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There are approximately 3000 languages in the world. They do not have the same rules and vocabulary, therefore word-to-word translation is not possible. Since languages are so different, translation is more of an art than a science.
There are also words which have more than just one equivalent in another language (du/Sie)
Idioms – colloquial expression which has a meaning which cannot be worked out from the meanings of the words it contains. It is required to know the idiom itself. E. g. an English person wouldn’t understand “Bez pri?? ce nie si?? koli?? ce” if translated word-to-word.
Criteria for translation:
There are proper names and general words.
Using general words is basically creating labels. Creating labels is efficient for the purpose of saving time. However, mislabeling may create problems. There are many different ways of classifying things. Labels can be natural (objective) or cultural. Labels of people can easily slip into stereotypes – that is making assumptions about members of a group simply because they belong to it. (e. g. Giovanni eats spaghetti since he’s Italian). These often lead to racism and sexism. Labels and stereotypes are useful when simplifying things but can be dangerous since they’re not able to capture the uniqueness of each member of a group.
The extent to which language affects the way we think The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis = “Language determines thought”. Our reality is determined by language. E. g. Eskimos see different patterns in snow since they have many different words for it. – Edward Sapir” We cannot understand what we cannot label. E. g. Hopi Indians have no “time” in their language – Benjamin Whorf It is a form of linguistic determinism. Testing the hypothesis Evidence of thought without language: Babies and animals are able to think without language (simple mental arithmetic) Language is secondary, thoughts come as images. We sometimes cannot express our ideas with words New words created and first languages arising (pre-language thought needed).
Rather than determining thought, language more likely influences thought. It is a useful tool to enable us think. E. g. babies have some basic mathematical knowledge but are unable to multiply since they don’t have the appropriate “vocabulary”
Language can have great influence on people. For example, advertisers use language as an advertising tool (sparkling water, economy class in planes) Using language to influence and persuade
Concealing undesired information and only saying positives may have a positive effect. Using euphemisims may make it easier for soldiers to kill their enemies and lose the moral responsibility. (kill = neutralize, invade = liberate, destroy = take out, dead = no longer a factor,… ) Language can be used to gain power over people. It plays an important roles in our attitudes and may change our opinions. E. g. Adolf Hitler used language to gain power and manipulate people.
Perception is the awareness of things using the five senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Humans are visually oriented and use their smell the least.
Senses not only reflect the reality but actively construct it. Perceptual illusions Perception consists of two elements:
These things play an important role in perception:
Perception is selective – it picks some elements to concentrate on and ignores others. Therefore we often not hear the ticking of a clock but hear a scream in the middle of the night. Important factors are contrast, interest and mood.
Seeing and believing “Believing is seeing” 3 examples:
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