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Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 5:17:47 PM

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Hi again.

That use of "you" is very common.

You hear it all the time. One hears it all the time.
"One" sounds 'posh' and formal. "You" is more normal English.

you pron (subjective or objective)
1. refers to the person addressed or to more than one person including the person or persons addressed but not including the speaker: you know better; the culprit is among you.
2. Also: one - refers to an unspecified person or people in general: you can't tell the boys from the girls.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017 12:11:43 PM

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Location: Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Hello guys!

Once upon a time I have asked some questions about this novel I am translating. It's still ongoing and I need your help again. Here are the problematic parts:

1.
After six months’ careful negotiation he had flown to a clinic in Luanda, on the Angolan coast, and completed the necessary paperwork. The changes to his own aug protocols were all legal and covered by watertight non disclosure statutes. The new taps had been injected painlessly, migrating to their chosen brain regions without complication. Establishing the neural connections with his own brain tissue took several weeks, as the taps not only bonded with his mind but carried out diagnostic tests on their own functioning.
In the late summer of the previous year he’d had strange machine like dreams, his head filled with luminous gridlike patterns and insanely complex tapestries of pulsing neon. He’d been warned. Then the taps bedded down, his dreams returned to normal and he felt exactly as he had done before.


Who had warned him, and about what? Was it the "surgeons" who had warned him that these kind of hallucinations might turn up? Or was it the taps that had warned him about something?

2.
The lower parts of the buildings, where they were accessible from street level or elevated walkways, were gaudy with layers of psycho reactive graffiti. The upper levels carried active banners and flags or daubs of fluid, oozing neon, alongside tethered balloons with illuminated flanks.

It describes a Lunar city. What exactly are those "daubs of fluid, oozing neon"? How should I imagine that? Please, help me with some rephrasing.

3.
The elevator shot them up through the core of the building, through the ceiling, through metres of compacted Lunar soil, onto the night drenched surface. They exited in small glass sided pimple: the embarkation lounge for bubble canopied rovers, docked like suckling piglets around the building’s perimeter.


Okay, what do you think? Does that pimple look like a small glass hemisphere on the ground?

4.
In the absence of airglow it came as a surprise to summit a slight rise and suddenly be overlooking an amphitheatre of blazing light: a kilometre wide crater repurposed as arena, with pressurised galleries sunk back into its inner wall. Spherical, hooded viewing pods resembled so many goggling eyeballs, linked by the fatty optic nerves of umbilical connecting tunnels. The rover passed through an excavated cleft in the crater wall, then drove around the perimeter.


First: Are galleries and viewing pods are the same thing? And second: Why are those tunnels umbilical when a few words before the structure was described like eyeballs? I can't see the connection.

That's it for now. Thank you for your help!
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017 1:17:57 PM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello again teregudi!

Gosh! I've forgotten even more about these books, now.

1. I read it the same way you did. The surgeons (or someone in that medical line) had warned him he may have strange dreams while the taps connected properly and the augs settled in.

2. This is the Parliament building in Romania.


3. That's exactly the picture I get - like an 'igloo tent' .

4. a. My impression it that the 'pods' were spherical (as it says) but that the galleries were more like corridors with a window all along one side.



b. From an anatomical viewpoint, that is a "mixed metaphor" - having eyeballs connected to umbilical cords.

However, from a "space-science" point of view, it is not so strange as an "umbilical" is any connection which supplies necessary materials - you can have an "umbilical" connecting a suit-helmet to an oxygen tank or water reservoir (for drinking).
It originally meant 'navel', but now does not have to be in that region - it doesn't even have to be about a body - rockets and submarines have umbilicals too.

umbilical n
2. Aerospace
a. Any of various external electrical lines or fluid tubes that supply a rocket before launch.
b. The line that supplies an astronaut with oxygen and in some cases with communications while outside the spacecraft.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017 4:50:09 PM

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Hello again Drag0nspeaker! I knew I could count on you! Never mind the books, I always attach the necessary context ;)

2.
I'm sorry but I'm still not sure what the author wants to describe. So, should I imagine that the buildings carried either active (moving) banners and flags OR some kind of projected pictures showing fluid, oozing (moving, also) neon? I must be an idiot but I don't get the picture, I can't read the words together.

4.
I didn't know that meaning of umbilical, I must have overlooked it somewhere. Thank you for the explanation ;)

If you don't mind, I add two more questions to this reply:

5.
Geoffrey pushed to the window. Huge machines littered the ground, beached by some vast Selenean tide. Worms or maggots or centipedes: segmented, with plates of deftly interlocking body armour and ranks of powerful tractor limbs running down the lengths of their submarine sized bodies. They had chewing mouths, drilling probosces, fierce grappling and ripping devices.
[...]
Geoffrey’s perceptions took a savage lurch and he was suddenly out there, disembodied, able to roam at will in the ching space of the arena. Jitendra’s robot wasn’t crawling now; it was propelling itself in convulsive jerks, tractor claws threshing, body sections pistoning back and forth like some heavy industrial mechanism that had escaped its shackles.
[...]
The engagement was as sudden and brutal as a pair of sumo wrestlers charging into each other. At first, Jitendra’s machine appeared to have the upper hand. It flexed itself around the enemy, using rows of tractor limbs to gain purchase, sinking their sharpened tips into gaps in armour plating. Articulating its head end, it brought the whirring nightmare of its circular cutting teeth into play.


