Re: Localizable Sentences Experiment

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Tue Apr 21 2009 - 13:55:43 CDT

  • Next message: John H. Jenkins: "Re: Localizable Sentences Experiment"

    I have as well been assuming that this was a long, elaborate April Fool's


    On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 11:28, John Burger <> wrote:

    > 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
    > MITRE

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