Werbung

Unpublishing idioms

72 posts / 0 new
Super Member
<a href="/de/translator/jadis" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1387945">Jadis</a>
Beigetreten: 01.07.2018

And in German, "Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz" is also only one word. True, it's not really an idiom, but if we go on our reasoning...

Editor
<a href="/de/translator/michealt" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1222532">michealt</a>
Beigetreten: 11.10.2014

I definitely agtree that an idiom's explanation in a language other than the idiom's language is often not an idiom. Indeed if it is an idiom it has been incorrectly classified, in LT it should have been classified as an equivalent idiom, not as an explanation. So something correctly labelled an explanation clearly should not be deleted because it doesn't have enough words to count as as idiom, after all no-one (except perhaps an idiot who thinks that explanations are idioms) should apply our lunatic idiom rules (for example the rule by which people can merrily delete two word idioms because the smallest number greater than 1 is 3) thinks the rules for idioms should apply to anything which is not an idiom.

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/de/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Beigetreten: 16.02.2011
IsraelWu wrote:

My "beef" is exactly this: we "punish" the true phenomenon " a memoria" as, simply, an adverb. We glorify other languages' mistakes as idioms just to contain them in our classifications. But I am not really fighting it, just underlining it, pointing it out. I don't think you can change it. As once my friend explained it to me:" You don't argue with a prerecorded phone answer, just let it be" :-).

Why is an idiom a mistake?

Quote:

About computer languages: You have languages dealing with artificial intelligence which could translate poetry, if not today then in near future ( today they are busy with more lucrative tasks). Even today I can translate /transform a program itself (like prose or free verse of Whitman) from one programming language to another (best within the same family of languages but possible across, just like poetry). And you have to acknowledge: there are programmers who are poets and programs which are pure poetry. Today you can have lists of words, dictionaries, data bases of words, idioms, ready prepared phrases,etc, etc.. , just use them. I am not going against the rules but GT translations can be done as you well know. We just rightly don't like them (for now). Just wait for the future...

Sure, automatic translations between human languages are possible, as are automatic translations between programming languages. But no translations from human languages to programming languages.

IsraelWu wrote:

BTW: I just would like to to be sure: A group of words could be a single word (have single member) or perhaps even no word (AN EMPTY GROUP). I don't know exactly how would an empty group look (perhaps " " ) but for single word group take "chicken" or "zając" ( = hare in Polish, chicken in meaning, not contemporary I believe). Single word both and full blown idioms in my opinion. Nobody, not being English/Polish would guess what they mean.

Ah, you mean an idiom in so far as words that have figurative meaning?
But they are not idioms by definition, just words with broad meanings.

michealt wrote:

That stikes me as something that won't happen. The current idicoy of insisting that idoms use many words, not just one (where "not just one" has been implemented as "not less that three" according to what some LT members have told me) is utterly stupid, pure nomsense, but it's been made clear that it isn't going to change - or so mambers have been saying.

Why would that be idiocy? Idiom means, something that has a different meaning from what its parts would mean on their own.
Okay, you could say therefore a compound or other product of word formation can be an idiom, but that would be outside of what people normally think of regarding idioms.

MichaelNa wrote:

My comment was mainly concerned with “explanation of an idiom in another language”. For example, the English idiom “Cut it out!” in Italian it’s simply “Finiscila!” Someone decided to delete “finiscila” as an explanation for “cut it out”. Who decided that an explanation of an idiom in another language needs to be done with another idiom?

Probably the explanation wasn't understood to be such.

Quote:

However, I do agree that idioms are not necessarily made of a minimum of three words. Here is a couple of proofs: “Silver fox”, “Cry wolf”, “Red tape”, “Yellow belly”.

Some of those are no idioms but compounds. But the distinction is difficult in English.

Editor
<a href="/de/translator/michealt" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1222532">michealt</a>
Beigetreten: 11.10.2014

Perhaps, Sciera, you should read more carefully - or are you fully in favour of the interpretation of "more than one" as "not less than three" - just another person who isn't aware that two is more than one? Two word idioms have been unpublished for being a single word, not a group of words - or perhaps because there is a single word with equivalent meaning (although it's neither of the two words in the idiom). And then an explanation that's one word has been deleted, despite there being no claim that it is an idiom. That's why a lot of people are unhappy about the way that idioms (and associated explanations) are being handled.
My personal view is that idioms with far too many words are a problem because a whole text search (which is what is used on LT) will miss them almost always; cutting down the number of words is useful and important, but the current attitude seems to be to increase the word count and reduce usefulness. The policy is somewhat crazy, isn't it?

