https://www.duolingo.com/Andy_Dufresne

How would you translate this, and why?

A recent FB post on Olympic gymnast Simon Biles reads:

E c'è chi la paragona a Nadia Comaneci, stella romena che vinse tre ori ai giochi di Montreal, a soli 14 anni, quando si vide assegnare il primo 10 della storia in questa disciplina

which was translated as... And there are those who compares Nadia Comaneci, Romanian star who won three gold medals at the games of Montreal, only 14 years old, when he saw to assign the first 10 of the story in this discipline.

my translation would be... And there are those who compare her to Nadia Comaneci, Romanian star who won three gold medals at the games of Montreal, at only 14 years old, when she was assigned the first 10 in the history of this discipline . Pronouns, mistranslated words and some awkward phrasing aside, I would have some questions on the original writing and any translation.

  1. c'e' chi la paragona - This is clearly not intended to be singular. Why is it c'e' instead of ci sono?

  2. quando si vide assegnare - I am not good at dealing with si. I just know it to be a reflexive pronoun. It would be very odd to write an alternative like "she saw herself assigned". Why is vide used? Why not e' stata assegnata?

  3. il primo 10 della storia - Is it really adequate to use 'della'? Would 'nella' be less correct as it implies physically inside perhaps?

  4. stella romena che vines - I've had other discussions with people saying that 'che' is never 'who', but I think that, given this is a person, that is the correct translation. Thank you so much for your attention and any responses.

2 anni fa

2 commenti


https://www.duolingo.com/KevanSF
KevanSF
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The original Italian is perfectly clear and well-written.

The first translation is undoubtedly the result of an automatic translation program such as Google translate. There are structural differences in the two languages (as you illustrate in your four points) which make it impossible to simply translate word for word.

point 1) That's just how they say it. They use the form in the singular for an unspecific "they" or "some people."

point 2) Another expression. Every language (English included) has numerous expressions that don't make literal sense, and cannot be translated literally, which is why computer translation often produces odd results. (Why do we "take" a bath? We're not taking (removing) anything. We could "do" a bath or "make" a bath or even "put" a bath(!) just as logically.)

Note: In this instance I would translate assegnare as "award" – I checked several news stories in US English, and the Olympic scores are awarded, not assigned.

point 3) Prepositions make no sense. There is no consistent logic. For example, if I say I'm going to the airport and you ask me when, I could say "I'm going at nine o'clock" "I'm going on Tuesday" "I'm going in September". A speaker of another language could logically ask why "at" for one, "on" for another, and "in" for another? Really, what is the logic? It's just how it is. Prepositions never match up one-to-one from language to language. Another reason that computer translation often produces odd results.

point 4) Again, just a difference in how the languages are structured. I think "che" refers to the noun, "stella" (star) which can be considered a thing, (romena is an adjective modifying stella). But that isn't even important, because che can and does refer to a person.

In fact, I just looked up the relative pronoun "che" in my best bilingual dictionary (it's a huge entry, and the very first definition is: "(sogg.: rif. a persona) who, that..."

Even in English, we often use "that" for "who", (which I feel is incorrect, but is becoming so common that I'm in the minority now) example: "I have do idea who the person is that stole your bike. She was the first woman that completed the assignment. Again, I feel this is poor grammar in English, but it is common.

You greatly improved the translation, and there is nothing "wrong" with it, and I wouldn't correct it. Just for comparison, however, if I were handed the sentence "cold," I would translate it this way:

"Some compare her to Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian star who, at the age of only 14, won three gold medals at the Montreal games, and was awarded the first 10 in the history of the sport."

To my ear, this sounds more natural in English, and removes any influence of the original Italian grammar and word order. Obviously, translation is as much art as science, and the "best" translation is a matter of taste.

Disclaimer: I am a professional Italian to English translator, but I'm far from perfect!

2 anni fa

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoFaber
DuoFaber
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1 - In Italian it's very common to say "who" instead of "those" in these cases. "Ci sono quelli che la paragonano a.." would sound more informal, and it would also seem as if the writer had specific people in mind, while "chi" is more neutral and generic.

2 - Reflexives can be used for emphasis, for example: "il mio gatto è morto" means "my cat died, the poor thing", while "mi è morto il gatto" means "my cat died, this happened to me!!". In this case, "si vide assegnare" just puts more emphasis on the person, nothing more!

3 - "Della storia" and "nella storia" are both correct, they're pretty much interchangeable :)

4 - Don't listen to those people, "che" is used as "who" and "which" all the time. Sure, the official translation of "who" would be "il quale, la quale", but native speakers don't want to bother with all those letters, so they usually just use "che" for everything. "Il quale" and "la quale" are still in use, but they sound a bit more formal nowadays.

2 anni fa
Impara Inglese in soli 5 minuti al giorno. Gratis.

Impara Inglese in soli 5 minuti al giorno. Gratis.