The Scarlet Letters: DHP

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Tillerman
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Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:28 am

March Opinion: Dahong Pao: what is there left to say about this tea? Well, I contend we've been saying it all wrong in English. https://tillermantea.net/2018/03/dhp/
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pedant
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Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:52 am

i can't deny that scarlet robe sounds better. big red robe sounds clunky.

really though, i prefer reading da hong pao (despite my low quality subvocal pronunciation).

there will always be tradeoffs between elegant/idiomatic vs transparent/literal translation.
if someone isn't a speaker of the foreign language, transparent translation enhances recognition of the untranslated phrase later on.

this reminds me of studying foreign language in high school. one of my teachers would scold us for reading aloud awkward, overly literal translations and demand "college [level] translations". he'd remind us that yes, that's the meaning of what they're saying, but you'd never write or speak that way in real life, right?
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