Are established expressions considered frozen register?
Thread poster: Ameila
Ameila
United States
Local time: 02:23
Oct 21, 2016

Are established expressions considered "frozen register"?

I'm talking about expressions like:
-A bird in the hand is worth more than 2 in the bush./ Mas vale pajaro en mano que cien volando.
-An apple a day keeps the doctor away. / Una manzana al dia, sano te mantendria.

If the expression is established and the translation is established, let's say, like a prayer, is it considered frozen register?

Any contribution/opinion would be greatly appreciated.

Amelia


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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 08:23
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Frozen: already or not yet Oct 24, 2016

"A bird in the hand is worth more than 2 in the bush" has been unfrozen, as it is inaccurate; the correct version is "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". Why does this matter? Well the latter is frozen register because it is invariable: all, or nearly all, native speakers of English will say it the same way, which means that any change made to the formula will be recognised immediately. Thus Morrisey's "A boy in the bush is worth two in the hand;" or, to be less risqué, the Guardian's "A book in the hand is worth two in the cloud."

So, the frozen register provides a source of material for comedians, but it also can give a comforting feeling of familiarity, of shared knowledge and memories.

There is a good discussion of frozen register, particularly in the religious context here: https://goo.gl/9SE97l.

On the question of translations of a sentence or phrase that is frozen register in the source text, I think that has to be considered quite independently of the source text. It is a question of whether or not the wording has become frozen register in the target language, and that is a matter of whether it is in common usage or not. To make it more complex, some forms of words that once seemed unchangeable have been changed: for instance, the Anglican Church dropped, the King James version of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Nonetheless, even after the new authorised version, what I learned in school was the "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name ... " version and anything else, even "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name," sounds wrong to me (even though I'm an unbeliever).



[Edited at 2016-10-24 14:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-10-24 23:18 GMT]


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thy will be done... Oct 27, 2016

B D Finch wrote:


On the question of translations of a sentence or phrase that is frozen register in the source text, I think that has to be considered quite independently of the source text. It is a question of whether or not the wording has become frozen register in the target language, and that is a matter of whether it is in common usage or not. To make it more complex, some forms of words that once seemed unchangeable have been changed: for instance, the Anglican Church dropped, the King James version of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. Nonetheless, even after the new authorised version, what I learned in school was the "Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name ... " version and anything else, even "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name," sounds wrong to me (even though I'm an unbeliever).



[Edited at 2016-10-24 14:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-10-24 23:18 GMT]


Same here. Perhaps it's due to my Protestant Scottish upbringing, but the decaff post-King James version just feels too namby-pamby and run-of-the mill.


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Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:23
German to English
proper Catholic upbringing Oct 27, 2016

Having been raised Catholic and being generally uninterested in Protestantism, I'd never heard of "which art in Heaven". I might even have cried MT, if I hadn't been told it's from an archaic translation of the Bible.

I use the old King James fairly regularly for translations when it seems to be the most appropriate choice, but I would never dream of sitting down and choosing to read it instead of my First-Communion Bible.

My actual point is that in Spanish and English, which are spoken by very diverse populations around the entire world, there may not be many things that don't exist in numerous variations. These variations then often strike large portions of the people speaking those languages as clearly wrong or even idiotic. Prayers might actually be a very good example of the pitfalls involved, although Catholicism remains very dominant in much of the Spanish world.


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Ameila
United States
Local time: 02:23
TOPIC STARTER
So appreciated Oct 27, 2016

I want to thank you all for taking the time to comment on my post. I am a student, working on my medical interpreter's certification, and it is the first time I use this forum. ProZ.com was a suggestion I found in one of my textbooks.

It fascinates me how each individual person has their own take of what they believe to be true. This is just a testament as to the variances within the "audience" we serve.

What an incredible resource for me to have all of you around the world providing insight to one of my curiosities. Thank you for the generous way in which you have done so.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thy will be done... Oct 31, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10V_Z0_udjg

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Are established expressions considered frozen register?

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