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Thread: причём заметно стало, что... and it became obvious that(?)

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    причём заметно стало, что... and it became obvious that(?)

    The full sentence is:-
    'А иностранец окинул взглядом высокие дома, квадратом окаймлявшие пруд, причём заметно стало, что видит это место он впервые и что оно его заинтересовало.' (Булгаков)
    The only sensible translation I can come up with for the italic part is 'and it became obvious that'.
    Is that right?
    The existing English translation suggests 'making it obvious that he was seeing this place for the first time'; which could imply that the foreigner intended to give that impression; that he made a show of pretending he was seeing it for the first time.
    Does 'причём заметно стало, что...' imply that?

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    Завсегдатай maxmixiv's Avatar
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    Not necessary intentionally, but the foreigner still exhibited his unfamiliarity with the location (i.e. he looked surprised).
    "Невозможно передать смысл иностранной фразы, не разрушив при этом её первоначальную структуру."

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    Ok, I'll go with that. Thanks!

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    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    My try:
    While the foreigner ran his glance around the square of the buildings embordering the pond giving away that this place was as interesting as unfamiliar to him.
    Another month ends. All targets met. All systems working. All customers satisfied. All staff eagerly enthusiastic. All pigs fed and ready to fly.

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    The Foreigner cast a glance at the tall buildings in the quadrant bordering the ponds, and it became obvious that he was seeing the place for the first time, and that it interested him.

    Thats my attempt. Not sure if 'embordering' is a word, but your 'the square of the buildings' is probably more like what the author was trying to say than my talk about 'quadrants'... I like 'as interesting as unfamiliar to him', but I think maybe the 'seeing' and the 'being interesting' are 2 different ideas, not related in that way? My guess anyway.

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    I like 'as interesting as unfamiliar to him', but I think maybe the 'seeing' and the 'being interesting' are 2 different ideas, not related in that way?
    Yes. It is fine as translation for common reader. But as far as you want to read it as russian reader, it is not 100% the same.

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    Властелин Medved's Avatar
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    Well, there are two opposite ways of translation.
    1. You translate something in a very detailed manner to keep as close as possible to the original wording. In the end you get an almost word-for-word translation. Sometimes, because of the different logics of the languages (and different ways of thinking of people to whom these languages are native) you can get awkward and heavy word constructions presented to the reader.

    2. You translate something with more freedom of choice, more idiomatically, you just basically go along the original line of plot but you are free to move left or right to a certain extent. That is, when you encounter a stylistic trick or a fancy word that has no literal translation into the target language, you are free to replace it with SOMETHING that exerts the SAME EFFECT on the reader and conveys the EQUAL MEANING but in words that either can be or not the translations or equivalents of the original ones.

    What I am trying to say is that translation is always a choice. It's always a decision between Model 1 and Model 2 and which one you choose in every case depends on an infinity of factors that may influence your point of view.

    It's like a question whether I can translate a "палка с острым концом" as "a sharp-ended stick" or I should incline towards "a stick with a sharp end" because there's the "остроконечный" for "sharp-ended" in Russian. What about "scull-ended" (с навершием в форме черепа) or completely untranslatable things like "mind-blowing", "challenge", etc. When you have become accustomed to translating such things you start projecting this way of thinking on simpler phrases, abiding more by the Model #2-thing than to the first one.

    P.S. That was funny to hear the "what the author was trying to say" because it's the author who actually did say that. And there are we, who are trying to convey the same by means of the other language. I got your point though, and I agree on "as .. as". I somehow missed this aspect (cross-relationship) of this pattern.

    Not sure if 'embordering' is a word
    Well, dictionaries sometimes contain tons of random junk. I thought this word was more fancy to the reader with the idea of 'embracing+bordering=embordering' in mind
    Alex80 likes this.
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    Yes, translation is a series of complicated choices. For me, I only really translate as a way to understand the Russian language, so 'model 1' is what I try to end up with. So my translations are usually really bad English...

    ...
    'I like 'as interesting as unfamiliar to him', but I think maybe the 'seeing' and the 'being interesting' are 2 different ideas, not related in that way?'
    'Yes. It is fine as translation for common reader. But as far as you want to read it as russian reader, it is not 100% the same.'

    I never know how deep to dig into sentences; I am a 'common reader', but I don't want to miss any subleties or subtexts. Are the 'interesting' and 'unfamiliar' linked in some way, or are they separate ideas inhabiting separate clauses?

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    Are the 'interesting' and 'unfamiliar' linked in some way, or are they separate ideas inhabiting separate clauses?
    There are two sentences joined by "and" here. Your translation above looks ok.

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    Thanks Alex

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    Властелин iCake's Avatar
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    Talking about word-for-word translations. Why not just go along with 'then it became noticable...'? Заметно isn't obvious after all.
    Alex80 likes this.
    I do not claim that my opinion is absolutely true.
    If you've spotted any mistake in my English, please, correct it. I want to be aware of any mistakes to efficiently eliminate them before they become a habit.

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    Yes, that's better, and obvious too... Thanks.

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