Languages working differently: a case study using simple adjectives
Thread poster: George Trail

George Trail  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:58
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
May 15, 2010

Maybe not enough is being done to explain how languages "work differently" if only to promote international cohesion?

My most recent professional translation project was a piece of business marketing (like a presentation). It was from French to English, and in the original I remember seeing "utile" and "utilisable" in the same sentence - what are the odds of that? To say the least, it challenged my perceptions of what I understood by these words. I eventually realised that "utilisable" meant user-friendliness - you just know damn well that the user-friendliness of things can make such a lot of difference in the business world. For example, if you advertise business services to a client, and they decide that they are interested in what you offer but the application interface causes them enough frustration that they eventually decide to take their business elsewhere, both of you will suffer.

I also remember seeing in a German grammar book, back in my university days, that in German, "kindlich" and "kindisch" are definitely not the same thing. The latter is primarily derogatory - "childish" etc. - rather than "childlike", which is what the former designates.


LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:58
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Recomendation of another site May 15, 2010

Hi George,

Based on all your posts, I thought you might find this to be an interesting site for discussing language and language-learning issues:


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Languages working differently: a case study using simple adjectives

Advanced search

CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search