Friday, August 13, 2010

Little translation game...

Try translating the below into Chinese:

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

My first attempt:


Slight amendments to my first attempt:


Hmm, seems like my first attempt is best after all.

Original game proposed by 荒言, re-blogged by Chris here and here.

I have to say I translated the above without looking at any of the others' attempted translations on Chris's second post. I'm rather glad to see that I'm not the only one who felt Cantonese is the easiest way to translate the above English quote, thus avoiding all the clunkiness imposed on the sentence structure by the use of formal Chinese :)

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At Fri Aug 13, 08:51:00 p.m. IST, Blogger laichungleung said...

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

Wow. The English text is full of double talk. The listener is in a no win situation, absolutely can't please the speaker. Because no matter what the listener says, the speaker can simply say whatever and says he misunderstands. Sometimes language is used to confound instead of to communicate and I think this definitely belongs to the to confound category.

Note: I didn't go to the original source.

At Tue Aug 17, 12:40:00 a.m. IST, Blogger Snowdrops said...

"Wow. The English text is full of double talk."

Yup, isn't it just? Apparently this famous quote came from Robert McCloskey, whom I'd never heard of before and thought he must be a politician or some other disreputable doubletalk merchant. But it turns out that he was a prize-winning author and illustrator of children's books. The mind boggles.

At Tue Aug 17, 03:40:00 p.m. IST, Blogger laichungleung said...

I feel better when you start deleting spam instead of answering to them....

I can't believe summer is almost over. Oh well.

At Thu Aug 19, 10:52:00 a.m. IST, Blogger Snowdrops said...

Haha, no worries, I've not gone completely batty yet! The previous couple of times when I mock-replied was with a well-developed sense of irony, but perhaps even this is too sad, oh well...

Yes, summer flew by, my deadlines are looming. Thankfully I've got past my panicking, though I find a scream a day still works wonders ;P

(See, this blog is written by someone who's clearly bonkers, would the spammers now finally leave my blog alone???)

At Fri Aug 20, 01:44:00 p.m. IST, Blogger 詹碧周宗翰周宗翰芸 said...



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