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Old 03-04-2013, 06:52 AM   #1111
sycamorex
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I have heard that Visual Basic is the new lingua franca of international communication including areas such as politics, agriculture, business, poetry and space research. With its increasing use, English, I am afraid, will gradually be losing on popularity. Sad but true.
 
Old 03-04-2013, 09:59 AM   #1112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
I have heard that Visual Basic is the new lingua franca of international communication including areas such as politics, agriculture, business, poetry and space research.
Yes, and you'll have to buy a license from Microsoft if you want to say or write anything.
 
Old 03-10-2013, 05:17 PM   #1113
odiseo77
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Hi guys,

I'm doing a translation course and one activity we've been assigned involves translating some colloquial terms from Spanish to English. One of such words is our equivalent of 'freelancing' (which I translated 'freelancing'), but there's another related word to refer to a particular job or task done as a freelancer. For example, if someone will pay you to fix his/her computer, you'd say: "I found this <insert word here> fixing a friend's computer". So, is there an equivalent word or expression in English to express a one-time job/task/activity made as a freelancer? (I guess 'job' refers to a stable and formal job, right?).

Thanks.
 
Old 03-10-2013, 09:01 PM   #1114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiseo77 View Post
Hi guys,

I'm doing a translation course and one activity we've been assigned involves translating some colloquial terms from Spanish to English. One of such words is our equivalent of 'freelancing' (which I translated 'freelancing'), but there's another related word to refer to a particular job or task done as a freelancer. For example, if someone will pay you to fix his/her computer, you'd say: "I found this <insert word here> fixing a friend's computer". So, is there an equivalent word or expression in English to express a one-time job/task/activity made as a freelancer? (I guess 'job' refers to a stable and formal job, right?).

Thanks.
No, "job" could be used.

I think that maybe what you are looking for is a word that has nothing to do with freelancing, but has to do with having a second job or side job after one's main job. That word is "moonlighting."

I freelance as a computer repairman

I am a freelancer

He freelanced as a computer consultant until he got a permanent job.

I am a boat salesman, but I moonlight as a computer repairman (I could have a second, official job as a computer repairman, or it could be something that I do occasionally on the side, just odd jobs now and then).
 
Old 03-10-2013, 10:24 PM   #1115
odiseo77
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Moonlighting? Interesting, I had never seen that word used with this meaning, but makes sense since it implies you're working at night. Does it always refer to a second job? BTW, I found a similar expression researching on the net: "to do a foreigner."

The expression I'm looking for doesn't necessarily imply having a second job (although in many cases, it does); might also refer to people not formally employed who do non specialized --and even specialized-- works on their own, like fixing computers, doing transcriptions of different texts, doing translations, etc. Pretty much like "freelancing", I guess. Here we say (colloquially) "killing tigers" and a single one of such jobs we name it "a tiger". If for example, you are invited to a party a Friday night and you can't go because you have to finish a translation, you say "Sorry, I have to kill a tiger tonight". What would you say in such a situation? Is there an equivalent word in English, or would you simply say "I have job to do tonight"? I guess "to do a foreigner" would imply you're doing a secondary job? (This is not necessarily the case).

Thanks again!
 
Old 03-11-2013, 09:30 AM   #1116
moxieman99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiseo77 View Post
Moonlighting? Interesting, I had never seen that word used with this meaning, but makes sense since it implies you're working at night. Does it always refer to a second job? BTW, I found a similar expression researching on the net: "to do a foreigner."

The expression I'm looking for doesn't necessarily imply having a second job (although in many cases, it does); might also refer to people not formally employed who do non specialized --and even specialized-- works on their own, like fixing computers, doing transcriptions of different texts, doing translations, etc. Pretty much like "freelancing", I guess. Here we say (colloquially) "killing tigers" and a single one of such jobs we name it "a tiger". If for example, you are invited to a party a Friday night and you can't go because you have to finish a translation, you say "Sorry, I have to kill a tiger tonight". What would you say in such a situation? Is there an equivalent word in English, or would you simply say "I have job to do tonight"? I guess "to do a foreigner" would imply you're doing a secondary job? (This is not necessarily the case).

Thanks again!
A jack-of-all-trades is not a specialist.

As for killing tigers tonight (or any other time), you could say that "I have a job to do tonight," or "I've a deadline to meet."

I would NOT use "do a foreigner." It sounds offensive and is not used in America. Say you've got overtime to do, or a deadline to meet, or something else. "Do a foreigner" WILL get you in trouble.
 
Old 03-11-2013, 10:19 AM   #1117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxieman99 View Post
A jack-of-all-trades is not a specialist.

As for killing tigers tonight (or any other time), you could say that "I have a job to do tonight," or "I've a deadline to meet."

