Help with translation

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by Calvario, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. Calvario

    Calvario Well-Known Member

    Nikdy jsem se českými dějinami zvlášt' nezabýval, i když jsem měl jako hlavní obor českou literaturu.

    I am interested in how this is translated by a native speaker. I want to compare what the book says versus how a native sees it. Trying to see how accurate my book is.

    Secondly: symbol nás zajíma nejen pro to, co představuje, ale i pro to, co je.

    A symbol interests us not only for what it represents, but also for what it is.

    I am having trouble understaning this. The "pro to" part. When I try to read it it seems like it is saying " A symbol interests us not only for this, what it represents, but also for this, what it is. It is the "for what it..." in the translation that I want to better understand.

    Any help with these would be great.

  2. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    I was never specially interested in Czech history, although I had Czech literature as my main field (of study?).

    (Zabývat se could be also engage in something, concern in something, deal with something, dwell on something etc,
    obor could be also discipline, profession, domain, specialization etc)

    In Czech, we have no more than one predicate per clause and so we postpone the "what it represents" part into subordinate clause (see the comma in Czech!). And since the preposition "for" in main clause can't stand alone, we insert the pronoun "to".
  3. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    This is a common Czech construct. As I understand, the Czech word "protože ..."= "pro to, že ..." is the same thing, only contracted into one word.
  4. Calvario

    Calvario Well-Known Member

    Going back to what Wer wrote "And since the preposition 'for' in the main clause can't stand alone, we insert the pronoun 'to'.

    I hear what your saying from a grammatical point, however I don't understand what "to" means here. Is it translated in the English? If an English equivalent could be given I may understand better.

  5. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    sova----pro to and protože have quite different meanings I think.

    Calvario, it looks like wer has a good explanation for the the two languages construct the same sentence.

    Eng=I do not believe what I just heard
    cz= Nevěřím tomu, co jsem pravě ted slyšel., what..................

    Symbol nás zajímá nejen pro to, co představuje, ale i pro to, co je.
    not only for it(this), what it represents, but also for it(this), what it is.

    Maybe think about it like two complete sentences.
    To nás zajimá nejen pro to.
    Co to představuje, je hudba.=What it represents is music.

    I hope my grammar is right.
  6. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    No reason to reject Sova's hypothesis :wink:.

    There's a lot of such contractions with quite different meanings. Just try to guess the origin of nahoru, zezdola, pomalu, proč or kvůli.

    Protože is rather a contraction of proto, že, where proto is a contraction of pro to.
    Maybe scrimshaw is right with ... for it, what..., but I'm not sure of it, since I always saw only ... for what.... Simply, it's identical construction as English ... for the fact what..., only the fact is replaced with a pronoun.
  7. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    sorry sova :oops: . See what I know?

    These are both correct? one is just more commonly accepted?
    To udělal, protože je dobrý člověk.
    To udělal proto, že je dobrý člověk.

    Dovoli, abych je zkoušel.

    nahoru==na horu=on the mountain?
    zezdola==ze zdola=from below?
    proč==pro co=for what?

    Cannot guess the others.
  8. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    A také wer.

    To je stejné se slovem jestěže?

    Thank God that==maybe that is not a good translation
  9. Calvario

    Calvario Well-Known Member

    This pro to, co still confusing me. It just seems that "To" is not translateable into English here. Then again maybe it is. Now, I'm not arguing that anyone is wrong I just am not comprehending the usage of pro to, co... "for it, what..." doesn't make sense.

    I think a couple of simple examples might help me get a better grasp, czech with English translation. But going back to my original thought, maybe it must be written "pro to, co.." in Czech but that dosen't mean it translates in English directly.

    Wer mentioned that "Pro" cannot stand alone so they insert "To". Fine, it 's there so that "pro" isn't standing alone. But what is it "to" actually saying.
    PRO= for
    PŘEDSTAVUJE= it represents
    So then what does TO=????

