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My sister asked me to give her a few ideas for an essay. She liked most of them, but did't like the following one:
(I mean the sentence in italics)

Cita:

Writing is what we tell the world and reading is what the world tells us and.While reading is rather contemplative, it needs the object of the very contemplation, as a Romanian folk song says [about a young man's sweetheart]:
“C-aşa merge de frumos,                              "[For she] walks so beautifully
Gândești că scrie pe jos”                             That you think she writes on the ground.”

Anyway, it's only part of an idea, whatever, but she says that my parallelism is missing a term. Is she right? It sounds fine to me. I need a third opinion.How does it sound into the ears of a native speaker of English?
I mean, Katherine and others, what's wrong with my sentence?

Editor
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By the way, I noticed there's no English language forum here. Smile

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Imagen de Katherine0825
Se unió: 29/06/2009
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Can you write what you're trying to say in Romanian? I know that sounds weird, but the second part of the sentence is unclear and maybe if I saw it in Romanian I could tell you how to say it in English to make it more clear. The connection between the first clause and the second is what is unclear.

~K

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În timp ce cititul este contemplativ, acesta are nevoie de însuși obiectul contemplației {adică de scris}, așa cum zice un cântec românesc [despre mândra/iubita unui bărbat]

My sister was looking for pro and against arguments for teaching writing to (young) children.

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Calusarul escribió:
În timp ce cititul este contemplativ, acesta are nevoie de însuși obiectul contemplației {adică de scris}, așa cum zice un cântec românesc [despre mândra/iubita unui bărbat]

My sister was looking for pro and against arguments for teaching writing to (young) children.

I don't agree what you say, because you don't contemplate the writing ( you don't contemplate the colour of the letters, their size etc), but rather the meaning of the letters arranged so that they form words describing something. In my opinion, the object of the contemplation is the meaning of the words,the image they make you have in front of your eyes when reading, no matter if the words are written or only spoken they make you have an image in your mind when hearing or reading them.

Editor
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I meant reading. Reading is contemplative, a passive activity. You lie in bed or on an armchair (some people maybe read at their desk) and just read.
And writing is pro-active or something like that. When you write (not just copy), you put your mind to it (not that we read without thinking), try new ways of expressing yourself, think about how people who will read that will react, make some research maybe, and so on.

Anyway, forget the philosophical part of it (on the meaning). Focus on the aesthetics of the expression (way of saying it). Change this sentence into a better one:
While reading is rather contemplative, it needs the object of the very contemplation (writing).

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Calusarul escribió:
I meant reading. Reading is contemplative, a passive activity. You lie in bed or on an armchair (some people maybe read at their desk) and just read.
And writing is pro-active or something like that. When you write (not just copy), you put your mind to it (not that we read without thinking), try new ways of expressing yourself, think about how people who will read that will react, make some research maybe, and so on.

Anyway, forget the philosophical part of it (on the meaning). Focus on the aesthetics of the expression (way of saying it). Change this sentence into a better one:
While reading is rather contemplative, it needs the object of the very contemplation (writing).

I think I understand what you mean, when writing, you do the job, when reading, you just enjoy somebody else's work.

Well, to me, this sentence seems a little poetic and not at all poetic, in the same time( I don't know if know what I mean, it's a bit difficult to explain it). It sounds good, in my opinion, but it is hard to pronounce myself on how this sounds in a context, as I don't know what the sentences before and after this one may say. Besides that, there are some differencies in meaning in the two languages ( English and Romanian). Maybe it would be better to use "meditate, meditation" than "contemplate", "to meditate" is closer in meaning to "a contempla". Again, it's only my opinion

contemplate:
1 [transitive] to think about something that you might do in the future [= consider]:
He had even contemplated suicide.
*contemplate doing something
Did you ever contemplate resigning?
2 [transitive] to accept the possibility that something is true
*too dreadful/horrifying etc to contemplate
The thought that she might be dead was too terrible to contemplate.
3 [intransitive and transitive] to think about something seriously for a period of time [= consider]:
Jack went on vacation to contemplate his future.
*contemplate what/whether/how etc
She sat down and contemplated what she had done.
*contemplate your navel (=think so much about your own life that you do not notice other important things - used humorously)
4 [transitive] to look at someone or something for a period of time in a way that shows you are thinking:
]He contemplated her with a faint smile.
-> according to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English and Macmillan Dictionary

