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American English usage in Proz message
Thread poster: Steven F Smith

Steven F Smith
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:30
Member (2007)
Japanese to English
Jun 29, 2010

I've signed up for a group buy of Trados 2009, and received a message from Proz saying:

IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PAYMENT LINK BELOW WILL ONLY
BE ACTIVE THROUGH June 30.

Not having an American ear it took me a few seconds to realize this meant 'until the end of June 30th', rather than 'only during June 30th.' I'm just wondering if this could be confusing for non-native speakers less familiar with US English?

Steven


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Reply from a non-native Jun 29, 2010

Steven F Smith wrote:

I've signed up for a group buy of Trados 2009, and received a message from Proz saying:

IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PAYMENT LINK BELOW WILL ONLY
BE ACTIVE THROUGH June 30.

Not having an American ear it took me a few seconds to realize this meant 'until the end of June 30th', rather than 'only during June 30th.' I'm just wondering if this could be confusing for non-native speakers less familiar with US English?

Steven


No, to my non-native ear it is not confusing, I think it is just because I am a non-native English speaker (i.e. used to understand different variants of English)

Have a great day!

Angio

[Edited at 2010-06-29 13:58 GMT]


 

Steven F Smith
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:30
Member (2007)
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
I blame myself Jun 29, 2010

Angio wrote:


No, to my non-native ear it is not confusing, I think it is just because I am a non-native English speaker (i.e. used to understand different variants of English)



Hi Angio,
Yes, it could be that 40-odd years of only hearing 'until' in such contexts makes this a more marked deviation for me as an Englishman somewhat underexposed to Americansicon_smile.gif


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:30
With Angio Jun 29, 2010

Angio wrote:

Steven F Smith wrote:

I've signed up for a group buy of Trados 2009, and received a message from Proz saying:

IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PAYMENT LINK BELOW WILL ONLY
BE ACTIVE THROUGH June 30.

Not having an American ear it took me a few seconds to realize this meant 'until the end of June 30th', rather than 'only during June 30th.' I'm just wondering if this could be confusing for non-native speakers less familiar with US English?

Steven


No, to my non-native ear it is not confusing, I think it is just because I am a non-native English speaker (i.e. used to understand different variants of English)

Have a great day!

Angio

[Edited at 2010-06-29 13:58 GMT]


I'm with Angio too, and would realize that it means until June 30th.


 

Brannigan
Italy
Local time: 01:30
Italian to English
+ ...
Not immediately clear Jun 29, 2010

I must admit that the meaning is not immediately clear and I have lived and studied in the States.....:)

 

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz (X)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:30
English to Polish
+ ...
clear Jun 29, 2010

IMHO it's ABC of English learned as a foreign language, just like realise vs. realize or transport vs. transportation.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:30
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
+1 Jun 29, 2010

Steven F Smith wrote:
Not having an American ear it took me a few seconds to realize this meant 'until the end of June 30th', rather than 'only during June 30th.'


I don't have an American ear either, although the expression you point at does seem American to me. I would not have taken a few seconds to think about it. It would not have made sense to me and I would have regarded it an incomplete sentence that was sent by mistake.



[Edited at 2010-06-30 07:50 GMT]


 

Linda Kelly  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
It makes sense to me.. Jun 29, 2010

... but then again I am a Brit who has been addicted to American TV shows from a very early ageicon_redface.gif

 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:30
English to German
+ ...
Cough, cough. Jun 29, 2010

Steven F Smith wrote:

I've signed up for a group buy of Trados 2009, and received a message from Proz saying:

IMPORTANT PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PAYMENT LINK BELOW WILL ONLY
BE ACTIVE THROUGH June 30.

Not having an American ear it took me a few seconds to realize this meant 'until the end of June 30th', rather than 'only during June 30th.' I'm just wondering if this could be confusing for non-native speakers less familiar with US English?

Steven


Think. Why would an offer only be valid during one single day? Doesn't make much sense, right? I am sorry that you wasted some seconds contemplating.

icon_smile.gif


 

Steven F Smith
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:30
Member (2007)
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
hermeneutic circles Jun 29, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:


Think. Why would an offer only be valid during one single day? Doesn't make much sense, right? I am sorry that you wasted some seconds contemplating.

icon_smile.gif


Yes, I suppose they could have written "PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PAYMENT LINK bla bla bla June 30" and the meaning would have been fairly obvious to anyone buying the thing. It just struck me that this particular Americanism was not the best choice for a 'multienglial' audience.



[Edited at 2010-06-29 19:02 GMT]


 

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
I prefer not to Jun 29, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Think. Why would an offer only be valid during one single day? Doesn't make much sense, right? I am sorry that you wasted some seconds contemplating.

icon_smile.gif


if it's in any way possible not to.

Using "until", or even the more explicit "until the end of" or "until and including", might be advisable on a site which has a multilingual as well as a multi-English audience.


 

Gisela Greenlee  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:30
German to English
+ ...
The use of "through" Jun 29, 2010

The word "through" is used to state that a certain date/time is included, whereas "until" is ambiguous since it's not clear if it expires on that date/time or if it includes it. So, if someone tells me "I'll be gone until June 12", that implies that they'll be back on the 12th, but "I'll be gone through June 12" is very clear to me.

 

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
Correct if read by a native US English speaker Jun 29, 2010

Gisela Greenlee wrote:

The word "through" is used to state that a certain date/time is included, whereas "until" is ambiguous since it's not clear if it expires on that date/time or if it includes it. So, if someone tells me "I'll be gone until June 12", that implies that they'll be back on the 12th, but "I'll be gone through June 12" is very clear to me.

Not so correct if read by a non-US native.

[Edited at 2010-06-29 21:24 GMT]


 

Steven F Smith
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:30
Member (2007)
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting Jun 29, 2010

Gisela Greenlee wrote:

The word "through" is used to state that a certain date/time is included, whereas "until" is ambiguous since it's not clear if it expires on that date/time or if it includes it. So, if someone tells me "I'll be gone until June 12", that implies that they'll be back on the 12th, but "I'll be gone through June 12" is very clear to me.


I agree that 'until' can be ambiguous. In my mind 'until June 12' happily flickers between the two meanings. I usually go with 'I'll be back on...'


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:30
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Ambiguity Jun 30, 2010

Steven F Smith wrote:
I agree that 'until' can be ambiguous. In my mind 'until June 12' happily flickers between the two meanings.


I also agree that "until" can be ambiguous. But so can "through". If someone had said "I'll be living in Greenland through 2012", I would have understood it to mean that the person would be in Greenland from roughly January 2012 to December 2012, and not that he would be in Greenland from roughly the current month until some time in 2012.

I'm not saying that the American way of speaking makes less sense. But it does take some getting used to if you're not used to it. After having seen countless movie previews for American movies, it still takes me a second or two to realise that when the preview narrative says "this fall" it doesn't mean "this accident", but "this autumn". (-:




[Edited at 2010-06-30 07:51 GMT]


 
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