The Sobremesa Coterie -- September, 2014
The Sobremesa Coterie is a group of learners interested in finding and translating well-written and challenging pieces, mostly works of literature, history, arts and science. The details of the group can be found here:
This is the discussion thread for activity in September. It contains a list of the articles the group worked on together during that month.
The work completed by the Coterie in August, 2014 can be found here:
Our October activities can be found here:
WE'RE AN ACTIVE GROUP WHO LIKE EACH OTHER. New members are welcome if they are serious but also have a sense of humor and can accept editing without throwing tantrums. :)
93 comentarios El debate ha sido cerrado.
Thanks much. I've been a flake in the translation department. I've been on the other side pretending I know Spanish and trying to translate from English. I see that you have too. Lack of a feeling for "por," "para," "ser," "estar," "de," "a," etc. is killing me. I've just spent two days struggling through gerunds---since half the time Spanish uses infinitives, sometimes follow by "de" or by "a" or by nothing.
There are deep fingernail marks clawed into the wall by my computer now.......
The idea is to make the link be the text itself, the format would be, for example for the first line
[The Movie Episode, Jorge Ibargüengoitia (1928-1983)] (https://www.duolingo.com/translation/06d410ec58f78291057ae853551c0f81) with no space between  and ().
Wich would result in:
How does one suggest a story? I suppose I'll simply do it. El gran secreto de Cristóbal Colón, Luis López Nieves
I'm monitoring the September Sobremesa Coterie page for Anirudh. From this post I'm assuming that you want this article added to our page and will do so.
You will need to tell me when it has been fully translated to your satisfaction at which point I will move it to our "completed" listing.. Nothing is called "completed" until the person who uploads an article is finished with it and notifies me of that.
Let me know if you have questions about this.
YES! I'll send a note to the guy who uploaded "Colón." We always let the uploader say when he's satisfier that it's complete. I've had it with "Cocodrilo." That was one of the longest stories we've had and it said nothing. It has no point, no aura, no imagination, no sense---nothing!!!!!!
I've been all the way through "El cocodrilo" and consider it finished! It is now available among the "completed" stories. I uploaded it and I have to take the blame for it. It was, however, in my opinion one of the most pointless stories we've yet encountered here. Long and tricky to translate too. I kept thinking that it was going to lead to some fantastically imaginative conclusion after such a long build-up. THUD!!!!!!! :(((
Hi, Emanuel. Thanks for the newest upload. This looks like a good story.
However, it's already being swarmed! Please post a message in the discussion section, at least to say that you prefer US English punctuation (assuming you do, of course). You might also say that friends from The Sobremesa Coterie will be working on it. Maybe refer translators to the discussion that outlines basic principles of the group? https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3920749
Hi Emanuel. Actually your story was not posted to the Sobremesa site. Only one person can do that and Ani asked for someone to take over while he's buried at school (as you are too :). I agreed to do that for him and I've just posted it. I wonder whether jkwilson31 is satisfied with the two stories he posted that are still listed as active. I can move them to "completed" anytime, but I do that only when the person who supplied the story decides it's finished.
As for Oleron's comments, we can't really enforce our rules on the DL community. We live by them ourselves and others have to do what they have to do. Someone translating in Britain or Tasmania has no reason to practice American punctuation. That doesn't promote their learning goals. Also beginners have a right to try their hand.
The important thing is for each of us to abide by our rules and to get whatever value we can from our own attempts at translation. Sometimes I learn the most just from editing the work of others. Are we (each of us) learning anything? That's the real question. I've backed off from translating articles for a while because I need to go back and work through more lessons---especially the English INTO Spanish lessons. They are teaching me a lot.
Anyhow......your story is now listed on the site.