Super Member
<a href="/de/translator/israelwu" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1420592">IsraelWu</a>
Beigetreten: 04.05.2019

1. An idiom is not a mistake, not at all. The definition and it's implementation: classification/reclassification are not perfect
2. Agreed, no translation of human poetry into programming language (still, a pity about programming languages:-)
3. Sorry, isn't an idiom a figurative meaning of a group of 2 words (by heart) just as a group of one word (chicken). I can agree that some words can have figurative meaning which can be deducted by foreign speakers if the associations are more universal across all languages or at least a family of languages. Rock (since Petrus or before ?) seems to be figurative in all European languages. I think "pig" is one of them in European languages. Still, I don't think chicken is one of them. Figurative or not it also fits a definition of idiom:Sort of "a group of words that conveys information which cannot be derived from the words themselves" . Chicken was designed or rather designated to carry hidden information - "coward" but only to people who know the code. It's not a broad meaning of the word: chicken is a chicken is a chicken. A culture gives it a second meaning, specific to period, subculture etc., it's an assigned meaning not broad meaning. A road has broad meaning: road to freedom, path to knowledge. These associations are more or less common across the cultures and time (not universal, of course)
On the other hand I think that almost everybody in Western culture knows the story about Peter and the wolf, so perhaps crying wolf is not unique to a single language and today shouldn't be counted as an idiom.

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/de/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Beigetreten: 16.02.2011
michealt wrote:

Perhaps, Sciera, you should read more carefully - or are you fully in favour of the interpretation of "more than one" as "not less than three" - just another person who isn't aware that two is more than one? Two word idioms have been unpublished for being a single word, not a group of words - or perhaps because there is a single word with equivalent meaning (although it's neither of the two words in the idiom). And then an explanation that's one word has been deleted, despite there being no claim that it is an idiom. That's why a lot of people are unhappy about the way that idioms (and associated explanations) are being handled.
My personal view is that idioms with far too many words are a problem because a whole text search (which is what is used on LT) will miss them almost always; cutting down the number of words is useful and important, but the current attitude seems to be to increase the word count and reduce usefulness. The policy is somewhat crazy, isn't it?

I intentionally ignored the part in brackets as I was talking about our rules, and not about how other members of the staff decide to interpret the rules. Doesn't seem very constructive to speculate publicly on their reasoning.
Since I've not unpublished any idiom within the last few years or so (except possibly for some spam, don't remember), I can't really speak of experience, but I would say that an idiom can certainly consist of merely two words.

Nevertheless, two-word idioms might not look like such for someone not familiar with the language in question, nor might one-word explanations look like much of an explanation, so some things might have been unpublished by mistake. Please bring up examples to the one who did the unpublishing.

IsraelWu wrote:

1. An idiom is not a mistake, not at all. The definition and it's implementation: classification/reclassification are not perfect
2. Agreed, no translation of human poetry into programming language (still, a pity about programming languages:-)
3. Sorry, isn't an idiom a figurative meaning of a group of 2 words (by heart) just as a group of one word (chicken). I can agree that some words can have figurative meaning which can be deducted by foreign speakers if the associations are more universal across all languages or at least a family of languages. Rock (since Petrus or before ?) seems to be figurative in all European languages. I think "pig" is one of them in European languages. Still, I don't think chicken is one of them. Figurative or not it also fits a definition of idiom:Sort of "a group of words that conveys information which cannot be derived from the words themselves" . Chicken was designed or rather designated to carry hidden information - "coward" but only to people who know the code. It's not a broad meaning of the word: chicken is a chicken is a chicken. A culture gives it a second meaning, specific to period, subculture etc., it's an assigned meaning not broad meaning. A road has broad meaning: road to freedom, path to knowledge. These associations are more or less common across the cultures and time (not universal, of course)
On the other hand I think that almost everybody in Western culture knows the story about Peter and the wolf, so perhaps crying wolf is not unique to a single language and today shouldn't be counted as an idiom.

Figurative meaning is just that. That makes something a metaphor, but not an idiom. An idiom is a fixed metaphor that is expressed by the combination of more than one word. In how many languages it appears doesn't matter.

"Codes" within a language are called sociolects in linguistics, and they can be as much languages of their own as dialects can be languages of their own. And so within that specific sociolect, chicken means coward.

Btw, the story of Peter and the wolf is much less familiar to me than calling a coward a chicken.

