My decency gets in the way against those without decency

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angelsrolls

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Hello,

There is a famous quote of Yunus Emre, a Turkish poet who lived in the 13[SUP]th[/SUP] century. I tried to translate it into English. But I’m not sure whether it sounds natural in English. Can you please check the below sentence?

My decency gets in the way against those without decency.
 

Rover_KE

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It means nothing to me.:-(
 

Lynxear

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It must lose a bit in translation. It would be nice to see the untranslated saying. However it does mean something to me.

"My decency gets in the way"

In other words, this person is so good they cannot bring themselves to be bad in any way, not even a little bad thing like a white lie. This can be a problem for him because always telling the truth or doing the right thing can be embarrassing for them at times.

"against those without decency."

There exists in this world shameless people who will do or say anything to get their way.


"My decency gets in the way against those without decency."

Saying the complete sentence just means the "good" guy has no defense against a "bad" guy because of his morals.

 

angelsrolls

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I see. How about the following sentence?

My decency doesn’t permit me to [respond to] those without decency.
 

Lynxear

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My decency doesn’t permit me to [respond to] those without decency.

Your first attempt at translation is much better than this one.
 

Lynxear

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That is the dangers of accepting translation programs as "gospel".

In your attempt, I am sure some of those words in Turkish can have several meanings in English and vice versa. Unfortunately, translation programs usually gives only one meaning and the program takes its best shot... often giving funny results.

I tried this translation to Turkish and got another translation in addition to what you got: Benim terbiye terbiye olmayanlar karşı engel oluyor.

It is a little closer but I think this poster gives a decent translation. At least it makes sense to me.

Finally, the original poster is Turkish and Yunus Emre is a Turkish poet. So I think I would trust his/her translation over a computer generated one. Especially a translation of something poetic.

Frankly, I think this translation that was first given has a nice poetic ring to it. Angelrolls is to be congratulated on the attempt in my opinion.
 
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andrewg927

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Decency doesn't allow me to hang out with people who lack thereof?

I'm trying to think if there is an English equivalent of that but can't think of one.
 
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GoesStation

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Thereof doesn't work there.
 

Lynxear

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Andrewq927 and GoesStation: I would not try to make a grammatical sentence from this. It is poetry that has been translated. Grammar rules don't apply here. I think the translation that was first made is understandable and has a poetic lilt to it.
 

andrewg927

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Somehow "monkey see, monkey do" comes to mind so I agree with you, Lynxear. It was just my awkward attempt to translate and I was by no means happy with that suggestion. More like to solicit a dicussion. The problem is the OP doesn't make sense to me. Here is another suggestion: "my decency gets in the way of me making friends with those without decency."
 

angelsrolls

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The original Turkish is as follows:

"Edebim el vermez edepsizlik edene."

edep=decency
edebim=my decency
el vermemek=not permit/allow (this verb is hard to translate in English)
el vermez= doesn’t / don’t permit/allow
edepsizlik eden=someone who acts without decency
edepsizlik edene=against someone who acts without decency (Depending on the context, the suffix –e has a myriad of equivalents in English ranging from over to for, from towards to at and so forth)

When translating the whole sentence into English, one feels the need to include a verb which doesn’t exist in the original. That verb would be respond / give a response or retaliate. The poet never bothers to respond to what those people say/do. He doesn’t want to descend to their level. He prefers to remain silent against them because his decency necessitates so.

On the other hand, inclusion of words which doesn’t exist in the original in order to better convey the meaning, I think, spoils the beauty of the sentence in poetic terms. So I came up with the translation in my first post. And I wonder how it would sound to you. I greatly appreciate your comments.

As for Google Translation, it really sucks when it comes to translations in English-Turkish language pair although it has been improved recently. But I have to admit that this sentence is hard to translate.
 

emsr2d2

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I'm afraid the translation in your first post doesn't sound good at all in English. For a start, we don't say "gets in the way against"; we use "gets in the way of". However, even using that, I would have no idea what "My decency gets in the way of those without decency" is supposed to mean.

Can you describe exactly what you mean in a different way?
 

Lynxear

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emsr2d2 and Piscean: I think the difficulty you have with this original post is that you are trying to convert a poetical interpretation into something that is grammatically correct. Good grammar is not a prerequisite for writing poetry. It is imagery and rhythm that is more important.

I really like the explanation that angelsrolls gives in his last post. As a person who dabbles in poetry myself, I really like the original post by angelsrolls.


 

emsr2d2

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I wasn't trying to change the poem itself but even a poetry line generally actually means something. I couldn't make any sense out of the general concept of the line in either language. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it though.
 

Lynxear

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I wasn't trying to change the poem itself but even a poetry line generally actually means something. I couldn't make any sense out of the general concept of the line in either language. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it though.

That is fine. Take abstract art for example, many people love this form of art and are willing to spend thousands of dollars for a something that my child could have scribbled on a bad day. But that is art, isn't it? Not everyone sees a painting or poem in the same way.
 

andrewg927

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Where did the poetry come from? The student said it was a quote from a poet. It doesn't mean it is part of a poem.
 

Lynxear

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Where did the poetry come from? The student said it was a quote from a poet. It doesn't mean it is part of a poem.

Here is a clue for you from the post by Angelrolls at the top of this page.

On the other hand, inclusion of words which doesn’t exist in the original in order to better convey the meaning, I think, spoils the beauty of the sentence in poetic terms.

Also, I don't think you write poetry. If you did I think you would recognize it when you saw it. By the way, poetry does not have to rhyme, though much of it does.
 

andrewg927

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I don't write poetry but I do read poetry and I do know poetry doesn't have to rhyme. You just made an assumption about me not based on reality but your own ignorance.
 

Tdol

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I'm closing the thread. It is generating more heat than light.

However, I would say that you don't need to write poetry to recognise it. A poet is nothing without a reader.
 
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