Is this comprehensive

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snade17

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Hi dear experts, I've been translating a text on Bulgarian customs and traditions and I was wondering if the following could be understood by English speaking people:

"Lasses, (young, eligible women), called lazarki, perform the custom lazaruvane, which means “coming out” in Bulgarian. Dressed in traditional national costumes, they pay a short visit to every family and perform ritual dances and songs. On this day the lads from the village used to ask for the hand of their sweetheart.It was believed that if a lass failed to perform the custom lazaruvane, she wouldn’t be able to marry. It was absolutely necessary that each girl from the village should have performed the custom lazaruvane.
 

stuartnz

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I'm not a teacher, but the paragraph looks excellent to me. To answer your question, it was absolutely understandable.
 

snade17

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Thank you very much, Stuartnz!
 

David L.

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"Young and eligible lasses, called lazarki, perform the custom lazaruvane, which means “coming out” in Bulgarian. Dressed in traditional national costumes, they pay a brief visit to every family

and perform ritual dances and songs.
(This is not clear. Do they do the dances and songs at each of these families houses, or do they do their visits, and then sing and dance in the town square or something? If two diiferent events, then you need a comma after 'family')

On this day also, the lads from the village

used to ask
(You've changed the tense. Is this part of the custom no longer practiced? Or do you mean, 'are accustomed to asking')
for the hand of their sweetheart. It was believed that if a lass failed to perform (the custom-omit : we know it is a custom from above. I'm not sure whether it should be 'the lazaruvane' or just 'lazaruvane'. ) lazaruvane.

she wouldn’t be able to marry.
As it stands, the meaning is, the village elders or whoever wouldn't allow her to marry. Do you mean, she would remain unwed, be left a spinster all her life as fulfillment of the superstition, without any active human intervention? You may be meaning to say, 'would remain unwed'
So, it was (absolutely necessary)/imperative that each girl from the village should have performed
lazaruvane.
 
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stuartnz

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" and perform ritual dances and songs.
(This is not clear. Do they do the dances and songs at each of these families houses, or do they do their visits, and then sing and dance in the town square or something? If two diiferent events, then you need a comma after 'family')"

I'm curious, David. Doesn't the lack of clarity you perceive require an unsupported interpolation? THere was no mention elsewhere in the passage of "the town square or something", and so the passage reads fine as is. It seems clear that the girls perform at each family's home. I agree that if this not the case, it should be so stated, but I can't see anything in the text which suggests anything other than that the singing and dancing occur at each house. What was it about the text that suggested this to you?
 

fungicord

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It sounds great. All of my suggestions are minor. I would remove the first comma right after "Lasses." The reason is that you have a duplicate comma after the parentheses. The sentence should read,

Lasses (young, eligible women), called lazarki, perform the custom lazaruvane, which means “coming out” in Bulgarian.

Also, the verb tense isn't consistent throughout the paragraph. Since this sounds like a custom that used to happen, but doesn't anymore, it should read:

Lasses (young, eligible women), called lazarki, performed the custom lazaruvane, which means “coming out” in Bulgarian. Dressed in traditional national costumes, they paid a short visit to every family and performed ritual dances and songs. On this day the lads from the village used to ask for the hand of their sweetheart. It was believed that if a lass failed to perform the custom lazaruvane, she wouldn’t be able to marry. It was absolutely necessary that each girl from the village should have performed the custom lazaruvane.
 

stuartnz

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Also, the verb tense isn't consistent throughout the paragraph. Since this sounds like a custom that used to happen, but doesn't anymore, it should read:

David has suggested a possible explanation for the change in tense. Perhaps only part of the custom is no longer practiced?
 

David L.

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Any comments in blue are purely my thoughts re trying to be sure I understand the meaning, and trying to convey where I am in doubt - village square was given as a means of saying, somewhere else, not in the family home.)
Suggested changes in the actual text are given in red.
You may have read it before I had proofread it a couple of times. Most of my posts tend to be 'work in progress' for 10 minutes after they appear!!
With long posts, I'm always worried something will happen and I'll lose it all, as in one of the not infreqent power failures we get in my part of the world.
 
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stuartnz

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Any comments in blue are purely my thoughts re trying to be sure I understand the meaning, and trying to convey where I am in doubt - village square was given as a means of saying, somehwere else, not in the family home.)

Yes, I understood the village square was just an example. I was wondering what it was about the text that suggested to you the possibility of the dancing being somewhere other than at the homes. I didn't see that, and I'm interested in learning what it was that I missed.
 

David L.

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"...costumes, they pay a short visit to every family and perform ritual dances and songs."

It's the punctuation. There is no comma after 'family' and there is the conjunction 'and' - they visit and perform. "Dressed in costume.."), they (action) now suggests to me that you are telling me more about what the custom comprises. It seems that the purpose of this visit is to 'and perform songs and dances." A comma would make it clear that these are two distinct parts of this custom.
As I read, I'm visualizing...and aware of the practicalities as a result: if these visits are 'short/brief' how have they got time to be performing songs and dancers in each house? Hence, it can't be at each house, it must be somewhere else, this 'performing' is some other aspect of this custom.
 
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