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The BF learn-a-new-language thread

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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby ramsej84 » Sat May 05, 2018 12:13 pm

FCBayernMunchen wrote:
Dumbledore7 wrote:BTW, do you guys have an accent when speaking English?


Not just an accent but a dialect or one of the world Englishes. There are some common structures and words which differ quite a bit from Standard English. However British English is what is taught in schools and when I once did a small research project on state exams I found that Maltese English structures are always awarded lower grades, meaning they're considered incorrect.

The accent is very noticeable if you're familiar with it. It's not the first time someone's shown me a video with people I didn't know were Maltese and I realised immediately. In my case I think my accent is not as pronounced as it used to be. If I record myself or if I'm reading aloud to someone you won't track it (probably because I'm more aware) but I suspect it still comes through in speech.
We have a heavy accent, sometimes we seem to be still speaking our language
But the young ones have improved a lot...
TBh I don't mind it, since we are not British...
Americans
Canadians
Aussies
South Africans
Irish
Scots
Welsh
Manx

They all have different accents

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U l-Kotra qamet f’daqqa – u għajtet: “Jien Maltija!
Miskin min ikasbarni, - miskin min jidħak bija!”
U l-Kotra għanniet f’daqqa – u semmgħet ma’ l-irjieħ
L-Innu ta’ Malta tagħna, – u l-leħen kien rebbieħ,
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Sun May 06, 2018 12:09 pm

This is going to be long again so bear with me. :lol:

Dumbledore7 wrote:One thing out of a few is: you mentioned that we should leave nothing out and add as little as possible, but you also mentioned that you can improve the translation by changing stuff according to your judgment of what would work best in the target language, as well as making it easier to understand. Now I know that these are not really contradicting, but there must be a very fine line there, no?

You're right, I did not explain this clearly enough. The two actually go together. The most important thing when you're translating a business document, medical text, manual, or something similar is that every single detail that's in the source is reflected in the target text. You shouldn't leave anything out and definitely you shouldn't add anything that's not being said (for example by misinterpreting something). In these cases if something is not clear it tends to be better to preserve that ambiguity than try to interpret it and say something completely different (unless you can ask whoever wrote the document what they meant).

So the facts are what shouldn't be changed. What I meant by changing stuff is more related to the structure. As I said with certain languages you can follow more or less the same structure and sometimes even similar words and it will sound fluent, but there will probably be a better way to put it and that's what distinguishes a good/experienced translator. And the two go together because if you're going to reword or reformulate something, you need to be extra careful you're still saying the same thing and leaving nothing out.

I came across an example of this (couldn't remember one the other time) this morning. Many Maltese translators tend to translate "hepatic" as "epatiku" when we tend to use, both in speech and official documents, "tal-fwied" (of the/relating to the liver). There's nothing wrong with the first option; it's a Maltese word, it follows Maltese morphology etc. But it's clearly influenced by the English text. Someone writing the text from scratch in Maltese would most probably choose the second one and that's why I would consider the second translation better, even if there's no difference in accuracy.

Dumbledore7 wrote:You may run the risk of oversimplifying the text perhaps?

There's definitely that risk but that's why the research part is important when it comes to terms. Simplifying tends to happen by translating terms into non-technical language. If you have an established term in your language and use it, there shouldn't be any problem. But if there is, you need to be careful to capture the full meaning of the term and not just part of it when you create your new term or translate it with a definition.

The one exception I mentioned is that sometimes, you do want to simplify the text depending on who it's meant for. For example, translating medicine side-effects for people who aren't doctors etc. It's useless translating terms by terms in this case because your audience won't understand you, so you have to simplify. But these cases tend to be exceptions more than the norm and with business documents it's unlikely to be the case (it may be with education documents though). In such cases the priority becomes understanding what is being said more than recreating 100% every last part of the meaning of a word.

Dumbledore7 wrote:Also what I’m truly intrigued by is that you mentioned the Maltese language still somewhat developing, so translators are still responsible for shaping it culturally? I think I might understand that, maybe in simplistic terms: maybe where you would translate popular literature like Harry Potter which would work well with youth, so any Maltese literary writer working on new books would follow the language style of your Harry Potter translation, something like that? If you could elaborate, I’d love to hear more.

What I meant by that was more related to the technical translation you (and I for that matter, for now) are doing and to what I said above.

