tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Nov 16 19:57:33 2002

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Re: QeD De'wI' ngermey

On Sun, 17 Nov 2002, Volker Tanger wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 16, 2002 at 04:43:29PM -0500, DloraH wrote:
> > But as a grammarian I have to say we shouldn't make up any new words,
> > phrases, idioms, slang, etc, etc.
> That's what I intended to say with my first post: Just describe what
> the thing is doing - don't translate an idiom.

In many cases, though, the idiom *is* the description.  In English, for
example (and apparently in German, too, given your example below), a
"stack" in comp sci is an idiomatic use of the word "stack" (meaning pile)
to refer to a related concept.  By its description, we end up with an

I suppose one small difference would be whether or not you constantly
describe things.  For instance, suppose I spoke of a { De' tetlh }, a list
of data.  This is an accurate description of the idea.  But could I then
continue to refer to the concept as simply a { tetlh }, or am I forced to
always refer to it as a { De' tetlh }?  The former choice effectively
creates an idiom of  { tetlh } which is "an ordered list of data [comp
sci]".  The latter may also result in an idiom, but the meaning is
constantly described and re-described.  As a Klingon, I would hate that
excess verbiage.  ;)

> stack 		= Stapel (stack)
> queue 		= Pufferspeicher (buffer memory), Warteschlange (queue)

Cool, but in this case, even, the German appears to be idiomatic
application of existing words as well.  I've a feeling this will show
through in most cases; the idioms created for computer science will be
relatively consistently translated into local words, but which describe
the same thing.  You don't call a stack a stack, you call it a Stapel --
but Stapel is German for "stack", no?

It's an interesting thing; the idioms that are developed because of things
like software engineering theory aren't like most idiomatic phrases that
we've seen.  The fact that we've extended the word "stack", for instance,
doesn't result from our use of an unrelated word for alternate use (like
our idiomatic use of "cool" to refer to things that are interesting,
completely altering the meaning of the original).  Do people in Germany
use the German translation of the word "cool" to describe interesting
things?  I'm betting they don't -- which makes the idiomatic use of words
for comp sci theory even more interesting, because the direct translations
appear to have been used...

Hmm, what can of worms have I opened?  :)


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