Long texts

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by 涼宮, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)

    Do you have a metaphor, expression or something to refer to long texts colloquially? Or do you have an expression for asking to be brief? In Spanish, at least in my country, we make use of the word ''testamento'' (will/testament) to refer to long texts.

    For example, you are talking to a friend who asks you to explain something to him, then he says '' pero no me escribas un testamento, sé breve'' lit: but don't write a will, be brief.

    It can be used by everyone, teachers also use it on and off when asking for summaries.
  2. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member

    We Finns write novels (romaani).
    Teidän ei tarvitse kirjoittaa romaania - vain muutama lause siitä, missä olitte, mitä teitte ja mitä söitte.
    You need not write a novel - just a few sentences on where you were, what you did, and what you had for dinner.
  3. Selyd Senior Member

    In Ukrainian: "тільки не пиши мені роман, напиши коротенько" - ''pero no me escribas una novela, sé breve''
  4. Perseas Senior Member

    Greek - GR
    In Greek:
    "γράφω μυθιστόρημα" --> "to write a novel"
    "γράφω την ιστορία της ζωής μου" --> "to write the story of my life".
  5. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    Maging tuwid ang pangungusap/ tuwid na pananalita lang. ( be straight to the point)
  6. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL, Sp-En mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French, colloquially, we can say:
    "un roman" (literally: a novel)
    "une tartine / des tartines" (literally: slice of bread / bread (and butter/jam/...) (yes, the kind you eat! :D))
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  7. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    One metaphor that comes in mind in Hebrew is מגילה Megilá "Scroll".
  8. catlady60

    catlady60 Senior Member

    Pennsylvania (20mi/36km from the Poconos
    English-US (New York City)
    One American English metaphor that comes to mind is: Quit sounding like a politician and get to the point.
  9. snoopymanatee

    snoopymanatee Senior Member

    In Turkish,

    we use the word "destan" which means "saga" for long texts.
  10. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    That is weird! :D est-ce que vous connaissez la rasion pour laquelle on dit ''une tartine''? Je le trouve bizarre et amusant :)

    Any reason for referring to scrolls? I guess they were important a long time ago, or perhaps they still are :D

    When one beats around the bush too much, in Spanish we use the verb cantinflear. Thanks to the great actor Mario Moreno(cantinflas), from him we got that verb.

    Do you know its origin? Why saga? Televisions?
    I see most use ''novel'', that makes Spanish weird :D
  11. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    In Flemish Dutch ;-) :
    een epistel (a letter, but mainly referring to the church context, suggesting that the content is not very personal, somewhat boring), but also
    een hele boterham (a slice of bread and butter, which reminds me of 'tartine', but Lady Prudence ;-) calls it 'toast' - in Dutch it is not; eating boterhammen implies filling one's stomach as in general there is bread, butter and something extra on it, so took some time to digest).

    I would not mention rond de pot draaien here (beating around the bush, literally 'turning around the pot'), because that implies not telling the truth straightforwardly, whereas telling long stories does not necessarily imply wishing not to tell the truth. It just means being langdradig, 'long-thready'... ;-)
  12. ancalimon Senior Member

    The Turkic word sayga and destan (which might be a Persian loan or a Turkic loan derived from the verb "diz" meaning "to put in order, verse" just like the root of "sayga" which is "say" which also means to "put in order, to count and to say") are only used for, well.. sagas.

    Laf kalabalığı would be the one we use in Turkish. It means "a crowd of talk that is more than necessary"
    We have something similar to "but don't write a will, be brief.". That is 1) "Uzun lafın kısası" : "shorter version of the long empty talk" 2)kısa kes (to cut short) 3) laf salatası (a salad of empty talk ; overabundance of words)
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  13. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL, Sp-En mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    I don't know and this article doesn't help!
    And yes, as Thomas mentions, it is rather "bread (and butter/jam/...)" than "toast", I have corrected it.
    But as I see it, it may come from the fact that you make one thing unnecessary long, you spread it on your bread to cover as much as possible?
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  14. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Well, you might be right, Lady Prudence: either will be correct. But I think mine is more plausible, because our definition of boterham does not imply any extras and in Flandres it used to be a double slice... ;-)

    Of course if someone were speaking, we might say (have said, I don't hear it any more) that they are going to Paris through Brussels, which for us is out of the way, a detour... ;-))
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  15. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Also in internet slang, «γράφω σεντόνι» /'ɣrafo sen'doni/ --> "to write a sheet"
  16. ajo fresco

    ajo fresco Senior Member

    Another way we refer to a very long text, in American English at least, is to call it "War and Peace" (which is known as one of the world's longest novels).
  17. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In Portuguese we also say "testamento", (last will and) testament.
  18. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Hungarian: litánia [litany]
  19. bibax Senior Member

    Czech: román, litánie;
  20. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    The Russian name of the 4-volume novel War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, "Война и мир" ("Voyna i mir"), has become a common colloquial name for long texts in Russian. We may also use роман ('novel'), поэма ('long poem'), or талмуд ('Talmud', although this one usually refers to thick books rather than long texts as such).
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  21. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Could you explain the different words in the Tolstoy quote?
  22. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    There is also litanie in Dutch, also religious.
  23. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    "Война и мир" ("Voyna i mir") is not a quote, it's the Russian name of the novel, which means exactly "War and Peace". Names of books, films, pictures, songs etc. are used with quotes in Russian.
  24. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Forgive me, I was too quick !
  25. Saluton Banned

    Moscow, Russia
    I forgot another word: простыня (prostynya, 'bed sheet'), which usually refers to texts several pages long. All the five metaphors I listed are used ironically, of course.
  26. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch

    I think of the Bible scrolls. I see quite some references here to religious things, which might always seem long and dull...

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