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Translation Works For Advanced Learners

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Did you really know it Cukur or were you just saying that? I'm hopeless at these Saffron. Haven't you got any easy everyday sayings that I might hear in conversation?

Well done Vic and if you think about the way trees are grown here, everyone makes a dip or hollow to hold water around the base of the trunk, then it makes sense and I'm a bit thick for not having se

Great job Vic, you're on a roll, so rush out quick & get that lottery ticket before it rubs off !

The clue is in the Part III of my article titled Some Basic Points, I copied it below:''In some expressions made with 'of', s is seen again: 'The worst of all the alternatives' : 'Tüm seçeneklerin en kötü+s+ü' (en kötü: 'most bad'), (seçenek: alternative). 'The best of all the news': Tüm haberlerin en iyi+s+i (en iyi: 'most good'),(haber:news). Sözün doğru+s+u: 'The right one of the words'= to tell the truth. Hırsızın akıllı+s+ı : The clever one of the thieves. Here what is implied is not a clever one of a group of thieves. This is a type of expression in Turkish, and used mostly in idioms: Armutun iyi+s+ini ayılar yer : Good one of pears is eaten by bears.''In the above examples, words end with a vowel.(I avoid writing down all the relevant details in one text, so the paragraph above was limited to the use of 's'). If the word doesn't end with a vowel, the usual ı,i,u,or ü is used: So you can think about 'atın aptal+ı' again..

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Atın aptalı rahvan olur

The most foolish of the horses will wander (stray and get lost)

?

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Maybe "the most foolish of the horses will amble (when it should be galloping)" ?

There is something else implied here that I can't work out.

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Now we come to the point: A horse which generally prefers ambling is called 'rahvan at' . The way the horse moves along is also an adjective defining the horse. Thinking Turkishwise, the horse is called an 'amble horse' = rahvan at.

But this proverb shows a much important point of grammar, which probably always confuses an English speaker:Why is it not 'atın aptalı rahvandır' but, 'rahvan olur' instead?. Textbooks are full of sentences like 'Kapı açıktır=the door is open', elma yeşildir= the apple is green' which gives a definite impression that if we see 'dir, dır', etc, we can replace it with 'is'. But here we don't say 'rahvan+dır' but say 'rahvan olur' instead. An alternative sounds like 'become' : a foolish horse becomes 'an amble horse'. This alternative fits better to the original Turkish meaning. However, it is not definitely 'is', and not 'becomes' either, though becomes is better for translation. This is actually a matter of thinking Turkishwise. The verb 'olmak', which sometimes corresponds to 'to be' and sometimes 'to become', needs to be felt , after reading or hearing sufficient number of examples, because, 'olmak' is also related with the concept of tense, which is better to be felt.

By the way, the expression 'atın aptalı' is not necessarily the most foolish one of horses. The foolish one of..the good one of..the clever one of ..are good enough to translate this pattern.

I have chosen this proverb for its grammatical features; as to the meaning, it simply says a foolish person spends more effort than necessary.

Another proverb including a similar pattern; this is local, I heard it in Fethiye.

Here the verb 'kocamak' is used only in rural Turkish now: İtin akılsızı yolda kocar'

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I think you didn't notice the poor dog who gets older on the way. 'İtin akılsızı yolda kocar' : 'the stupid one of dogs gets older on the way'. This is used for the people who spend their energy aimlessly, or in the wrong ways , so they cannot get anything in the end ..

('İt' is used in rural Turkish, in urban , it is vulgar)

Yes, a proverb came to my mind as I wrote in the other post today: 'Sabır ile koruk helva olur': Meaning is clear, words are in the dictionary and I already explained 'olur'. haydi, bir deneyin bakalımPosted Image

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With patience a sour (unripe) grape becomes sweet (as helva).

Meaning even unpleasant things become pleasant over time?

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The emphasis is on the patience and maturing.. A sour grape is too far from being something sweet...even when this is so, you can get the food you desire (helva), if you have patience..

Wow, what a patience!

Today's proverb is 'denize düşen yılana sarılır'.

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Ha! I think I've seen this one - Be wise after the event.

