Multiple languages in a novel? - Page 3

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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    Actually, Lucky, I find the fact you go through such mental gymnastics at times rather amusing.

    I took a simple problem and applied a simple solution.

    I needed a generally-unrecognizable language... but not something that was unpronounceable. ( Apparently people want something they can at least try to get their mouths and minds around. )

    None of the 'usual' languages would do... French, Spanish, German, Italian, etc.

    And I didn't want to spend weeks, months or years making one up for just a few lines of dialog. So...

    Maori was the best choice, especially given what it's function/purpose was to be.

    And the environment also doesn't matter, since the area in question is a sort of huge botanical garden. The characters in question just happen to be in the jungle portion of it.

    By the way, I find it funny how you keep assigning emotions or states of mind to me... Scared, brave, feelings hurt, etc.

    The fact is, you always miss the real one, whenever I'm dealing with you: Amused. You're always good for a laugh.


    Thanks.



    G.D.
    Hi yes you took a simple problem and applied a simple solution - and I thought it might be helpful to tell you why I thought it was problematic. Not sure what the problem is. In any case I am genuinely sorry you feel personally aggrieved over somebody you don't know saying there might be problems with something you are doing.

    I think you are taking things personally. In turn, I think I need to stop giving you excuses to take things personally.

    I'm not going to waste my time or yours further pointing out, for instance, that Maori has hundreds of thousands of people who can understand and speak it (hence it is on google translate I assume) and is therefore not unrecognizable. That for "a few lines of dialogue" you would not need to invent and entire new dialogue, that you could achieve the same effect without possible problems simply by making up a few lines of gobbledygook or heck, use Maori but maybe switch a few letters around so its not easily recognizable as such by any one of those hundreds of thousands or speakers.

    These are all small, easy things I think writers can and should do, since they do not tend to compromise either plot or character and can make a difference to perception. Not out of consideration necessarily, you don't have to care about people's feelings on the matter, but out of basic self interest. Because like I said, some people might consider that problematic. But then I remember that you already said in another previous thread about you don't care about people liking your work...

    ...so never mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Scars: These threads are essentially conversations. In normal conversations we discuss things. What we DON'T do is pick apart every phrase & nuance of the other posts. If you have a better way to do a thing then please offer it. But the constant nitpicking is unwelcome.

    "What we don't do is pick apart every phrase & nuance of posts," he said, gleefully picking apart the phrasing and nuance of a post.


    I did offer a better way. I offered not using indigenous languages, which are still widely spoken and used, as alien languages because it *might* upset certain people and therefore *might* make people think twice about reading or publishing the work. That's pretty much all I said...

    Implicit in that recommendation was to either pick a language that is extinct (there are hundreds of known ones with phrases easily accessible to anybody with google), use a current language and modify it beyond copy and pasting from a translator, or make one up.

    You don't have to disagree or agree with this viewpoint. Actually I'm not sure what it has to do with you at all - nor why you seem to think its your place to pipe in with some pontificating botty-drivel about how "posts are like conversations". It's almost like you have some personal grievance, perhaps as a result of a recent post you took offence to. But who knows? Not I.


    That's okay. Sometimes I need these little exchanges to remind myself why this forum is dead on its feet as far as discussion. Thread has now been derailed by this nonsense, so no further posts. Catch up in 2019 maybe.
    "All good books have one thing in common - they are truer than if they had really happened."

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  2. #22
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Scars: These threads are essentially conversations. In normal conversations we discuss things. What we DON'T do is pick apart every phrase & nuance of the other posts. If you have a better way to do a thing then please offer it. But the constant nitpicking is unwelcome.

    And him constantly arguing against something only to eventually circle right back around to where the other person started is pretty monotonous too.


    G.D.
    Last edited by Guard Dog; December 7th, 2018 at 04:51 AM.
    Let me be painfully clear: I do not know what the hell I'm doing with this writing thing.
    And if I suddenly start acting like I do, would somebody please punch me in the head?
    Thanks.
    G.D.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."

  3. #23
    In defence of luckyscars i think his comments have been quite reasonable. The thread is about foreign languages on books, the discussion touched on google translate as a resource and luckyscars pointed out some of the potential flaws with it. Google translate quite often gives ridiculous, funny or even inappropriate translations and any of the subtlety or nuance writers so love in literature will certainly be lost. If accuracy is at all desired in the translation it's fair to point out google translate won't provide it. And the comment about cultural insensitivity is also fair given todays socio-political climate.

  4. #24
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    ...the comment about cultural insensitivity is also fair given todays socio-political climate.
    Bullshit. It's no more fair that it would be to worry about any other language that Google lists.

    After all, if the Maori were that sensitive to how their language was used, and didn't want the rest of the wold having any knowledge of it, or ability to use it... wouldn't they petition Google to remover it?

    Especially in light of the fact that it's not being used to spread any 'hate speech" or to denigrate the Maori or anyone else. It's simply an interesting language that was chosen because of it's rarity and the fact that it serves quite well in the capacity I'm using it.

