Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by goose123, Feb 25, 2008.
Chi conosce la parola inglese per "carsico"? Non esiste in nessuno dizionario che abbiamo.
Ciao Goose123 e benvenuto nel WRF!
Il Ragazzini traduce "Carsico" con: "Karst" e "Karstic".
Hope this helps!
Confermo. E' una parola che trovo abbastanza spesso nel mio lavoro e ho sempre usato "karst", Sarah.
Grazie tutti e due!
Non c'è di che!
I take again back this thread, as I am interested in the figurative meaning that the term Karstic has in Italian.
Thus, karstic rivers are streams of water that flow partly underground and partly at the surface, that is they show on the surface almost unexpectedly and then hide again into some ravine. These rivers flow mostly underground, hidden from view, but that notwithstanding they can be powerful and rushing, a property they show only in some place, only for limited periods of time. Likewise, at least in Italian, something exhibiting/having a "karstic course"/"karstic nature" (andamento carsico, natura carsica) is something that surfaces/crops up almost unexpectedly, lasts for a short time and then disappears, leaving observers with the faint feelings that it could come back, somewhere else, as well as with little or no premonitory sign.
Any idea if also in English there is such a use of the term Karstic or if a close translation can be adopted to describe such either physical or also social/intellectual phenomena?
Ciao fca. Good question. I've often had difficulty translating the figurative use of this word. But we won't get very far without an example sentence (linguistic context). Can you provide a (complete, actual) sentence? Thanks.
Oh well, I could draw many specific examples, which rather I would find too context-dependent to be of any interest in this thread. I still refer to the general meaning that is explained above. In what follows, I'll mention just a couple of passages that I found in Google with this specific nuance of the word carsico. Thousands of others can be found with the same meaning by looking for the expressions "andamento carsico" (which is usually, but not always intended as figurative).
L'idea che il soggetto in formazione sia un soggetto attivo nel processo educativo ha un andamento carsico nella storia del pensiero sull'educazione...
Il pensiero delle donne ha sempre avuto un andamento “carsico”: momenti di grande visibilità ed inspiegabili inabissamenti, è un pensiero che forse più di altri ha bisogno di contesti politici per continuare a produrre pratiche e teorie.
EDIT: I found how the latter was translated by (I assume) a professional translator:
"As to how the movement followed a Karstic trend, i.e. it was first apparent, then concealed and then apparent again, I do not know the reasons.
All I know is that it surely enjoyed a mass expansion on specific objectives both at the European and the Italian level: we had a feminist movement on abortion, something on divorce, but mainly on abortion, contraception and family counselling everywhere."
found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/21114676/The-Philosophy-of-a-Negri
Does it make any sense to a native speaker?
It makes a lot of sense. Secondo me è l'unica traduzione possibile.
Thank you CPA. I agree that Carsico IS Karstic. I was wondering (I am stressing it without any pretension to be overkilling) if the expression Karstic trend/course could evoke in an English native speaker's mind (who has never heard this expression before) the same idea.
I have to translate a similar sentence. May I write that "the idea of performativity in the last century of social studies has shown a typical Karstic course, emerging a number of times in the past, gaining each time a strong and ephemeral interest, and then disappearing almost as unexpectedly as it had come up".
Does it sound swell?
Sorry, but to me, it doesn't. I can only find "karstic" defined in the literal sense in dictionaries - and to me, it is far too unusual a terminology to be employed successfully in the figurative sense, with everyone reading it understanding its meaning. Perhaps "mercurial" might fit in your first example?
Women's thoughts/thought processes have always been subject to mercurial trends...
Edit: crossposted with fcab. Can you post your original sentence in Italian?
Hoo-ah, now we're talking! ;-) Mercurial... As far as I understand it, such a term gets quite well the meaning of "erratic" in its course (that is, "it" moves forward, like a river) but very little of the appear/disappear nature of the phenomenon I'd like to describe. I do not assume that a close translation really exists but, in that case, that would be too bad.
If you want to convey the idea that... an idea (no pun intended), a thought has not really disappeared even if you cannot detect/hear about it anymore, but it is just "flowing" "crawling underneath" the surface, hidden to your eyes, so that it could show up again, even stronger than before, and then again disappear, like a subterranean river into some ravine, that's exactly... a Karstic trend!
Come one, Google (and Wordreference), take this also in!
We really need the Italian sentence, fcab, otherwise you'll be moved to the English only forum
I don't think we have an exact word, but "mercurial" to my mind isn't just "erratic" - it also suggests the idea of being "capricious", so "appearing" and "disappearing" could be part of that.
The Italian sentence (that I make up in my mind right now as I was conceiving the original one in English, but this is the right forum as my mind is natively Italian ;-) would be the following:
"L'idea di performatività [Don't ask me what this is, Editor's note] nell'ultimo secolo di studi sociali ha mostrato un tipico andamento carsico, emergendo più volte in passato, acquisendo ogni volta un interesse tanto forte da parte degli studiosi quanto effimero, e quindi quasi scomparendo di nuovo almeno altrettanto inaspettatamente rispetto a quando si è imposta ogni volta".
(please Eco, save me! )
"andamento altalenante" non potrebbe funzionare? il seguito della frase mi sembra molto esplicativo di per sé...
Maybe ...a trend typical of the karst phenomenon...
@ oh bice, credo che fcabitza abbia bisogno di una soluzione in inglese...
Be', direi che la traduzione non è davvero aiutata dalla sintassi del brano...!
Comunque performatività, in linguistica è più o meno la proprietà di un verbo (o di un enunciato) di realizzare l'atto che descrive, cioè l'azione descritta è implicitamente eseguita (p.e.: dico, prometto, giuro). Ma il significato nel contesto dato francamente mi è oscuro.
volatile? fluctuating? Elfa, speravo che all'inglese ci pensassi te... ;-)
Elfa is right, I needed a good way to translate the idea of a philosophical concept that emerges and disappears periodically in history.
Necsus, I appreciate the nice try to explain what performativity is (although you will also agree it is much more tricky than that, alas), but obviously I don't want to focus on that term (it would be tremendously OT).
I also admit that the sentence is (too) thick. Sometimes Academic writing is a tough game, though.
I am getting more and more persuaded that volatile, fluctuating, capriciously erratic are all good terms that just fall short of conveying that very subtle (oh too subtle) nuance of something that can be as strong as a flowing subterranean river _even if_ you don't see it, except in some rare cases.
That's a Karstic trend, and all things considered, I see it as a meme that deserves at least a couple of explicit mentions on the Web.
Let's see if it is fit enough...
Thank you everybody out there!
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