Does tractor mean the same thing in all three cases? And what is it exactly? Because if I google it the pictures show the farming vehicle. Or is it more like an excavator shovel?

6.
If anything it looked a little more battle scarred than its neighbours, with chunks nibbled out of its side plating exposing a vile gristle of hydraulics, control ducting and power cables.
[...]
Mechanical junk, all gristle and wires.
[...]
Sibyl, the other Overfloater, was holding a kind of pneumatic drill, double gripped like a gangster era machine gun. It was heavy and green and wrapped in a gristle of cabling.


If I am right gristle is a synonym for tangle. Is gristle commonly used to refer to a tangle? I've never encountered it until now.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:06:25 PM

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To be honest, I don't know on #2.

The writer doesn't explain the mechanics, but the effect seems to be that of moving, flowing neon signs - I don't think that they would be projected (as the image from Romania is) but some sort of active paint which hasn't been invented yet.
Or it could be that the buildings were covered with large TV screens showing the colours flowing from one to another.

5. "Tractor" as an adjective or as an attributive noun means 'pulling'.
A farm tractor pulls a plough or other machine behind it.
Some sci-fi writers speak of 'tractor-beams' - beams of energy which pull things - and 'pressor-beams' which push.
So I see these robots as worm-shaped, but with lots of articulated limbs (with claws) which pull it along (no wheels or legs).

6. No - it's new to me too.
'Gristle' normally is the common name for 'cartilage' - the stuff which connects bones to muscles.
It is very tough and sort of looks like strings or ropes sometimes.
It is not a word normally used to mean 'tangle'.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 12:56:25 PM

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Location: Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Thank you, Drag0nspeaker, now I can deal with these lines! But the fight is not over yet!

1.
Sunday was already experiencing Martian gravity. She was in one of several concentric centrifuge wheels, packed like watch gears into Stickney, the eight kilometre wide crater at one end of the little potato shaped moon. The shops, boutiques and restaurants were set into facades of rough hewn reddish stone. Decorated with black and white mosaics, the pavements and thoroughfares wound their way around fountains and signs and items of abstract public art, neon pink installations mostly themed around dust devils and sand dunes.


Could you explain to me what it looks like exactly?

2.
Cutting across the middle of the painting was a horizontal swathe of trees, depicted with naive exactness and symmetry. Ornamenting the trees, perched on the branches like jewels and lanterns, were many colourful birds with long tails and horned beaks. In the foreground were ochre grasses and emerald shrubs. Woven into the grasses, striped and counter striped like partial ciphers, were many different kinds of animal, from lions to zebra to giraffe and rhino, snakes and scorpions.


What is a "partial cipher"? Is it like a barcode?

3.
The rug on the floor was a kind of textile rather than a self cleansing frond carpet. When he stood on it, it didn’t ooze over his shoes and try to pick them clean of nourishment.


The rug probably "eats" the nourishment from people's shoes to stay alive, right?

4.
There were boats at sea, fishing and leisure craft, even some of the elegant multi masted cyberclippers: benign Marie Celestes, holds abrim with bulky, non perishable cargoes.


Do you think cyberclippers are like old sailing ships (like Marie Celeste), or they are some high-tech crafts from the future?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 10:50:10 AM

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Oops! just spotted this below all the spam posts and other questions. I'll answer later, unless anyone else wants to join in?


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 2:22:56 PM

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Yeah, anyone is welcomed and free to give me a hand. It's not a private chat :)
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 4:11:51 PM

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teregudi wrote:


2.
‘The pistol, please,’ Hector said. ‘Put it down, Geoffrey.’
Geoffrey was on the verge of complying when he changed his mind and held the pistol by the barrel instead, his fingers around the multiply clustered cylinders of the various pacification devices. ‘You don’t come here,’ he said. ‘Not without my agreement.’
‘Hostility and defensiveness have their place in the modern business environment,’ Lucas said, folding the parasol, ‘but if family can’t drop by on a whim, who can?’


What does Geoffrey mean by that sentence?
a. Usually, you don't come here.
b. Don't you dare to come here without my permission!



This involves an archaic form of command, or imperative mode. It is still heard from time to time in some of the less literate parts of the USA. The plain meaning is "Never come here unannounced!"

From other questions in this thread, I gather that the author uses imagined parallel developments in the English language to express cultural differences. As a speaker of AE, I recognize a number of idioms usually attributed to "hills people" that have been slightly altered to conform better with the more literate and contemporary usage.

The art of the translator would involve trying to get that same "flavor" in the target language. If you could imagine such an isolated population in your own language where archaic usage is still conserved, that might be a key to finding an expressive translation.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 4:34:35 PM

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teregudi wrote:
Thank you, Drag0nspeaker, now I can deal with these lines! But the fight is not over yet!

1.
Sunday was already experiencing Martian gravity. She was in one of several concentric centrifuge wheels, packed like watch gears into Stickney, the eight kilometre wide crater at one end of the little potato shaped moon. The shops, boutiques and restaurants were set into facades of rough hewn reddish stone. Decorated with black and white mosaics, the pavements and thoroughfares wound their way around fountains and signs and items of abstract public art, neon pink installations mostly themed around dust devils and sand dunes.


