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Off topic: How to Make Mistakes Systematically
Thread poster: schmurr

schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
Italian to German
+ ...
Sep 29, 2003

Although Italian is a lot longer than English, the Italians are not satisfied by this and try to make it even longer:
they shun "tipi" but say "tipologie",
they spurn "metodi" but say "metodologie"
but their most ingenious invention is in the field of prepositions - which we know are typically short and precise - : they invented "in corrispondenza di", which is not only wonderfully long but also extremely vague: it can mean "near", "at", "on", "below", etc etc
The other day they gave me a text to translate which they pretended was in English, but of course it was full of "in correspondence of"...
Seeking solace in Google's ignoring this expression, I was shocked: 3510 hits!
But a closer look revealed that Italian names were contained in many of those URLs...
This induced me to search all the Italianisms contained in my text both on .it and .uk websites. And although only a small part of .it pages are in English, they often outclassed the UK:
"specular to the": .uk 3, .it 19
"in such hypothesis": .uk 1, .it 11
"aiming at determining": .uk 2, .it 16
"allows to determine": .uk 96, .it 271
"for what concerns": .uk 178 .it 1790
and the winner:
"in correspondence of": .uk 73, .it 1110
To sum it up: Italians are very consistent in their use of wrong English and can rebut any critic by plentiful Google hits. Is it only a question of time when Italian English will be declared Oxford standard??
I am also collecting Italian mannerisms, specializing in very long phrases which can be translated with very few words (my record is translating 23 words with 5 words, see my posting "I readily…" below):

http://www.proz.com/?sp=mt&eid_s=20424&float=y&glossary=7880

Unfortunately the translations are in German, but if you don't understand that, you can at least "appreciate" the Italian...and I'm ready to translate into English whatever phrase you wish...
Also the following contain lots of examples, being from a ministry:
http://www.proz.com/?sp=mt&eid_s=20424&float=y&glossary=7853
http://www.proz.com/?sp=mt&eid_s=20424&float=y&glossary=9054
http://www.proz.com/?sp=mt&eid_s=20424&float=y&glossary=7854

Have fun!
Martin from Udine
Translation bloopers:
http://www.proz.com/home/20424/aut.html

[Edited at 2003-10-01 14:37]


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Anthony Green  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:27
Italian to English
Five words in German are just as long Sep 29, 2003

Loved the post - I do a lot of editing of scientific texts which are usually full of such rubbish!

But surely five words in German have the same number of letters as 25 in Italian, so word count is not exactly the most correct measurement to use!



Anthony


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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
thanks for your kind answer, Anthony, but… Sep 29, 2003

… you are not right about the same number of letters: the German is
"Erleichterung der Schließung des Beutels"
but the Italian is
"agevolazione delle operazioni riconnesse alla chiusura dell’imboccatura del sacchetto stesso"!

It just came to my mind: I could have translated
"leichteres Schließen des Beutels" = even shorter!

But that Italian sentence does not have 23 words, see my posting "I readily…" below!

[Edited at 2003-10-01 14:38]


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
German to Italian
+ ...
no wonder Italian is so verbose... Sep 29, 2003

... translation rates in Italy are usually based on the target text! You're 100% right, I can't stand such things as tipologia (tipo), problematica (problema), similare (simile), tematica (tema) etc. Your glossary itlangDkurz is soooo funny!

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Anthony Green  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:27
Italian to English
Say it with a compound noun Sep 29, 2003

Ever since I got my first German high school book which had in unit 32 the massive term for "speed limit", German has been synonymous in my head with wonderfully long compound nouns.
Couldn't you say "leichteres Schließen des Beutels" in one nice long compound noun?
Sorry to tease you!


Anthony
BTW, do you know Mark Twain's comments on learning German?


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Mario Marcolin  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:27
Member (2003)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Same and different Sep 30, 2003

Yes it's funny, but also sad..
I think the educational system is also a major culprit in this. Language is not just vocabulary and grammar etc, it's also very much how you put things together - the packaging if you will.
Italian is *not* necessarily a verbose language, but to some verbosity is a mark of prestige...a lot of air between the words if you wil..
And to some Germans I know, high prestige is associated with exactly the opposite - not so many words, but some of them very complex..


mario da venexia


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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Dear Anthony, of course you're right about Sep 30, 2003

"Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung": even the Germans avoid it and say "Tempolimit". In fact I do not limit my linguistic curiosity to exposing other languages, but also German: I created glossaries
"EkurzDlang" and "itkurzDlang", to the latter of which I today added visura = Grundstücksrechtstitelüberprüfung (Feststellung des Eigentums an einem Grundstück durch Prüfung der Kette der Übereignungsurkunden)!

