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Re^2: Untillian Headache or about the semantic of until

by SuicideJunkie (Priest)
on Feb 11, 2013 at 15:30 UTC ( #1018164=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Untillian Headache or about the semantic of until
in thread Untillian Headache or about the semantic of until

This because in english until want a positive sentence but in italian 'finché' bring the possibility to use a negative form of the sentence after it, and in this way is commonly used: 'i wait until you arrive' can be translated as 'aspetto finché arrivi' but also sounds good as 'aspetto finché NON arrivi'.

Which I read as "I will wait until you have not arrived".

Translating via prose doesn't work well when that prose is invalid in a boolean sense due to slang, double negation or whatever.


Comment on Re^2: Untillian Headache or about the semantic of until
Re^3: Untillian Headache or about the semantic of until
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Feb 11, 2013 at 16:16 UTC
    In italian the double negation is admitted and correct:

    I don't speak Italian, but I do note the OP said:

    In italian the double negation is admitted and correct:

    I do know that in English, there are some sentiments that cannot be adequately captured without a double negation: Eg.

    I like toast. does not fully capture the semantics of I don't not like toast. (Or perhaps more grammatically correct; I don't dislike toast.)

    I cannot attempt to divine the true sentiments of the double negation in a language I do not speak; but from my limited experience of other non-English languages that have constructions that make little or no sense when translated literally to English, I know that often such constructions are perfectly logical in that language.

    Eg. When speaking English, a Dutch person (who are usually very competent in English) will often say "When you were a woman..." instead of "If you were a woman ..." and conversely, "If the baby is born ... " when they actually mean "When the baby is born ...". It all comes down to the duality of the Dutch words 'als'.

    Similarly, expressing 8:35 in English as 5 minutes past half an hour before 9:00 makes no sense at all; but that is exactly how it is commonly expressed in Dutch: vijf over half negen.

    Which I read as "I will wait until you have not arrived".

    Basically, your attempts to apply non-native logic to a language you do not speak doesn't make for a sound basis of argument.


    With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
      I am not sure about Italian, but in Spanish negation does not always sum up. For instance, we say "I don't have no book" instead of "I don't have any book" or "I don't do it never" instead of "I never do it"... but "I never do it" is also correct and have the same meaning!

        Interesting. One question. Is that really "I don't do it never"; or could it be "I don't do it ever"? (I know zero Spanish!)


        With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
        Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
        "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
        In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      Italian is the same. The more negation, the more emphatic but the meaning doesn't change.

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