Could you explain to me what it looks like exactly?


This is actually quite literal. A facade is a decorative front to a building. For example, most "brick" houses in the USA are actually built with a wooden frame and only have what is called "brickface" as a facade, sometimes with real brick and mortar, and other times from concrete that is formed and colored to look like brick.

What I imagine from this description is a row of shops carved out of the side of a rock, similar to the cave villages in Turkey.






"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 4:41:11 PM

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teregudi wrote:

2.
Cutting across the middle of the painting was a horizontal swathe of trees, depicted with naive exactness and symmetry. Ornamenting the trees, perched on the branches like jewels and lanterns, were many colourful birds with long tails and horned beaks. In the foreground were ochre grasses and emerald shrubs. Woven into the grasses, striped and counter striped like partial ciphers, were many different kinds of animal, from lions to zebra to giraffe and rhino, snakes and scorpions.


What is a "partial cipher"? Is it like a barcode?


My understanding is that the phrase means "incomplete coded messages", that is to say encrypted messages that have been partially lost or incompletely expressed.


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 4:53:20 PM

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teregudi wrote:

3.
The rug on the floor was a kind of textile rather than a self cleansing frond carpet. When he stood on it, it didn’t ooze over his shoes and try to pick them clean of nourishment.


The rug probably "eats" the nourishment from people's shoes to stay alive, right?



My impression is that "a self cleansing frond carpet" indiscriminately strips whatever comes into contact with it. Because it is contrasted with rugs made from a woven material, I suspect that it is a colony of some sort of plant that automatically removes alien material from its surface. I imagine it is designed to function like an automatic door mat, cleaning off the shoes on entry. It would be other living organisms that might consider the "dirt" as food. However, I would need more context to be confident about this interpretation.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, February 24, 2017 5:09:43 PM

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teregudi wrote:

4.
There were boats at sea, fishing and leisure craft, even some of the elegant multi masted cyberclippers: benign Marie Celestes, holds abrim with bulky, non perishable cargoes.


Do you think cyberclippers are like old sailing ships (like Marie Celeste), or they are some high-tech crafts from the future?


The combining form "cyber-" always implies artificial enhancement, if not artificial intelligence (AI).

The rest of the sentence is much more obtuse, so I would like to volunteer an explanation.

The "Marie Celeste" is a fictional ship from a short story written by Arthur Conan Doyle based on the historical "Mary Celeste", a ship that was discovered adrift and abandoned years after it had last been in port. Mr Doyle's account from the perspective of an imagined survivor was so compelling that it was republished and accepted by many readers as factual.

I should also note that the word "holds" is a noun in plural form, not a third person singular verb in present tense.

Also, "at sea" is (I assume intentionally) ambiguous. It can mean literally "traveling on the water", or it can mean "in a state of confusion away from familiar landmarks".


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:18:38 AM

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Wow!

If (as I guess) you have not read the books and so don't have all the background, that's quite brilliant.

leonAzul wrote:
As a speaker of AE, I recognize a number of idioms usually attributed to "hills people" that have been slightly altered to conform better with the more literate and contemporary usage.

The art of the translator would involve trying to get that same "flavor" in the target language. If you could imagine such an isolated population in your own language where archaic usage is still conserved, that might be a key to finding an expressive translation.

Oddly, the dialects are meant to be somewhat African, deviating from an international "Pan-English".

The Akinya family are an affluent African business family (probably equivalent to the Rockefellers of fifty years ago or something like that). Some are mainly humanitarian, some mainly (almost totally) business-people. 'The cousins' run the business and are motivated entirely by greed and are power-hungry. Sunday, Eunice and their brother are rather more human (but tough), the guy with the elephants is a bit of a recluse.

**********
I had a slightly different idea of 'partial cipher' - though it really does not make much difference in effect (the animals were all random-striped like a zebra).

I saw the other definition of 'cipher' which is just "a written symbol or number" so the stripes on the many animals looked like writing but with the letters all incomplete.

ci·pher also cy·pher n.
1. The mathematical symbol (0) denoting absence of quantity; zero.
2. An Arabic numeral or figure; a number.
6. a combination of letters, as the initials of a name; monogram.
7. a design consisting of interwoven letters; monogram

(Selected from TFD)

***************
Yes - the carpets are described elsewhere.
They are 'self-cleansing' because they consist of a modified moss/lichen sort of organism which looks like a carpet and 'eats' any small particles.

Exactly as leon perceived.

*************
Again, these are mentioned elsewhere - or at least similar things.

The cyberclippers are a form of non-polluting bulk transport system (it also used 'cyberblimps' or 'cyberzeppelins' in the air).
They are sailing-ships like the clippers of old, wind-powered, controlled by basic AIs (stupid enough to not object to doing nothing but sail round and round, but self-aware enough to control the ship through any change in weather, sea or obstacle).
They are Marie-Celestes because they sail with no apparent crew, but don't hit anything or sink in bad weather, just like the 'ghost-ship' was supposed to do.
Some of the smaller racing ships were controlled directly by a human mind - similar to the way Geoffrey and Sunday controlled the fighting machines.

