BCS: expressions of quality

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Bresca, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Bresca Senior Member


    Related to my previous post, how do I translate in BCS expressions of quality like "man of value", "product of quality", "woman of deep sensibility", in which the quality is introduced (in English and in some Latin languages, at least) with the preposition "of"?

    I've found some examples in wich the quality is direcly expressed by adjectives (the biblical "thou of little faith" becomes "malovjerni", horse of three years becomes " trigodišnji konj" and "items of monopoly" become "monopolski artikli", for instance) and I'd like to know whether this is the only way of translating the OF+NOUN OF QUALITY.

  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    There is no universal mapping. You can use an adjective where it exists, or bare genitive, or od+genitive. For your examples, the possibilities include:

    "man of value" - vrijedan čovjek; but: man of good manners - čovjek dobrih manira
    "product of quality" - kvalitetan proizvod; but: proizvod visoke kvalitete
    "woman of deep sensibility" - žena duboke senzibilnosti or duboko senzibilna žena

    "people of little faith" - malovjerni ljudi, but also: ljudi slabe vjere, ljudi s malo vjere
    "horse of three years" - trogodišnji konj or konj od tri godine (not *konj tri godine)
    "items of monopoly" - monopolski artikli

    As you can see, there is no universal rule (or at least, I can't describe it). One rule of thumb can be observed: adjective works better where it exists, and when the quality is expressed in a single word. When the argument consists of multiple words, genitive works better. Od+genitive is required when the argument expresses some quantity: konj od tri godine, teg od pola kile, period od sto dana.
  3. VelikiMag Senior Member

    Serbian - Montenegro
    In general, there is more than just one way of translating such expressions, but most often only one sounds correct. That you will have to check with a native.

    In many cases there is an adjective before a noun. But some expressions can't be translated this way: man of taste - čovjek od ukusa, man of style - čovjek od stila.

    Man of trust
    can be translated both as povjerljiv čovjek and čovjek od povjerenja.

    Sometimes in BCS an adjective and a noun form a new adjective when put together: dobronamjeran čovjek - man of good intentions.
  4. Bresca Senior Member

    Wow, what a richness of vocabulary! This is my first Slavic language and it's a-maz-ing!

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