Rules of conduct

Welcome at the Cafeteria! Here you can exchange ideas with Coticule users
from around the globe.
Please make sure you understand our forum rules!

Read more …
Avatar
Bart Torfs (Bart)
Associate
From: Belgium
Posts: 5001
A while ago several of our members have kindly offered to help out with translating the articles in the Sharpening Academy to a number of different languages.

I've received several translations and have started to work on a unified layout for distributing these texts in PDF-format, complete with translated illustrations. But when I started working on the Dutch version (my native language), it became painfully apparent to me how poorly written these articles are in English. It is very obvious that I have difficulties expressing myself clearly in that language, which leads to an unappealing long-windedness, typical for someone who lacks the natural feel of the native speaker. What I'm about to write may come across as insulting for the English-speaking, yet I'm not writing it out of disdain. The fact is namely, that for English texts, this long-windedness is not as big an objection. A majority of readers aren't native speakers either, and they might even benefit from a certain redundancy. Furthermore, the English speaking have grown accustomed to digesting texts with poor spelling and poor grammar. And this seems to have lead to a general devaluation of the English language, not in the least noticeable at how little effort many English-speaking make themselves in writing well formulated and correctly spelled sentences. I know for fact that the French and Germans are not so accepting when it comes to poor linguistic formatting, and I can imagine the same for most other languages that are primarily used in a more confined - and therefor protective - environment than the English language, which has become the de facto second language for the majority of humans.

What I'm trying to say, is that we can't, just like that, translate my stumbling English articles into equally stumbling versions of languages that are far less forgiving to such stumbling. When I read the Dutch Dilucot translation, I did not know whether to laugh or cry. Wim and Stijn clearly did their very best to resolve the somewhat comical result of a close translation, but without thoroughly reformulating and even rearranging, they just didn't stand a chance of delivering a result that would be acceptable for a Dutch-speaking audience. While I cannot make that judgment for French, German and Polish versions, I fear that these translations might suffer from a similar syndrome. Not because they are badly translated, but because a reasonably close translation will painfully reveal the shortcomings of the English original.

In that respect, it would be good if someone with the skill to write a concise and clear English could be found willing to reformulate the most important articles of the Sharpening Academy. And I believe it will be necessary if all the translations are properly reworked till they are of acceptable clarity and conciseness.

I have done such redaction for the Dutch version of Dilucot. I am still working on the illustrations (they will be the same for all Dilucot translations) but the preliminary result is put up for download. Next I will start importing different language version, but I beg you guys to first reread the translations, weed out all the superfluous information and reformulate everthing that you feel could be told shorter and with more clarity in your own tongue. I had to work my way through the Dutch Dilucot thrice.

Kind regards,
Bart.
Then the light shone, trumpets sounded and I got to the other side, where men shave with smiles on their faces, razors pop hairs, and a continuous choir singing «~~Keen and Smooth~~» is heard everywhere. (Matt)
2010-12-07 00:14
Avatar
Paul
Advisor
From: United States
Posts: 1388
Well, I'd be happy to work on some English texts, if no one has any objection
Paul
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it" - Greg Anderson
my blog- and it works again :p
2010-12-07 00:51
Avatar
Bart Torfs (Bart)
Associate
From: Belgium
Posts: 5001
iconrichmondesi:
Well, I'd be happy to work on some English texts, if no one has any objection

I was silently hoping that you might volunteer, Paul. :)
Just take your pick and let us now what you're working on, so we can avoid doing double work.

Thanks, my friend,

Bart.
Then the light shone, trumpets sounded and I got to the other side, where men shave with smiles on their faces, razors pop hairs, and a continuous choir singing «~~Keen and Smooth~~» is heard everywhere. (Matt)
2010-12-07 00:56
Avatar
Paul
Advisor
From: United States
Posts: 1388
iconBart:
I was silently hoping that you might volunteer, Paul. :)
Just take your pick and let us now what you're working on, so we can avoid doing double work.

Thanks, my friend,

Bart.


I'm happy to do it. I'll do both the unicot and dilucot rewrite. If more is needed later, I'll work on them.

Cheers,

Paul
Paul
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it" - Greg Anderson
my blog- and it works again :p
2010-12-07 01:20
Avatar
Matt
Associate
From: Poland
Posts: 1047
iconBart:
Next I will start importing different language version, but I beg you guys to first reread the translations, weed out all the superfluous information and reformulate everything that you feel could be told shorter and with more clarity in your own tongue.
Locked and loaded, sir. :)

I'm taking my time to rest and reread it with a fresh eye and mind. I feel I must also lurk around knives fora (which in fact I was already doing) to find what terms are already in use, and of course show it to other, preferably less involved people.

regards,
Matt
"Very interesting indeed :) I did something similar with cheese a while ago" - Dr Ralfson
2010-12-07 09:30
Avatar
geruchtemoaker
Associate
From: Belgium
Posts: 693
I was indeed having a hard time making a decent translation to dutch without alternating the context of the texts
The Bible and several other self help or enlightenment books cite the Seven Deadly Sins. They are: pride, greed, lust, envy, wrath, sloth, and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that we do, that is sinful... or fun for that matter. - Dave Mustaine
http://www.artisanshaving.org
2010-12-07 10:48
Avatar
Catalin Sorescu (csorescu)
From: Romania
Posts: 2
Bart, may I translate the articles in Romanian language?
I am a coticule enthusiast and I advocate Belgian hones in Romania.

