Lost in Translation

Here we point to a few challenges of our bilingual production based und plurilingual sources.

A pretty instructive description of a very common problem is this: html

# Share in/Share out vs Teilen/Aufteilen

"[M]eanings shift not only across situations but also in the long term. While the English “sharing” is related to terms denoting cutting in neighbouring languages, the German/Dutch forms “teilen/deelen” denote apportioning and are related to English “deal” that today has business connotations (see Widlok forthcoming). Finally, a term like the English “sharing” can bridge the quite distinct meanings of “dividing things between individuals” (sharing out) and “joining individuals in a common use action” (sharing in) in a single word (Bird-David 2005: 203). Whether languages clearly or diffusely distinguish sharing in from sharing out, sharing from giving, non-reciprocal from reciprocal modes or not – this does not mean that there is no analytical need to separate these dimensions." (Thomas Widlok: 2017)

# Glossing over distinctions

"In some instances local terminology matches closely an analytical separation into market, gift-exchange and sharing. Grinker (1994: 133) reports that the Lese of Central Africa distinguish lexically between dividing/sharing (oki), purchasing (oka) and exchanging (iregi) .... Stotz (2015) maintains that Walbiri never speak of “sharing” but only of “asking”. Bird-David (2005: 203) underlines that despite a high incidence of sharing among the Nayaka, they do not have a single word “corresponding neatly to ‘sharing’” but instead distinguish more concrete actions like giving, receiving, begging, distributing and so forth."

"As Damas (1972) has shown, there are often a whole set of local terms that get glossed over by the researchers into “sharing” or “exchange”, although local terms do not neatly match these distinctions." (Widlock 2017)