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Persino i numeri sono solo oggetti astratti

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by elenuccik, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. elenuccik New Member

    Italian
    Devo scrivere una frase del genere:

    "Persino i numeri sono solo oggetti astratti"

    ma se scrivessi

    "Even numbers are only abstract objects"

    sembrerebbe che io stia parlando di numeri pari.

    Scrivere

    "even the numbers are only abstract objects" sarebbe incorretto, vero?

    Quali altre soluzioni?

     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  2. The curious Senior Member

    Paris
    Italian - Italy
    "Even the number are just abstract objects"

    What do you say?

    I thought also a translation like that:

    "[...] are just some abstract objects" per dare l'idea del tipo: "Persino i numeri sono solo degli oggetti astratti"

    Hope it helps.
     
  3. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Un problema interessante, e la soluzione dipende dal contesto.

    Ti riporto esempi:

    Though mathematics is said to be a concrete science, even numbers are abstract objects.

    In this series of hieroglyphics, even the numbers are abstract objects.

    C'è più contesto?
     
  4. The curious Senior Member

    Paris
    Italian - Italy
    Thank you TimLA, but is my translation correct?

    Why write "the numbers" would be wrong?

    Thanks for your suggestion.
     
  5. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    It this case, with the sentence standing alone, I wouldn't use "the".

    But I could imagine in other situations where the "the" would be OK.

    It's very contextual.
     
  6. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    When speaking of a general noun we usually ommit the definite article...

    Cows smell
    Presents are everywhere around xmas
    When I see birds in the sky

    As you introduced 'numbers' with ... 'even' .. in the perfino/persino way, it doesn't imply 'specific' numbers, it's a general thing, and this is why using the definite article is not good here.
     
  7. The curious Senior Member

    Paris
    Italian - Italy
    Thank you Alex Murphy.
    Yep I know, I just translated like that hoping to avoid the confusion with "numeri pari" :p .
    Saying like that it's possible to get the idea?
     
  8. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Ahh I see what you mean!

    I didn't realise that when I first read it, it just depends on the stress, put the stress on 'numbers' when you say it you'll be fine, I didn't think of 'even numbers' the first time I read it, I think the mind knows that is not what it is about, so I don't think there will be much confusion! :)
    After reading it again, I can see what you mean, maybe there might be.... I think the best way to resolve it is by using something like..

    Some people even consider numbers to be.....

    Or of course you can use the passive voice to avoid this:

    Numbers are even considered to be abstract objects.

    Or you can also replace 'even' with 'also'...

    Numbers are also abstract objects...
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  9. baldpate

    baldpate Senior Member

    London
    UK, English
    Practically speaking, taken in a real context, there is unlikely to be much confusion. In Tim's first example, for instance ("Though mathematics is said to be a concrete science, even numbers are only abstract objects.") it would be a rather perverse reader :p who took this to mean "numeri pari" :).

    Alex's suggestion of the passive is good. Another might be to use the singular number to represent the class of all numbers : "Even number is only an abstraction"/"Even number is only an abstract concept".
     
  10. infinite sadness

    infinite sadness Senior Member

    sicilia
    bilingue siciliano-italiano
    What do you think about to replace the word "objects" with "symbols" or "signs"?
     
  11. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    I think it's much better, it makes a lot more sense.
     

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