The less that is being said, the more often it can be said

< Previous | Next >

farzaneh.N

Member
Persian - Iran
Please let me get the meaning of the underscored sentence:

The use of versions of a controlled natural language (CNL) is held to be one way of avoiding the expensive and dangerous chaos of novelty. CNLs in English generally use specific sets of grammatical and style rules, a restricted vocabulary, limited sentence lengths, determiners, and the active rather than passive voice to generate content. This makes texts easier to translate but it also means that more translations can be reused as the likelihood of ‘accidental content’ being generated in the source language is diminished.The less that is being said, the more often it can be said (in other languages), at no extra cost.

reference: Translation in the Digital Age by Michael Cronin

Thanks!
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    When there is less said, it doesn't cost money to translate a text into the other languages. You just reuse the standard content. If you add more content, for no good reason, that adds to the cost of translating.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It basically repeats the idea set out in the sentence before it.
    The less that is being said = the simpler the structure and style of the original
    the more often it can be said = the more often it can be translated to different languages.

    It is somewhat ironic that in a text about simplicity of grammar and structure this the author should write something so untranslatable! :D
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I see velisarius and I have cross-posted and we are not in agreement. Which adds to the sense of irony!
     

    farzaneh.N

    Member
    Persian - Iran
    When there is less said, it doesn't cost money to translate a text into the other languages. You just reuse the standard content. If you add more content, for no good reason, that adds to the cost of translating.
    Thanks for your prompt reply. :)
     

    farzaneh.N

    Member
    Persian - Iran
    It basically repeats the idea set out in the sentence before it.
    The less that is being said = the simpler the structure and style of the original
    the more often it can be said = the more often it can be translated to different languages.

    It is somewhat ironic that in a text about simplicity of grammar and structure this the author should write something so untranslatable! :D
    Dear Suzi! Thanks for your reply. :)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The problem arises when new sentences are created. It's less costly to keep to standard phrasing and standard sentences that have already been translated before.

    I don't know whether this Google Books link is visible to everyone, but the idea is explained in detail here:
    Translation in the Digital Age


    I was thinking of the usual practice in, say, a legal office, where there are numerous standard documents, types of agreement or letters to clients already on file and you only have to alter the details each time you send it out. (Of course if you forget to alter all the details you may be in big trouble.)

    If you set out each time to create a completely new document, saying the same thing in a different way, or adding material that isn't necessary, you are creating unnecessary work - and that costs money.
     

    farzaneh.N

    Member
    Persian - Iran
    The problem arises when new sentences are created. It's less costly to keep to standard phrasing and standard sentences that have already been translated before.

    I don't know whether this Google Books link is visible to everyone, but the idea is explained in detail here:
    Translation in the Digital Age


    I was thinking of the usual practice in, say, a legal office, where there are numerous standard documents, types of agreement or letters to clients already on file and you only have to alter the details each time you send it out. (Of course if you forget to alter all the details you may be in big trouble.)

    If you set out each time to create a completely new document, saying the same thing in a different way, or adding material that isn't necessary, you are creating unnecessary work - and that costs money.
    Great! thanks for the information. And yes, the page is visible to everyone. :)
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I also wonder if it means you can translate from one translation to another? We don't have much context for the OP's remark, but this crossed my mind:
    If you start with a text in English, then translate to Farsi then translate that to Japanese, how much is "lost" in each translation. Does the third-hand Japanese version bear much relation to the original English version?

    The simpler your start point the more chance there is that the secondary translation bears some resemblance to what was first said.

    You can play with this yourself if you have access to a translation tool like Babelfish. Start with a sentence in your own language, translate it to another, then use that to tranlsate to a second one then use that to translate back to own language. How different is it? This is a game I used to play sometimes with students. The more elaborate your start sentence is, the less chance there is of getting anything sensible in the last translation!
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    In truth my what I would wonder, did we love until? shall we not weaned till then, and sucked on country pleasures childish embedded there.
    English poetry fans will recognise what bit of verse I started with to get this (via Spanish and Japanese) back to English. You end up with words pushed together in ways that would never happen in English, and lose the grammar functionality of some key words. It is a fascinating topic, for sure.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top