Arthur. Please. I did not suggest police action to enforce translation rules. Anirudh set out guidelines for TSC. I think it's only fair to let people know that a group of translators will be working on a particular story, and how that group operates. We're still not even at the end of Month #2, so we aren't quite as well-organized as we might be. Like you, I work on plenty of other translations, especially FR-EN. It's not at all unusual for the person who uploads a document to ask translators to use a particular punctuation style. It's a request for consistency, not a command from the Almighty. As for any other "rules," I would much prefer that they continue to be characterized as "guidelines," and that they be phrased as diplomatically as possible. Several new people have filtered in, and I wouldn't want them or anyone else to be discouraged by what could be perceived as anal-retentive lunacy. Seems to me we've already had brushes with several of those types.
It's true enough, Oleron, that all types use the site, most with some degree of seriousness, but some who mistake it for Facebook. Unfortunately, the tiers and point systems which are clearly meant as motivators have a tendency instead to encourage gamers and competition.
Cooperation is a great way to learn but competition is not. Competition makes the swift and fast learners feel good about themselves. It usually leaves slow learners feeling defeated. In my experience slow learners often end up being the best at whatever they do. They aren't so quickly self-satisfied by shallow success. So we shouldn't discourage them.
I just don't see the point of asking people to conform to a given norm. First off, I'm a member of the group and I never see these suggestions. I guess they are on the discussion pages. Second issue for me is that it's a learning site. I learn as much as I can in my own ways. It's a worldwide community with all kinds of learners with different goals and motivations. How others act doesn't affect me. It took me a LONG time to realize that. :)))
Hi, Arthur. If all of this is directed at me, you really are preaching to the choir! [So please stop invoking my name, forthwith and henceforth. ;-)]
One exception: Someone suggested, at some point, that Spanish punctuation was confusing for him/her. It's also confusing for me. [Ask Don how many times he has rescued me from a mess I have made trying to sort out who's speaking, in one of those back-and-forth conversations with all the dashes.] We seem to have attracted a few new native speakers of Spanish, which is great. They're learning how to translate into English. Seems to me they might also like to learn English punctuation, as adjunct to having their translations corrected by a native speaker of English. No? Never mind.
Edit: I have less than zero intention (what is less than zero? is that possible?) of mentioning any of those creepy little rules of punctuation. Ick. My only addition to that aspect of translation will be by example.
I used your name only because I was responding to your original comments. "Directed at" is an expression I wouldn't use though. We've had an exchange of opinions. You made one point. I made another. We either came to agreement or we didn't. I'm not sure which, but I'm happy. :)))
Hey, I like that, Arthur. How about "Upside Down Night," or "Night Upside Down"? The hospital must have given the poor guy more than chloroform. What do you think, Emanuel?
One day I may relate my own tale of morphine hallucinations after hip replacement surgery. Grim. Very grim. Yes, upside down, sideways, and out of my gourd. No Aztecs, though. ;-)
Hehe, actually, I thought the same when I learned that you say "upside down" because for me it means something like "el lado de arriba para abajo".
Keep in mind that we rarely use this expression as something "literal", is not that your mouth is on top, but you are just not facing the floor if you lay down for example, or if you are talking about an object it is is not facing the wrong direction (up or down). We also say "boca abajo", but the tricky thing here is that it does not mean exactly the opposite, sometimes we use either to mean that something is "upside down"... I'm not sure I'm clear with this, it is hard to explain even in Spanish.
Another expression similar to this is "al derecho - al revés" (here "derecho" does not mean to the right but to the right direction), these do have opposite meanings, but it would be weird to use them talking about people.
For your sentence Arthur I would just say "laying on his back", how about that?
Sounds good to me, Emanuel, and fits the context. Idioms!!!! very colorful; impossible to translate! In English we say things like, "I'm going to give Anirudh a bad time." (Just to choose a name wildly at random. :) In Italian they say, "I'm going to make Anirudh see the green mice." [...farei Anirudh vedere i sorci verde....] At least that's what a good Italian friend told me was true where he came from in Italy.
Thank you, Emanuel. Not sure I completely understand, but that's always the problem with trying to find a literal translation for expressions that make perfect sense to a native speaker.
