Re: Localizable Sentences Experiment

From: John Burger (
Date: Tue Apr 21 2009 - 13:28:35 CDT

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    William J Poser wrote:

    > The problem of translation is even worse than you may realize. In the
    > language of the area in which I live, for example, before I can decide
    > how to say "it's raining" I need to know whether the speaker is on
    > land
    > or on water. nawhulhtih means "it is raining onto land". tawhulhtih
    > means "it is raining into water".

    Yes. I haven't been reading the list that closely, but I assumed that
    this whole discussion was a long-running thread that began on April
    1. Seriously.

    The list of utterances which can reliably be translated into more than
    a few languages with little or no context is vanishingly short. Even
    "yes" and "no" are problematic - in some languages these operate like
    English, in some they reverse when the question has negative polarity,
    and in others there are additional words for that situation.

    - John D. Burger

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