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Author Topic: Quick translation help  (Read 1916 times)
One Post Wonder

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« on: 09 20, 2014, 06:53: PM »

I'm sure it's been asked a dozen times but the search couldn't find it. I need the correct translation of the phrase "own the day"
I've come across 3 different versions elsewhere so I thought I'd ask here to be sure.
Klingon formerly Known as Fraek
Discoursing Diplomat
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In order to succeed, you must enjoy eating poison!

« Reply #1 on: 09 20, 2014, 11:38: PM »

A fairly literal translation would be jaj yIghaj!, meaning something like "Have the day!"

However, since I suspect the intended meaning here is more like "Seize the day!", I might instead recommend:

jaj yIchargh! = "Conquer the day!"
jaj yIDoQ! = "Claim the day!"
Senior Courier
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« Reply #2 on: 09 21, 2014, 03:45: PM »

I'm curious, what are the three different versions you've come across?
ngem Sargh lIghwI' pagh cha'
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When a show of teeth doesn't work, bite deeply.

« Reply #3 on: 09 29, 2014, 06:38: PM »

    There is no single "correct translation" of anything expression more complicated than an observation of a concrete object and even a lot of those are potentially ambiguous...  Each translation is a re-expression of the original expression.  How close the translation is to the literal words vs the intent of the original expression is a matter for discussion.   Professional translators understand the importance of translating the intent and flavour of the original words.   Literal translations are useful to students of a foreign language and other scholarly pursuits only.

    In practice, the translator must interpret the intent, mood and feelings of the original in addition to the meaning.   Their ability to do this of course varies on their familiarity with the speaker, the listener, the subject matter and the context it occurs in.  There are a lot of variables that cause less than optimal translations, but there is seldom a single "correct" translation that applies to any and all uses of a single expression, particularly when the two languages are very very different and spoken by people of very very different cultures and worldviews.

     Any linguist or translator, whether they know Italian or not will be familiar with the expression "traduttore tradittore".   Often translated as "The translator is a\the traitor"; it is an acknowledgement that no matter what the translator says, it will not be perfectly equivalent to what was spoken before.  The translator can try as hard as they can, but there is no perfect translation and many if not most expressions, particularly the clever sayings, puns and word play that people most enjoy in their native language, lose their perfected glory when mechanically "correctly translated" into a new language.  The only hope is to artistically recraft the expression into a new language, but except for the most concrete boring expressions, there is no exact "correct translation", just a lot of very close translations.

    Whether a day is something you can own is itself a matter of contention.  You can't collect and accumulate days you own, inventory them, deny or grant others access to the days you own after all, so literally owning a day is not meaningful in direct or exact way.   Many languages such as German, you can't even have lunch at a restaurant, because you are only eating it, you never add it to your personal collection so you never had it.  There is much discussion as to what you can or can't ghaj in the Klingon Language, which is the closest translation for the word "have" in most of it's most common meanings.
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« Reply #4 on: 09 29, 2014, 06:52: PM »

That expression is actually Klingon in origin: maghwI' ghaH mughwI''e' "The translator is a traitor". I can't believe that the Italians not only stole it, but even had the gall to imitate its original form (juxtaposing two words which differ only by a vowel).
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