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  5. "Majoritatea au șaptezeci de …

"Majoritatea au șaptezeci de ani."

Translation:The majority are seventy years old.

December 21, 2016



So do we use the plural or the singular verb with majoritatea?


This is something that confuses a lot of native speakers. It seems Romanians use both. This article tries to make sense of it, basically claiming that the plural is used when the emphasis is on the individuals and the singular is used when the emphasis is on the group. Indeed, this seems to cover how speakers use singular/plural intuitively (based on my own observations).


It confuses English speakers as well.


Regarding the English version, while I don't think "are" is wrong, I do think "is" should be accepted as the majority is singular. It sounds strange but I think it's valid, comprehensible and not worth being declared invalid English.


Is the "e" in "majoritatea" left out in fast speech?


You say it is not left out, but in the recordings, ea sounds like only one vowel sound, an a. Does the e simply palatalize or soften the preceding consonant, as final i usually does?


These age translations don't follow proper translation practices. You are literally saying "The majority have seventy years", not "The majority is seventy years old". There is a difference between meaning and translation. It should be translated correctly, followed by what the translation means -- not translated incorrectly to teach meaning.


Proper translation practice is to translate the sentence in the source language into a sentence that sounds natural in the target language (English, in this case). No translator would opt for a literal translation where the result is unnatural in the target language.


"The majority have seventy years" is not unnatural. It's exactly what they're saying in Romanian. It carries the same meaning. This same phrase is often used to describe children in the US. "She has 3 months", etc. The English isn't broken...


There may be some regional dialect of American English in which this is natural, but not in any of the regions in which I have lived very long (the Pacific Northwest, Southern New England, Eastern New England, New York City, the Chesapeake Bay, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Great Lakes).


And I've lived in the Seattle area, multiple parts of the Midwest, and in Florida. It's not common, but I've heard new parents describe their baby's age this way numerous times. Regardless of how "natural" this sounds or not is irrelevant. "She has 3 months" is how they describe age, so that's how it should be translated. You're not breaking the English translation by doing so -- you're introducing a new way of describing age. Again, translation should come before meaning, not completely replaced by it.


"translation should come before meaning" is a meaningless sentence. If the result of your "translation" doesn't have a meaning, it's not a translation. At best, it's called glossing, and it can be useful to teach sentence structure, or as a first step before translation proper.

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