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    #1

    Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    Hi!
    I'm translating a text and I don't get the meaning of two sentences, could please explain them in different words?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. "Soon most of the movies began to look alike and we went into dim rooms and turned on and off, or watched others turn on and off, or burned joss sticks and listened to tapes of near silence."

    2. "It was a strange sound to hear (...), a suggestion that children were being scolded for a bottomless sin (...)."
    Last edited by kr1s; 30-Apr-2011 at 01:35.

  1. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by kr1s View Post
    Hi!
    I'm translating a text and I don't get the meaning of two sentences, could please explain them in different words?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. "Soon most of the movies began to look alike and we went into dim rooms and turned on and off, or watched others turn on and off, or burned joss sticks and listened to tapes of near silence."

    2. "It was a strange sound to hear (...), a suggestion that children were being scolded for a bottomless sin (...)."
    You should be quoting the whole relevant passage. And, if you want to know the meaning of a sentence omitting parts of it is not a good idea.

    1. The war was on television every night but we all went to the movies. Soon most of the movies began to look alike and we went into dim rooms and turned on or off, or watched others turn on or off, or burned joss sticks and listened to tapes of near silence. I brought my 16mm camera along. It was a witty toy and everyone was delighted.

    It's unclear -- it could be the TV, or it could be a reference to sex, or it could be a reference to using drugs, or all of the above. The general mood is that of tedium and meaningless repetition.

    2. Music came from all the stores in jingles, chants and hosannas, and from the Salvation Army bands came the martial trumpet lament of ancient Christian legions. It was a strange sound to hear in that time and place, the smack of cymbals and high-collared drums, a suggestion that children were being scolded for a bottomless sin, and it seemed to annoy people.

    He's talking about the sounds one hears around Christmas holidays. The sound of martial music (musing used for marching) sounded harsh and out of place and by its martial nature it sounded to the author like a scolding. "The bottomless sin" goes with the theme of Christianity.

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    #3

    Re: Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    Thanks for answering.

    I thought the sentences I wrote were ok for a native.
    I didn't get the turn on/off stuff. In my dictionary there are 38 different meanings for "to turn on" without mentioning some constructions and I wasn't sure if it was a tv, a lamp, drugs, sex or other. Now I know, it is unclear.
    As for the second sentence, I didn't get the passive because it is not used that way in my language - the explanation of the first part of the sentence was clear, that's why I omitted it.

    Anyway, thanks but, please, don't get angry: something EASY for you cannot be easy for me and I'm sure that something easy for me cannot be easy for you. Bye!

    PS: Camomile is helpful!

  2. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by kr1s View Post

    Anyway, thanks but, please, don't get angry: something EASY for you cannot be easy for me and I'm sure that something easy for me cannot be easy for you. Bye!

    PS: Camomile is helpful!
    I appreciate your use of sarcasm. But it's not a very helpful attitude. And no I'm not angry, but people answering your questions (for free) should not need to research the passage first. It should be already provided in the question.

    You are asking for help interpreting a text and then you don't provide the whole context. Context is always the key to interpreting the meaning. You'll find that all teachers and non-teachers answering questions about language here will insist on being given the context.

    For example, without the context of the whole paragraph, sentence 2 in your post doesn't mean much or, to put it differently, can mean just about anything.

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    #5

    Re: Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    Freezeframe, I'm not using sarcasm. This is just me: nice, kind and smiling! And relaxed and sleepy at the moment!

    I know everything about the importance of context, I just thought what I wrote was enough. It seems it wasn't and I made a mistake. Ok, it happens sometimes.

    I thought you were angry because of the way you wrote your message, and I'm happy to know you're not.
    As for the answer for free, I didn't oblige you to answer and look for the context I didn't provide. If you didn't want to answer and waste your time, you could reply to someone else.

    Anyway, I would like to ask you a different thing so that we can forget our latest messages, ok?

    Since you're from Canada (and since Canada is a bilingual country), could you please translate those sentences into French?
    It is closer to my language and I speak it fluently.
    This would be a great favour!
    Thanks in advance.

  3. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    I don't speak French. Canada is officially bilingual, it doesn't mean that everyone speaks French. Most people don't. And many people in Quebec don't speak English.

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    #7

    Re: Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    Portuguese or maybe Spanish?

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    #8

    Re: Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    German or even Latin...

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    #9

    Re: Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    By the way, chamomile is written with "h" between "c" and "a".

  5. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Can anyone help me, please? I don't get the meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leandro-Z View Post
    By the way, chamomile is written with "h" between "c" and "a".
    Camomile is an acceptable alternative spelling.

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