Questions tagged [translation]

Use this tag for questions about the practice, techniques, and methodology of translation — communicating a source language A in a target language B. Don't use this tag for questions asking to translate a particular word, phrase, or text piece, as such questions are explicitly defined off-topic.

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Are there ways to convey any type of knowledge from one language to another?

In terms of linguistic possibility, is it possible to translate any term from one language to another? Expanding, to what extent is it possible to translate scientific or philosophical terms, for ...
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1 answer
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What is the standard/comprehensive reference for grammatical number in different languages?

I am a novice in this area so apologies if I use the wrong terminology. For the purpose of content localization, I am seeking an easy and reliable reference for how numbers map to different plural ...
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Language Assistance Request [closed]

I was recently given a collection of family photos that includes a few foreign photos on card stock. Attached is one female ancestor photo that I have been unable to identify the nationality. Online ...
-1 votes
0 answers
86 views

What are these kinds of words and translation called?

Sometimes some words in one language don't have counterparts in a second language, and some new words are coined based on approximation of pronuciation, and trabslation follows. For example, ...
-1 votes
2 answers
75 views

The Phoenician or Punic Term for Captain [closed]

So, I have been looking around for a few days now into finding what title the Phoenicians, or at least the Carthaginians, used for their ship officers. My interest is due to the fact that the word ...
1 vote
1 answer
91 views

Are there any studies on vocabulary loss and/or simplification of "thought structures" due to multilingualism?

(I am not a linguist, so please forgive any wrong term or concept) This question comes from personal experience. I have studied in a trilingual university, so that each student knew at least three ...
1 vote
2 answers
56 views

How do you attest that two modal particles in different languages are of similar semantic attributes?

especially fellow English-Dutch speakers. I am wondering as to how we can attest that two modal particles in different languages share similar semantic attributes. Is there any metrics/theories to ...
-1 votes
2 answers
309 views

Is calque equal to literal translation?

Calque is a way of borrowing words from another language. In this process, there's a direct translation of the elements of a word into the borrowing language. Is calque equal to literal translation?
-2 votes
2 answers
285 views

Egyptian Hieroglyphics: where are Champollion's proofs?

I'm reading both the French Dictionnaire égyptien by J. Champollion published in 1841 and the English edition. It's my understanding that it is the standard for decipherment. The text provides a ...
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there a list of word meanings that are universally represented in all languages?

I am looking for a comprehensive list of words/concepts that are represented in most if not all known languages - presumably the category would include human body parts (hand, foot, mouth, eye), ...
4 votes
4 answers
201 views

Is Sign Language "spoken" in other languages?

In English we say "I speak sign language," I'm curious if the same idiom exists in other languages too or do they refer to it differently?
1 vote
0 answers
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How many usual kinds of translation are there?

I heard of transliteration, loan translation, and semantics translation. I learned a bit about them by searching on the Internet, but am not completely sure about their relationships and differences. ...
8 votes
1 answer
249 views

How and when did the modern western convention of not translating personal names arise?

In many languages it is a convention to translate or at least adapt foreign personal names to the language when discussing foreign people, especially notable and often mentioned people such as foreign ...
21 votes
2 answers
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Is J. R. R. Tolkien's "translation" scheme found in real life?

A summary of J. R. R. Tolkien's "translation" methodology: J. R. R. Tolkien was best known for his fantasy world - Middle-earth. He almost always presented his works as translated from ...
3 votes
3 answers
115 views

Corpus with sentences translated to English

Does anyone know of a corpus I could use in my research?, for any language, where each sentence is translated correctly into English. In particular, the corpus should contain primarily everyday spoken ...
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2 answers
75 views

Are there any languages with greetings that could be easily mixed up with other phrases? [closed]

I'm currently writing a script in which a character tries to use a machine translator, but it fails and shocks/offends the person she's trying to talk to. Are there any languages I could use that have ...
-1 votes
1 answer
44 views

What aspect of meaning is not captured by the translation from natural language to PropL?

