Re: re Contractions

Subject: Re: re Contractions
From: Janice Gelb <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Sun, 08 Jan 2006 14:31:55 -0800

nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il wrote:

John Garison wrote:
I also don't buy the argument that they are hard to translate.

I didn't buy it either, but I got it for free.
Working here in Israel for an operation that documents its products in English for export,
I told the manager, "Anyone who doesn't understand
the contractions shouldn't be claiming to understand
the language."

Wrong, she said: the contractions are a separate
problem. She cited herself as an example. "When
I went to work in the USA, I couldn't understand the
people there because they used contractions. I'd been
taught the English language in Israel, but not the

Sounds odd to me, but it's her experience, not mine.
Who am I to argue?

I don't doubt that it's true -- I actually experienced
this the other way around. When I lived in Israel,
people used a lot of idioms and informal words instead
of the formal words I'd learned in school (e.g., "kor'im
li" rather than "shmi," "sherutim" rather than "beit
shimush," no one in Israel actually using feminine plural,
etc.) I've found this with many writers in India, also:
they tend to use more formal, dictionary-discovered words
that make it obvious they are not native speakers.

-- Janice

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re Contractions: From: nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il

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