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Change in words, change in meaning? Options
oruckadir
Posted: Thursday, October 26, 2017 4:19:57 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/24/2017
Posts: 27
Neurons: 655
Location: Salihli, Manisa, Turkey
Dear Teachers (or masters) of English Language,
I have translated saying of Albert Einstein’s “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." into Turkish by changing a little bit so that it can be understood better.
But when I translated my Turkish translation into English again, the meaning of my Turkish translation is just like “If you can't explain it to a six year old child, that means you haven't understood it yourself too."
My question is; have I understood what Einstein wanted to say? Have I translated (conveyed) what he meant to say into Turkish correctly?
Thanks a lot for any answer in advance.


"Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late." Benjamin FRANKLIN
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Friday, October 27, 2017 7:01:04 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 39,750
Neurons: 298,526
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
You've got the idea right. Translating, even when done by a human, can result in unnatural results. After a raw translation you should think how it's expressed more stylish.

I tried Google to translate your English sentence to Turkish, and the back to Enlish again. Here's the result ;-)

Onu altı yaşına kadar açıklayamazsan, bunu kendin anlayamazsın.

"If you can not explain it until you're six, you can not understand it yourself."

So, you can see you need a human to do the job.


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, October 27, 2017 8:07:00 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,131
Neurons: 149,618
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hello oruckadir.
Welcome to the forum.

You seem to have a good translation. Well done!

"A six-year-old" means "a six-year-old child", so there is no problem there.

The verb "understand" can be used in two different ways - but the end result is almost exactly the same in this sentence.

The change in tense from "you don't understand it" to "you haven't understood it" does not change Einstein's idea at all.

The phrase "that means" is unnecessary in English, but is not incorrect.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
oruckadir
Posted: Saturday, October 28, 2017 5:47:19 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/24/2017
Posts: 27
Neurons: 655
Location: Salihli, Manisa, Turkey
I thank both of you very much for your kind answers.

"Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late." Benjamin FRANKLIN
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