Situation
Posted: 05 November 2007 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]
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How automatically is this understood as a military/strategic problem? For example, “King, we have a ‘situation’ here at the outpost.” Perhaps “snafu” would be better, but it runs into problems of anachronisms (anochronicity?). Probably, 40-50 years ago it wouldn’t have been a problem for the reader.

I’m reviewing a translation into English (my first try at such things) of an economic/historical text and it’s a bear. I’m assuming the authors want it to sound like normal English. Was that languagehat I heard groaning?

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Posted: 05 November 2007 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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When was the text written? It’s not clear from your post and that’s key to evaluating potential solutions.

“Situation” in this sense is very recent military jargon. It would be generally understood if you’re talking about a contemporary military problem, but it would be anachronistic given a period of even some 50 years ago. A more generic “problem” might be better, but it’s hard to tell without knowing exactly what you are trying to translate.

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Posted: 05 November 2007 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yes, the text is modern—this year-- but it concerns the period of explorations 500 years ago. So it’s in the words of the authors but describing events back then. It’s somewhat of an academic treatment, but aimed at a broader audience. I’m not doing the translation into English, it was done by a native speaker of the original Portuguese. Gee, I hate to think my ear is off that far. I thought the usage went back several decades in English. “Problem” is in fact the word used by the translator so I may just stick with that.

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