Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

And then he said to me, “La plume de ma tante est sur la table”; or, quoting and languages.

Amy seems to feel fairly strongly about quoting someone in their exact words—including the language.

So, for example, she might say to me, “Erik said to me, ‘Iss das nicht, sonst wirst du krank!’” rather than, “Erik said to me, ‘Don’t eat that; it’ll make you ill!’” Which makes sense, I suppose, since my translation is already a bit of a paraphrase rather than a sort-of-direct quote.

I think she’ll use reported speech without respecting the language of the original (à la “Erik told me I shouldn’t eat that because it would make me ill”), so I suppose it’s limited to a desire to make direct speech be an exact quotation.

Interesting. I’d usually translate a quotation, even if my interlocutor understood the language of the original, unless I’m drawing attention to the specific words used rather than to the content of the utterance.

Tags: amy, language

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