Concepts, Translation, and the Diversity of Language

This thread was prompted by a series of posts in Off-Topic related to language and how translations do not match 1:1 despite the best efforts of the most up to date translation software and implants.

So, in light of this I thought it worth making a topic dedicated to such things. What are some concepts that, though translatable, don’t quite have a proper direct translation from your native languages?

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Oh boy, do I have these…

Language reference: local dialect in Sundsele, high-class, has roots in local tribal languages with a heavy Amarr influence during occupation, borrows a lot from Standard Matari.

Loyalty. As in, not just fealty owed, but also a basic emotion, similar to “love” but not, and like love can be towards the proper or the improper person or group.

Kinship. Can be translated as “kin” or “kinship”, depending of context, but the same word means people who are of the same blood as I am, the group of such individuals collectively, and the feeling of commitment one has towards such a group.

Andesh/Ohnesh. Proper/improper, in accordance / against one’s essence.

Fate. Don’t even get me started, would need a thread of its own.

[translator: group of people, an organization, a circle] This really is a local word that does not have a good translation. It basically means a group/unit of people that belong together in the context of whatever is going on. Anything from a secret circle or clan to a Caldari megacorp or an Amarr household. The nuanced implication is the “group of people representing as one in this particular issue”. Sometimes rendered by translators as [Amarrian: your people].


I would say less proper direct translation and more different connotations…


There it, - or the word translator provides anyway, - have a certain sense of acting without restraints… How to put it better…
In gallentian languages it’s mostly means “not in bondage”, right? “Nobody enforce you into something”.
There, in State, it’s more about “not restrained” both by physics and by law and people. So it can mean “I can go everywhere as there’s no walls and chains” but also can mean “I can do whatever I want ignoring good of others and laws”.


I’d say: Heiian.
As a person who knows several languages, I find it hard to translate just into Achura with one word, and likely in Achura you will simply use the same word: Heiian. You probably heard this word already in organization names. ‘Heiian institute’, ‘Heiian Conglomerate’, etc.

The word describes one of the greatest merits that a human can have, it has a meaning of acting for common good rather than individual interest, a honorable resignation of selfand subsumption for interests of your group.

Another concept that doesn’t translate completely well is Caldari honorifics ‘haan-’ and ‘haani-’. Auto-translators translate them into Mr. and Ms. accordingly (I am making current post in Achura language, thus you shall see haan- and haani- untranslated and honorifics Mr. and Ms. as they exist in your language).

The translation is not completely correct, for meaning of haan is indeed masculine honorifics, but haani can refer both to female or a person whose genotype you either don’t know or when it is simply not important (not everyone are bothered about what role you do in the marriage). Thus I excuse in advance if by mistake I’ll call a respectful Sir as “Miss”.

Oh, and since Ms. Sato has brought the idea of Freedom, I can add that into Achura language it can be translated both as Chaos and Freedom. I don’t know why really Achura has two separate words for these concepts, because they’re just so indistinguishly similar.

Presque Vu – To know one knows something but is unable to recall. To feel on the verge of a great discovery or epiphany but being unable to reach it.

Traditionally used in the context of thought or insight. Given the prevalence of mild narcotics in Gallente culture and the proclivity of Garouni philosophers to use them in their work to achieve altered mental states it is often used as a term to describe frustration reaching a breakthrough in thought.

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հարգանք (hargank’), the deference due to a female from a male family member in Namvari society.

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Siskon. “Cohort brother/sister”, a clan member of roughly equal age you grew up with, went to school and service with, had your Voluval with. In many clans these people become your emotionally closest family, the trusted people you go to with your joys and sorrows.

Zokhnshuyu – Was an expression I have personally found difficult to grasp especially in its negative form.I’ve only experianced it’s use among the Jin-Mae where it generally denotes possession.

It is mostly commonly translated to the word “belong” with variations depending on whether the subject is referring to a class, place, ideology or family.

Zokhnshuyu is the reason my sisters and I formed our Order as a place where the displaced can find purpose.