Help assessing quality of translation of emotional expressions (potentially offensive language)
Thread poster: Sebastian Wasserzug

Sebastian Wasserzug  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 27, 2015

How well do you think the English/Turkish phrases below match? Phrases come from a study on emotionality with Turkish-English bilingual subjects (see details below):

Appendix A

A Endearments
1 You are everything to me! / Sen benim her şeyimsin!
2 I don't want to lose you! / Seni kaybetmek istemiyorum!
3 I can't wait to see you! / görmek için sabırsızlanıyorum!
4 I love you more than anything! / Seni her şeyden çok seviyorum!
5 When can I see you again? / Seni bir daha ne zaman görebilirim!
6 I've missed you so much! / Seni çok özledim!

B Insults
1 You are so ugly! / Çok çirkinsin!
2 I am sick of you! / Midemi bulandırıyorsun!
3 I hate you! / Senden nefret ediyorum!
4 I never want to see you again! / Seni asla bir daha görmek istemiyorum!
5 You are so fat! / Çok şismansın!
6 You are so stupid! / Çok aptalsın!

C Reprimands
1 Be good! / Cici çocuk ol!
2 Do you want a spanking? / Bes kardeş geliyor!
3 Don't be a baby! / Bebek gibi davranma!
4 Pay attention! / Dikkatini ver!
5 Don't talk back! / Bana cevap verme!
6 That's not nice! / Bu hoş bir şey değil

D Neutral (single words)
1 Box / Kutu
2 Branch / Şube
3 Chair / Sandalye
4 Column / Kolon
5 Door / Kapı
6 Envelope / Zarf
7 Finger / Parmak
8 Name / Isim
9 Number / Sayı
10 Part / Kısım
11 Street / Cadde
12 Table / Masa

It came to my attention that there is quite a vast line of research (started around a decade or so ago) that studies emotionality in bilingual speakers by assessing their reactions to verbal input in either their first (L1) or second language (L2). One common way of doing this is with Skin Conductance Resonance (SCR) that measures subtle but significant differences in the levels of sweat in the skin of bilingual experimental participants while listening to utterances said in their L1 or L2.

A thing one notices right away in these studies is that they don’t seem to use translators to create their bilingual materials and appear to trust bilingual speakers to do so instead (typically one of the authors of any given study). This was also the case for the data in the study from which the “stimulus language” above comes from, whose authors (Caldwell-Harris & Ayçiçegi-Dinn 2009) report the phrases were translated into Turkish by one of the authors “with translations verified by two Turkish–English bilinguals.”

I would like to ask members of Proz.com what their professional assessment of the translations above is. Turkish/English bilinguals (students at an American university) listened to the phrases above (among others I think), either in English or in Turkish while SCR was measured. If you could comment in English (I do not speak Turkish!) I’d appreciate it a lot! Thanks in advance!


 

Paris2083  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:12
Member (2015)
Turkish to English
+ ...
An Englishman who's been living in Turkey for five years, sitting next to his Turkish girlfriend Mar 27, 2015

What I and my girlfriend think needs correcting:

3 I can't wait to see you! /Seni görmek için sabırsızlanıyorum!

'seni' was missing, which means 'you'.

2 I am sick of you! / Senden bıktım!

Midemi bulandırıyorsun! really means 'you make me (feel) sick' or 'you're making me feel sick'. Senden bıktım translates as I'm fed up with you/I'm sick of you.

1 Be good! / Uslu dur! OR Uslu ol!

Cici çocuk ol! is more like 'be a good boy/girl'

6 That's not nice! / Bu hoş bir şey değil - actually translates as 'this isn't nice'

O hoş bir şey değil = That's not nice!

11 Street / Cadde

Street = Sokak
Avenue = Cadde



The rest seem ok


 

ricciona
Local time: 20:12
Turkish to Italian
+ ...
One slight correction Mar 29, 2015

I would change the word order in B/4 as follows:
Seni bir daha asla görmek istemiyorum.


 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:12
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Another slight correction Mar 29, 2015

5 When can I see you again? / Seni bir daha ne zaman görebilirim!

The above Turkish sentence needs a question mark rather than an exclamation sign, i.e.

5 When can I see you again? / Seni bir daha ne zaman görebilirim?


By the way, two useful dictionary resources are TurEng.com and Zargan.com


[Edited at 2015-03-29 16:02 GMT]


 

Sebastian Wasserzug  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you very much for all your comments! + some questions... Mar 29, 2015

Unfortunately and as mentioned I do not speak Turkish…

I am actually interested in your comments regarding the GENERAL QUALITY of the translated phrases (less so about alternative translations), AND WHILE you also keep in mind how the research was done and its relation to “emotionality.” WHAT KIND of problems do you see in which phrase/s, and WHY would those be problematic?

This research was done in 2009 (I have nothing to do with it), and their research paradigm was:
People heard these phrases (with headphones -they did not read them– and L1/L2 phrases alternated without ever “repeating” L1/L2 “matches” –that is, if one person heard “box” that same person did not hear “kutu”). The idea was to see if bilingual Turkish/English speakers find their L2 (English) any less/more emotional than their L1 (Turkish), and that was calculated by measuring people’s “sweat” immediately after they heard one of the phrase from above. Some questions…

3 I can't wait to see you! / görmek için sabırsızlanıyorum!
Thanks Paris2083!! If you (or anyone!) could elaborate… Why do you think the omission of “seni” is problematic here? (isn’t Turkish a pro-drop language?). Does “seni” no being there create any kind of… extra meanings/confusions/other connotations that the English does not have/etc.?