meditate:
1 [intransitive] to think seriously and deeply about something
meditate on/upon
She sat quietly, meditating on the day's events.
2 [intransitive] to spend time sitting in a silent, calm state, in order to relax completely or for religious purposes:
I try to meditate for half an hour every evening.
3 [transitive] formal to plan to do something, usually something unpleasant:
Silently she meditated revenge.
-> According to the same dictionaries as the ones above.

CONTEMPLÁ, contémplu, vb. I. Tranz. și refl. A (se) privi îndelung, meditativ, cu admirație și cu emoție. – Din fr. contempler, lat. contemplari. - According to DEX 1998.

Editor
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Adicsx, you understood perfectly what I had in mind and I think you're right about using meditate. You put your mind to it. Thanks.

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Calusarul escribió:
Adicsx, you understood perfectly what I had in mind and I think you're right about using meditate. You put your mind to it. Thanks.

You are welcome, anytime Smile I am glad if it helped.

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Imagen de Katherine0825
Se unió: 29/06/2009
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Hmmm, I would still use "contemplate", because "meditate" more often is used in the second meaning, to spend time in a quiet, calm state, for relaxation and sometimes religious reasons. It *can* have a similar meaning to "contemplate" but the most common use is as above.

Sorry for taking so long...I have been in the process of moving from one state to another. The way I'd translate that line is "While reading is contemplative, it needs the very object of contemplation."

~K

Editor
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Thanks, Katherine. My sister had handed her essay to the teacher before I started this discussion anyway. She only needed some inspiration, some ideas.
What state did you move from and what state did you move to? Was your decision influenced by the economic/financial crisis/recession? If you consider my questions inappropriate, please don't answer them and please don't take it personal, I'm just curious.

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No problem. Yes, my decision was influenced by the recession. I work in the medical field, and when the economy is bad, more people rely on Medicaid (public health insurance program for low income people) and they don't pay health care providers very well. So, I went to another area of the country that is not as bad economically, and now I'm working for a large clinic instead of alone (which helps). I also don't have to be on call all the time either, which is great.

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Katherine, have you watched The Death of Mr. Lazarescu Is the American health care system any better? I'm asking because I watched a bit of Sicko and both health care systems seem far from perfection.

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No, I haven't watched the film, but now I'd like to after reading the article Smile In one respect, I think the system in the US is better, because hospitals are required by law to treat emergency patients even if they cannot pay (we don't have people being turned away from hospitals--it is illegal). But, Sicko makes some good points, and the system here is far from perfect. The health insurance companies have far too much power over health care, and they try to direct the care of patients at times, and their decisions are guided by their desire to maintain profits, not necessarily by the best interest of the patient. I have had to fight with them to pay for medications patients need and tests they should have. The problem is getting worse as the cost of health care is going up, because insurance companies (and Medicaid) are trying harder and harder to save money and access to the best treatment for a problem can be limited by that. I'd say we have an adequate health care system for MOST people, which is better than a lot of nations can say, but I wouldn't call it excellent. One of the good things about my new job is that I don't have to argue with insurance companies...the clinic has someone hired to do that.

~K

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Here's one thing wrong with the sentence: reading doesn't need anything, because it's not an agent. A reader could need something. 'Requires' would sound a little less awkward. Also, 'this very contemplation' sounds a little more natural.

I'm not really sure what you're trying to say here. 'While reading is rather contemplative, it can't be done without the object of that contemplation: writing.'??? 'While reading is a mostly contemplative activity, we can't learn it unless we also learn to produce the object of that contemplation: writing'???

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“C-aşa merge de frumos, "[For she] walks so beautifully
Gândești că scrie pe jos” That you think she writes on the ground.”

hmm i think u should translate this as:

"It goes so well
That u can think it's written down" (on the ground) --->> Meaning something goes well ... not someone walking nicely and writting on the ground Smile

Romanian language is tricky sometimes Wink but this is how i understand/see this lyrics