Moreover, thanks to our office database which groups all words with more than 18 letters, I can easily give you more examples:
Schlauchbeutelverpackungsmaschine
Flüssigkeitsausdehnungsthermometer
Festzeichenunterdrückungsradar
Siebdruckschablonenhalterungen
Elektro-Schlacke-Umschmelzverfahren
Kardioiddunkelfeldkondensor
Bedarfsluftfahrtunternehmen
Gleichstrom-Gleichstrom-Einankerumformer
Dieselhorst-Martin-Vierer-verseilt
Isolierschicht-Feldeffekttransistor
Holzschliffentwässerungsmaschine
Indiumphosphid-Kadmiumsulfid-Solarzelle
Fabry-Perot-Interferenzspektroskop
Elektronenenergieverlustspektroskopie

Is that enough for you??

if anybody is interested: after 10 years of experience, the maximum number of letters in one word acceptable to Germans is for me 27: beyond that, it's better to put a hyphen.

Yes, I know Mark Twain's comment, but I didn't link it to my websites: I was too ashamed of my language…

To Mario: In fact I am a teacher, and although I teach German, I often use Italian schoolbooks on other subjects when I help our Austrian pupils (we're a European school), and I see that even texts written for 14-year-olds are extremely complicated…

[Edited at 2003-10-17 12:49]


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theangel  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:27
Swedish to Italian
+ ...
terribile Oct 1, 2003

Martin Schmurr wrote:

… you are not right about the same number of letters: the German is
"Erleichterung der Schließung des Beutels"
but the Italian is
"agevolazione delle operazioni riconnesse alla chiusura dell’imboccatura del sacchetto stesso"!


[Edited at 2003-09-29 15:41]


Ciao Martin,
hai proprio ragione! ci vogliono 5 minuti solo per capire cosa si volesse dire con quel malloppo di frase. Non potevano dire "facilitare la chiusura del sacchetto"?

Mi viene in mente l'anno in cui a Striscia la Notizia dicevano "agevoliamo il servizio" eheh

Matilde


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theangel  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:27
Swedish to Italian
+ ...
ooppss Oct 1, 2003

OOppps,
sorry, I realized I replied in Italian only after posting the message...

Matilde


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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I readily forgive you, Matilde, because Oct 1, 2003

… I make much more mistakes than you: my example above has far less than 23 words! the 23 one is:

"'Nell’ambito di quello che suole essere l’usuale impiego domestico, che dei sacchetti per il contenimento del pattume viene ad essere fatto"

which I translated
"Beim üblichen Hausgebrauch von Müllbeuteln".


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
German to Italian
+ ...
why not 3 words? Oct 1, 2003

Martin Schmurr wrote:

"'Nell’ambito di quello che suole essere l’usuale impiego domestico, che dei sacchetti per il contenimento del pattume viene ad essere fatto"

which I translated
"Beim üblichen Hausgebrauch von Müllbeuteln".


And what about "Beim üblichen Müllbeutelhausgebrauch"? Just 3 words!


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schmurr  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
Italian to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Dear Lorenzo, Oct 1, 2003

although you found out that my glossaries are funny (and I thank you for that! unfortunately you've been the only one so far of all 40.000 ProZ members!), they are at the same time intended to be a serious help for fellow translators, like all the others' glossaries.

By the way, building compounds in German is not as easy as it seems: many look awkward to native speakers; you should be German to build them…

[Edited at 2003-10-01 16:34]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Compound words in German Oct 1, 2003

If you understand Spanish, you might like to look at this topic:
http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&post=36510#36510


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
German to Italian
+ ...
thanks again Oct 1, 2003

Martin Schmurr wrote:

although you found out that my glossaries are funny (and I thank you for that! unfortunately you've been the only one so far of all 40.000 ProZ members!), they are at the same time intended to be a serious help for fellow translators, like all the others' glossaries.

By the way, building composite words in German is not as easy as it seems: many look awkward to native speakers; you should be German to build them…


Yes, I know it's not so easy to build composite words in German, that's why I ask mother tongue speakers if I'm not sure of them. In theory, it could be the best solution, but often it's not. Anyway, thanks again for your glossary: it'll be extremely useful if I'll have to translate into German these horrible Italian phrases like "quello che suole essere l'uso..." - I hope I'll never have to

ps Jack, thanks for mentioning that story about Hottentottenusw., just hilarious!

[Edited at 2003-10-01 15:32]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:27
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Deutsch ist einfach! Oct 2, 2003

Just remembered I translated that item in Spanish to email it to a friend, and found I still had it on file, so here it is:

German is easy to learn, all you have to do is string one word after another. For example:

One day the Hottentots (Hottentotter) arrested a murderer (Attentäter) accused of having murdered a Hottentot mother (Hottentottermutter), of a deaf and dumb child (Stottertrottel). The mother was called Hottentotterstottertrottelmutter and her murderer Hottentotterstottertrottelmutterattentäter.

The police caught him and put him in a kangaroo cage (Beutelrattenlattengitterkotter), from which he escaped. But a Hottentot warrior caught him, shouting: I’ve caught the murderer (Attentäter)!

Who? asked the chief.

The Lattengitterkotterbeutelrattenattentäter, replied the warrior. He’s the Hottentotterstottertrottelmutterattentäter!

Damn it! said the chief. Why didn’t you say in the first place that you’d captured the Hottentotterstottertrottelmutterlattengitterkotterbeutelrattenattentäter?


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