Can "migrate" be used as a transitive verb?
Thread poster: jyuan_us

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:33
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
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Mar 17

The answer to my question is "no", according to these dictionaries:

I. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/migrate
migrate
[mahy-greyt]
Spell Syllables
Examples Word Origin
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), migrated, migrating.
1.
to go from one country, region, or place to another.
Synonyms: move, resettle, relocate.
Antonyms: remain.
2.
to pass periodically from one region or climate to another, as certain birds, fishes, and animals:
The birds migrate southward in the winter.
3.
to shift, as from one system, mode of operation, or enterprise to another.
4.
Physiology. (of a cell, tissue, etc.) to move from one region of the body to another, as in embryonic development.
5.
Chemistry.
(of ions) to move toward an electrode during electrolysis.
(of atoms within a molecule) to change position.
6.
(at British universities) to change or transfer from one college to another.

II. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/migrate

Definition of migrate
migrated; migrating
intransitive verb
1
: to move from one country, place, or locality to another Thousands of workers migrate to this area in the summer.
2
: to pass usually periodically from one region or climate to another for feeding or breeding The whales migrate between their feeding ground in the north and their breeding ground in the Caribbean.
3
: to change position or location in an organism or substance filarial worms migrate within the human body


However, on this website, it was used as a transitive verb:
Migrate | Drupal.org
https://www.drupal.org/project/migrate
翻译此页
2009年3月4日 - The migrate module provides a flexible framework for migrating content into Drupal from other sources (e.g., when converting a web site from ...

Is the usage of "Migrate" on the Drupal.org correct? If so, why its usage as a transitive verb has not been included in the 2 major dictionaries cited above?

I'd like very much to hear your opinions about the issue.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
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Yes Mar 17

Yes, this is pretty standard usage these days - migrate a system etc.

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The Misha
Local time: 02:33
Russian to English
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Any dictionary is "trailing" Mar 17

in the sense that it only records past usage. On the other hand, the example you gave sounds very much like the tech gobbledygook IT types may be using these days. It doesn't matter what the dictionary says here. If a critical mass builds, usage-wise, a thing like this suddenly becomes a new normal.

Oh, and this is definitely not a native vs. nonnative issue. This sounds very much like something a native computer wiz might say.


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Peter Ross  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 14:33
Member (2014)
Thai to English
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Yes - computing contexts Mar 17

Trying to imagine a transitive context immediately conjured up a computing context for me.

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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
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Yes according to Oxford Mar 17

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/migrate


Computing
Change or cause to change from one system to another.
(no object) ‘customers are migrating from mainframes to client-server environments’
(with object) ‘save time by efficiently migrating data to secondary storage systems’
More example sentences
(with object) Transfer (programs or hardware) from one system to another.
‘the system will allow users to migrate applications across environments’


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:33
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
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Oxford Mar 17

Oxford Dictionary of English: migrate [with obj.] Computing transfer (programs or hardware) from one system to another.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:33
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Annoyingly---- Mar 18

Chris S wrote:

Yes, this is pretty standard usage these days - migrate a system etc.



Annoyingly, I agree with Chris. In fact you can do pretty much anything you want to with the English language, even if it sounds ridiculous.

Recent new verbs that sound ridiculous to me: to selfharm; to roughsleep; to surveil.


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
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Migrate in IT Mar 18

Tom in London wrote:

Chris S wrote:

Yes, this is pretty standard usage these days - migrate a system etc.



Annoyingly, I agree with Chris. In fact you can do pretty much anything you want to with the English language, even if it sounds ridiculous.

Recent new verbs that sound ridiculous to me: to selfharm; to roughsleep; to surveil.



"Migrate" was already used this way back in the 1980s and 1990s when I worked at data centres.

If one person moves from Paris to London, he moves. If 1 million do it, they migrate. It is similar for data: you move one folder to another computer, but if you need to move all the data on a disk pack to another disk pack, you migrate it.

A person can move not just himself, but also an object. When there is no object, it is the subject that is in movement. When there is an object, it is the subject that puts the object in movement.

Traditionally "migrate" could not have an object, but its use with object in the computer world is parallel to the structure of the verb "move".

It may sound odd to someone who has never worked at a data centre, but that's how "migrate" is being used in IT, whether we like it or not. What matters the most in IT is that those who need to read it can understand it.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:33
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Hmmm Mar 18

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

.....What matters the most in IT is that those who need to read it can understand it.


I'm glad you capitalised the first "it".


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
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IT Mar 18

Tom in London wrote:

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

.....What matters the most in IT is that those who need to read it can understand it.


I'm glad you capitalised the first "it".


There is indeed a case for capitalising it.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
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English to Spanish
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Dictionaries are Philology Mar 19

The Misha wrote:
Any dictionary is "trailing"

Seconded. Dictionaries are philological in nature, which means they can never create language, but only sieve through and record the use of language. Transitive migrate will show up in dictionaries pretty soon. In fact, they are quite late: I have used the verb with a direct object already 25 years ago!


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
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TOPIC STARTER
You guys have given enlightening answers, Mar 19

and they are very convincing to me.

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Can "migrate" be used as a transitive verb?

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