I do hope you would not just say "laying on his back." Horrors. This seems to confound too many people! It is possible that only Arthur and I still have a firm grasp of the difference between "lie" and "lay." I have culled through a number of online explanations and found one that I think lays it out as simply as possible: http://www.getitwriteonline.com/archive/051402lielay.htm
OK...two new stories are available now. "La noche buena de Encarnación Mendoza" has a commentary at the conclusion of the story that couldn't be deleted, so I translated it. It is NOT part of the story. We may or may not recognize a connection between the Bosch story, the Cortázar story, and Hemingway's, "Old Man and the Sea," when Bosch and Cortázar have been translated.
Here's a new story.
I'll add in the discussion section something interesting I found about this story.
Thanks, Emanuel. I have a feeling that no one checks this page for stories. I sent separate notes to the most active group members once but that complicates my "Activities" listing so I'm not going to do that again. None of the group has noticed the new Cortåzar story and it now has been mostly translated by non-group members.
You might mention this this story is available when you interact with group members. Ideally they should learn to check our Sobremesa page occasionally. Right now it seems useless.
"Interlopers" are always welcome. Some come and go but others stay with us and are considered members. It's not a tightly closed group. Anyone who agrees to follow the "Group Details" guidelines is more than welcome. We're serious about learning, good-humored with each other, and don't post negative votes to anyone.
I know you're on top of this, Alexis, but I get the feeling that the "group" itself doesn't check the page much anymore. It may be a waste of time to maintain it. We'll have to discuss that. We find plenty of ways to interact without it.
I do like the fact that it's a record of what we've accomplished in two months. Impressive list too!
I usually just follow other people in when I see the article come up, so I don't visit this page too much. I can keep up this way, but maybe it's still necessary for anyone that wants to go over an old article, or new members that want to see what we have done so far. We should probably ask Anirudh about that. A new session starts soon, so that has to be decided as well.
Yes I do plan to ask Anirudh. I need to know whether he still needs me to host the page or has time now to take it back.
I do see plusses to maintaining a page. It's has guidelines for new people who join. It would also be very useful if group members made it a habit to check for articles, etc. We'll see.
I do follow each post as well to see every update. I haven't been able to work on translations the past two days, maybe some other members are in a similar situation and that's why the articles are being translated by other people, but if that's the case I think the best solution is to suggest everyone to follow this discussion so they can be notified.
I'll start revising Cortázar and Bosch in a couple of hours.
I know that Alexis and Emanuel follow this page. For any others that do, PLEASE REPLY to this post. I am trying to assess its value.
In my view it's nice to have a place where all who belong to our group or who join it can find information of common interest (new translation challenges, general comments, etc.). However if no more than one or two group members check the page on a regular basis, that value is lost.
Is a month too long for a single page? Do too many comments accumulate? Should we restrict comments so that one-to-one interactions are avoided (something I'm guilty of in a big way; we can always post to individual accounts for one-to-one comments and probably should). What thoughts do you have on the value or lack of value of this page? Arthur
At this point one could say there are many comments in this discussion, but those were conversations that took place in very different moments. I don't think they are really detracting from our purpose, but if needed, I suggest if, for example, after some days Alexis could help us clean up a little bit those "not that important" comments since no one else here has moderators privileges for this forum.
The idea is not to add such responsibilities to one person but it guess it can improve our monthly post which I find very useful.
Hola Art, YES, i'm following the thread too :) I'm sorry I took so long to respond. Time difference plus really busy days this week. I like Emanuel's idea about Lexi deleting irrelevant comments after a couple of days (as long as she can handle the pressure ;) )
I like it best for the ability to keep track of the articles we've translated as a group. What about we just maintain it as always, but post the links on the most active people's walls (i.e. Oleron, Emanuel, Alexis and yourself), and anyone else can still find it if they so choose to.
