Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

Yaroslav M. Blanter
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On Fri, 29 Jul 2011 23:28:31 +0100, Thomas Morton
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> For what it is worth....
> I think this approach exists on en.wiki on the premise that by using
> foreign
> sources with no independent translation available:
> a) It makes it easier to push a POV or miss-interpretation via that
> (because other editors are generally not able to understand it)
> b) There is more potential for mistakes or miscomprehension - for
> if
> editors resort to using Google translate (not at all uncommon)

Actually, I do not see much of a problem here.

I created more than 30 articles in English Wikipedia in the last three
months, and all but two only cite Russian sources. I believe for the topics
of these articles English (or, for that matter, in any other language than
Russian) sources do not exist. I was one approached and asked to check the
facts based on one of the sources (which I did and corrected the text of
the article. However, if someone asks me to provide a translated piece
proving one of the statements I will gladly do it (I believe the article
talk page is an appropriate place). In my opinion, providing a source in a
foreign language is not more OR than to provide just one source in a topic
where thousands of contradicting sources exist (the perennial example is
Israeli-Palestine conflict).


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Re: Oral Citations project: People are Knowledge

David Goodman-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
Most reputable translators of literary texts do not aim at a literal
translation, but one that replicate the meaning, the emotional affect
as far as possible, and ideally some of the linguistic subtleties.
Even in translating prose texts, a literal translation is usually not
produced unless it is for some reason specifically wanted, because a
literal translation  will normally not convey the same meaning exactly
as the original. Once you start looking for equivalent idioms, and a
natural way of saying things in the target language, there is always
room for interpretation.  Consider the Bible: the only way of citing
it accurately is to give a range of translations, along with the

Very few of the materials we use for quotations will have good
translations, now or ever. The purpose of giving the original along
with whatever we can manage as a translation is first, that if the
original is given , others may find or write a better translation;
second, so those who know a little of the source language can see for

We write the enWP for English readers--not providing some sort of a
translation leaves 90% of them helpless in any particular case.  I
think of the 18th century writers like Gibbon who left the sexual
parts in "the decent obscurity of a learned language" , with the
intended effect that the gentlemen could read them, but not the ladies
(very few of whom were ever taught Latin at the time) and certainly
not any of the common people who might happen to see a serious book.

On Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 1:37 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 29 July 2011 17:39, Wjhonson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I would agree with Ray that we should quote Latin texts in Latin, Spanish texts in Spanish no matter what language-page we are using.  IF the text is that important to English speakers then there should be or probably will soon be, a verifiable English language translation *not* created in-project, but rather by a reputable author publishing just such a translation.
David Goodman

DGG at the enWP

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