    Also, there's the fact I'm not using it to write a Muslim prayer, or anything else that anyone can rationally get upset about.

    ...and I'm certainly not going to worry about the irrational.



    G.D.
    Let me be painfully clear: I do not know what the hell I'm doing with this writing thing.
    And if I suddenly start acting like I do, would somebody please punch me in the head?
    Thanks.
    G.D.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post

    ...and I'm certainly not going to worry about the irrational.
    That's your prerogative but you must have seen the various news stories: you can't wear dreadlocks without accusations of cultural appropriation. The argument would be that because your translation contains multiple errors (as google translate is far from perfect yet), you have been careless in your research of that language which could be construed as being insensitive. I'm not judging whether this is right or wrong, it's an observation of modern sensibilities and might be something somebody researching this topic wants to take into account. No ones saying you shouldn't be doing this and must stop now, it is offered as a consideration for other people how might think of using it, such as the OP.

  6. #26
    Member Guard Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epimetheus View Post
    ... it is offered as a consideration for other people how might think of using it, such as the OP.
    It is and was offered as an argument for the sake of arguing.

    Writers have been dealing with people getting pissy over their work since the first neanderthal slapped a paint-covered hand on the wall of his cave, I'm sure.

    As for the OP, the original question was whether people would find it distracting having two languages in a book. In this case, two languages the OP reads/speaks, and that most that would pick up that book would as well.

    Not really a question I can answer in a general sort of way, speaking only one language, but I offered what I could on how I added a second for certain limited purposes.

    Along those lines, no, I wouldn't use G.T. to write any significant portion of anything I was doing in a language I don't speak - because it would be tedious to do.

    Next, everyone is going off about Google's errors... My first question on that score is... Are those errors even across the board, or are they worse with some languages and better or non-existent with others? There are over 100 different languages there, after all.
    ( By the way, more than one human-translated historical document has errors all through it. It's nothing new to screw up somebody else's language. )

    And as for being insensitive to "modern sensibilities" I very much am. Couldn't care any less if I tried. Most especially when those sensibilities are nothing more than a bunch of whining crybabies that are simply LOOKING for something to get upset about, to complain about, to argue about, or to try and manipulate other people into letting them have their way with.

    So... Have I made my thoughts on the subject clear yet? Well, let me make absolutely sure I have:

    People need to write their stories, books, or whatever else they want. They need to do it in any way or manner they want, without worrying about somebody getting upset, or pitching a fit because they're offended.
    Because no matter what you do, no matter how "PC" you try to make it, no matter how much you dumb it down so as not to offend idiots... you're always going to offend SOMEBODY.

    There's always going to be some fool out there that wants to burn books. Your books. Because that's just the way it is and has always been.

    So don't worry about that bullshit. Just keep writing, so the people that have good sense have things to read, and leave the "modern sensibilities" to the people with no sense.

    I came in here to learn to write better, not for a lesson in Social Engineering.



    G.D.
    Last edited by Guard Dog; December 7th, 2018 at 09:56 PM.
    Let me be painfully clear: I do not know what the hell I'm doing with this writing thing.
    And if I suddenly start acting like I do, would somebody please punch me in the head?
    Thanks.
    G.D.

    "The world is not what we wish it to be; it is what it is."

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    It is and was offered as an argument for the sake of arguing.
    That might be how you have received it, but i don't think that was the intention, certainly not on my part anyway: i'm raising this point in good faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    Next, everyone is going off about Google's errors... My first question on that score is... Are those errors even across the board, or are they worse with some languages and better or non-existent with others? There are over 100 different languages there, after all.
    ( By the way, more than one human-translated historical document has errors all through it. It's nothing new to screw up somebody else's language. )
    I'm not sure, i'd have to look at the statistics. I'd also be interested in what training algorithms they use, but that's probably just me. My knowledge of the limitations of G.T. comes from personal experience learning Mandarin. It might not be new to screw up a translation, but it's something you probably want to avoid if you can.


    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    And as for being insensitive to "modern sensibilities" I very much am. Couldn't care any less if I tried. Most especially when those sensibilities are nothing more than a bunch of whining crybabies that are simply LOOKING for something to get upset about, to complain about, to argue about, or to try and manipulate other people into letting them have their way with.
    Sure, that's one perspective and it's perfectly valid. Another perspective is that 'sensitive' people are trying to make the world better, or something. I'm sure they have a point at least some of the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Guard Dog View Post
    People need to write their stories, books, or whatever else they want. They need to do it in any way or manner they want, without worrying about somebody getting upset, or pitching a fit because they're offended.
    Sure, but there is a sensitive demographic out there now whether we like it or not. Some of them will also be writers and they might like information on the limitations of google translate.

  8. #28
    Member Moonbeast32's Avatar
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    How about if you did option 3, but in the cover of your book or elsewhere, you provide a link to your website where an online reference can be found that contains the Swedish translations for all English bits?
    Oh say, what is truth? 'Tis the fairest gem
    That the riches of worlds can produce,
    And priceless the value of truth will be when
    The proud monarch's costliest diadem
    Is counted but dross and refuse.

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