I can take over again for next month, so I'll be doing the aforementioned. What do you guys think? :)
Now then.....a couple things. First of all mechanics. Emanuel taught me a posting trick you'll see when you go into edit mode for the October page. All the "https:" stuff can be hidden if it's enclosed in parentheses. Anything you want to make visible is enclosed in brackets. The trick is to be sure there is no space between the final bracket and the first parenthesis: ](
Second, Alexis. I think it's a great idea for her to clear the page periodically of all the discussions that are issue-relevant. That would make use of the page much more pleasurable. Since she can restore everything when we close out a month, none of our history would be lost. A great solution all around. We could even monitor our own posts if Alexis can also restore threads that we have deleted ourselves. That would take most of the burden off her.
Third, use of the page. The real value of this page, to me, is NOT having to post general notices to individual group members. Discussion of individual translation projects are best handled on the discussion pages of those specific articles. We don't need and shouldn't use this page for that kind of interaction. This is where we find out what our joint projects are and post any general comments intended for the whole group. If just four of us regularly check this page, do we really have a "group"? When I last checked, none of the group had discovered one (maybe two) of our current "group projects."
Ooh, I get a whole paragraph. :)
We could even monitor our own posts if Alexis can also restore threads that we have deleted ourselves.
That is something that I cannot do. I cannot restore posts, either those that I have deleted, or that you have deleted. However, I am able to re-enter deleted threads, and everything shows as before (so if for any reason, someone needed information from a previous thread, I could get that for them). I need to ask one of the other moderators exactly how to delete a discussion but maintain the page link, because I haven't quite figured that out, ha ha.
When I last checked, none of the group had discovered one (maybe two) of our current "group projects."
All right, I think the problem is that we're still going back through older articles when new ones are posted, and slightly-more-than-petty edits are being made. After the initial translation is completed, I think we should give the article another three days, at minimum, as other members are still going through it (as I have observed).
TL;DR: If there is a TSC thread that has need of deletion, let me do so. Also, a period of three days after initial translation is complete will give members enough time to go over any edits, but also ensure that we remain on the same page, and articles aren't being uploaded to only turn into ghost towns.
Oh, and do NOT delete your own posts. Drop me a line if you want me to do so, because I cannot restore posts that you have deleted, nor can I read them.
From my perspective, it is not a bad thing that some articles take their time being translated. I only rarely have time to do actual translation rather than reading someone else's, and it seems to be the more common case that TSC articles are 95% complete within a day or two of being posted. So, it is nice to occasionally be able to translate a sentence or two today and again tomorrow on the same article.
Thanks for the comment, David. I'm happy to find one more person who checks this page occasionally.
It's not a question of whether or not a post takes time to translate. The whole DL community has access to all uploads at any time, present or past. The question is whether or not those of us who like to work collectively know that something new has been posted and is available.
My own practice in uploading something (I probably learned this from Anirudh) is to complete the upload and then immediately remove it so that only I can work on it. Then I translate titles which I check on the net so that we have commonly used English titles, and start off with a translation of the first few sentences---just to get it going.
THEN if this page were really being used, I could post a note here saying that I have a new post ready and will make it available in x-number of hours. Anyone can see how long it has been since I've made a post here and can calculate when I'm opening the new piece for general access. IF I post that information here, then our group could really have a first crack at it...but they have to check the page with some degree of regularity.
I could let members know by sending a few individual notes but I don't know when we have a new member---like you. We're not a closed group. This page is our only point of communal contact but very few of the "originals" ever check it.
I like seeing all the comments, and they aren't really irrelevant. During the month, I'll keep the post clear so it doesn't get bogged down, then I'll undelete (yes, I can do that) all of them so we have a sort of "history" of our translation comments.
I'm not really sure how useful it would be posting it on my stream, since it will most likely disappear fairly quickly. I say that the prime places should be Arthur's stream and Oleron's stream, since Em and I still have mod duties/sentences that we tend to.