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Weaknesses found in "simple languages"

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TITAN_ View Drop Down
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  Quote TITAN_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Weaknesses found in "simple languages"
    Posted: 19-Jul-2013 at 07:35
I was thinking about translating the sentence "You set this thing" into Greek and quickly realized that this task is impossible. Confused

I can come up with dozens of different translations that mean totally different things. Shocked

Because English is too simple, it is also too vague.

The above sentence, although it is a full sentence, it cannot be translated out of context, while in Greek, the same sentence would have an exact meaning. Besides not knowing what this "thing" is, there are 3 main questions.

You = plural or singular? Who???
Set = it can mean a number of different things
Tense = is it present or past?

If I start making combinations to see all possible translations, I will come up with dozens of different sentences in Greek.

If I translated two totally different Greek sentences to English, I would get the same "you set this thing". For example, Esi diorthose auto to pragma  OR  Eseis rithmisate auto to pragma.Ouch

The difference is, each of these Greek sentences has a speacific meaning regarding WHO and what exactly they do.


So what do you prefer? A simple language or an exact and specific language? Wink



Edited by TITAN_ - 19-Jul-2013 at 07:39
αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2013 at 08:25
If we were looking at other things, TITAN, then we might agree that simplicity is where there is genius. Of course this might also be coming from my stupidity at not having a second language and make excuses. I would have to ask those who use English as a second language if they have difficulty in working out the context with this consolidation. Generally speaking I've heard that people have difficulties with words that are spelled differently but sound the same, and with words having a number of meanings though spelled the same. This said such difficulties might apply to anyone maybe when learning a new language and have the combinations you were talking about being present in your own language. I guess it might depend on how a person gets used to using said languages.
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  Quote Baal Melqart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2013 at 10:45


You encounter similar problems if you tried to translate this sentence into Arabic. In Arabic, every personal pronoun is specific to the person being addressed. ''You'' for a single person is different than ''you'' for a two and also different for 3 or more.

''You'' in singular = Anta
''You'' addressing 2 persons = Antuma
''You'' addressing 3 or more = Antum
''You'' in singular feminine = Anti
''You'' addressing 3 or more female persons = Antunna

Set also creates an issue when translating to Arabic because set can mean so much in English. It can mean to prepare something, to designate, to make an appointed time, to place... etc.


Timidi mater non flet
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  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2013 at 12:00
In simplicity likes great strength and flexibility. English has become the common language of the world, and for good reasons.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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  Quote TITAN_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2013 at 12:22
Originally posted by Mountain Man

In simplicity likes great strength and flexibility. English has become the common language of the world, and for good reasons.


The main reason is.... the former British Empire and American hegemony. Everything else comes second. Wink
αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν
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“Ever to Excel“
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2013 at 17:47
And?

If it's true it's true. Deal with it.

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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  Quote TITAN_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jul-2013 at 19:25
Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis

And?

If it's true it's true. Deal with it.



What do you mean by that? Confused
αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2013 at 09:34
I have thought of learning a 2nd lang. but I still have enough trouble with English.Big smile
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2013 at 09:54
Who does cares?You will never go in England.LOL
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2013 at 10:38
Originally posted by medenaywe

Who does cares?You will never go in England.LOL
Titan has already been, and if you're using the language you might be considered to be doing so by proxy. Anyway, medenaywe, where's your ambition? I thought getting a first hand look at the Rosseta stone for that project of yours.

Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 20-Jul-2013 at 10:39
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jul-2013 at 15:44
I have been in England, and I found that "English hasn't been spoken there in 300 years".Wink  Oddly enough, the purest forms of "English" still spoken, are to be found in the US in places such as the Appalachians and other isolated regions.
"Arguing with someone who hates you or your ideas, is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what move you make, your opponent will walk all over the board and scramble the pieces".
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2013 at 01:52
Originally posted by TheAlaniDragonRising

Of course this might also be coming from my stupidity at not having a second language and make excuses.
 

Don't worry, people who know more then one language use less words then people who speak just mother language. You probably use more words then others Big smile 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't agree about connection with simplicity and smartness. Having more words and more different ways to express yourself is richness. As you know, Eskimo people have many words to explain different snow sorts. However other languages need more words to explain it. That shows us the richness of eskimo language in snow/winter subject.

but Turkish has also some weakness too. We don't have he, she, it. We have just one "o" instead of them. 

Originally posted by Baal Melqart

''You'' for a single person is different than ''you'' for a two and also different for 3 or more

Shocked In Turkish we have just single and plural Big smile

Originally posted by red clay

I have thought of learning a 2nd lang. but I still have enough trouble with English.Big smile

I also have similar problem with my language. I am tring not to think too much Turkish grammerLOL

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  Quote TITAN_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2013 at 05:57
Originally posted by red clay

I have been in England, and I found that "English hasn't been spoken there in 300 years".Wink  Oddly enough, the purest forms of "English" still spoken, are to be found in the US in places such as the Appalachians and other isolated regions.


Sir, the Queen is disappointed by this post. Wink
αἰὲν ἀριστεύειν
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2013 at 10:45
Originally posted by TITAN_

Originally posted by red clay

I have been in England, and I found that "English hasn't been spoken there in 300 years".Wink  Oddly enough, the purest forms of "English" still spoken, are to be found in the US in places such as the Appalachians and other isolated regions.


Sir, the Queen is disappointed by this post. Wink
 
 
Perhaps, but Elisabeth the First would be delighted to learn that, as late as 1970 there were still songs being played in their original Elisabethan forms.  Probably even more pleased that this was in the "colonies".
In the 60's and early 70's, the Library of Congress commisioned grants to go out into the "back country" and record folk artists.  Some of these folks were playing 300 year old songs in the original form.Cool
"Arguing with someone who hates you or your ideas, is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what move you make, your opponent will walk all over the board and scramble the pieces".
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2013 at 19:52
Originally posted by TITAN_


The above sentence, although it is a full sentence, it cannot be translated out of context, while in Greek, the same sentence would have an exact meaning.


But presumably you could translate it if you did keep it within the context. So why do it otherwise?

Every language has words or phrases that cannot be translated. Take away context and you loose the meaning even more. If Greek doesn't have a word that means 'set' or 'thing' in abstract terms, why is that a strength?
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  Quote TITAN_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2013 at 05:39
Originally posted by Sidney

Originally posted by TITAN_


The above sentence, although it is a full sentence, it cannot be translated out of context, while in Greek, the same sentence would have an exact meaning.


But presumably you could translate it if you did keep it within the context. So why do it otherwise?

Every language has words or phrases that cannot be translated. Take away context and you loose the meaning even more. If Greek doesn't have a word that means 'set' or 'thing' in abstract terms, why is that a strength?


Context is not always given, as you know. For example a road sign has no context... It is just a road sign. You have to understand the meaning without any context.

What happens is this. IF Greek didn't have a word for "set", it would have a phrase. But this is not the problem. The problem is that the word "Set" is too vague. We don't have vague words. All words have an exact meaning and most importantly,  each verb determines both the person (he, she, it, we, you, they) and the tense.

So, if I write down "zo" it means "I am living" OR "I live" (we have one present tense, not two).
Additionally,  "zusa" = I was living.  "Zusame" = We were living.

I am not sure which other Indo-European languages have a similar structure.
As a matter of fact, I am curious regarding Asian languages and whether their grammar is similar.

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