Malta is a constitutionally bilingual country, with English having equal status to Maltese. Historically, Maltese has been the language of the commoners, distinguishing Maltese villagers from the various rulers who conquered Malta. Italian/Latin were the languages of education, law and culture; our University, officially founded in the 18th century but with roots going back to the late 16th century, still has its degree certificates written in Latin. Italian/Latin were also the language of the Church obviously and as you may know Malta is one of the most Catholic countries in Europe and always has been. When the British came in 1800 English started to gain ground and there was a whole political issue in Malta about Italian vs English, with English eventually winning out. Maltese is no longer the language of the commoners, around 90% of Maltese people prefer to speak in Maltese than in English, and all our politicians, judges, etc. speak in Maltese for official purposes. But English is still the language of education. Apart from language-specific courses, all university lectures are in English, all exams, assignments, etc.

So this has created a problem with Maltese. Prior to 2004 (Malta joining the EU) it had never really been used for technical purposes so apart from the fields of medicine (where people needed to understand) and traditional things like agriculture and fishing, we had no Maltese terms. Every profession simply resorted to English terms, which is easy because we all know English. The exception is law, which is still heavily influenced by Italian today even in the way it spells Maltese words (for example they spell "article" as "artikolu" (Italian-influenced) and not as "artiklu" (the Maltese word)). So this is where translators come in. We are often faced with a situation where we have to come up with new terms because they simply do not exist in our language, and this is something that needs to be done responsibly. In fact, the full title of my degree is Translation and Terminology Studies. From what I've seen, very few UK translation courses include a terminology component.

That said, translators do take advantage of the bilingual situation and you will find plenty of English words in many Maltese translations. But this needs to be done responsibly and not excessively. An inexperienced or untrained translator will tend to do one of two things: you will either find every single term in English, making translation useless, or you will find a lot of nonsense and incomprehensible, invented, elaborate structures because they believe that there shouldn't be a single English word in the text.

Your point on Harry Potter is an interesting one, and although it's not my main research interest it's one of the aspects studied by literary translation which interest me. It's established in translation history and theory that translated literature will affect the literature of the country, through it's style but also through translated plots. You will get new stories which are a direct result of a previously translated text. It's perfectly possible that if someone were to publish a Maltese translation of Harry Potter (which I don't think exists), similar children's/young adult books will follow a similar style. And there's another interesting discussion there: is it the style of the translator or the style of J.K. Rowling, or a mixture of the two?
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby ramsej84 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:32 am

My beautiful language ...
A poem by M. G Ganado

U l-Kotra qamet f’daqqa – u għajtet: “Jien Maltija!
Miskin min ikasbarni, - miskin min jidħak bija!”
U l-Kotra għanniet f’daqqa – u semmgħet ma’ l-irjieħ
L-Innu ta’ Malta tagħna, – u l-leħen kien rebbieħ,
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:13 am

I'm currently editing a translation of a short article about the Great Siege of Malta (by the Ottoman Turks) in 1565 and something occurred to me.

In Maltese we have at least two expressions which refer back to this war and possibly date back to it:
- When it rains while the sun is visible, we say "twieled Tork" or "tgħammed Tork" (a Turk was born/baptised). In the first case it suggests the co-occurrence of something good (a birth) and something bad (it was a Turk that was born), in the second case, a rare event.
- A mild curse phrase is "ħaqq għat-Torok" (damn the Turks), which is obviously used when something bad happens.

I wonder if your languages have any similar (racist?) phrases that are the direct result of some conflict in your history.
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby ramsej84 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:00 pm

FCBayernMunchen wrote:I'm currently editing a translation of a short article about the Great Siege of Malta (by the Ottoman Turks) in 1565 and something occurred to me.

In Maltese we have at least two expressions which refer back to this war and possibly date back to it:
- When it rains while the sun is visible, we say "twieled Tork" or "tgħammed Tork" (a Turk was born/baptised). In the first case it suggests the co-occurrence of something good (a birth) and something bad (it was a Turk that was born), in the second case, a rare event.
- A mild curse phrase is "ħaqq għat-Torok" (damn the Turks), which is obviously used when something bad happens.

I wonder if your languages have any similar (racist?) phrases that are the direct result of some conflict in your history.
We have ours they have theirs ... I am sure of it...

What about the " are gej it-Tork ghalik" (watch out cause a Turk will come for you)
Used by parents for misbehaving children.

In North Africa, they have the equivalent...

Be aware cause the Maltese are coming ...