So I was given the sentence "I don’t drink and drive", and asked to translate it into PropL and indicate at least one aspect of meaning that the logical translation doesn’t capture. To ...
3 votes
2 answers
92 views

Looking for references on translatability from the point of view of theories of meaning

I am looking for references on un/translatability from the view point of theories of meaning. In philosophy of language there is a variety of theories of meaning. On the other hand, there are ...
9 votes
3 answers
778 views

Is there any formally recognised concept of a “standard” translation?

It’s common to hear in translation theory that when you translate a work you change it fundamentally, for example because words have multiple meanings and very specific connotations depending on their ...
2 votes
2 answers
143 views

Types of transliteration and/or translation

There are cases where abbreviations or proper names like brands get transliterated/translated differently. This question is asking whether there are linguistic names for these phenomena, e.g. The ...
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0 answers
63 views

Where does one go to get a language identified?

I have a massive book from the pawn shop (i make conlangs and loved the script), and it seems to have an alphabetic 36-character script that doesn't match up to anything on omniglot or the like. I'd ...
3 votes
2 answers
252 views

How does one identify the language a text is written in. Or if it is a code

How does one decode a language? I bought a book the other day, and its like 3,000 pages worth of stuff. I'd like to read my book, but I'm not sure what language it's in or it's grammar, so what does ...
2 votes
1 answer
215 views

How To Solve UKLO Mandombe Problem

Premise I was looking at a two-part problem from the 2021 UKLO titled "Mandombe". UKLO is a linguistics olympiad, which is mostly a code-breaking competition. In this problem, we were given ...
3 votes
3 answers
132 views

Is there a a name for the process of translating from a language to another following the evolution of words in each of the languages?

The process I'm trying to describe is what someone does instinctively when they are still learning a language that has the same origin as their mother tongue, and they don't know a particular word, so ...
-1 votes
3 answers
162 views

Some languages take more words to say the same thing. Is there a reliable source for this?

I am working on a way for scientists in my field (archaeology) to evaluate how many words they have published per days they have spent doing fieldwork. Some people do lots of fieldwork, then don't ...
-5 votes
1 answer
93 views

How to translate words like "the" to other languages?

So this question boils down to, how do you teach someone in Inuktitut (or elsewhere) about the word "the" (or "a")? How do you translate phrases like "the big red tree" ...
0 votes
1 answer
298 views

What are these variants (Nguyễn and Nguyến) of Vietnamese last name Nguyen?

I saw these two variants (Nguyễn and Nguyến) of spelling of Nguyen. Which of the two variants are the most original and correct Vietnamese spelling of Nguyen? Are both legitimate representation of ...
0 votes
1 answer
115 views

How did Shiloah (שילוח) become Siloam and Silwan?

What sorts of changes led the Biblical Hebrew name Shiloah (שילוח) to become Siloam (in Greek) and Silwan (in Arabic)? Has this been discussed anywhere? EDITED I removed the word morphological from my ...
1 vote
2 answers
220 views

What is the term for the phenomenon where certain languages cannot describe certain concepts?

I am super-fascinated by the fact that English speakers cannot accurately describe how something smells and there are languages that can differentiate different shades of color that English speakers ...
0 votes
1 answer
33 views

Comparing Text Translations by Conducting Corpus Analysis

Provided one has three pieces of text called - “Text A”, “Text B” and “Text C”. Text A is the original text. Text B and Text C are translations of Text A (Text A, being initially written in another ...
4 votes
1 answer
178 views

How to localize country names in phrases?

I want to localize phrases like "Places in {country name}" where the (already localized) country name is dynamically obtained according to the ISO country code. The problem is that for some ...
5 votes
4 answers
10k views

Why are raccoons called "washbears" in many languages?

Examples of words that literally mean "washbear" can be found here. This is apparently due to the fact that raccoons just love to wash things so much. But is it just a coincidence that many languages ...
2 votes
2 answers
301 views

Are Polish-> Russan translations generally better than Polish->English?

