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말하는 태도부터 좀 틀리던데.

Discussion in '한국어 (Korean)' started by wonlon, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    가: 아까 왔던 그 사람의 인상이 나는 그닥 좋지 않던데 나는 어땠니?
    나: 나도 별로 였어. 말하는 태도부터 좀 틀리던데.

    How do you translate the highlighted sentence? (My book has got an awkward translation which I would rather not mention it.)
    I think the meaning of 부터 is the point.
  2. vientito Senior Member

    starting with his manner of speaking, he has committed some faux-pas
  3. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    I'd say: "Even the way he spoke [=before we even get round to considering the substance of what he actually said] was pretty questionable, wouldn't you agree?"

    Since the experience referred to, though presumably recent, is over and done with, we don't want an English perfect tense (has committed) here to match the "pastness" indicated in the Korean form. My "wouldn't you agree" is an attempt to catch the invariably elusive significance of the somewhat elliptical/pensive final particle so typical of Korean exchanges of opinion.
  4. ddungbo Junior Member

    First, the exchange in the original post is slightly unnatural. Direct to the point on the table, 말하는 태도 부터 좀 틀리던데 seems ambiguous to me. If I had to interpret it, I would think it means he was "different" in a bad way. (eg. he talks in a condescending manner.)

    What I usually expect to hear is

    말하는 태도부터 틀려먹었더군
    말하는 태도부터 글렀더군
    말하는 태도부터 맘에 안들었어.

    말하는 태도부터(가) 틀렸어. -- this is okay.
    말하는 태도부터 틀렸던데? -- maybe this is the closest I can get to the original and sounds natural.

    부터's meaning is very tricky, I must say. It somehow involves various aspects and meanings.
    This is one of the many possible translation.

    I could tell by his attitude only that he is an asshole.
  5. wonlon Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Chinese - Cantonese
    I searched through my grammar books and from some examples I arrived at a meaning which is close to 조금만.
    "Even from the way he speak (not to consider the content / not to consider other aspects outside speaking), I see that he is a bad person / evil guy."

    and 틀리다 is very likely to mean this:
    마음이나 행동 따위가 올바르지 못하고 비뚤어지다.

    • 그는 인간이 틀렸어.
    • 그 사람은 외모는 출중한데 성격이 틀렸어.

    Due to lack of context, I think it is the meaning I should compromise.
  6. 조금만 Senior Member

    English - England
    The sense of 부터 is indeed rather elusive, but its general significance seems to be to mark a starting point or initial condition, in a sequence which may be temporal, spatial or logical. To that extent it has the opposite function to 까지 which marks the end point or final condition of a temporal, spatial or logical sequence. An immediate difficulty specifically for English speakers is that both concepts can in apppropriate contexts be rendered by "even" in English. "Even the way he spoke" [before we progress to considering anything else whatever] ... is a case for 부터 whereas "he even [as the ultimate extreme of a series of offensive remarks] called me a liar" would be a case for 까지.

    ddungbo, I don't think we want "only" in English for 부터 here, at least not in that position in the sentence. I think what you actually had in mind was "I could tell by his attitude alone that he is an asshole". The word "only" in that position in English gives the quite different sense akin to the force of appending a ~만 : "From his attitude I could deduce only that...", where we might find a (differently structured) equivalent employing -만 in Korean. Your version is correct English, of course, but it's not quite a match for the Korean meaning.

    , I'm uneasy about translating좀 틀리던데 as "I see that he is a bad person / evil guy" Both the expression "I see" and the phrase "evil person" strike me as much more categorical and specific that what the Korean speaker (albeit a speaker who seems to be the figment of a textbook author's imagination) was trying to say (or hint at). A and B both agree that they had distinctly bad vibes about the guy, but I don't sense that it's something they could quite pin down in the rather blunt and forceful way your English version of the phrase in question does.
  7. ddungbo Junior Member

    Thank you very much for the correction! Yes, I meant to say 'alone' but that meaning ran out of my mouth in the form of 'only'. I don't think this is a plain mistake. I'll study the grammar about them. If you would correct my English I would be so grateful for that. :) P.S. you wouldn't believe how long it took me to write this short message through mu stupid phone. ;)

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