Original ecology?

Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 07:15 pm
Do you have this term in your glossary of ecology?
The Chinese are talking a great deal of something in the original ecological form, such as "primitive" or "untutored" singing or songs or music, or even painting, etc. If you use literal translation method, these would become something like "original ecological songs, paintings" etc. Or even "original ecological foods", etc. Or "original ecological tourism", etc.
Do you understand these terms?
I guess "ecology" as a discipline comes from the west, but "original ecology" is a Chinese creation. Am I right?
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Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 07:29 pm
I have no idea of what the phrase even means. "Original ecology" is almost a nonsense phrase IMO.
Recall that, in hyping anything, businesses will often coopt phrases and add or subtract words and try to make the phrase have a new identity that has broad recognition derived from the original word or phrase.
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Joe Nation
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 07:51 pm
It ought to be translated as 'organic'

of living things: relating to, derived from, or characteristic of living things
- developing naturally: occurring or developing gradually and naturally, without being forced or contrived
- intrinsic: forming a basic and inherent part of something and largely responsible for its identity or makeup
Encarta World English Dictionary

Or perhaps 'Natural'

They are both labels that have been pasted on just about everything possible here in the USA.

Joe(the orginal natural organic man. Also good to his mother)Nation
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Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 07:56 pm
That is the answer I expected to get. You see as soon as a translation in Chinese appears for a new western concept, people begin to use it basing on their understanding of the Chinese characters put together, and distortion of the original meaning of varying degrees occurs and they use it in many other fields. So problems of translation appear when you try to translate "distorted usages" into English. The English speakers will not be able to make head or tail of them.
Another translation: primitive ecology of education. Do you understand it?
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 09:00 pm
Yes, I do understand it, Fansy, and it definitely has a meaning, at least a potential meaning though I don't know what it is or if it is presently in use in English.

I understand your concerns over the difficulties involved in accurately translating from one language to another. Dictionaries and thesauruses, do not and cannot adequately explain the nuances of all the words in language.

The only one that I've ever seen try is the Longman Language Activator. It was developed to help alleviate the very problems that you've raised here. Are you familiar with it?

Unless a person is a native speaker of both languages, what might seem like a good translation often turns out to be one that is unnatural in the new tongue.

While there are billions of possible combinations with English modal verbs, only a small number, around 100, if I remember correctly, are grammatical. Considering the size of the vocabulary of English, the number of possible collocations is astronomical but a native speaker [of any language] can usually and quickly discern the naturalness of any given phrase.

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Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2009 09:21 pm
No, whatever the terms may mean in Chinese, they don't ranslate meaningfully into English. That's doesn't mean you can't express the concept in English--you probably can--it's just that those words don't do it. "Primitive ecology of education" is even more opaque. Give us some context, some explanation of what the concepts are supposed to mean/be. From the tag and the context, it sounds like you may be talking about some of the non-Han cultures of China, which I believe Han Chinese tend to regard as less developed, i.e. primitive. If that's the case, "native peoples" would be a phrase English speakers might use (tho that wouldn't work so well in the Chinese context, since Han Chinese are native too). Maybe something like "indigenous cultures".

There is a concept in English called "eco tourism", but that is tourism to areas as unaffected by humans as it is possible to get, like rainforests, chimpanzees in the jungle, or camera safaris in Africa. "Original ecological tourism" isn't a phrase used in any English I'm familiar with, and I'm, again, not sure what you intend by it.
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 01:09 am
"Primitive ecology of education" is a term created by Chinese educators in recent years. This creation was not made based on their understanding of ecology, primitive ecology and education, but on their understanding of the three "equivalents" in Chinese. They use this new term to mean a"a return to the earliest, plainest, simplest form or state of education where pupils learn not for grades, for entrance to colleges, for competitions, for finding a better school, etc. and where educators teach not for salaries, but for imparting knowledge, and so on. This is the so called primitive ecology of education they want to return to.
I am sure you understand this term through your understanding of the English term, whether it is a creation made by your educators or not.
It is my impression that we Chinese tend to comprehend a translated term by understanding the Chinese characters. This is too bad for those Chinese who do not speak English! So sometimes you find you and us talk past each other.
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 05:16 am
Your usage of "primitive ecology of education" is explained well. and I think we understand your point. Your entire explanation, in English, would serve as the fundamental thesis of how the education "Industry" in China wishes to return to a learning style wherein information is taught for its own self assembled structure and not for other "tacked on" needs like testing programs.
Yes , its very clear as youve explained it.

In ENglish, wed probably not even consider using the term "ecology" in the phrase. Besides an explanatory phrase that youd provided so well, Im not certain that there wourl be an official title for the concept. In the USA, what often happens, when such movements become more widespread, the media often come up with a clever (and often useless phrase) that gets adopted colloquially and then we get stuck with the phrase as an almost "urban language".

We have dictionaries of English usage in which words, that have had one meaning and then are coopted for use in an entirely different area, are presented with the etymological refernces of where the usage change came from. I love those kinds of dictionaries.

An example in US language is "forensic". It had a pretty tight refernce in the legal world for a century or more, However, lately, with the popularity of "forensic detection" TV shows, the use of the word has been expanded into several other arenas where it had never been used before.

Big Time examples of phrase changes is in the world of computer "Speak". SO many words have been coopted and (in many cases) corrupted from their original uses that the original uses are laid by the road and abandoned.
Reply Thu 16 Jul, 2009 10:28 am
SO many words have been coopted and (in many cases) corrupted from their original uses that the original uses are laid by the road and abandoned.

That's a completely natural process, FM. The original isn't being corrupted, that original meaning remains to be used by those who need it for its specific purpose, its specific nuance. Any new meanings/nuances serve new purposes, providing a slightly different meaning for yet another nuance to describe another life situation.

If a particular meaning for a word no longer has a use, then it stands to reason that it would be abandoned. This doesn't apply just to technical words but to all the vocabulary of English, even structural words, like the modal verbs, eg. would, will, can, could, may, might, shall, should, ... .

Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 03:31 am
In the computer industry many phrases or words have been taken and used in a fashion dissimilar with the original. It never was a case in which a word was underutilized and was "abandoned from parlance"
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