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Thread: Foul language, swear words, should we translate this or simply refuse?

 
  1. #31
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    Quote:

    "I do believe some kind of flagging's system would not be a bad idea."


    Personally, I do not see a serious reason to change anything but if the administrator agrees that there is a need then we should keep it as simple as possible.


    To that end I offer this suggestion:


    Slang is where we are most likely to encounter foul language since most of it is slang anyway. Instead of trying to flag individual posts, which might be difficult because it would require immediate action by a moderator and thus, could be viewed before a moderator notices it, maybe we should control them by restricting them to the slang forums. We could tag only these two forums with a warning and move any stray post to them.


    ¿Que opinan?
    Last edited by vicente; 05-14-2008 at 01:38 PM.
    vicente

  2. #32
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    Default My Modest opinion

    To me, being a translator is being a channel, a kind of bridge between cultures... and besides, there´s all kinds of words all over. Why we "shouldn´t" translate them??

    I agree in that we are not using them in this forum, since we try to keep this as a friendly environment... but if someone needs to know the "technical" translation of a word...well, that´s our job!

    cheers

  3. #33
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    Hi guys and girls:

    Here is what I posted in the original thread. I stick to my point (and that of the colleagues I mention in my contribution).

    Hi, Kelly:

    I can't but agree with our other friends in this thread about censorship. First and foremost, as Vicente said, if someone asks for a translation of some terms, we should consider that he/she must probably doesn't know their meaning and then cannot possibly understand wheter they are offensive or not.
    Then again, as Exx have said, yes, this is a forum in which proffessional translators exchange their expertise, knowledge and even doubts about our proffession, which is the use of different languages. Foul language, obscene words, etc., whether you like it or not, are part of any language, and, according to Octavio Paz, are perhaps the most vital part of language:

    "En nuestro lenguaje diario hay un grupo de palabras prohibidas, secretas, sin contenido claro, y a cuya mágica ambigüedad confiamos la expresión de las más brutales o sutiles de nuestras emociones y reacciones [...] Son las malas palabras, único lenguaje vivo en un mundo de vocablos anémicos. La poesía al alcance de todos." (Paz, El laberinto de la soledad, p. 67.)

    Finally, who can qualify the quality of language in an international forum, full of exchanges between people from very different countries? I could say that "culo" is an obscene word, but Exx and millions of spaniards would say it's as innocent a word as "nalgas". And the same would happen the other way round. The very words of the Federal Communications Commission ("It is also a violation of federal law to air indecent programming or profane language during certain hours")can be subject to interpretation: what does "obscene programming" or "profane language" exactly mean? These criteria have always been as subjective as the period in which they are expressed. During the fifties they meant something very different than during the sixties, or the seventies.

    I think we should stick to the original idea of these forums, which is to exchange information and expertise about what is, for many of us, our gratest passion: the use and knowledge of language.

    Saludos
    Last edited by CarlosRoberto; 05-14-2008 at 11:00 PM.

  4. #34
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    Hello all,

    I'm a new member and have been following this thread for a few days. I wasn't going to say anything but I feel at this point I have to speak up and offer another point of view. I work with elementary school age children. I have a basic command of Spanish but would like to learn more. My problem is I have to maintain a 'street-level' version of Spanish so I can understand my students, many of whom are underprivileged, at-risk youths.

    During my day I hear many swear words spoken by the kids, but I confess I don't know what half of them mean. I would like to know the meanings of all these words, simply so I can be fully aware of what's being said to whom (or about me!) in the course of the day in my classroom, and so that if something really awful is said I can take the proper disciplinary action.

    So with that being said, I was very interested in the "cacho cabron" post, because I've heard that one too! And I had no idea what it meant. I was really happy to find a site where actual people could give a translation on words such as this because those automatic translation sites don't really work very well for slang or curse words.
    What was an interesting and informative post (to me anyway) quickly turned into a discussion on whether or not you as translators should even consider translating those requests, which I found really surprising.
    Is this not a site for translators and for people seeking translations? So far in the threads there has only been one person apparently offended by that post, enough that she replied:

    "We don't have to translate something just because someone requests it. We have to draw the line somewhere! danecao's requests are in very bad taste, and downright offensive. A thousand little red squares (bad reports) to this kind of postings!

    I feel this responsewas completely inappropriate. How is the request in bad taste if danecao didn't know what the words meant in the first place?? And "offensive" is a subjective term, is it not? I didn't think the tv show "Happy Days" was offensive when I was a kid, in fact it was my favorite show. But I had school friends who were Mormon, and their parents found it offensive to the point of not allowing their children to watch it! So offensive to you is not necessarily offensive to me, and I think this person is completely out of line herself, suggesting that this board "draw the line" and not respond to certain requests because "she" finds them offensive!

    There were a lot of really intelligent responses to her statement, in fact I agreed with every one of them. What is really disturbing though is that even after all these comments were made, even one by the Administrator agreeing with the comments, this person has become increasingly hostile and condescending to other posters on the board. What's up with that?? Are there no moderators on here? Why is this person allowed to continue posting after previously posting things like what I've listed below?