I described the Mechanism last year as a sort of huge internet, but with implanted neural taps instead of computers and smartphones, and with neural augmentations ('augs') instead of 'apps'.
People see the normal world, but can also see an 'overlay' of additional data, in what is called 'ching-space' - which can be set at 'very unreal, an obvious mechanical addition' or 'so real that the real world pales in comparison', or anywhere in between.
So a person can 'enter ching-space' and control a machine - to the point they virtually 'become' the machine and forget the real world.
A bit like some 'gamers' nowadays, but more so.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:32:06 AM

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Thank you, leonAzul, these are very detailed and constructive replies you gave me! I hope I can count on you as my constant helper! Together with Drag0nspeaker, of course :)

The usage of that altered and imagined English may come from the world the novel is set in: It's 2160, India, China and Africa are gaining more and more power, English speaking countries are losing influence, everyone speaks their own languages since earphone translators interpret the speech, etc. I try to render these kind of things into Hungarian but it's quite difficult since Hungary is a small country and we don't have a lot of dialects like in English. The only thing I can do is to use "countryside speech" but it sounds really awful in a printed book.

Facades. That was what I was thinking, too, but I wanted to be sure :)

Partial ciphers. So I should imagine some fragmanted picture of the animals. I just didn't know if this phrase had a special meaning or something.

Self cleansing frond carpet. There isn't much more context to it, I always copy all the meaningful lines. I didn't come across the thorough description Drag0nspeaker mentioned. But I think I am clear about it now, anyway :)

Cyberclippers. Thank you for your explanations! As for the "at sea" part, I think it simply means "on water". Nothing refers to it that the ships are confused or lost. Drag0nspeaker, you know things that are not even described in the book :D So I think they will be explained in the second or third book of the series, that's why I don't understand them perfectly. So thank you for that! ;)
teregudi
Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:38:03 AM

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And here's the next dose:

5.
Another island, smaller this time, bore a dense thicket of skyscrapers, as if Singapore had become unmoored and drifted halfway around the world. As the DC 3 approached, the city revealed itself to be a congregation of stack farms, rising two kilometres from sea level. The stacks were mossy with vegetation, green carpeted up their sheer flanks. Robot dirigibles harvested the tops of the stacks, crowding around them like fattened bumblebees as they waited their turn.


Stack has so many meaning and I can't decide which one fits best in this context. What does it look like?

6.
‘Look at it this way,’ Chama said. ‘When it comes to long term funding, who’d you rather do business with – us or your family? We’re in it for the seriously long game. And we’ve every incentive to protect you and the Amboseli herds from outside interference.’
You’re good at this,’ Geoffrey said.
‘We have to be,’ Truro said. ‘It’s how things get done.’


What do you think they are good at? Protecting people or reasoning and persuasion?

7.
‘If she’s testing us, I suppose there has to be a reason.’
‘Gold at the end of the rainbow? Or just a dead woman playing malicious games with her descendants?’
‘I don’t know. Whatever Eunice planned, though, it was put in place before her last mission. She may have gone a little mad up in the Winter Palace – who wouldn’t? – but she was sane when she took Winter Queen out for its last expedition.’
Plenty of imagery and footage from then, in that case.
Sunday nodded. ‘That’s what unsettles me. Ever since she came back, the whole time she’s been up there, orbiting the Moon… she’s known about this… plot of hers.’


In this scene, they're talking about Eunice, Sunday's late grandmother, who hid a bunch of clues for her grandchildren to follow them. But I don't understand what the red sentence is doing there. It doesn't make any sense. Why does it matter that a lot of image and video survived from that time? What difference does it make?

8.
At its heart was a system of concentric circles, ripples frozen in the act of spreading, but that basic organisation was obscured within layers of additional geometric complexity. There were squares, triangles, smaller circles – some positioned at the middle of the main formation, others at some distance from the centre. There were spirals and sinusoids. There were ellipses and horsetails and comma like formations. It was, as near as Geoffrey could judge, marvellously, hypnotically symmetrical, in both the vertical and horizontal planes.


It's a mysterious formation on a distant planet. I suppose horsetail here is not the plant. So what is it, then? I think it's not a horse's tail, either.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, February 27, 2017 7:15:24 AM

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Stack farming is a current idea - not so futuristic. It uses a small area of land to give a large area of growing-space.

This is small-scale stack farming in Singapore:



And this is a stack-garden in Taipei:



6. I take it to mean 'good at persuasion'.

7. I'm not sure - I don't remember thinking anything particular.
My current 'logic' on it is that since she was sane at the time, she will have followed proper procedure, keeping good records (including video and images). If she had been insane, she may have just sailed off with no record.
I don't know if he's meaning "so we may find some more clues in the records" - possibly.

8. I don't think it's the plant.

My guess is similar to a 'comma' but stretched and frayed.
One end is small and it spreads and breaks into 'branches' towards the other end.

These hairstyles are called 'horsetails' (a ponytail is neater)



and a real one


**************
I don't know whether there are actual descriptions of these things, but many of them are mentioned again and again, using different words and phrases to talk about them. My 'explanations' are the 'gestalt' (another German word used in English) of all the bits I picked up through the whole story/set.
I may also have ideas from other similar books for the technologies (I learned about stack farming on the Venus Project which is futuristic planning based on current technology).


