was influenced by his own ides, in other words he was influenced by what he would say in their place

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 13:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 52

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Tony M: I don't read the latter part of this in the same way as you, I'm afraid
49 mins
  -> OK it's slightly telescoped but ....
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
¡° not so much what he wanted them to say, as what they would want to say if they
attempt!


Explanation:
Actually I don't think the sentence itself is very complicated linguistically, it just seems to be the product of a very twisted mind.. anyway:
I agree with Dusty that it would help to know if Weil, 'his' and 'he' are the same person.
When 'He' interpreted what people told him he usually interpreted it as follows:
They are telling me what they would say if they had the same opionion as me. They are NOT just telling me what I want them to say.
Hope that makes more sense.

Nesrin
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:26
Native speaker of: Arabic
PRO pts in category: 80
Grading comment
Thank you very much!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Trada inc.
4 hrs

agree  Lisa Lloyd
1 day1 hr
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
¡° not so much what he wanted them to say, as what they would want to say if they
See comment below...


Explanation:
Instead of realizing that people told him what they thought he would like to hear (= 'yes men'), 'he' assumed that the things people said represented their opinions based on a similar viewpoint to his own.

The interpretation may vary a bit, depending on whether 'Weil' and 'He' are the same person, and/or the general attitude being expressed (positive/negative, approving/disapproving etc.)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 hrs 2 mins (2004-12-02 11:42:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Nesrin has brought up an interesting point about that conditional \'would...if...\', and I must admit it hadn\'t even occurred to me to read it that way.

To clarify my own reading (whilst not disputing Nesrin\'s), I think the crux of the matter is what is the motivation behind the things these \'people\' say to him. Did they say (he believed) what they thought he wanted to hear; or did they say what would be logical to say, assuming they shared his outlook?

I believe the author is saying that his interpretation was so self-centred, he saw their remarks as echoing his own feelings because they shared his viewpoint, rather than simply mirroring what he wanted them to say. In other words, he was really deceiving himself into believing that they actually did share his opinions (when in fact maybe they didn\'t)

I rather fear that has made my thinking even LESS clear than before!

Tony M
France
Local time: 13:26
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 248

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Eskarina: seems most logical
16 mins
  -> Thanks, VMC!

neutral  Nesrin: I think that "they WOULD want to say IF they shared " signifies that he knows they don't actually share his viewpoint.
18 mins
  -> Thanks, Nesrin! I see what you're getting at, but I don't think that conditional NECESSARILY indicates that; could be interpreted on several levels....

neutral  xxxCMJ_Trans: well, naturally I don't agree with you but since we're all entitled to opinions, I remain "neutral"
39 mins
  -> Thansk, CMJ! 'agree/disagree' don't criticize anyone's right to an opinion, simply indicate to Asker one's support or not; you should change your comment to a 'disagree' in order to make the statistics realistic! :-)
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