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"Did you notice that the lecture was quite short?"

Translation:Ĉu vi rimarkis, ke la prelego estis sufiĉe mallonga?

June 21, 2015



The word "quite" in this sentence is the equivalent of "very." The translation "tre mallonga" is also correct.


Ha, I've done a talk at a couple of Esperanto events (in Esperanto, obviously) entitled "Don't say QUITE!" It's a really difficult word to learn to use correctly, because it sometimes means "very" but sometimes means "just a bit"... so already it's prone to being mis-used and mis-understood by non-native speakers.

It gets worse though, because British and American native speakers also understand the word differently in some contexts, and mis-communications can happen even between native speakers.

And it's even worse than that, because nobody has any idea that it's such a slippery word, and everybody thinks they understand it, and assumes everyone else understands it the same way that they do. It's safe to say though, that if you use it with any sort of international audience, a good half of them will understand something different from what you intended.

In the sentence above, I don't think "quite" means "very"... but I'm perfectly open to the possibility that another native English speaker would take it to mean "very"! And thus yes, it should be accepted as an alternative answer. Report it.


I didn't realize the British had a different interpretation of "quite" from my American version. I wonder if this might explain a few cases where I had misunderstandings with my Indian co-workers because they tend to speak British English.


I'm not a native speaker of english nor Esperanto but I understand the Esperanto sentence as "the talk was short enough, as expected" and the English one as "the talk was shorter than expected".


What other meaning, other than "very", does "quite" have? "just a bit" ? I do not believe I have ever heard that.


That's not quite true, is it? (It's not entirely true or it's not exactly true. Certainly not it's not very true).


Exactly. If you showed me a painting and I called it 'quite beautiful', that wouldn't be a compliment. It also depends on the intonation, I think. As MrMorley3 observes, there's a difference between the different tribes of English-speakers. See http://goo.gl/peMhqa and http://goo.gl/LSL85c.


Heh. I was about to take you to task for that, till I read your link. Yes, to the American ear, "quite beautiful" would mean "extremely beautiful," though I've certainly noticed that Brits say "quite" rather disparagingly.


Quite in English English means moderately. I believe the Esperanto equivalent is nemalmulte.


Well, it sometimes means "moderately", but sometimes it means "extremely". If I describe my dinner as "quite delicious", that's a stronger compliment to the chef than if I describe it as merely "delicious".


Doesn't this translation mean "Did you notice that the lecture had been quite short?"

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