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
leonAzul
Posted: Monday, February 27, 2017 5:54:46 PM

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teregudi wrote:

6.
‘Look at it this way,’ Chama said. ‘When it comes to long term funding, who’d you rather do business with – us or your family? We’re in it for the seriously long game. And we’ve every incentive to protect you and the Amboseli herds from outside interference.’
You’re good at this,’ Geoffrey said.
‘We have to be,’ Truro said. ‘It’s how things get done.’


What do you think they are good at? Protecting people or reasoning and persuasion?



I read this as meaning that they are good at taking care of everything about the business in a way that reveals intelligence, preparation, diligence, experience, and not a small amount of "hustle".

‘It’s how things get done’ is just the sort of explanation one would expect to hear from a successful entrepreneur, or a mafioso.

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
teregudi
Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 2:24:08 AM

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5. Stack farming. Oh, I get it now. Thank you, professor!

6. Well, since you two have a different opinion about this sentence, I'll try to translate it the same way and make it ambiguous.

7. Okay, so there's not much more to it than the mere meaning of the words. I still take it a little odd but I won't overthink it.

8. When I first read horsetail I imagined the hairstyle of girl 1 and girl 2. It didn't fit at all. But now that I look at girl 3 and the real horsetail I feel convinced that the author really meant nothing more than a swinging horsetail. Thank you for the demonstration!
teregudi
Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 2:35:49 AM

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Are you ready for the next package?

9.
‘Surely you grasp that this is about more than just your family now, Geoffrey. You are right to point out that I only chinged to the Winter Palace. Given my circumstances, that was unavoidable. But you could visit in person, couldn’t you?’
‘It’s a bit late for that.’
‘I’m thinking of the things she may have left behind. Records, testimonies. An explanation for her death. You should go, while there’s still a chance of doing so.’


What are records here: written notes, audio files, or something else?

10.
The golem wasn’t on the car – unless it was wearing someone else’s face, and the Pan intelligence suggested otherwise – but that didn’t mean Sunday wasn’t being watched.


It means that Pans doubted the golem was wearing someone else's face, right?

11.
The voice belonged to a proxy, a brass coloured robot chassis with many gears and ratchets ticking and whirring in the open cage of its skull. Its eyes were like museum piece telescopes, goggling out of its dialled face.


What's a dialled face?

12.
‘We’ll cross that bridge later. For now, let’s get started on the citizenship application.’ She smiled at his hesitation. ‘It’s just a formality. You’re not signing over your immortal soul to Neptune and his watery minions.’
‘What do I have to do?’
She voked text into the air. ‘Just read these words, and we’re good to go.’


He has to read it aloud?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 4:25:42 AM

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Hi again.

9. I don't remember that it would mean anything specific - written, audio, video messages - anything left in the computer memory or known by any of the AIs running the station (The Winter Palace was a space station, wasn't it?).

10. I take it just as "data received from the Pan intelligence/spy network" - they were some sort of conspiracy/cult at this point in the story, weren't they?

11. If I remember correctly, 'proxies' could be made to look completely human - but most people felt more at ease if it was obviously a robot.
This one sounds like it was very 'over the top' in that respect - a sort of 'steampunk' exaggeration of machinery.
The face actually made up of cogs and dials, a bit like these.



12. I think that the idea was that he read the words aloud.
Often, the acceptance of citizenship involves a verbal oath - it sounds a bit like that.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 6:37:13 AM

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9. Yes, Winter Palace is a space station with the spaceship Winter Queen inside it.

10. Okay, but this data suggested that the golem probably wasn't wearing another face, right? As for Pans, they were a big organization at this time with a lot of followers all around the system.

11. Hmm, that haven't crossed my mind. But it sounds a very reasonable explanation. Thanks for the pics.

12. Reading it aloud makes much more sense, indeed. Thank you for the confirmation!
teregudi
Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 6:44:28 AM

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Anyway, to be continued:

13.
Memphis came with him in the Cessna, and they landed at the semi permanent airstrip adjacent to Geoffrey’s research station. It was a trio of modular huts set around three sides of a square compound, where an ancient zebra striped truck and an even more ancient zebra striped jeep stood dormant.


My question is whether the huts were set inside or outside the fence of the compound. It's kind of obvious that they were inside but that"around" is a bit confusing to me.

14.
He walked to the door and unclipped the pistol from its alloy storage cabinet to the right of the doorframe, situated just below the first aid kit. Around the weapon’s lightweight frame were bolted a variety of stun/disorientation devices, ranging from laser/acoustic projectors to electrical and rapid effect anaesthetic darts.
Geoffrey flicked the arming stud and opened the door, cupping the other hand over his eyes against the afternoon glare.
[...]
Geoffrey was on the verge of complying when he changed his mind and held the pistol by the barrel instead, his fingers around the multiply clustered cylinders of the various pacification devices. ‘You don’t come here,’ he said. ‘Not without my agreement.’
[...]
Geoffrey aimed the gun’s stock at Hector. ‘You never said anything about becoming more involved.’
[...]
Slowly, his eyes on Geoffrey, Hector began to reach for the pistol. ‘Let’s not go down that route, cousin. We were all friends the night you came back from the Moon. There’s no need for this antagonism between us.’
Geoffrey yanked the pistol out of Hector’s reach. ‘We’ve never been friends. Let’s be absolutely clear on that. And what Sunday does is up to her.’
[...]
‘Well, it’s good to establish a basis for further negotiations,’ Lucas said. He was still two metres from Geoffrey, standing further away than his brother, but in a single swift motion he brought up the shaft of the parasol and whipped the end of it hard against the stock of the pistol, the impact knocking the weapon out of Geoffrey’s hand, sending it careening into the dirt. Geoffrey jerked back his hand in shock, half expecting to find his fingers broken by the jolt.
[...]
Hector was still holding the pistol. He looked at it distastefully, worked the mode selector and fired one of the tranquilliser darts into the ground.


