The step ends when the timer is expired.

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by brian, May 21, 2008.

  1. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hello, :)

    I'd like to ask your opinion on how the following sentence might best be translated into Greek:

    The step ends when the timer is expired.

    It's a statement written in the context of a technical manual describing how a certain machine works. So "step" should be taken as a step in a process, a part of a step-by-step process, i.e. step 1, step 2, etc. The "timer" is just a gadget/meter/counter of some sort that simply counts down time.

    So the idea is that when the timer expires, i.e. reaches zero, the machine proceeds to the next step of the process.

    Ηere are two attempts :D...

    Το βήμα τελειώνει όταν λήγει το χρονοδιακόπτη.
    Το βήμα τελειώνει όταν το χρονοδιακόπτη φτανει μηδέν.

    In particular, I'm curious to know whether in Greek a "timer" can "expire" (e.g. first attempt), and if not, how else one might write the sentence (e.g. second attempt).


  2. Vagabond

    Vagabond Senior Member

    Well, as far as the timer is concerned, I would say «όταν σταματήσει ο χρονοδιακόπτης». «Λήγει» kind of gives the impression that it's gone bad and should be thrown away ;)

    I'm a bit troubled by the rest; though I can't pinpoint anything wrong about it, it sounds a bit unnatural to me (or maybe it's the lack of sleep :D). I think it would sound more natural if you went for «Το βήμα ολοκληρώνεται».

    But wait for someone more alert than myself to give it a shot!
  3. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    Actually you've been very helpful. :) As a sort of linguistic test, I'm translating this sentence into various languages, and it turns out that so far a "timer" cannot really "expire" in the other target languages. The equivalent word for "expire" is used more with food or passports/licenses. Is that how «λήγει» is used? And how would you say, for example, "Time has expired" or "Time is up"?

    Thanks again. I'll await others' opinions. :)
  4. orthophron Senior Member

    With all respect to prevιοusly stated opinions, if I read a technical manual in order to understand the operation of the appliance involved, I 'd expect it to read:
    αυτή η φάση τελειώνει όταν μηδενιστεί ο μετρητής (I vote for it as I find it common in gr and ideal) OR αυτή η φάση τελειώνει όταν εκπνεύσει ο χρόνος του χρονοδιακόπτη;
    which means : this phase ends when the timer reaches zero/ this phase ends when time of timer is up.
    `εκπνεύσει` here can be replaced by `τελειώσει` OR `μηδενιστεί`

    time is up = ο χρόνος τελείωσε/ έληξε/ εξέπνευσε BUT NOT ο χρόνος σταμάτησε.

    All the best
  5. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece
    Well orthophron, I like all your alternatives and "μηδενιστεί" what came to my mind when I first read the first post of the thread, but will all respect, ο χρόνος σταμάτησε may be wrong, but ο χρονοδιακόπτης σταμάτησε is. After all it is clear that Vagabond is talking about those knobs that you turn and then they slowly turn till they reach zero. For these kind of χρονοδιακόπτες, "σταματώ" is actually probably the best choice.
  6. orthophron Senior Member

    Well ireney, the word "timer" reminds us of a clock (ρολόι) doesn't it? What do we mean in greek "το ρολόι σταμάτησε"? Mean that it stopped working (failed) of course. That's why I wanted to leave out the word "σταμάτησε" (=stopped).
    Besides, the timer may stop at mid-way for some reason... wrong settings maybe. This should not be considered by the clumsy oaf as the end of step; it must be made clear that the end of step is at zero point. So why not take the roundabout way? brian has already showed the way: "η φάση/το βήμα ολοκληρώνεται όταν ο χρονοδιακόπτης φθάσει στο μηδέν".
  7. Vagabond

    Vagabond Senior Member

    Not that I disagree (I don't), however the clock is not supposed to stop, so of course when it does, it means it broke down. Kind of a different case, though - the timer is supposed to stop eventually.

    Oh, and of course you wouldn't say «ο χρόνος σταμάτησε», unless perhaps you were writing a novel or a poem.;)

    I agree though that your suggestion «όταν ο χρονοδιακόπτης φθάσει στο μηδέν» is the best, because it applies both electronic and mechanical timers.
  8. brian

    brian Senior Member

    AmE (New Orleans)
    Hi, thanks to everyone for the responses. :)

    If «σταματώ» is a general word for "to stop," then it probably would not work well in this context, as it might imply that the timer can stop at any point other than/in addition to zero. In English, when the timer expires, we mean it has successfully counted down all the way to zero. There was no malfunction, nor did any other (even normal) stimulus cause it to stop earlier than zero.
    I don't understand what you mean here. :(
    "X may be wrong, but so is Y"?
    "X may not be wrong, but Y is"?
    "X may be wrong, but Y is not"?

