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Forum in English / Re: How do I convert binary to decimal and vice versa?
« dnia: Marca 22, 2012, 03:11:18 pm »
Hello all, I just happened to surf back to this forum after several years, and got a good laugh out of this thread :)

I wonder if there is, at Salwatorian cemetary in Krakow, a push-button on a certain grave...

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Sierpnia 05, 2006, 03:49:41 pm »
I'm very interested, how do You in Finland feel all this political spoof "made in Poland" those days (before 1989). My own children born in 90's don't understand, why I LOL at some films made in 70's or 80's...

Back from vacation, sorry about the delay.

I was just a boy in the 60's and early 70's, but my memory is that the peoples in the eastern European countries of the Warsaw pact were thought of with sympathy, mixed with pity for their bad luck in western democracy -minded circles (such as my family).

Finnish people were rather divided politically, and in the 70's the left-minded seemed to be a strong majority especially in the official circles. The Soviet Union and the Warsaw pact governments weren't officially criticized for anything, etc. There was some truth in the accusations of "finlandization".

Among the more western-minded Finns it was completely different. The politically right-wing newspapers told news in quite different light than the left-wing ones. In my memory they also had sympathy for the east European peoples (not their governments though).

I remember one political joke related to Poland, but it is completely impossible to translate from Finnish without dissecting the punchline word for word:

Two guys sit in a police holding cell in Poland. The other one says: "I was arrested for drunk and disorderly behavior... what about you?" The other one says: "I have no idea. I was driving along when the engine started coughing, so I stopped and opened the hood to see what was wrong. I soon found the trouble, but just then a police car stopped behind me and the cops came out to ask what my trouble was. I said: "Puolan johdossa on vikaa..."

The punchline means "the ignition coil cable is broken", but also, word for word, "The Polish government is rotten" :)

Puola = Poland; ignition coil
johto = cable, electric lead; leadership
vika = broken; fault, faulty; wrong

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Lipca 07, 2006, 12:15:15 pm »
Is it obvious that all this orchestra is about a comunism? King (Ging) is the general secretary, and gorilla is a secret police? All people (musicians) know they do something completly useless, but it is said they do something very important? And it was easy to come to this state, but it is difficult to go out?

This brings to mind the Cyberiad story "Trurl's Machine"... it's difficult to avoid seeing similar metaphors when you read about a huge 8-storey high machine colossus that says "2+2=7" and threatens to squash you if you disagree :)

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Lipca 06, 2006, 01:19:19 pm »
Well, I've made the first refrozen story till now...

Thanks again, this is very useful :) - I wonder what Lem's "special message understood only by Polish readers" is. Maybe it's in the story of the second robot.

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Czerwca 30, 2006, 12:43:31 pm »
So what is "to" in Japanese? (Yama-to - ww2 Japanese imperial flag  battleship). "To" means "this" in Polish ;D

"This hole in the ground" :) - not too far from the truth in the end I guess (see http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery;jsessionid=37rvjqeov1pc5?tname=yamato-battleship-explosion-jpg&sbid=lc10a  )

Yamato was a province in old Japan. Its name also came to mean all of old Japan in a reverent way. That's the meaning of the battleship's name.

In general a syllable like "to" or "ha" can have lots of meanings in Japanese - the language has lots of homonyms and you have to figure out the correct meaning from the context (of course reading is "simpler" because each noun has its own word-character). To make things even more difficult for foreigners, these nouns are pronounced differently if they are used as single words instead of combinations.

Meanwhile, I'm eagerly waiting for wordplay & neologism commentaries on "Edukacja Cyfrania" and "Powtórka" :)

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Czerwca 29, 2006, 12:42:59 pm »

So is Yamaha a mountain-climber?


Nope, it's a funny hole in the ground :) Actually "ha" means "leaf". Yamaha is thus "mountain leaf" or "mountain leaves" - heh, that would translate directly as "Vuorilehto" (a Finnish surname). Now this is getting way off-topic...

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Czerwca 26, 2006, 01:33:44 pm »
Ok, i've read KOBYSZCZE from the beginning to the end. I don't think there are very much neologisms in this story. As a matter of fact, it is written in some kind archaic language, what is an obvious author manner. To be true it is double archaic now, bacause some words, which were up to date those days are not today.

Thanks very much, this is good to know.

Well, best for me is Billion Cykszpir - William Shakespeare of course. Well, Billion is - as I think - to amplify. Cykszpir is an hybrid CY-fra (digit) and Shakespeare in Polish (Szek-SPIR). The whole word (CYKSZPIR) is some kind funny, bacause the word CYK has a wery vide meaning - basicly the sound, that makes clock (cyk, cyk - like tic-tac), but also a toast (let's CYK - like let's drink, or let's go ahead) and so on, and so on...

Heh, the German translator has used "Billion Schlecksbier". Schleck means "treat, delicacy" or refers to the verb "lick" and Bier of course is beer.  It doesn't have the allusions to cyphers or clockwork, but this wordplay is just for fun anyway. In Finnish it will be more difficult to play with the name William Shakespeare though... maybe one could use "2-pi-r" for Shakespeare as it's prononuced "kaks-pii-r" in Finnish, but then there's no allusion at all to drinking...