The Maltese pirates, or corsairs had a reputation of being some of the best and fearsome in the trade.
U l-Kotra qamet f’daqqa – u għajtet: “Jien Maltija!
Miskin min ikasbarni, - miskin min jidħak bija!”
U l-Kotra għanniet f’daqqa – u semmgħet ma’ l-irjieħ
L-Innu ta’ Malta tagħna, – u l-leħen kien rebbieħ,
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby ramsej84 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:01 pm

P.S

Itlians have a lot of anti German sayings
So do have the Dutch and the German cousins I believe
U l-Kotra qamet f’daqqa – u għajtet: “Jien Maltija!
Miskin min ikasbarni, - miskin min jidħak bija!”
U l-Kotra għanniet f’daqqa – u semmgħet ma’ l-irjieħ
L-Innu ta’ Malta tagħna, – u l-leħen kien rebbieħ,
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:20 pm

Never knew of the expressions against Maltese. Interesting
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby ramsej84 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:56 am

I was just discussing our rich language with my college...
:lol:
from a word we create others... (don't know the technical word)


might sound vulgar but are not as they are the proper Maltese word.

Bewl - bilt bewla
hara - hrajt harja
ha--a - h---t ha--a

In English for instance for the above there is only one word ...
U l-Kotra qamet f’daqqa – u għajtet: “Jien Maltija!
Miskin min ikasbarni, - miskin min jidħak bija!”
U l-Kotra għanniet f’daqqa – u semmgħet ma’ l-irjieħ
L-Innu ta’ Malta tagħna, – u l-leħen kien rebbieħ,
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:29 pm

There are less vulgar examples anyway. :lol:

Kilt ikla (I ate a meal)
Xrobt xarba (I drank a drink)
Lgħabt logħba (I played a game)
etc.

It's the standard morphology.

More interestingly, we use it create phrases which don't quite make sense (in that they are repetitive/obvious) but they are used to create emphasis:
Irbaħna rebħa (we won a victory - used to indicate that it was a big win)
Serquhom serqa (they were robbed a robbery - used to indicate that the money/items stolen were of relatively high value)
And also the examples above can be used in this way if spoken with a certain tone or if you add things like "Tgħidx x'..." before or "ta' veru" after. :)
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby ramsej84 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:53 am

https://www.timesofmalta.com/mobile/art ... kes.693478


Examiners flag perennial Maltese language mistakes

Maltish-English’ mistakes in SEC exam

Insalva l-flus - save the money.
Fuq l-id l-oħra - on the other hand.
Fattoriji - factories.
Nirrentja karozza - rent a car.
Nipprektisja - to practise.
Ħustaġġ - hostage.

that is an italianized word -

to be fair nippraktisja and nirrentja might as well enter in the language...

hustagg- wisq imma! :D
Last edited by ramsej84 on Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
U l-Kotra qamet f’daqqa – u għajtet: “Jien Maltija!
Miskin min ikasbarni, - miskin min jidħak bija!”
U l-Kotra għanniet f’daqqa – u semmgħet ma’ l-irjieħ
L-Innu ta’ Malta tagħna, – u l-leħen kien rebbieħ,
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:51 am

Fattoriji? :lol: What's the singular?

I sometimes used to invent words like that in Italian exams. These people are doing it in their own language. :roll:

The others are more excusable, they're either using the English word or it is interference and literal translation. That's the power of the media for you. I am 100% sure most of these students think in Maltese and not in English, and that their English similarly sucks, but because they are exposed to Media in English all the time they can't help but think of certain words/phrases in English and translate them.
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby MUTU » Mon Nov 05, 2018 11:55 am

FCBayernMunchen wrote:I sometimes used to invent words like that in Italian exams.

You mean "make up words" :P

Ironically you used Maltese-to-English literal translation :)
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:13 pm

No I didn't? You're just giving me a phrasal verb for my one word. :P You can also say "coin".

I don't know whether "invent (a word)" came in after "make up (a word)" but it is 100% not just a Maltese thing.
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby MUTU » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:15 pm

FCBayernMunchen wrote:No I didn't? You're just giving me a phrasal verb for my one word. :P You can also say "coin".

I don't know whether "invent (a word)" came in after "make up (a word)" but it is 100% not just a Maltese thing.

Yeah I know but it isn't really that common in English, is it?

"making up words" has 191,000 results in Google.
"inventing words" has 26,000 results in Google, almost 1/8th :P
"coining words" has 21,200 results in Google.
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Re: The BF learn-a-new-language thread

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:22 pm

I think phrasals are more common in general tbh.
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