Editor True-to-original translations.
<a href="/de/translator/michaelna" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1257575">MichaelNa</a>
Beigetreten: 29.08.2015

Your contribution to this thread is definitely appreciated but the bulk of it seems to be in defense of the deletions. This topic is entitled “Unpublishing idioms” and therefore the main idea is to seek answers to an unfair and wrong practice.
FYI when an idiom (or an explanation in my case) is deleted the only notice given is that an idiom was unpublished without any mention of what the idiom was or who did the deletion therefore communication with whoever did the deletion is next to impossible.
Thank you for adding “an idiom can certainly consist of merely two words“.

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/de/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Beigetreten: 16.02.2011
MichaelNa wrote:

Your contribution to this thread is definitely appreciated but the bulk of it seems to be in defence of the deletions. This topic is entitled “Unpublishing idioms” and therefore the main idea is to seek answers to an unfair and wrong practice. FYI when an idiom (or an explanation in my case) is deleted the only all notice given is that an idiom was unpublished without any mention of what the idiom was or who did the deletion.
Thank you for adding “an idiom can certainly consist of merely two words“.

The defense of the deletions has to be done by those who did the deletions.
I don't see many specific examples having been brought up in this thread about actual deletions, and most of them don't actually look like idioms to me.

Super Member
<a href="/de/translator/israelwu" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1420592">IsraelWu</a>
Beigetreten: 04.05.2019

It's never too late to come back to your childhood (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_and_the_Wolf :-). As to other things, as I said it's not my field I just barely know the lingo. You can restrict an idiom to more than N words in your field, but in other fields a group, by definition, can consist also of one member only or no members at all (empty/null group). Anyhow I think we are just splitting a hair (is it figurative speech, a metaphor or idiom:-). Your restriction seems arbitrary to me but as I said I am no expert in the field so I concede the point (my only other fair choice would be to study linguistics and come back to this discussion in a couple of years and loose then fair and squre).

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/de/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Beigetreten: 16.02.2011
IsraelWu wrote:

It's never too late to come back to your childhood (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_and_the_Wolf :-).

We learned about that in music class in middle school, but I had completely forgotten about the plot. What does that have to do with "to cry wolf", though? That seems to be related to that fable instead: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Boy_Who_Cried_Wolf

Quote:

As to other things, as I said it's not my field I just barely know the lingo. You can restrict an idiom to more than N words in your field, but in other fields a group, by definition, can consist also of one member only or no members at all (empty/null group). Anyhow I think we are just splitting a hair (is it figurative speech, a metaphor or idiom:-). Your restriction seems arbitrary to me but as I said I am no expert in the field so I concede the point (my only other fair choice would be to study linguistics and come back to this discussion in a couple of years and loose then fair and squre).

Well I'm a linguist by profession, but a historical linguist, so I'm not that well-versed in the details of descriptive/synchronic linguistics, therefore I don't know for sure how the term idiom is currently used in the field. Taking a short look through my collection of (mostly not yet read by me) papers, I found this recent article which at least claims that compounds can be idioms: http://www.skase.sk/Volumes/JTL39/pdf_doc/05.pdf
implying that they normally are not considered such but that one might want to start considering them such.
But it's an open secret in linguistics that we don't have an established and coherent technical terminology - as I wrote above, we don't even know what any colleague of us means exactly if they write "word" as there are quite a bunch of definitions around.

And since this isn't a academic website, we also not necessarily base our website rules on academic terminology, but on how words are typically used. So I'd rather refer to Merriam Webster here and the 2nd half of the first meaning of idiom: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idiom "having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements (such as ride herd on for "supervise")".
From that one might argue that compounds are, or can be, idiomatic, but simplex words, not really.

Super Member
<a href="/de/translator/israelwu" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1420592">IsraelWu</a>
Beigetreten: 04.05.2019

They are the same,you know one- you know both. Prokofiev made it a children's musical story. You remember ages to Aesop, I just some decades. Chaperoned my children to the performance and got stuck in the outage, waited about 2 hours for the performance to continue and that's why I remember it.
The other thing, I conceded the "fight", don't give me new ammo: "having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements... ". If we allow empty groups (of elements) conjoining them equals again to a single word (Q.E.D). To take it to rest formally just add to your definition something like "excluding empty groups" or something in this vein and and you "plugged the sieve".

Editor True-to-original translations.
<a href="/de/translator/michaelna" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1257575">MichaelNa</a>
Beigetreten: 29.08.2015

By definition an idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative or sometimes literal meaning. In the case of “cry wolf” the literal meaning is say the word wolf while crying but, whether you’re aware of the fable or not, the idiomatic meaning is “raise a false alarm”. The same is true for the other examples I gave. If you don’t want to accept that they are idioms, it’s your prerogative.