    "Nothing would make me happier than been able to agree with you. You sound like such a nice sort of fellow. However, Carlos Roberto, as you are not just translating for the latin market - which thinks swearing is cool. It is your duty to learn about the cultures you are dealing with. Some are absurd to our way of thinking, but Hey! "
    "latin market which thinks swearing is cool" – this is really condescending and insulting. How dare she speak for the entire Latin culture?

    "...In the US -and I know what vicente said about his Texas. But in most of the US there is a certain amount of decorum. If you use swear words in public you can get into a great deal of trouble. In some instances the owners of establishments could call the police."
    So basically she's saying Vincent lives in a backward, country-bumpkin state where people have no manners and cussing and cursewords are commonplace, whereas in "most of the US there is a certain amount of decorum." Am I reading this wrong or did she just insult the entire people of Texas?

    It seems frequently this person seems to post her opinion on U.S. customs and laws as if from the point of view of a native. However it is plainly clear through her writing that she is not a native, and in fact in a previous post she mentions she has only been here for 13 years. At this point I would like to offer that I was born in the States and have lived here for more than 35 years, and I am a native English speaker. I take offense to more than a few of her posts which attempt to portray her as such, especially the one quoted below.

    "BTW, Your English is very good. It is refreshing to read a well written comment. I remember a member replying to one of my messages. I was too polite, but wanted to say "if I could only understand what you are trying to say" I did not want to hurt her feelings. Though she is not shy about attacking me quite frequently."

    This statement has absolutely nothing to do with the topic in the thread, and is a thinly veiled jab at another member on this board, though I don't know towards whom. Also, I have to say I find this statement rather humorous because after reading many of her comments, the truth is that this particular poster's English is not very good, nor is her grammar, nor is her spelling. For instance, the passage above contains a sentence fragment, among other things.
    I find it puzzling she would present herself as having the skills of a native speaker who has full mastery of the language and all it's idiosyncrasies. Clearly that is not the case.

    vicente, again! my most faithful heckler!
    Two things,
    First, I don't know if you are aware that it wasn't me who started this thread, and
    Second, and repeating your own advise. If you don't like what you are reading "Leave the thread!". I believe that's what you said vicente, isn't it?
    There are plenty of other threads where you can put your translating skills into practice


    Heckler?! I didn't see one post where Vincent heckled this woman. In fact, I thought he responded intelligently, thoughtfully, and respectfully to her comments, as did others such as exxcéntrica, hugocar, mem286, analaura, CarlosRoberto, and many more. I feel this last post was extremely childish behavior on her part in an environment that she, herself, previously described as a "professional forum". Why is she allowed to behave like this? I've been on plenty of other professional boards and anyone who repeatedly insulted other members was summarily banned.

    At any rate, I was excited to find this site initially but have been astonished by the actions of this person, and surprised at the inaction of the board to protect its members from posters exhibiting this type of behavior. There seem to be many intelligent, caring, professional people on this forum, however, I'm not sure I want to expose myself to a person who attacks people and becomes hostile when others do not agree with her. It's true that one bad apple can poison an entire barrel.

  5. #35
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    Hi All,

    I think we have already devoted too much time on this issue. Lot have been said and discussed, and that's ok, we can surely express our ideas. Anyway, the tone of some posters has been offensive to others, and this is certainly not the purpose of this forum. We should move on to some new and fresh topics. And please, remember that we are here to form a community of friendly people who have some interests in common, so please try to be careful when you write, we don't want people to feel we post irresponsibly without thinking on the impact of our words.
    Thanks!
    Last edited by Nadia D; 05-16-2008 at 10:55 AM.

  6. #36
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    A key point has been rasied here. I guess if someone wishes to know the translation of a given bad word and anyone here is willing to cooperate, then it should be taken for what it is (a translation) and should not be turned into a federal case. What really concerns me is that offensive words or phrases might occasionally come out not for translation purposes, but rather bounced back and forward like a ping-pong ball among forum-members. We are friends, colleagues, and professionals; our behavior affects directly not only our community, but also our professional practice. Leaders always have to set the pace and be examples. I do believe that respect and courtesy should always be the bases of our relationship: In summary, the basic principle I am trying to recall here is “"Do onto others as you would want to be done unto yourself".

    Best regards to all of you


    Truly, my dear young friends, you are a chosen generation. I hope you will never forget it.
    Gordon B. Hinckley

  7. #37
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by kellymellars
    It would give you an idea of how the government view things in the US.
    I do not like how goverment view the things in the US, specially lately.

  8. #38
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    Default That is the point!

    I agree 100%.

    Quote Originally Posted by vicente
    In the case of the cacho carbón thread I learned a few things and I think that is valuable. That is my reason for being a member of this forum...to learn...and learn everything I can...and in exchange, to be of help when I can.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mem286
    De acuerdo Vicente... y ni América Latina ni Argentina, ni España son islas aisladas en el mundo, ni tampoco es "cool" decir estas palabras, como kellymellars mencionó en otro hilo... (me resulta ofensivo ese comentario) Cada uno piensa lo que piensa y creo que la mayoría pensamos lo mismo...

    También opino que esto no da para más, amigos...
    También agree 100% especialmente en que
    Quote Originally Posted by mem286
    También opino que esto no da para más, amigos...

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlosRoberto

    I think we should stick to the original idea of these forums, which is to exchange information and expertise about what is, for many of us, our gratest passion: the use and knowledge of language.
    Again Agree

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