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Subject:Re: Translation Humor - An Explanation From:David Dubin <David_Dubin -at- BESTSOFTWARE -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 4 Nov 1998 08:40:47 -0500
In response to Trevor Holdsworth's interesting email, one of the greatest
problems in translation comes when one language (French, for example)
adopts a word or phrase that was coined by a culture that speaks another
language to meet a specific linguistic requirement. Traffic jam is a good
example. It is an American phrase that the French have adopted, but cannot
be literally translated back into American correctly.
A great example in the technology industry is the simple verb (or
adjective) log on (logon). In American, we understand that it has nothing
to do with either wood or a ship's diary, but another linguistic culture,
if they do not want to use the American phrase, often creates something
close to the literal translation, as the French did with traffic *jam*.
This has been one man's opinion, yours may vary with mileage or linguistic