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/de/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Beigetreten: 16.02.2011
IsraelWu wrote:

They are the same,you know one- you know both. Prokofiev made it a children's musical story. You remember ages to Aesop, I just some decades. Chaperoned my children to the performance and got stuck in the outage, waited about 2 hours for the performance to continue and that's why I remember it.

I don't see any resemblance between those two plots besides involving a boy and a wolf, though.

Quote:

The other thing, I conceded the "fight", don't give me new ammo: "having a meaning that cannot be derived from the conjoined meanings of its elements... ". If we allow empty groups (of elements) conjoining them equals again to a single word (Q.E.D). To take it to rest formally just add to your definition something like "excluding empty groups" or something in this vein and and you "plugged the sieve".

Most people would not consider an empty set to consist of conjoined elements or elements to consist of an empty set so it really didn't seem necessary to point it out.

MichaelNa wrote:

By definition an idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative or sometimes literal meaning. In the case of “cry wolf” the literal meaning is say the word wolf while crying but, whether you’re aware of the fable or not, the idiomatic meaning is “raise a false alarm”. The same is true for the other examples I gave. If you don’t want to accept that they are idioms, it’s your prerogative.

I didn't say that "cry wolf" wasn't an idiom - but was it deleted for not being an idiom? It seems to have an entry: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/cry-wolf

Your other examples are compound words, and I think most people would not consider them idioms.

Editor True-to-original translations.
<a href="/de/translator/michaelna" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1257575">MichaelNa</a>
Beigetreten: 29.08.2015

The example with “cry wolf” was submitted as proof that an idiom can be less than three words, I never said it was deleted. As far as the other examples are concerned let me assure you that all English native speakers would. Are you trying to tell me that a silver fox is simply a fox with silver fur.

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/de/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Beigetreten: 16.02.2011
MichaelNa wrote:

The example with “cry wolf” was submitted as proof that an idiom can be less than three words, I never said it was deleted.

I already said above that an idiom can consist of two words.

Quote:

As far as the other examples are concerned let me assure you that all English native speakers would. Are you trying to tell me that a silver fox is simply a fox with a silver fur.

No, but I would argue that it is a compound word, not two separate words. And as I wrote above, people are of mixed opinions over whether a compound can be an idiom.

Super Member
<a href="/de/translator/israelwu" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1420592">IsraelWu</a>
Beigetreten: 04.05.2019

I have to apologize, I just checked both. It seems don't remember the story going with Prokofiev's music, I just remember the reason for remembering it. I know of course the story by Aesop (the origin of the idiom) but somehow I merged them in my mind. Sorry

Editor True-to-original translations.
<a href="/de/translator/michaelna" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1257575">MichaelNa</a>
Beigetreten: 29.08.2015
Sciera wrote:

No, but I would argue that it is a compound word, not two separate words. And as I wrote above, people are of mixed opinions over whether a compound can be an idiom.

“Schoolhouse, crosswalk, moonlight” are some examples of compound words and there is no guessing or double meaning involved regarding what they intend to say. The two-word examples I gave for the idioms do have a double meaning.

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/de/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Beigetreten: 16.02.2011
MichaelNa wrote:
Sciera wrote:

No, but I would argue that it is a compound word, not two separate words. And as I wrote above, people are of mixed opinions over whether a compound can be an idiom.

“Schoolhouse, crosswalk, moonlight” are some examples of compound words and there is no guessing or double meaning involved regarding what they intend to say. The two-word examples I gave for the idioms do have a double meaning.

At least some of these examples are also idiomatic - if they would not already have an established meaning they could easily adopt a new, different one. A crosswalk could have something to do with a cross instead of with to cross, a schoolhouse could be a house where any kind of schooling is being done instead of the house of a (primary or secondary) school. Moonlight is a bit tough but one could probably also come up with different interpretations thereof.

Editor True-to-original translations.
<a href="/de/translator/michaelna" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1257575">MichaelNa</a>
Beigetreten: 29.08.2015

Yeah, you’re right, ....and the moon is also made of cheese.

Moderator and Scholar of a Dark Age
<a href="/de/translator/sciera" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1077079">Sciera</a>
Beigetreten: 16.02.2011

It's actually not as difficult as I thought to find an alternative interpretation, just look at the many moon lights here: https://www.google.com/search?q=moon+lights&tbm=isch
Perhaps you even find some made of cheese Wink smile

Editor True-to-original translations.
<a href="/de/translator/michaelna" class="userpopupinfo username" rel="user1257575">MichaelNa</a>
Beigetreten: 29.08.2015

Way over the head and miles and miles away.

Pages