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  1. Grablevskij's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 217
    #1

    This is difficult for me to translate and understand.

    In spite of which he feels at home with Petrus, is even prepared, however guardedly, to like him. Petrus is a man of his generation. Doubtless Petrus has been through a lot, doubtless he has a story to tell. He would not mind hearing Petrus's story one day. But preferably not reduced to English. More and more he is convinced that English is an unfit medium for the truth of South Africa. Stretches of English code whole sentences long have thickened, lost their articulations, their articulateness, their articulatedness. Like a dinosaur expiring and settling in the mud, the language has stiffened. Pressed into the mould of English, Petrus's story would come out arthritic, bygone.

    Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

    Could somebody help me understand this sentence, please.

    Michael


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: This is difficult for me to translate and understand.

    Coetzee is suggesting that the complex structures of the English language have become stultified and cannot represent South African thought and speech, and thus the experience of its residents, in particular Petrus. Afrikaans is the language which will allow for better expression of this experience.

  2. Grablevskij's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 217
    #3

    Re: This is difficult for me to translate and understand.

    Yes, I can catch the meaning in general, but I can not understand the grammar structure.

    Michael


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: This is difficult for me to translate and understand.

    Stretches of English code - whole sentences long have thickened, lost their articulations, their articulateness, their articulatedness

    Coetzee is an exceptional writer. He is capable of not following accepted structures and syntax.

    In this sentence, the "sentences" have become mumbled, less fluid, unclear.

    He is building up a sense of increasing obscurity for the language - "English code".

  3. Grablevskij's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 217
    #5

    Re: This is difficult for me to translate and understand.

    Ok, thank you.

    Michael

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