Prague Twin

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Interesting Hit

Every once in a while I get an interesting hit. When I clicked this referring URL, I was impressed.

I'd really love to know how "Prague Twin" was translated into 6 characters.

7 Comments:

  • What language was that supposed to be?

    By Blogger GraemeAnfinson, at 8:05 AM  

  • That is Chinese. I don't know much about Chinese languages but I've heard that Cantonese and Mandarin are written the same, or Mandarin is written and Cantonese is only spoken. I don't know.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:43 AM  

  • I think Mandarin and Cantonese are dialects. The written language is the same, but they are spoken differently. I think.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 3:21 PM  

  • Gentlemen:

    My resident sinologist returned from Chengdu Sunday afternoon. Monday night, the visiting Chinese teachers who will be teaching in Douglas County this year arrived. One is from Suzhou and one is from Nanjing.

    Naturally, I ran the translation by them.

    First, PT is correct that there is one written language. Although Manarin and Cantonese may be considered dialects, they are basically languages as different from one another as Romanian is from Spanish. Local dialects may differ so greatly from one another so as to be mutually incomprehensible. When I say local, I mean that people living on one side of a mountain may not be able to understand people living on the other side of the mountain.

    Speaking Mandarin is incredibly difficult b/c it is tonal. There are six tones. The same word pronounced w/ a diferent tone has a completely different meaning. This makes Mandarin a great language for punning. If, like me, you are equipped w/ a tin ear and a dick fingered tongue, speaking and understanding Mandarin poses huge challenges.

    The written language is difficult b/c it is infrasignificant. The characters have specific meanings. If you do not know the character, you are SOL. English is ultrasignificant in the sense that usually you can figure out how to pronounce the word and may be able to derive its meaning from its root or from its context in the sentence. But if you do not know the Chinese characters that signify "Prague," or "twin" you have know idea what they mean.

    That said, the program that translated the blog was an electronic transliteration program which means that the translation makes no sense. "Interesting hit" became "Interesting blow." "Hit" was translated into a word that means a strike to the body.

    "Prague twin" consisted of 4 characters, not 6. The first time it was translated as "Prague pair," however, Catherine, my wife, advised that "pair" and "twin" are not the same word.

    Somehow, in the 2nd instance, "Prague twin" wasa translated as "Prague boat" or "Prague ship."

    The way to elightenment is arduous, Grasshopper. PT and RBE, have a nice weekend.

    By Anonymous Tony Sokolow, at 6:17 PM  

  • That's cool. Wonder who tried the translation?

    By Blogger Kvatch, at 10:15 PM  

  • Thanks Tony,

    It is really nice to have friends who are educated. So it must be Mandarin that was rated the only language harder to learn than Czech by a top linguist.

    I could swear there are six characters in "Prague Twin" at the top of the page.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 6:06 PM  

  • PT,

    No, only 4. Yesterday afternoon, there were actually more Chinese citizens at the house then there were Americans. The Chinese students from Sichuan and their teacher arrived yesterday afternoon. The ladies stayed @ a friends house last night.

    The rice wars are beginning. Catherine prefers Thai Jasmine rice--so do I--but one of our guests likes short grained. The denigrating remarks about which is better are beginning and I expect an international incident by the end of the week.

    By Anonymous Tony Sokolow, at 1:30 AM  

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