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Thread poster: James McVay

James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:17
Russian to English
+ ...
Dec 11, 2009

I just saw this quote in the local newspaper.

"A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in colour and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used."

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
US jurist (1841 - 1935)

It struck me as being especially appropriate for translators.


Vitals  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:17
Member (2008)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Thanks for sharing Dec 11, 2009

It is a good thought in many respects.


Martyn Greenan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:17
French to English
+ ...
Pithy Dec 11, 2009

Very nice (and very appropriate). He's also supposed to have said 'A moment's insight is sometimes worth a lifetime's experience', which would not be wide of the mark for our profession either.


Oleksandr Kupriyanchuk  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:17
Russian to English
+ ...
Geniously said Dec 11, 2009

It is possible to say not only "the SKIN of a living thought," but often also its face and legs (or, depending on how it was said, WINGS!)icon_smile.gif


Local time: 11:17
Spanish to English
Good Point Jan 31, 2010

It's true. The context is very important when translating, not individual words.


Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:17
English to German
+ ...
Beautiful! Jan 31, 2010

And true.



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