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Name of the character

English translation: the imaginary woman

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20:58 Feb 16, 2012
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: Name of the character
Hello!

I'm starting to translate one play from Russian into English and have one question related to the character in the play. She is:

1. The imagined one (or imaginary is better?)

For those who speak Russian, she is "Воображаемая"

How do this name sound to your native ear? One more issue, in the Russian language this character is female. She is in the form of adjectival participle. Is it possible to convey somehow this idea? I mean it is important that she is female, and I have to render it somehow. Or should I stick to the impersonal "one"?

TIA
Oleksiy Markunin
Canada
Local time: 10:02
English translation:the imaginary woman
Explanation:
This whole way of describing characters is a little awkward in EN; certainly, there are precedents, but it really does need using with care.

I don't think there is any way of conveying the gender, unles you actually replace 'one' with 'woman' or 'man' ('boy', 'girl', etc.) as appropriate (and only where specifically necessary.

Don't these characters have names? What to they call each other in the play?

I have a slight preference for 'imaginary' (though this might suggest she isn't actually real at all!) — somehow, to me, the use of 'imagined' slightly seems to suggest there might be someone doing the imagining; like 'Tommy, and his imaginary playmate' instead of 'they felt out over some imagined insult'.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 minutes (2012-02-16 21:14:13 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Note that sometimes in EN lists of Dramatis Personæ, we may also list the characters using the indefinite article:

A passer-by
A page

I know that Russians often have trouble with the correct usage of the indefinite and definite articles and numbers in EN, so this may be a point you need to look at carefully.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 heures (2012-02-17 00:07:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ah, now you see, if the other characters actually CALL her by this name, then that narrows down the possibilites quite a lot!

For a start, you can't really use 'woman' — since the people addressing her will know she's a woman, there is no need (and in fact it would be rather ridiculous!) for them to state it. So clearly the actual audience will see she is a she; as for those reading the play, it will need to be made clear elsewhere — for example, in the description of the character.

Also, if she is addressed this way, then you really can't use 'the' — the other characters might say "Where are you going, Imaginary One?"

So I think you probably have to fall back on something like that.
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 16:02
Grading comment
Tony, thanks once again!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +5the imaginary woman
Tony M
5She is an imaginary character
TrueBaller
3that not impossible she
DLyons


  

Answers


21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
name of the character
She is an imaginary character


Explanation:
Oleksiy,
Answering your first question, you should use the word "imaginary". That's the correct term in English. Secondly, since in English the word "character" is used for both male and female characters, the only way to disctinguish them is to use respective personal pronouns or possessive adjectives/ pronouns. In your case, since the character is a female, you can introduce her in the sentence starting with "she", or "her role".

Hope this is helpful.

Good luck!

Example sentence(s):
  • For instance, you can say "She is an imaginary character."; or "her role as an imaginary character was .... "
TrueBaller
Local time: 10:02
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in AlbanianAlbanian
PRO pts in category: 16

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Katalin Horváth McClure: As far as I understand, the asker is looking for a name for the character, not a sentence to introduce her.
9 hrs
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35 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
name of the character
that not impossible she


Explanation:
From Richard Crashaw's "Wishes to his Supposed Mistress" - a message to his imagined lover.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 39 mins (2012-02-16 21:37:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"the not impossible she" - my memory was playing tricks :-)


    Reference: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2009/jan/12/crasha...
DLyons
Ireland
Local time: 15:02
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 52
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
the imagined one
the imaginary woman


Explanation:
This whole way of describing characters is a little awkward in EN; certainly, there are precedents, but it really does need using with care.

I don't think there is any way of conveying the gender, unles you actually replace 'one' with 'woman' or 'man' ('boy', 'girl', etc.) as appropriate (and only where specifically necessary.

Don't these characters have names? What to they call each other in the play?

I have a slight preference for 'imaginary' (though this might suggest she isn't actually real at all!) — somehow, to me, the use of 'imagined' slightly seems to suggest there might be someone doing the imagining; like 'Tommy, and his imaginary playmate' instead of 'they felt out over some imagined insult'.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 minutes (2012-02-16 21:14:13 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Note that sometimes in EN lists of Dramatis Personæ, we may also list the characters using the indefinite article:

A passer-by
A page

I know that Russians often have trouble with the correct usage of the indefinite and definite articles and numbers in EN, so this may be a point you need to look at carefully.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 3 heures (2012-02-17 00:07:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Ah, now you see, if the other characters actually CALL her by this name, then that narrows down the possibilites quite a lot!

For a start, you can't really use 'woman' — since the people addressing her will know she's a woman, there is no need (and in fact it would be rather ridiculous!) for them to state it. So clearly the actual audience will see she is a she; as for those reading the play, it will need to be made clear elsewhere — for example, in the description of the character.

Also, if she is addressed this way, then you really can't use 'the' — the other characters might say "Where are you going, Imaginary One?"

So I think you probably have to fall back on something like that.

Tony M
France
Local time: 16:02
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 252
Grading comment
Tony, thanks once again!
Notes to answerer
Asker: Tony, thanks for your ideas. That's the name. For example it goes like: THE IMAGINED ONE: Thanks. Where are you going? Other female character call each other by these names, no other variants. As to imaginary/imagined. According to the Russian variant I tend to read it as "the one being imagined by smb"

Asker: Yep, it seems the best case scenario here. Thanks again. You clarified things for me =)


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  DLyons
21 mins
  -> Thanks, D!

agree  Jenni Lukac
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Jenni!

agree  missdutch: In Russian, it could mean "imaginary, fictitious, imagined, fancied", see:http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/eng_rus/43051/воображаемый. I also agree with your suggestions about the use of the articles.
17 hrs
  -> Thanks, MissDutch for your valuable insights!

agree  Özgür Salman
1 day2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Cryo!

agree  Phong Le
2 days6 hrs
  -> Thanks, Phong Le!
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