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  5. "Một câu chia buồn"

"Một câu chia buồn"

Translation:One sentence of condolence

April 25, 2016



Translation is always a tricky task and phrasing will vary between any given translator. However, a general principle that I prefer and believe produces better results is balancing transliteration (literal word for word translation, which rarely makes sense) and translation of intent. Balance is key.

So here, as an example, if the thought in English actually is "My condolences", but the equivalent Vietnamese phrase literally translates to "One sentence of condolence", then what is the better English version of the phrase to help an Eng->Vt learner understand when and how to use it? The first phrase, obviously! Never in my life have I said to someone who lost a loved one in death "One sentence of condolence". But I've said "My condolences" plenty of times, and that phrase, that idea, carries emotional weight that I now want to attach to the equivalent Vietnamese phrase so I can use it in the same situation, just in a different language.

THAT is what translation and learning a language is all about: transferring ideas and emotions from your native tongue to the new target language. Transliteration will not get you there.


"A word of condolences"


Exactly!! Or "a word of condolence".
It may not be literal, but it's more natural and easier to understand in English. (Assuming that this is something that would also actually be said in Vietnamese.)


Transliteration has to do with mapping sounds/letters from one language to another, not just translating literally. But yes, point taken.


Does chia buồn literally mean to share the sadness ^_^ ?


Yep, nearly like that.


A year etymological calque of "condolence" (con "with"/"share" + doleo "pain")


I just made "my condolences" and "a word of condolence(s)" acceptable. thank you all for your patience.


In cases such as this, where a literal translation does not work well, perhaps Duolingo could provide a literal translation PLUS the corresponding expression used in English.


A wonderful idea.


I dont understand. A condolence sentence feels so unnatural to say


This sentence simply means "condolence" in English. However it is phrased as "A condolence sentence" in correspondence with individual words in Vietnamese. Please accept the odds in the English version and focus on the Vietnamese sentence.


If it simply means "condolence" in English, then it simply means "condolence," not "a condolence sentence," which does, indeed, sound like nonsense. If we are to focus on the Vietnamese sentence, then do not have us translate it into English, since the act of translation asks the translator to focus on both the Vietnamese and the English phrase.


I think it's like saying "my condolences" in English


"A sentence of condolence" is not a natural English phrase. This makes it harder to learn the Vietnamese words.


The pronounciation sucks


thanks to these comments I can learn both Viet and English.


Hmm, 一聲問候?一句慰問?


'A phrase to share sadness' is a way rougher translation for this.


A what? I never heard anyone ever say "One sentence of condolence".


how about: a statement of condolence? is this sentence right or wrong?

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