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  1. #1
    snade17 is offline Member
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    Smile Is this comprehensible English

    Hi, again dear experts. Could you comment on the grammar and vocabulary in the following text. Is this good English or not:

    " Christmas Eve is one of the most important family holidays. It is dedicated to the home and the ancestor relatives as well, who were considered part of the family. By tradition, before the table is set the head of the household lights a special log in the fireplace called Bydnik. The log is either from a pear tree or a beech tree or an oak tree. In a hole, dug in advance, some wine, olive oil and incense are pored so that the harvest would be rich. The hole is sealed with beeswax before the log is placed in the fire. In this way the log is considered sanctified and can be sacrificed to the Gods. This custom can be traced back to ancient Slavonic belief that was spread throughout Bulgaria. According to this belief, if the man in the family lighted a sanctified piece of wood on the day his wife was due to give birth he would chase away the ghosts of the babies that had died prematurely, deceased relatives, evil fortunetellers, and witches.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is this comprehensible English

    " Christmas Eve is one of the most important family holidays. It is devoted to the home and to the ancestors, who are considered part of the contemporary family.

    ancestors are relatives!
    I'm not happy with my change to 'devoted' but it's more appropriate than 'dedicated'. It would be better to change it to :
    "Christmas Eve is one of the most important family holidays. It is a time devoted to (the-omit: see below) home and to the ancestors, who are considered part of the contemporary family."

    By tradition, before the table is set, the head of the household lights a special log in the fireplace, called Bydnik.

    The comma is important - otherwise, the fireplace is called Bydnik!

    There is a subtle difference in meaning between "time devoted to the home" and 'time devoted to home". The first siggessts that this time is used to do spring cleaning, do repairs and other odd jobs that need doing around the house. "home' without the article 'the' has more the meaning you intend, of time devoted to being together as a familly, in that special place you all regard as 'home'.

    The log is either from a pear tree, a beech tree or an oak tree. In a hole, dug in advance, some wine, olive oil and incense are pored to ensure that the harvest will be rich.

    'will' because it's future tense, referring to next year's harvest.


    The hole is sealed with beeswax and then the log is placed in the fire. In this way, the log is considered as being sanctified and can be sacrificed to the gods. This custom can be traced back to an ancient Slavonic belief that was spread throughout Bulgaria. According to this belief, if the man in the family lit a sanctified piece of wood on the day his wife was due to give birth, he would chase away the ghosts of the babies that had died prematurely, deceased relatives, evil fortune-tellers, and witches.
    Last edited by David L.; 14-Mar-2008 at 18:15.

  3. #3
    snade17 is offline Member
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    Smile Re: Is this comprehensible English

    Thank you very much David L. You were most helpful. Words fail me to express my gratitude!

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