Determining English equivalents for words or phrases in other languages (that is, translation into English)

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “persona non grata” mean? [closed]

In Gossip Girl, there’s a line like this: Spotted, Lonely Boy going from Teacher’s Pet to persona non grata in the pitter-patter of a heartbeat. What’s persona non grata?
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Can I name one client of my application “tenant” if I have multitenancy?

I'm a software developer and want to add the feature "multitenancy" (German: Man­danten­fähig­keit, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multitenancy) to my application. Each entity in my ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you tell when you're reading a poor translation?

John Ciardi, in his foreword to his translation of Dante's Divine Comedy, observes that any translation is, at best, a failure. He means it is impossible to convey the depth and levels of meaning of ...
4
votes
0answers
313 views

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Is become” vs “has become” This is a famous quote from J. Robert Oppenheimer after the successful detonation of the first nuclear weapon. The ...
1
vote
3answers
147 views

“In the middle” of a time span – will “middle” work? Better ideas?

I am translating a German text into English. It contains a sentence that translates roughly to In the middle of life, you stand alone. I'm unsure about "middle" here, and can't think of a more ...
151
votes
15answers
23k views

Do most languages need more space than English?

I saw the following statement on User Experience: Supporting multiple languages can break the user interface, because most languages need more space than english This seems to be a gross ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

Are there sentences in languages which use grammatical gender that lose meaning when translated into English?

English nouns which don't denote people or animals with natural gender do not (apart from a few rare examples) use grammatical gender. So for example, "table" is always an "it" in English, whereas it ...
15
votes
24answers
2k views

Favourite untranslatables [closed]

What are your favourite words and idioms in other languages that don't have good, succinct equivalents in English? (The issue of whether there is, or could be, a sentence on one language whose ...