-Catalin
http://csorescu.wordpress.com/
2010-12-07 11:36
Avatar
Woodash
+1
Posts: 202
iconBart:
...What I'm trying to say, is that we can't, just like that, translate my stumbling English...
I'd say that your English is very far from stumbling.

I'm not a bad writer/editor and would be happy to help if needed.
==================
....WHOOPS!....
Steve
2010-12-07 17:14
Avatar
Robin
Posts:
I simply retro-engineered your English into Dutch, then applied a Middle High German to modern German filter, and weeded out the English vocabulary that has crept into Dutch - voilà.

Or something like that.

What one has to keep in mind is that texts for print and texts for screen should be written differently. Screen reading requires short sentences. Print can do with more elaborate grammar. But in general, your sentences are simply too long. Oh, and I think we should use LyX instead of InDesign. First, because it is free software; second, because it supports scientific report styles out of the box; third because it is a lot easier to use. Unless you want to do all the typesetting yourself, of course.

:w00t:

Regards,
Robin
2010-12-07 17:39
Avatar
Paul
Advisor
From: United States
Posts: 1388
iconWoodash:
iconBart:
...What I'm trying to say, is that we can't, just like that, translate my stumbling English...
I'd say that your English is very far from stumbling.

I'm not a bad writer/editor and would be happy to help if needed.


I actually agree with you here, but I understand Bart to want more concise versions of what we have. I wish most of my countrymen wrote English as well:thumbup:
Paul
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it" - Greg Anderson
my blog- and it works again :p
2010-12-07 18:48
Avatar
Bart Torfs (Bart)
Associate
From: Belgium
Posts: 5001
iconcsorescu:
Bart, may I translate the articles in Romanian language?
I am a coticule enthusiast and I advocate Belgian hones in Romania.

-Catalin
http://csorescu.wordpress.com/


But of course. We have a couple of members from Romania, maybe they'll chime in to offer you assistance.

Nice woodworking tools on that website.:) I understand that you sell Coticules in Romania? If you want to be linked in out recommended links section, let me know.

Kind regards,
Bart.
Then the light shone, trumpets sounded and I got to the other side, where men shave with smiles on their faces, razors pop hairs, and a continuous choir singing «~~Keen and Smooth~~» is heard everywhere. (Matt)
2010-12-07 20:37
Avatar
Bart Torfs (Bart)
Associate
From: Belgium
Posts: 5001
iconWoodash:
I'm not a bad writer/editor and would be happy to help if needed.


All help is welcome, thank you Steve.

Paul, since you're already on it, would you be willing to coordinate the efforts of copy editing the "Unicot", "Dilucot" and "Honing strokes" article?

Bart.
Then the light shone, trumpets sounded and I got to the other side, where men shave with smiles on their faces, razors pop hairs, and a continuous choir singing «~~Keen and Smooth~~» is heard everywhere. (Matt)
2010-12-07 20:43
Avatar
Paul
Advisor
From: United States
Posts: 1388
Surely
Paul
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it" - Greg Anderson
my blog- and it works again :p
2010-12-07 21:30
Avatar
Bart Torfs (Bart)
Associate
From: Belgium
Posts: 5001
I'd say that your English is very far from stumbling.[/quote]

I'll try to clarify the problem with an example:

I wrote in a thread yesterday:
iconQuote:
even the smoothest feeling honing surface still looks like a cobblestone path at a submicron level

In this particular case I believe I was lucky. I knew the word "cobblestone" and it expressed exactly what I wanted to say.
Actually that makes you guys lucky, because in the other case I would have written "even the smoothest feeling honing surface still carries many protrusions at a submicron level, albeit not spiky ones that would take chips out the edge, but more a sort of smooth microscopical bumps that ever so slightly squash the very tip of the bevel together".
And that is precisely the kind of elaborative writing that clutters up the articles in the sharpening academy.
I find it extremely difficult to predict whether a reader will likely grasp a particular notion or whether that requires a couple of additional subordinate clauses. A native speaker has a feel for these things. But I don't. And that becomes painfully apparent when my writing needs to be translated.

Kind regards,
Bart.
Then the light shone, trumpets sounded and I got to the other side, where men shave with smiles on their faces, razors pop hairs, and a continuous choir singing «~~Keen and Smooth~~» is heard everywhere. (Matt)
2010-12-07 21:36
Avatar
Dr Ralfson Bwhahaha (tat2Ralfy)
Associate
Posts: 3610
I have read this thread with a lot of interest, I too believe that Sir Bart has a very very accurate grasp of the English language, more so than some native speakers.
I also see that some may think that you go on a bit..lol however I have never had any problems with the articles in the Academy.

Just thought I would try to offer my support with this chaps, its always good to see us coming together to help to refine the information on offer here :thumbup:

My best regards
Ralfson (Dr)
We Are All Pioneers In Our Own Right.
The Infamous Coticule Crew
Pip Pip Old Bean
2010-12-07 21:52