    Anyway, maybe «μηδενιστεί» works OK? In English, I don't think we really have a verb like this. In Italian you might say "azzerare" (you can see the word "zer(o)" in there) to mean "reach zero," but it also has the meaning of "reset to zero," which does not apply here. Is «μηδενιστεί» similar?

    Another interesting thing: is βήμα the usual word for "step" in the sense of "step of a (step-by-step) process"? Does it make sense here, or is φάση preferred?
  9. orthophron Senior Member

    Hi to all
    The word "not" has obviously escaped. :) (with ireney's permission)
    What is meant here is, we can say "ο χρονοδιακόπτης σταμάτησε" (stopped) provided it implies "stopped at zero/predefined point" and nothing else. However it is your machine brian8733 and you know better the details; you explained it in your first paragraph of last post.

    "μηδενιστεί" can mean both "reach zero" and "reset to zero".

    "βήμα" of course
    although - I think - "φάση" generally lasts much longer than "βήμα", that's all.

    Last but not least if your next genaration machines use counters that count up, you might find this phrase usefull: ...όταν ο χρονοδιακόπτης φθάσει στο τέλος της διαδρομής του ->...when timer reaches the end of travel. Unless... you have learned fluent gr; please don't do it, we 'll lose our job. :)

    Good luck brian8733
    Last edited: May 21, 2008
  10. orthophron Senior Member

    Good day
    Furthering a bit my previous post
    βήμα OR φάση
    "φάση" is related to time, a period of time, while "βήμα" is anyway the jump from φάση a to φάση b.
    example. Αν περάσεις το τεστ στην προκριματική φάση θα έχεις κάνει ένα βήμα εμπρός. -> If you pass the test in this preliminary phase you ‘ll have moved one step forward […and enter upon a new phase].
    Regardless of the results the φάση is completed but the βήμα… unsure.

    However "βήμα" is used in a series of actions and hopefully will be quite understood in a technical manual.

  11. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece
    Well, in recipes at least βήμα is the next step :)

    "Για το επόμενο βήμα θα χρειαστείτε μισό κιλό αλεύρι, δύο αυγά και ένα ποτήρι νερό." for example.

    I personally would like "φάση" too though for the first post's case. I also agree that "βήμα" would be in all probability understood. Especially from women :D

    Hoping I haven't forgotten anything this time,
  12. balgior Senior Member

    Apart from "βήμα" and "φάση" we could also use "στάδιο", which I actually prefer from "φάση"! Not from "βήμα", though! ;) To make things even more complicated that you've managed to and detonate further arguing! :eek::D
  13. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece
    No, it's brilliant!
  14. balgior Senior Member

    I thought a little bit about it overnight (yeah, right... :rolleyes:) and what I realized is that we would use "βήμα" only if it is about describing a user's action, not for something a machine does by itself. For example "βήμα 1: do that! When βημα 1 is completed you can proceed to βήμα 2". We wouldn't say "pay attention to the βήμα 4 of the machine's operation". And I believe the opposite happens with "φάση" or, better, "φάση λειτουργίας", which would be more appropriate to describe what a machine does rather than what the user does. And "στάδιο" is something that would be used in both cases equally! Does anyone agree with me about these (not so important) differences, or I just had sweet dreams last night? :D
  15. orthophron Senior Member

    balgior has spotted the case in which the two words cannot exchange roles.

    Η φάση [λειτουργίας] που περιγράφεται στο βήμα 1 τελειώνει όταν ο χρονοδιακόπτης φθάσει στο μηδέν. -> The phase of operation that is discribed in step 1 ends when timer reaches zero.

    So φάση seems to keep its relation to time on it while βήμα almost obtains the sense of ... paragraph for instanse. e.g. Κοίταξε στο βήμα 1 or στην παράγραφο 1. -> Look at step 1 or at paragraph 1.

    Well done balgior; insomnia can be beneficial :)

    I would treat στάδιο (=stage) exactly as φάση here and nothing more.

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