I would NOT use "do a foreigner." It sounds offensive and is not used in America. Say you've got overtime to do, or a deadline to meet, or something else. "Do a foreigner" WILL get you in trouble.
Ahh, I see. Didn't know it was considered offensive. Will avoid it, then.

Thanks a lot for your help, moxieman99; much appreciated!
 
Old 03-11-2013, 10:44 AM   #1118
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"Doing a foreigner" can mean, for instance, using an employer's tools, premises, time, etc, to work on something for yourself or friends/relatives. I used to work in engineering machine-shops, and there was quite a lot of that went on.
 
Old 03-11-2013, 11:04 AM   #1119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
"Doing a foreigner" can mean, for instance, using an employer's tools, premises, time, etc, to work on something for yourself or friends/relatives.
Yes, I figured it out when I saw the expression. I guess it means you're doing work that does not belong to the company you officially work for (but using the resources of the company, as you said). Hence, a foreign job, or a job that is foreign to the company, so to speak.
 
Old 03-11-2013, 01:23 PM   #1120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiseo77 View Post
Yes, I figured it out when I saw the expression. I guess it means you're doing work that does not belong to the company you officially work for (but using the resources of the company, as you said). Hence, a foreign job, or a job that is foreign to the company, so to speak.
Remember when you do translations that you have to translate the meaning within the context of the society that is being translated from and TO the context of the society whose language you are translating into. Thus "do a foreigner" may very well be a literal translation, but you would never use it in serious translating of serious documents for money.
 
Old 03-11-2013, 01:45 PM   #1121
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Originally Posted by moxieman99 View Post
Remember when you do translations that you have to translate the meaning within the context of the society that is being translated from and TO the context of the society whose language you are translating into. Thus "do a foreigner" may very well be a literal translation, but you would never use it in serious translating of serious documents for money.
Yes, that's one of the very first things they told us in this course. It all depends on the type of translation you're doing, its purpose and to whom it is directed. Precisely, I'm looking for colloquial words or expressions in English because this activity I'm doing involves translating some words extracted from a text on labor conditions in Venezuela, which contains some colloquial expressions used in our local slang. I guess in some cases it's simply not possible to find a word or expression that is 100% equivalent to the original one (that is, an expression that conveys the same meaning and is also colloquial). So, maybe "freelancing" and "to do odd jobs" will work fine.

Thanks for the advice!
 
Old 03-12-2013, 09:56 AM   #1122
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John invites Pete over to his house so Pete can play piano for guests. But Pete says “I can not play piano”. Does this phrase have only one meaning — Pete CAN'T play piano at all (for example he didn't learn to play piano)? Or is it possible to understand this phrase with an accent on CAN, thus Pete CAN — what? — not play piano this time or in front of guests? And in this case the phrase appears to be positive statement sentence, not negative.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 12:56 PM   #1123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Alex View Post
John invites Pete over to his house so Pete can play piano for guests. But Pete says “I can not play piano”. Does this phrase have only one meaning — Pete CAN'T play piano at all (for example he didn't learn to play piano)? Or is it possible to understand this phrase with an accent on CAN, thus Pete CAN — what? — not play piano this time or in front of guests? And in this case the phrase appears to be positive statement sentence, not negative.
Depends on how good Pete's English is. If a native English speaker said "I can not play the piano," it would be taken as the same as "I cannot play the piano," meaning that the person lacks the ability and skill to play a piano. The idea that "I can not play piano" as meaning that I have the ability, but I'm busy that day doing something else (and therefore cannot play for you) is decidedly secondary, and would only come to the fore if the context of the passage was that the person was busy at the time you wanted the piano to be played. The vast majority of the time "I can not play piano" would be taken as lacking the ability to play.

If Pete is not a native speaker, we may not know if he is aware of how native speakers would interpret his statement, or he may not know how native speakers take his statement, and therefore the ambiguity might need to be guarded against.

Remember, "Yes, we have no bananas" is logical, but not how native speakers would speak. "No, we have no bananas" is how we would speak, but it is not logical until one realizes that "No" and "Yes" are often used in English as reinforcement of the coming statement about the state of being (We have no bananas).
 
Old 03-12-2013, 02:37 PM   #1124
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Thumbs up Thanks for answer!

How must Pete make a sentence like a native speaker if he wants to say that there's a possibility that he won't play piano at John's house? The short way I mean.
 
Old 03-13-2013, 11:51 AM   #1125
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In real life, we don't repeat information that has already been given in the conversation. So, you might get exchanges like

"Could you play the piano for us tonight?"
"Sorry, I can't." (= I'm unable to come)

or
"Sorry, I'd rather not." (= I'm shy about performing in public)

or
"I can't play the piano." (literal statement of fact)
"Really? I thought Mary said you played."
 
  


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