Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Details that REALLY matter: Verb Conversion

When we work with equivalencies, a totally new world appears: That of the cultural traits of the peoples.

It is already hard enough to imagine why we would not all come from the same fish or monkey, as some evolutionists suggest (Evolutionists), imagine imagining why we have so many different languages, habits, phenotypes, and etc.

Well, we recently learned another VERY IMPORTANT DETAIL about the English language: Subjunctive is a mood, not a way, as the Portuguese language suggests that it should be.

We should definitely have a lot of care with the terms we use in Science: All that we pass to others has to be passed via language.

As we said in Words for Science, every detail matters.

Basically, because the word they use in the Portuguese language to refer to Indicative and Subjunctive is Modo, things change in a radical manner: We say não é possível se conseguir um equivalente para um termo específico que funcione, and que funcione brings funcione, which is a conjugation of the verb funcionar in the present tense, but in the subjunctive mood.

Translating the above paragraph is really scary because this mood in English is obviously not entirely the modo in Portuguese.

We have written about the gaps (Gaps) and the gluts (Gluts) in language, but this is something else: This is about a non-empty intersection of senses and, at the same time, a partial gap.

We cannot equate mood to mode in all instances of application of the verbs. The equivalence will only work perfectly well for some of the instances.

It is obviously a case in which we must make notes when translating/converting.

When we read Subjunctive Mood, we understand that we should only use this mood, subjunctive, in the English language, when we are making a suggestion, demanding something, insisting on something, or when we are making a conditional statement. To make it all worse, Subjunctive 2 brings a list of verbs with which we should be using the subjunctive mood in a mandatory way.

Subjunctive in Portuguese, on the other hand, tells us of at least one different use of the subjunctive in Portuguese: Doubt. In Portuguese, what makes the presence of the subjunctive something mandatory is not only the presence of a particular verb earlier in the sentence, but also, for instance, the presence of a certain verb form  and a certain preposition at an earlier moment in the sentence.

In não é possível se conseguir um equivalente para um termo específico que funcione, for instance, what makes the presence of the subjunctive mood of the verb funcionar mandatory is the fact that conseguir and que appear in the sentence at an earlier moment.

There are more instances of application of the subjunctive in the Portuguese language that do not find a match in the English language.

We would say it is not possible to get an equivalent to a specific term that works in the English language, and that works brings works, which is a conjugation of the verb to work in the present tense, but in the indicative mood.

Cultural traits reign then: Wow, what a substantial difference!

No comments:

Post a Comment