  10. Wicker808

    Wicker808 Well-Known Member

    You're right, Calvario, "to" in this instance is not translated to English. It's a dummy demonstrative which is used to introduce a relative clause.

    Scrimshaw's examples show one way to understand their use. Such constructions can be translated into awkward English, which may make their role clearer. Like this:

    A symbol interests us not only for that, which it represents, but also for that, which it is.

    English also uses dummy pronouns, although in a completely different way. Depending on the construction of a sentence, you may be obligated to use the dummy "it." For example:

    It's good to know Czech.

    The equivalent Czech sentence does not have a dummy pronoun.

    Je dobré umět česky.
  11. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    The short of what Wicker808 is saying: not every word is translated one-to-one. I like the example of "It's good to know Czech." Spanish does the same thing as Czech by dropping the "it:" "Es bien entender el checo."

    Just keep in mind the grammatical rule that a preposition needs its own object (noun/pronoun), and that a prepositional phrase can't contain a verb--rather use a dependent clause to hold the verb.
  12. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Yes, these are good examples.

    And I like Wickers suggestion to think of TO as if it meant THAT.
    That thought is something that can be easily recognized in english grammar.

    that, what(though in english WHICH is preferred)===a common english construct

    Nelíbí se mi to, co si jsem koupil.
    I do not like that(thing), which I bought.
    Also THAT can refer to the contents of the entire following clause
    To, co ti včera řekla, nemá smysl.

    But then again, maybe I am just overcomplicating things :roll:

    The things I have most trouble with are reflexive verbs, and how particular unfamiliar(to me) verbs are used.

    S tim se nemusíš zabývat. Není zvlaště důležity.
    With that you must not concern yourself. It is not particularly important?

    Also, I have a question about negatives in czech sentences.
    If I see the word nikdy or žádný in a sentence, does that guarantee that the verb will be negative?
    Nikdy jsem to neudělal.
    Nikdy jsem tam nebyl.
    Putovat odvažně tam, kam žadný člověk nevydal.
  13. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Here is a common saying

    That which does not kill us only makes us stronger.
    Muj pokus
    To, co nás nezabí, jen nás dělá silnější.
  14. Calvario

    Calvario Well-Known Member

    I have been thinking about this thread awhile. Having read them all several times I think I now understand. Sova mentioned something very important. That a preposition needs its own object noun/pronoun. That a preposition phrase cannot contain a verb, you need a clause.

    So PRO needs TO to be its object. We have the clause to contain the verb. Now then, I have a rendering of the sentence that I like, actually Scrimshaw also noted it in an early post.

    A symbol interests us not only for THIS, what it represents, but also for THIS, what it is.

    The reason I like THIS is because it makes sense to me. THIS speaks of the following clause. Almost like saying ...not only for this (reason), what it represents....

    If wanted to use THAT I would write the sentence like this. "A symbol interests us not only for THAT WHICH it represents, but also for THAT WHICH it means. THAT WHICH is another way to say "WHAT" .

    Sorry to drag this out but I don't like skimming over a topic just because I don't initially get it.

    Scrimshaw I recently covered the negative thing you were talking about. Here's a quote from my book.

    NOTE: That a verb must be negated when there is a NI- word in the sentence. nic, nikdo, nikde,nikdy,nijak, žádný(irregular)

    Sova. ?Habla usted mucho o solo un poco del Espanol? Si usted habla mucho, donde aprendio' hablarlo y por cuanto tiempo estudio'. Sospecho que haya mucha gente que hable Espanol en este sitio del web. De todos modos gracias por su ayuda, todos.

  15. alenastef

    alenastef Well-Known Member

  16. Wicker808

    Wicker808 Well-Known Member

    Parece que todos sabemos un poco del castellano. Pero, Sova, no será mejor decir "Es bueno entender el checo?"
  17. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Sí, Wicker808, yo equivoqué. Hace muchos años, que no hablo español. Gracias!

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