What does this pistol look like? At first, I thought the devices were bolted around the barrel like a revolver cylinder but it's not a suitable idea because later Geoffrey held the pistol by the barrel. By the barrel?! What kind of pistol could be used by holding it that way? I don't think that Geoffrey was just holding the pistol harmlessly 'cause it seems to be a constant threat in the last sections as well. What do you think?

15.
Gribelin made a show of opening a hatch in the dashboard and rolling himself a cigarette before answering, stuffing it with some dark red weed.


So, weed. Is it marijuana or tobacco in this context?

16.
Blunt nosed and pale green, the rocket sat in its silo like a cartridge in a chamber. Loading belts poked through the walls, thrusting across open air to reach into the lifter’s cargo bays. The lower part of the three hundred metre tall rocket was already submerged. Even as Geoffrey watched, the tide rose perceptibly.
[...]
And she nodded down towards one of the conveyor belts, at the torpedo shaped cargo pod that was being fed into the lifter’s side. It was much larger than any of the other containers they had seen, and it was accompanied by six or seven technicians, mer and lubber, riding alongside like pall bearers, giving every impression of attending to the pod with particular diligence.


Mer = merpeople, people living in the ocean. What is your impression? The cargo pod and the accompanying technicians were under water or not?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:43:27 AM

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Hmmm Think

13. I 'got the picture' of the three huts being the boundaries of those three sides (a bit like a Roman Villa style) - but that was just my idea. It doesn't really say.
"Around" is very vague and can mean 'at various places in and around' - so there could be four fences, with the huts being near three of them.


14. I pictured something like this



but maybe a little less symmetrical.

The previous line is "The pistol, please," Hector said, "Put it down, Geoffrey."
Instead of putting it down, Geoffrey holds it by the cluster of barrels, to show that he's not going to fire it - but he had it available, where he could just grab it with the other hand and fire it.
It was a threat, but not quite so heavy a threat as pointing he barrels at the cousins would have been.
I suppose a little like holding a rifle, but having it pointed towards the ground. Not an immediate threat, but a potential one.

15. It doesn't sound like either tobacco or hemp, if it's dark red, but something similar - people smoke all sorts of plants.

16. Well, again, it's just "the picture I see when reading it".
The lower part of the rocket is under the water, the top of it is still above water.
Since both mer-people and lubbers were accompanying this 'load', it sounds like it was on the surface of the water.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 11:56:26 AM

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Oh, pepperbox pistol, it's a good comparison :D And you are right, the pistol in the hand can still be a threat.

Okay, we're not far from the end. Hold on, guys!

17.
‘Telling me where the best guess for their location might be, based on the last hard sighting, which could be hours or days ago. Bit of a head-trip for you, the concept of not knowing where something is?’


What is a head-trip? She feels uncomfortable and nervous?

18.
It was teatime on the Lady Disdain. They knelt around a table while one of Dorcas’s underlings attended to their white porcelain Marsware cups.


They are on Mars. A Marsware cup is a cup that was made on Mars or a cup that is made for Martian usage?

19.
‘But to live inside that thing – after all she’d done, all she’d seen. How could she do that to herself?’
‘By going a little mad,’ Geoffrey said.
‘She could ching, I suppose. But that wouldn’t have been enough consolation for me.’
‘You’re not my grandmother. Whatever she needed, it was in there.’
That’s not living.
‘Never said it was,’ Geoffrey replied.


They are talking about Geoffrey's grandmother who spent the last 60 years of her life in a station orbiting the Moon. Well, what is not living? The station where she lived, or the thing she needed?

20.
Sunday’s courage wasn’t lacking; she did not need anyone to tell her that. But it was a different order of courage that had brought Eunice to this world, one that had no currency on this prosperous and confident new Mars, with its casinos and hotels and rental firms.


What does this phrase mean?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 12:33:05 PM

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Yeah - I had fun looking through all the images of multi-barreled guns on the search. Some of them are amazing and fantastic.

17. "Trip" (and particularly "head-trip") has a meaning:
9. (Recreational Drugs) informal a hallucinogenic drug experience
10. informal any stimulating, profound, etc, experience
(Collins)

These guys had (to some extent) lived in/under the Mechanism. Jumai, to a greater extent than Geoffrey, I think.
Everything and everybody was "GPSed" and precisely located. 'Not knowing where something is' could be a profound and stimulating experience.

18. I took this as a bit of a pun - a play on 'earthenware' - crockery made from earth.
This is 'marsware' - crockery made from Mars clay.

19. This is again Jumai's viewpoint - that existing alone in a space station with very few visitors (just one I think) is not living.
"Life" has to include friends, society and so on, from her viewpoint.
Even Geoffrey thinks it was a bit mad.

