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this is evidence for our thoughts

English translation: Missing

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02:26 Dec 1, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: this is evidence for our thoughts
"Rather than language constraining our thought, as has often been argued, ***this is evidence for our thoughts***, or at least our customary behaviours, affecting the evolution of our languages."

Here I wonder if the author means that the language itself is an evidence that our thoughts and behaviours affect its evolution (the evolution of the language), or if as stated in the translation into Spanish that the translation agency already approved and gave me to use as a reference if needed:

"La lengua no coarta nuestro pensamiento, como se ha alegado a menudo, sino que se ha demostrado que nuestro pensamiento o, cuando menos, nuestros comportamientos habituales afectan la evolución de las lenguas."

Which means basically that "it has been proved that our thoughts and behaviours affect the evolution of the language".

The MEANING of the spanish translation makes sense to me, but I am not convinced that it does reflect the structure of the original sentence, nor its meaning.

Maybe an English native speaker could shed some light on this?

I hope I explained my question correctly...

Thanks in advance!
Aurélie DANIEL
Spain
Local time: 14:52
English translation:Missing
Explanation:
a piece, or so it seems to me.

The "this" in "***this is evidence for our thoughts***" appears to refer to something discussed in a previous sentence. Hence the confusion.

If you modify the quoted sentence as follows, things become clearer:

"Rather than language constraining our thoughts, as has often been argued, this example (e.g. revving an engine, a type of behavior, which onomatopaecally finds its way into our thinking) is evidence of our thoughts - or at least our customary behaviour - affecting the evolution of our language."

The example may not be the most striking, but it should illustrate the fact that there is a missing reference in the original sentence.
Selected response from:

David Lavie
United States
Local time: 15:52
Grading comment
Absolutely! "this" refers to the previous paragraph. I should have tried to think "out of the paragraph", but for some reason I just got stuck. Thanks a lot for showing the right direction.

You all had the right answer, so I'll just give the points to the one who answered first.

In case you find it interesting, here is this #@$& paragraph, that was just before the sentence.

"The Balinese have an exquisitely complex calender related to obligatory openings and closings in their complex communal system of irrigation. Australian aborigines reckon the location of objects – even those only a few metres away - not in terms of left and right, but in terms of East and West. This is a perfectly sensible development for people who live outdoors in an open landscape with full view of the sun. In fact, to know that the water is to the East of the tree is much more useful than to know that you have to turn left at the tree. Turning left will only be the correct thing to do when approaching from one specific direction, whereas turning East will always be valid. "

Cheers!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4..,sino que lo anteriormente expuesto demuestra que es nuestro pensamiento,JH Trads
4The word "this" apparently refers back to whateer is offered as evidence.Refugio
4Missing
David Lavie
1IT not this (my understanding)RHELLER


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Missing


Explanation:
a piece, or so it seems to me.

The "this" in "***this is evidence for our thoughts***" appears to refer to something discussed in a previous sentence. Hence the confusion.

If you modify the quoted sentence as follows, things become clearer:

"Rather than language constraining our thoughts, as has often been argued, this example (e.g. revving an engine, a type of behavior, which onomatopaecally finds its way into our thinking) is evidence of our thoughts - or at least our customary behaviour - affecting the evolution of our language."

The example may not be the most striking, but it should illustrate the fact that there is a missing reference in the original sentence.


David Lavie
United States
Local time: 15:52
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Absolutely! "this" refers to the previous paragraph. I should have tried to think "out of the paragraph", but for some reason I just got stuck. Thanks a lot for showing the right direction.

You all had the right answer, so I'll just give the points to the one who answered first.

In case you find it interesting, here is this #@$& paragraph, that was just before the sentence.

"The Balinese have an exquisitely complex calender related to obligatory openings and closings in their complex communal system of irrigation. Australian aborigines reckon the location of objects – even those only a few metres away - not in terms of left and right, but in terms of East and West. This is a perfectly sensible development for people who live outdoors in an open landscape with full view of the sun. In fact, to know that the water is to the East of the tree is much more useful than to know that you have to turn left at the tree. Turning left will only be the correct thing to do when approaching from one specific direction, whereas turning East will always be valid. "

Cheers!
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
The word "this" apparently refers back to whateer is offered as evidence.


Explanation:
First an example is given of how our thoughts shape language (in the previous sentence?). Then the writer states that "this" is evidence that thought shapes language, rather than being constrained by language.

The meaning of "rather than" is picked up in "sino que."

Refugio
Local time: 05:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 485
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
..,sino que lo anteriormente expuesto demuestra que es nuestro pensamiento,


Explanation:
o al menos nuestros comportamientos usuales, los que afectan / moldean la evolución de nuestros idiomas / lenguajes / lenguas

"lo anteriormente expuesto" = "this"


also, I suggest the following at the beginning:

"el idioma / lenguaje no impera sobre nuestro pensamiento"

"imperar" gives the idea of "to constrain", that is not only to limit, but also to dominate, to impose...

I hope this helps :-)



JH Trads
United States
Local time: 07:52
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 23
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 1/5Answerer confidence 1/5
IT not this (my understanding)


Explanation:
does this fit?

it has been shown that our thoughts and our usual behavior affects the evolution of languages



RHELLER
United States
Local time: 06:52
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 1252
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