2 I am sick of you! / Midemi bulandırıyorsun!
What would you say are the main differences between your proposed “Senden bıktım!” and “Midemi bulandırıyorsun”? Beyond their word-by-word translations… do they differentiate in their “force” perhaps (emotional resonance)?

1 Be good! / Cici çocuk ol!
Would you say “Cici çocuk ol” is less or more emotional than “uslu dur! or “uslu ol!”… ? or that it has connotations that do not match “be good!”? / have different force…?

6 That's not nice! / Bu hoş bir şey değil
Would “O hoş bir şey değil” perhaps be more colloquial than “Bu hoş bir şey değil”? / or is it what people would more naturally say…? (as natural as “That’s not nice” is in English…?
(Hope you girlfriend doesn’t mind your questioning if it comes to too much of that!).

4 I never want to see you again! / Seni asla bir daha görmek istemiyorum!
Thanks ricciona! Why would you change it that way? In which way is “Seni asla bir daha görmek istemiyorum!” not appropriate (or less so than yours) in the context of people hearing the phrase in the experiment described above)? Which one is as natural as “I never want to see you again!” is in English?

Lots of question I know -sorry! I would greatly appreciate any responses from anyone!


 

Paris2083  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 21:12
Member (2015)
Turkish to English
+ ...
No worries Mar 29, 2015

3 I can't wait to see you! / görmek için sabırsızlanıyorum!
Thanks Paris2083!! If you (or anyone!) could elaborate… Why do you think the omission of “seni” is problematic here? (isn’t Turkish a pro-drop language?). Does “seni” no being there create any kind of… extra meanings/confusions/other connotations that the English does not have/etc.?

Turkish has the tendency to drop subject pronouns because the suffix attached to the verb essentially performs the same function (which isn't to say the inclusion or omittance of pronouns don't have their own connotations of meaning in various contexts; inclusion of the subject pronoun can add emphasis, for example). However in this case, "seni" (you, in the accusative case) is the object of the verb. If the context has clearly defined what is being missed, then "görmek için sabırsızlanıyorum!" would suffice, if everyone knows it is "you/seni" being missed. However without a context-defined object, "görmek için sabırsızlanıyorum!" literally means "I can't wait to see..." I would say there is a significant difference between "görmek için sabırsızlanıyorum" and "seni görmek için sabırsızlanıyorum". To make a qualitative judgement of the translation: not perfect because of the ambiguity it introduces not in the source.

2 I am sick of you! / Midemi bulandırıyorsun!
What would you say are the main differences between your proposed “Senden bıktım!” and “Midemi bulandırıyorsun”? Beyond their word-by-word translations… do they differentiate in their “force” perhaps (emotional resonance)?

I would say the difference is the same as in English:

You're a 65 year old man with an interest in schoolgirls; you make me sick (Midemi bulandırıyorsun!) - disgusted.

You keep calling me to check on where I am and who I'm with; I'm sick of you (Senden bıktım!) - bored/frustrated.

I would class the original as badly translated; lacks nuanced understanding of the source.

1 Be good! / Cici çocuk ol!
Would you say “Cici çocuk ol” is less or more emotional than “uslu dur! or “uslu ol!”… ? or that it has connotations that do not match “be good!”? / have different force…?

Depends who you'e saying it to, I suppose. If someone told you, a grown man, to "be a good boy", it may be tongue-in-cheek or infuriatingly patronising. Say it to a child and it's perfectly appropriate. I would also venture to say that “uslu dur! or “uslu ol!” would be more formal in register; perhaps more likely to be used by a teacher... but then again my girlfriend said “uslu dur!" to me the other day, so there is as much flexibility in that phrase too. I would certainly say that Cici çocuk ol! is specifically for children (çocuk=child). Given the lack of context, an acceptable translation.

6 That's not nice! / Bu hoş bir şey değil
Would “O hoş bir şey değil” perhaps be more colloquial than “Bu hoş bir şey değil”? / or is it what people would more naturally say…? (as natural as “That’s not nice” is in English…?
(Hope you girlfriend doesn’t mind your questioning if it comes to too much of that!).

I don't think there is any significant difference between the connotations of the original or my correction; I only pointed out the slight mismatch in corresponding pronouns (this vs. that). There are several ways to express that sentiment in Turkish; the "natural" colloquial response would depend on context, and even then, I'd argue they are fairly interchangeable (Bu hoş bir şey deği / O hoş değil / hiç hoş değil...). I would say this was an acceptable translation also.


 

tanert  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:12
English to Turkish
+ ...
as for the last question Mar 29, 2015

4 I never want to see you again! / Seni asla bir daha görmek istemiyorum!
Thanks ricciona! Why would you change it that way? In which way is “Seni asla bir daha görmek istemiyorum!” not appropriate (or less so than yours) in the context of people hearing the phrase in the experiment described above)? Which one is as natural as “I never want to see you again!” is in English?

It's just that the sentence has bit unusual syntax. Kind of like "I never again want to see you!"

[Edited at 2015-03-29 23:28 GMT]


 

ricciona
Local time: 20:12
Turkish to Italian
+ ...
I agree with tanert Mar 30, 2015

thank you very much for your reply tanert:)

 

tanert  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:12
English to Turkish
+ ...
@ricciona Mar 30, 2015

No problem, I'm glad that you aggree with my commenticon_smile.gif

 


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Help assessing quality of translation of emotional expressions (potentially offensive language)

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