The importance of covering all the angles... | What text are you reading? Tips & tricks? | Forum

The importance of covering all the angles... | What text are you reading? Tips & tricks? | Forum

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The importance of covering all the angles...
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September 22, 2011
01:07
custard_creams
Sweden

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This is probably not news to most people… I just wanted to note the importance of considering whether connections of words might otherwise be turns of phrases or mean something different than they first appear (especially if combined with a preposition…). It means adding time onto deciphering words, but can make for some pretty nice little language gems.

 

For example, I've been getting vocabulary from a Swedish-language match report. There's an expression, "vred och snurrade" which, when deciphered individually meant he was angry and spun. Given the context, I Columbo'd it a little and the three words together mean "twisted and turned", a more fitting expression to describe a soccer player.

 

So, I'm paying a lot more attention to the expressions feature now. It doesn't do to have so many angry spinning players on the field. wink

 

EDIT: *Sigh* this is in the wrong section isn't it? Can someone with the authority move it please.

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September 22, 2011
01:17
cacawate
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This can be very relevant to LWT, however. In LWT you are highlighting individual words to translate into individual meanings. These words together sometimes don't fit with the context of the sentence as they are set phrases. LWT easily allows you to click the first word of the phrase and span it across to the last letter while giving it a whole new translation. Very powerful, indeed.

 

I guess you still may want this moved though. :)

I try to post interesting stuff about languages at http://simplelanguagefoundation.com
September 22, 2011
01:30
custard_creams
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Ha yeah, this is the troubleshooting part for LWT. There's a general discussion section for LWT that my post should really be in... ah, I'm tired.

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September 22, 2011
17:16
Benny
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Moved. Please watch the topic title in future.

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September 22, 2011
22:10
Polyglottally
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custard_creams said:

This is probably not news to most people… I just wanted to note the importance of considering whether connections of words might otherwise be turns of phrases or mean something different than they first appear (especially if combined with a preposition…). It means adding time onto deciphering words, but can make for some pretty nice little language gems.

These are termed "idioms" or "idiomatic expressions," where the figurative meaning is different than the literal, word-for-word meaning. They wreak havoc (an idiom!) for language learners, and they single-handedly (idiom!)make learning English a pain in the butt (idiom!) because the language is full of them! They each have to be learned individually, but the effort is worth it. They are, as you say, gems.

The trick is (a) recognizing them as being idioms; and then (b) figuring out what they mean. Sometimes you can use your imagination and guess, but often the meaning is impossible to decipher from the words themselves and require a long, historical explanation (e.g., "shoot for the moon," "from left field," "the whole nine yards.")

Some dictionaries are good at listing idiomatic expressions in the entries. Some dictionaries are dedicated entirely to idioms (I have a Spanish-English one). Sometimes you have to put the words into Google and see what comes up to help figure out the meaning.

Definitely a stumbling block (idiom!).

J.

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September 22, 2011
23:45
NKellyEmerald
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In my opinion, quite a lot of soccer players strike me as angry... and quite a few do a fair amount of spinning too... wink

Native:   Gaeilge,  English Studies:  Polish On Hold:  Spanish Next:  Italian
Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
September 23, 2011
00:01
Polyglottally
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NKellyEmerald said:

In my opinion, quite a lot of soccer players strike me as angry... and quite a few do a fair amount of spinning too... wink

Soccer's nothing! What about hockey players? As the Swedes apparently say, "vred och snurrade".

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