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  1. #1
    Kazuo is offline Member
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    The nasty rumour ...

    Hello!

    The nasty rumour couldn’t help not hiding.

    The above is a literal translation of a Japanese sentence often said of politicians.
    Please correct the sentence, preserving its double negativity.

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by Kazuo; 11-Jul-2010 at 16:21.

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline VIP Member
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    Re: The nasty rumour ...

    Double negatives in English are often counter-intuitive, playful, ridiculous or non-sensical. It is doubtful any English language newspaper would translate this without transposing it:

    A nasty rumour that refused to remain in the closet...

  3. #3
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The nasty rumour ...

    The people spreading the rumour might be nasty, their gossip might be nasty, but can the rumour itself be nasty? It sounds odd to me, but I'd welcome other people's thoughts.

    Could you possibly mean 'malicious gossip'? If so, borrowing konungursiva's structure (because I can't think of a better one):

    'Malicious gossip that refused to remain behind closed doors.' (I was thinking of the doors of the Diet, but this only works if you mean that a rumour circulating within the Diet became public knowledge.)

    'Malicious gossip that refused to die.'

  4. #4
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The nasty rumour ...

    Mind you, 'malicious rumour' doesn't sound so odd. And is there that much difference? Maybe I just don't often read 'nasty rumour'.

  5. #5
    Kazuo is offline Member
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    Re: The nasty rumour ...

    Hello, Teachers!

    I meant spreading, circulating by “not hiding”.
    I borrowed “nasty rumour” from the sentence “There's a nasty rumour going round about your father.” in Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
    The meaning of the Japanese sentence in question is:
    Malicious gossip cannot stop spreading, or circulating.

    Thank you very much

  6. #6
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The nasty rumour ...

    I don't quite follow what you mean: what can a 'nasty rumour' do that 'malicious gossip' can't do?

    Anyway:

    The nasty rumour wouldn't die.
    The nasty rumour took on a life of its own.
    The nasty rumour wouldn't go away.
    The nasty rumour couldn't be buried.
    The nasty rumour couldn't be wished away.

    I'm trying!

  7. #7
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Re: The nasty rumour ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    The people spreading the rumour might be nasty, their gossip might be nasty, but can the rumour itself be nasty? It sounds odd to me, but I'd welcome other people's thoughts.

    Could you possibly mean 'malicious gossip'? If so, borrowing konungursiva's structure (because I can't think of a better one):

    'Malicious gossip that refused to remain behind closed doors.' (I was thinking of the doors of the Diet, but this only works if you mean that a rumour circulating within the Diet became public knowledge.)

    'Malicious gossip that refused to die.'
    English does this all the time.... it's just a form of metonymy.

    "O happy day!" Do you read Shakespeare?

  8. #8
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The nasty rumour ...

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    English does this all the time.... it's just a form of metonymy.

    "O happy day!" Do you read Shakespeare?
    My first post did suggest that my problem with 'rumour' was its use as a metonym, but clearly I wasn't happy with this conclusion so a minute or so later I sent a second post in which I recognised the metonymic 'malicious rumour' but still wasn't so sure about 'nasty rumour'.

    I'm still not happy with 'nasty rumour' in this instance. Maybe this is because I don't find it sufficiently idiomatic, and if an expression is idiomatic in another language, when translating into your own language, I think you should try and use an equivalent idiomatic expression, where possible. Therefore, I think 'malicious rumour/gossip' is preferable, although I see that neither has many more google entries than 'nasty rumour'. Still, they sound more natural. To me.

    PS: Is there a point in asking me the Shakespeare question? It seems to me either irrelevant or loaded, or both.

  9. #9
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: The nasty rumour ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    PS: Is there a point in asking me the Shakespeare question? It seems to me either irrelevant or loaded, or both.
    If rumours can't be nasty, days can't be happy.
    "Nasty rumour" is so idiomatic in AusE, it's cliched. I doubt whether most people would call it a problem.

  10. #10
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: The nasty rumour ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazuo View Post
    Hello!

    The nasty rumour couldn’t help not hiding.

    The above is a literal translation of a Japanese sentence often said of politicians.
    Please correct the sentence, preserving its double negativity.

    Thanks in advance
    If you want the sentence to retain a double negation, you could keep the original. Or:
    "The nasty rumour could not remain uncirculated."
    "It was impossible to keep the nasty rumour uncirculated."

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