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On Fri, 9 Jun 2000, Muke Tever wrote:

> >Anyway, in my opinion something is untranslatable only
> >to the extent that it is vague or undefined.
>
> Very good!  Ranges of vagueness ought to be very hard to retain across
> languages...   "El hombre se es" has a different range of meanings than a
> word-for-word English translation has.

The trick is that this polysemy is really immense, which is what makes
translators like the Babelfish so piss-poor.  Douglas Hofstadter lists
something like 15 Italian equivalents for "the fact that" and about
20 German ones for "hard"....

--
John Cowan                                   [log in to unmask]
        "You need a change: try Canada"  "You need a change: try China"
                --fortune cookies opened by a couple that I know