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  1. #1
    azkad's Avatar
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    Arrow Translation, alteration, or transformation

    Hi there

    Dear moderators,

    Could you possibly make it clear whether translation, alteration or transformation should be used in the following context.

    The manuscript has been transformed from Latin into English.
    Dr. Smith is the author of introduction and transformations into English, whereas Dr Brown is the author of topical index.


    The reason we have chosen the word "transformation" is that the manuscript has not been translated or altered, it was only transformed from Latin into English. We have referred to a lot of sources online which also suggest "transformation". However, it sounds a bit awkward to me.
    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Translation, alteration, or transformation

    Quote Originally Posted by azkad View Post
    The reason we have chosen the word "transformation" is that the manuscript has not been translated or altered, it was only transformed from Latin into English.
    I don't understand what you mean by this. It has been translated.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  3. #3
    azkad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Translation, alteration, or transformation

    Dear 5jj,

    I cannot see the difference between "translation" and "transformation". Just take a look at this sentence:

    Transformation of the Bible from Hebrew to English has been time-consuming.
    Translation of the Bible from Hebrew to English has been time-consuming.

    Is there any difference?

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Translation, alteration, or transformation

    Quote Originally Posted by azkad View Post
    Transformation of the Bible from Hebrew to English has been time-consuming.
    Translation of the Bible from Hebrew to English has been time-consuming.

    Is there any difference?
    Yes. The second is natural and correct if you are talking about taking a message written in one language and rendering it in another.

    translation - definition. American English definition of translation by Macmillan Dictionary
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
    azkad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Translation, alteration, or transformation

    Thank you so much 5jj for your prompt replies.
    Now I can see your points.

    There is another similar sentence.

    The manuscript was in Old English and was transformed into modern English.

    Does it sound correct? Thanks.

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Translation, alteration, or transformation

    Quote Originally Posted by azkad View Post
    Hi there

    Dear moderators,

    Could you possibly make it clear whether translation, alteration or transformation should be used in the following context.

    The manuscript has been transformed from Latin into English.
    Dr. Smith is the author of introduction and transformations into English, whereas Dr Brown is the author of topical index.


    The reason we have chosen the word "transformation" is that the manuscript has not been translated or altered, it was only transformed from Latin into English. We have referred to a lot of sources online which also suggest "transformation". However, it sounds a bit awkward to me.
    What do you think?

    Listen to yourself: 'The reason we have chosen the word "transformation" is that the manuscript has not been translated or altered, it was only transformed from Latin into English. '= 'We have used the wrong word because we think the right word is wrong [for reasons that aren't worth mentioning]'. This is a creative use of the word 'because'.

    On the other hand, the fact that other sources use it may suggest* that there is specialist jargon at work. If so, you need to find out what they mean by it. You can't just adopt a word because it feels right. (Of course, you can, but you won't get very high marks for communication!)

    b
    PS *In view of the rest of the extract, in particular its errors with respect to the use/non-use of articles, I think a more likely possibility is a simple error. But a possible (reasonable and meaningful) distinction might be something like this,

    Femina hominem sub jugum posuit.
    => Transformation: 'The woman put the man under a yoke./ Translation: 'The woman married the man.'
    (Note this is a possible/arguable distinction; it's not one that's currently made in normal speech.)
    Last edited by BobK; 11-Sep-2012 at 15:11. Reason: Added PS

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Translation, alteration, or transformation

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    => Transformation: 'The woman put the man under a yoke./ Translation: 'The woman married the man.'
    (Note this is a possible/arguable distinction; it's not one that's currently made in normal speech.)
    I see your point, but 'transformation' still seems strange here; I'd use 'literal translation'

    I might use transformation here: My student originally translated the Latin as "The woman put the man under the yoke". I threw it back at her and told her that I wanted real English. She came back a couple of minutes later with "The woman married the man". I was happy with the transformation".
    Last edited by 5jj; 11-Sep-2012 at 22:03. Reason: horrible typo
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Translation, alteration, or transformation

    Quote Originally Posted by azkad View Post
    There is another similar sentence.

    The manuscript was in Old English and was transformed into modern English.

    Does it sound correct? Thanks.
    I would not use it. It does not sound natural to me.

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Translation, alteration, or transformation

    From Latin to English, I would use "translate". From Old English to modern English, I would probably use "update".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Translation, alteration, or transformation

    Thank you Tdol for your comment.
    Is it correct if we change 'transform' to 'convert'?

    The manuscript which was in Old English was later converted into modern English.

    The reason we are avoiding 'translate' is that the book was not translated but rather was changed or altered from, say, one script (e.g.: old English to modern English, old Turkic to modern Turkic etc. Or is it still considered a translation in this case?) to another one.

    On the basis of the above-mentioned suggestions, we can have this:

    1) The manuscript which was in Old English was later updated to modern English.
    2) The manuscript which was in Old English was later translated into modern English.
    3) The manuscript which was in Old English was later transformed into modern English.
    4) The manuscript which was in Old English was later converted into modern English.
    5) The manuscript which was in Old English was later changed into modern English.

    As a non-native speaker of English, I am not able to arrive at a certain conclusion with this sentence. Thank you all!
    Last edited by azkad; 12-Sep-2012 at 14:20.

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