Well, I read an article in terms of tourism and need to translate it but I have no idea what is this sentence is about.

A substantial proportion of the population of modern societies engages in such tourist practices new socialized forms of provision have developed in order to cope with the mass character of the gazes of tourists as opposed to the individual character of travel.

The thing is I understand something said in this sentence is about to prepare for tourists' attractions but I don't get 'what mass character' and 'individual character' really mean in this sentence. Please help me to understand this, thanks!

  • 3
    The sentence is grammatically flawed. I wouldn't waste your time translating it.
    – Joseph O.
    Dec 12, 2018 at 13:38
  • 2
    This sentence completely falls apart after the word practices. It's trying to say something about mass tourism vs. individual travel, but beyond that, it's impossible to say.
    – KarlG
    Dec 12, 2018 at 13:41
  • 2
    Apparently, there is a semicolon missing after tourist practices: books.google.com/… Dec 12, 2018 at 13:58
  • oh yeah, that makes more sense :))
    – hungphan
    Jan 4, 2019 at 4:15

2 Answers 2


As some previous commentators have noted, this sentence is grammatically flawed. Written as it is, it has no discernible meaning in the English language.

If I were to take a couple guesses based on some assumptions about the original author's intent, I might rewrite the sentence thusly:

A large number of those in modern society engage in tourist practices. This has led to the creation of new businesses and social norms as a response to the mindset of 'tourists' in contrast to the otherwise individual and personal nature of 'travel'.

Again, this is largely a guess at what the author meant; the sentence is so horribly mangled as to be unreadable.


It’s a grammatical sentence. However, the unhelpfully-long noun phrases turn it into what’s known as a garden-path sentence.

Here’s a helpful parsing:

  • (A substantial proportion of the population of modern societies) engages in (such tourist practices [new socialized forms of provision] have developed) in order to cope with ([the mass character of {the gazes of tourists}] as opposed to [the individual character of travel]).

That is, “X does Y to cope with Z”.

X and Z are fairly easy to parse.

Y refers to “tourist practices” that ‘P’ has developed. I take “provision” in the phrase P to refer to ‘selling’ or more generally ‘providing’ a service - e.g. locals wearing traditional attire for tourists to photograph, then perhaps charging the tourists for it.

In relation to your question about mass vs individual character, this relates to the difference between an individual going on holiday (individual character) and having to support huge numbers doing the same thing at the same time (mass character).

Imagine you live in Africa. If one tourist turns up, you might warn him about the lions, and maybe even pander to a request for a trophy hunt. But if you need to cater for 1000 tourists everyday, you might set up a safari tour, and certainly not allow trophy hunts. Trophy hunts are not the point - the point is that dealing with one tourist works very differently from dealing with masses of tourists.

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