20. This is a phrase which is not VERY uncommon, but which uses an uncommon meaning of 'currency'.
Here it means "relevance to the present environment" or "now-ness" or "the state of being current".

So the type of courage which Eunice had was a type which did not have any relevance in an affluent society.
It was (I think) more a courage to face the unknown - the courage needed to go to the frontiers of civilization.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 4:30:47 PM

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What a quick reply! I really appreciate your helpfulness!

19. Gosh, it never occured to me that living can mean life itself. Thank you!

Note: Everyone! I know that I may seem a bit incompetent for the job of translating a book, but believe me, I'm just too rigorous and I chase perfection. In Hungary, some translators don't even lift a finger to try to find the meaning of a phrase, they just translate it literally. Like the phrase "all fingers and thumbs". Can you imagine how ridiculous it sounds in Hungarian? But the translator (and the editor) didn't give a s**t about it. And that's how Kings of Leon became "Lion King" in the Hungarian edition... So please, don't judge me for trying to be thorough.
teregudi
Posted: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 4:38:31 PM

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Okay, here comes the last dose (for now, at least):

21.
‘Hector came in on an Akinya vehicle, showing Akinya registration – the same way Memphis would have done.

Just to be sure. Was it the vehicle that was registered for the Akinyas, or was it Hector who was registered as an Akinya?

22.
‘You must remember that this was a different Mars, a different time. Even now, as you’ve experienced, there are places on this world where a person can disappear very effectively. Or be made to disappear.


The speaker has "disappeared" from the society himself and he's hiding now. He did it on his own, he was not forced. So my question is what he means by the marked sentence. Does he refer to his own case? Or he just says that one can be killed easily?

23.
His head was mostly hairless, save for a corona of fine white fuzz around his scalp, his face abundantly wrinkled, the already dark skin mottled by pure black lesions, yet remaining startlingly expressive. His eyes were clear and focused, his smile alarmingly youthful.


Why would someone's face become expressionless by a few lesions?

24.
During the night they had crossed and recrossed the complex fault and rift system of the Valles Marineris many times. As they swooped over impossibly high and narrow bridges – barely wide enough for the train’s single gleaming monorail, which gave the disconcerting illusion that they were flying over these immense gaps – Sunday had looked out for evidence of the buildings she had seen from Holroyd’s room, set into the canyon’s walls. A window, a nurse, a green thorned man in a surgical bath. But she’d seen no sign of human habitation at all, not a single light or pipeline or road in all the empty hours.


First: it doesn't make sense, they were travelling one way, in the direction of a definite destination, not back and forth aimlessly. Second: is she looking for those things particularly, or does she just describe Holroyd's room? Opinions?

25.
It was not good to feel like a cog in a machine, even a willing and submissive cog. Who could she turn to now?


Which is right? She didn't feel good about being a willing and submissive cog OR she wouldn't feel good even if she was a willing a submissive cog?

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, March 02, 2017 1:12:09 PM

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21. Yes . . . the use of the participle makes it possible to read either way:
‘Hector came in on an Akinya vehicle, which showed Akinya registration.'
‘Hector came in on an Akinya vehicle, and he showed his Akinya registration as he arrived.'

However, I think that the first is more logical. Hector was one of the main members of the family, so I don't think he would need to prove it. He was well-known.

22. I think that you have guessed it. "Make someone disappear" is a well-used idiom meaning "kill someone".
That is what I think he's thinking - "If someone wanted to kill me, or anyone, it would be easy here."

23. I don't remember this at all.
What kind of lesions would they be? (It could be anything from a few cuts to several large tumours.)

le·sion n.
Any of various pathological or traumatic changes in a bodily organ or tissue, including tumors, ulcers, sores, and wounds.
American Heritage

I have a vague idea that they were old radiation burns - but I've no idea where that thought came from!

Anyway, scar-tissue or tumours would be relatively inflexible, so a lot would give the face a 'wooden' look. That's my idea.

24. I think that this sentence is (to be perfectly logical) wrong.
Going in a straight line, they would only cross the system once.
I think that they crossed many rifts, faults and valleys - and may have had to re-cross some of the rifts which did not run in a straight line.

24a. This bit, I remember fairly well.
Holroyd's room was made of glass, wasn't it - even the floor - and it was attached to a vertical cliff in the Valles.
Holroyd was the guy who had had genetic experiments done on him, and looked like a cactus.
I guess that "A window, a nurse, a green thorned man in a surgical bath." is her memory of the time she 'chinged' into the room and looked out to see the other buildings attached to the escarpment.

25. She felt like a cog in a machine, and didn't like it.
She realised that she had agreed to become part of this plan/project/group, and was willing to continue, but she still felt bad.

***********
I saw your earlier note.
You seem to be doing a good job, and I know how translation is more than just looking words up in a dictionary!
"Kings of Leon" are not quite "The Lion King" - though I suppose Kings of Leon could do a musical version of the film. That would be wild!