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Ok, I think I will make the translation: 'there will be many (people) showing the way after the carriage (car, etc) overturns.

In English, the sentence I wrote shows a strong likelihood, but it doesn't say that the carriage will certainly overturn. Alhough there is no 'if' in the sentence, we feel that we are talking about a possible event. In Turkish 'olur' gives this sense. If we were sure that some carriage would overturn somewhere, and many people would come up showing the way, we should say it in Turkish : Araba devrildikten sonra yol gösteren çok olacaktır'. In this sentence, the only verb that is conjugated is 'olmak -olacaktır' (the other one 'göstermek-gösteren' is in adjective form). This 'olacaktır' tells us something will definitely happen. But in the proverb, we talk about a general behaviour, a strong expectation, but not a specific event that is sure to happen, so we say 'olur'.

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I think that is the English version - It's easy to be wise after the event.

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-- Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted -- ie. applying the solution (with wisdom in hindsight) after the problem has happened. This is probably the English version (in proverb form) with a similar meaning (obliquely, sort of). Posted Image

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Yes..and I hate when somebody attempts to give an advise like 'you should have done this/that', as if it were possible to rewind the time and check all the alternatives..

I picked up another proverb about horses, and I guess this one, too, has counterparts in other languages:'Usul atın çiftesi pek olur''Pek' is not used in this sense in modern Turkish. Originally, pek or pekin means strong, though, solid..

I wonder if the former name of the Chinese capital, 'Pekin' had a Turkish origin..

As you probably know, the Turkish and Chinese cultures were in contact centuries ago..

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Yes, we can't rewind the clock ! There used to be a saying that 3 (or 4?) things (in life) "come not back", but the other day I read about 5 things which can't be recovered in life :

The stone... after it's thrown ~ the word... after it's said ~ the occasion .... after it's missed ~ the time.... after it's passed ~ and a person ... after they die.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could turn the clock back (not always) ? But sadly, we can only hope to know better next time. Posted Image

As for your latest proverb Saffron, I'm only having a stab in the dark -- A slow (steady) pair of horses gets strong ? Posted Image

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Çifte is a horse's kicking. Normally a horse kicks with two legs, this why it is called çifte..'Usul' is used in the forms of 'usulca' or 'usul usul', in the modern Turkish, which are adverbs meaning smoothly and slowly. 'Usul' alone is an adjective, though it is rarely used as such now. In the proverb it defines a horse which has smooth manners. But this horse, when kicks, realy means it! What is meant by the proverb is that the tolerant people may be more dangereous than others, when they loose their temper.

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Thanks Saffron -- I had a hard time trying to figure that one. I guess we would say the tolerant person has a long fuse (slow to anger), but I can't think of an actual proverb in English which covers this meaning.

By the way, I think a broken heart can (in some cases) be mended (with the right remedy) !Posted Image

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Hum, a saying came to my mind : 'Seni kırmaktansa kafamı kırarım daha iyi!' Kırmak is to break, but in Turkish to 'break' someone is actually to break the heart of someone.

Heart is implied. (To hurt is incitmek). So the saying means, I prefer to break my head instead of hurting you/breaking your heart!Posted Image

Ok, today's proverb for translation: Yılanın sevmediği ot deliğinde biter (or, in another version, 'deliğinin ağzında biter').

Bitmek is not 'to finish' here. This verb is used for weeds, but not cultivated plants, in the sense of emerging or growing.

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Almost right..

Somebody lost an opportunity because somebody else (or others) has already put his plan into action..

Why? Because the one who took the horse (atı alan) has already passed Üsküdar...

Ok another proverb for translation: 'Kaz gelecek yerden tavuk esirgenmez'

Firstly, what a great thread! Would an equivalent to the horse related saying be - 'shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted'?

It often amazes me how there are similar sayings in different languages which have no historical connexion to each other. Maybe this shows human beings are all on the same wavelength really?

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Yes, I too think that there is a 'wavelenght' that is shared!

If I know the meaning of the verb to bolt correctly, the two proverbs are similar but not the same..

In the Turkish one, while someone misses an opportunity, someone else acts timely enough to use that opportunity..

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