Posts Tagged ‘sentence structure’


I give this to you

   Posted by: aman    in Translation

I see writing as an effort to make sense. Making sense, is, for me, the most fundamental human occupation because unless we know what is happening we do not know what to do. To figure out what is happening between languages while I am translating Sepia Leaves into Punjabi, I noticed something very small and maybe even inconspicuous.  

In English, if you give someone something, you say: A gave something to B. The sense I get from this sentence is that A is standing here and B is standing there, and there is a distance between them, and an object to be given, and the language (English) is filling that distance. The whole sentence falls between A and B.

In Punjabi, or Hindi, or Oriya, if you give something, you say: A to B give something. Here A and B are together and the sentence falls outside where they are standing. Wonder if that makes sense? To me it does…

What does it tell us about the differences between Indian languages and English, and the way the two kinds of languages are put together? More examples:

E: A wants to go to the market.

I: A market wants to go.

E: A loves B.

I: A B loves do.

The more I think about it, the more differences I see building out of this simple grammatical structure. Let me explore more or extrapolate more and I will keep returning. In the meantime if you think of something please tell me. I mean I know no body really reads all this stuff :)  





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