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017 2:53:55 AM

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21.
Okay, just to be sure, here's more context:

‘Your identity is not verified. Desist approach and adjust your vector.’
‘It doesn’t believe you’re you,’ Eunice said.
Geoffrey bit off a sarcastic response before it left his mouth. ‘Why did it accept Hector, and not me?’
‘Hector came in on an Akinya vehicle, showing Akinya registration – the same way Memphis would have done. The Winter Palace had no reason not to let him through.’
He grimaced. ‘Mira – can we fake a civil registration?’
‘Not infallibly, not legally and most certainly not now, given that the habitat already has us pegged as being under different ownership.’ Gilbert shot him an apologetic glance. ‘You’re just going to have to talk your way through this one, Geoffrey. Even Jumai can’t help us until we’re docked.’
‘Need some ideas here, Eunice,’ he said.
‘If the habitat recognises the notion of family visiting rights, if it grasps that Hector is an Akinya and it therefore has an obligation to let him dock – then it may be running something a little bit like me. Much less sophisticated, of course – but a model of Eunice, all the same, and with an attempt at an embedded knowledge base.’


Based on "civil registration", it seems the word applies to a person, not a vehicle. But Mira's reply makes it seem the other way, as if it would mean a spaceship registration. Besides, when Geoffrey says that Hector came in on an Akinya vehicle, the "Akinya vehicle" part already tells them the vehicle is under Akinya ownership, so why does he need to add that "showing Akinya registration"? Now, what is the opinion of an English-speaking person?

23.
We have the word "lézió", too, but except for medical environment we never use it in common speech. But the meaning is the same so I'm not sure how the heck I should imagine that. There isn't any more reference to it. But maybe you are right.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017 9:51:37 AM

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21. Yes - to me, it definitely seems to be the vehicle registration.
The AI in the station recognised the registration number of Hector's vehicle as one belonging to the Akinyas.

It seems that (like all cars in 2017) each one had a different registration (probably some sort of radio-identification sign, like planes have now).
There would be diplomatic registrations, military registrations, company registrations and so on. Their craft had an ordinary 'civil' registration, not the company one used by the Akinyas.
I've forgotten the formal name of the system, but when a military or airport radar hits a plane, the plane automatically sends out its registration-code - so they can recognise friends and enemies and so on.

Geoffrey is asking if they can fake the civil registration, to show a company/family one instead.

23. That's the only guess I can make.
She feels that lesions on his face could make it stiff and expressionless - but that didn't happen with this guy.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017 3:38:38 PM

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You know so much, Drag0nspeakar! Are you some kind of polymath? :D

Well, I just picked another one, if you would be so kind:

‘Never mind.’ Geoffrey clenched his fists, giving up on the airpod. He cracked the canopy, letting out the bubble of cool, scented air, letting the African heat back in. ‘Fucking Lucas and Hector.’

Geoffrey is in an aircraft (an airpod) but the damn thing won't let him fly to anywhere with it. The cousins locked it down. So what do you think? Geoffrey got so angry that he punched a hole in the canopy with his bare fist? Or "crack" here simply means "open with a cracking sound"?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017 4:00:47 PM

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No, I read a lot - all sorts of books - and many of them involve planes, submarines, military, space, technology and so on.
I also have a good memory for ideas (not often good for remembering exact quotes, and sometimes terrible at remembering where I read a certain idea).

This one's a current idiomatic use - I never realised that "crack" had so many definitions! The most fitting one is in the American Heritage:
crack - vt
3. To open to a slight extent: crack a window to let in some air.


You crack a book, crack a bottle or a can, crack a door or window - even crack a smile (which is a bit more metaphorical, I suppose).

I don't think he would be able to knock a hole in that sort of canopy with a fist - unless he was Iron Man!

*****************
PS - if you do look up "crack", don't believe the definition in the Collins Dictionary where it says "3. (intr) dialect Scot and Northern English to chat; gossip".

That is a completely different word - craic.
It just happens to sound the same. It's also Irish (it was originally a Gaelic word).

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
teregudi
Posted: Sunday, March 05, 2017 3:59:03 PM

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Well, I'm really glad to have such a bookworm as my helper! By the way, do you know Scottish jokes? I don't know whether only we Hungarians tell them or they are international. These jokes are about the miserliness of Scots :D

Crack is something but I know better: the word that really has tons of meaning is "run". I read it in a Stephen King book and I checked it. Some dictionaries list almost 150 meanings! Amazing!

And I'll keep in mind that crack/craic thing. Thanks!

Anyway, it seems like I keep running into these unclear lines so I brought you another one:

Travellers were everywhere, some walking confidently, some in exos, some with exos on standby, never straying more than a few paces from their owners. There were also some who were too frail even for exos, or had perhaps forgotten the art of walking entirely. They were supported in reclining dodgem shaped travel couches, gliding around like deathbed patients on a terminal shopping spree. They’d come to Martian space from Ceres, the other Belt communities, the Galilean satellites, or from the moons of Saturn, or even further out. In their low gravity worlds, Sunday would be the bumbling oaf, the object of deserved pity.

Is terminal here an airport terminal or more like last/final?
teregudi
Posted: Sunday, March 05, 2017 4:44:28 PM

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Plus another one :D

The buildings thinned out and soon they passed through a gate in a concrete dust-wall, flanked by flashing beacons, beyond which the road abandoned its lofty ambitions and settled for being a two lane dirt track.

Is dust-wall here a metaphoric dense wall of dust in a storm or a literal concrete wall consisting dust?
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