I speak Russian natively, but 95% of what I read is in English. Which translation of a Polish book should I read, Russian or English? The question may sound strange, but I mostly prefer English ...
2 votes
1 answer
101 views

Etymology of words in English translations

I posted this in English but they suggested this site. The question was about the English language because of roughly 50/50 Germanic/Latin roots. Anyhow here it is... I have often daydreamed about ...
1 vote
1 answer
396 views

Examples for calque / loan-translation words with different meanings in different languages

Are there words/phrases/compound-words in two different languages that use the same words in their respective languages (like a calque / loan translation) but result in different meanings? Here is a ...
-1 votes
2 answers
74 views

Is it possible given a set of translated words from a foreign to predict the translation for an untranslated word?

Basically, will knowing some fairly large set of words and phrases and their translations, could a computer perhaps predict what the word for perhaps a very basic word, like "eye?" ...
1 vote
2 answers
113 views

Meaning of Old Babylonian word pāqidūtum [closed]

I am learning the Old Babylonian language and just stumbled over the word/form pāqidūtum. It seems to be a third person male stativ singular + u + the female ending tum of the verb paqadum (to care ...
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

Excepting Romanian, is "Wales" ever translated/transliterated in modern languages with the same term as that meaning "Gaul" or "Gauls"?

I have noticed that in Romanian the name of Wales is Ţara Galilor, which literally means Country of the Gauls or "Gauls-land". I consider this not just unusual, something that is not present ...
1 vote
2 answers
123 views

Is there a concept to describe "a way of saying something that is incorrect, but occurs frequently due to the speaker speaking a second language"?

In the past ten years I've started working with people who's native language is not English. I've noticed that these folks say thing to get a concept across, but it's not something you'd hear a native ...
5 votes
2 answers
10k views

Norwegian Translation Codes (no, nn, nb) - Which to use on a website?

I have a website which currently uses the Norwegian language code 'no' for translations, but I am not a native speaker and noticed some differences between 'no' and 'nb' when it comes to currency. Did ...
1 vote
0 answers
119 views

Origin of mistake when a Dutch says "You are true." [closed]

Speaking English, Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, mistakenly said you are true instead of you are right. But where does the confusion comes from? 'You are right is' is 'je hebt gelijk' and 'True'...
4 votes
1 answer
381 views

Do Native Americans' names mean the same to Native Americans as to English (or other languages) speakers?

I was researching on the topic of representation of ethnic minorities in the dominant ethnic group's media, when this question came up. What I'm trying know more is whether and to what extent ...
30 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why don't you get back the original text when you use translation software to translate something into another language and then back into English?

I translated "How to use Web?" into some other language using machine translation, but after I translated the result back into English, it is not the same as the first text I put into the translator. ...
1 vote
1 answer
78 views

What branch in computational linguistics should I study if I am interested in machine translation?

I am graduate student and I am doing a Master of Translation and interpretation Arabic English. I need to pursue study in machine translation but I do not know where exactly to start, NLP, ...
25 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why are Native American names translated?

Is there a particular reason that Native American names, such as Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Black Hawk, or Red Cloud, are translated into English phrases? As far as I know, no other culture's names ...
3 votes
1 answer
378 views

What is aesthetic equivalence in translation?

I found this phrase in a theory about directional equivalence and I'm not sure what it means and if it is part of linguistic aspect of translation.
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1 answer
154 views

How to convert Old Irish Latin script to Ogham?

If you look on at an online Ogham Translator, it converts words like "crann" to ᚉᚏᚐᚅᚅ, which seems to be a letter-for-letter translation. The only guide I've seen to Old Irish pronunciation is this. ...
4 votes
1 answer
176 views

Can word embeddings between any two languages be transformed in a linear way?

In this paper: Word Translation Without Parallel Data researchers from FaceBook found that using a matrix and adversarial training the word embedding in one language can be transformed into(or ...
5 votes
2 answers
923 views

Is there a linguistic term for words that can have the same meaning in different languages?

The closest I can find is 'cognate' but that term is used for words that have similar etymology and phonetic characteristics but not necessarily the same or similar meaning in different languages. ...
-2 votes
1 answer
381 views

Why do swear words mean the same thing in both English and Spanish (possibly more languages)

Earlier today, I was talking about swearing in other languages with some friends (this is a serious question, bear with me), so I decided to look up some lists of Spanish swear words for fun. This ...