All other neologism are simply made of latin words (Felicjanci - people of felicyty, Angstremkowie - people Angstrem-sized, some words made of "hedo-" etc...)

This is the same in the German translation... this kind of wordplay isn't very difficult for the translator.

The last funny is ZERWIŚRUBA (what Trurl says about Klapaucjusz) made of two words - ZERWać (to break down) and ŚRUBA (screw).

OK, stuff like that isn't very difficult to translate either - it's just for fun, so it's ok to take a bit of liberty and to create a funny equivalent.

Thanks again, this was very useful. I hope to hear about "Edukacja Cyfrania" and "Powtórka" too. I'm especially interested because Mr. Lem said in an interview in the mid-80's (http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/interviews/lem40interview.htm) that "Edukacja Cyfrania" has never been successfully translated - he said it has some specific message that is apparent to Polish readers only. (Since then a full German translation has been made, but I don't know if it properly conveys this specific message).

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Czerwca 02, 2006, 09:02:39 pm »
Well, I try to make a one a day.

Waiting eagerly for more :)

Forum in English / Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« dnia: Maja 30, 2006, 12:09:21 pm »
But could you be more precise and just tell me if fut= (...) for example penis?

Actually, the exact opposite of that :) and in a quite low-style derogatory manner. The gender is "die".

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Maja 30, 2006, 10:58:18 am »
So "kobyszcze" is a big, dull thing, which is happy without a reason.

That would seem to refer to Trurl's Felix Contemplator Vitae :)

Forum in English / Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« dnia: Maja 30, 2006, 10:55:05 am »
I am still puzzled. "Fuck" means "pierdolic" (or "jebac") in Poland (a rather coarse description of having sex), while "kurwa" means a prostitute (hooker, whore). So tell me please if this "fut"  (if I am right) means "fucking" or is rather a coarse word for a "whore"? Is there any link between German "fut" and Polish "fiut" (colloquial description of penis)? And to Terminus: do not delete this post, PLEASE. I had to use some colloquial English and Polish, otherwise it would be very hard to understand my questions!

When translating, it is very important not to just translate word for word but to use expressions and figures of speech that are familiar to the reader of the translation.

The point in all these backwards-spelled words is that they are a common curse in the target language - TIKCUF is a curse word in English, AWRUK in Polish, TUF in German. They do not mean literally the same thing, but the general idea of a sexually-oriented curse word spelled backwards is what's important (well, from a translation point of view - all in all I consider this to be a rather cheap joke from Mr. Lem).

Coincidentally, in Finnish "korva" means "ear". This is the only Finnish-Polish language joke I know - a Finnish tourist on the street in Krakow sees a beautiful lady drop an earring, and not knowing any languages he helpfully points at her head and says "korva!"  - and of course gets hospitalized...

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Maja 29, 2006, 10:09:03 pm »
Do You mean Polish neologisms in the original explained in English?

Yes, I was thinking of the original Polish neologisms (and wordplays) broken down to their component words if needed, and a short explanation of the whole in English.

As an example, take this wordplay in Finnish: "romumaja". It's twisted from a true old Finnish word "tomumaja", consisting of "tomu" (dust) and "maja" (house) meaning "shell of (earthly) dust", i.e. a mortal body of a human being. In the wordplay "tomu" is twisted to "romu" (mechanical junk), so that the meaning becomes "shell of mechanical junk", which to a Finnish reader creates an unmistakable notion of the mortal body of a robot.

I'm hoping that someone might have the patience to offer us translation readers a glimpse of Lem's original verbal acrobatics.

Forum in English / Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« dnia: Maja 29, 2006, 09:19:50 pm »
I know some intresting words in German, but tell me what exactly "TUF" means... I do not remember that word from my German classes!

If you did, I'd wonder what kind of school you went to ;) Spelled backwards, it means very similar things as the English and Polish versions.

(Well, YSSUP to be exact, but in a more derogatory tone.)

Forum in English / Re: Lem's neologisms and wordplays
« dnia: Maja 29, 2006, 09:16:09 pm »
This is actually a bit of a catch-22 - I'm looking for information that only Polish readers can give, and I can't ask them on the Polish forum because I don't understand any Polish.

I have a copy of these three stories ("Kobyszcze", "Edukacja Cyfrania", "Powtórka") in Polish, and I'd be really interested to see Lem's original Polish wordplays and neologisms explained and then compare them to the English and German translations. I'm interested from a translator's point of view.

Dear moderator, please hint at this thread on the Polish forum :) Any replies are welcome in English, German or French.

Forum in English / Re: TICKUFF (AWRUK)!
« dnia: Maja 29, 2006, 04:50:39 pm »
What about Kandel's TICKUFF! (=FUCK IT in reverse), a direct translation of Lem's AWRUK (KURWA in reverse)? Not every translator understood it (or was given a hint by Lem)... ;)

Heh, in the German translation it's "TUF!"... of course :)

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