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More than Please and Thank You

Say «please»! children are often told after saying something like «Give me a biscuit», if they ask why, they may receive the explanation «Because it`s polite».

29 November, 2011

Why do English speakers say «Would you mind?» when they`re not really asking a question? And we say «Because it`s polite»... We often think of politeness as being long-winded ways of saying simple things, like «Would you mind keeping your voice down?» instead of «Shut up!»

The long version is polite, the short version is rude, we say. This is not quite true, however. According to social anthropologists Brown and Levinson, politeness includes the entire spectrum, from convoluted indirectness through to brief and direct. They call the former `negative politeness` and the latter `positive politeness`. Speakers choose which degree of politeness to use from along this spectrum, according to what relationship they are trying to achieve with the listener.

In politeness terms, the significance of a person`s choice of words is determined by when they use them: the context. This includes who they are talking to and what they are talking about. Typically, if you approach a stranger with a request, you use negative politeness. For example, you might say, «Could you close the door, please?» The question form gives the listener a get-out: it implies that you accept their right to refuse. However, if you are speaking to a very close friend, you can be much more direct, such as «Shut that door - it`s freezing in here!» This is known as positive politeness: it implies that you are too intimate to require careful indirectness.

Interestingly a speaker`s degree of intimacy with a listener is not an objective fact. It is something they create through the politeness strategies they use. For example, if you use positive politeness with someone you do not know very well, you may be able to create an atmosphere of intimacy between you, It`s a risky strategy, though, because your listener may interpret your directness as rude and pushy, and your relationship will be on the rocks.

Choice of politeness strategies also depends on whether the person you are speaking to is in a position of authority. Typically, people talking to a superior are careful and indirect. If, on the other hand, they are talking to a subordinate, they may be very direct indeed. An employee might say to a boss, «Would it be possible for me to have this tomorrow?», while the boss might say to the employee, «I need this by tomorrow».


В Брюксел се проведе конференция "Политики за българите в чужбина"

Конференцията бе организирана от депутата в Европейския парламент Емил Стоянов. В нея участваха българи от 23 страни.

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This is our translation agency’s project of congratulations with international and national holidays in different languages. We wanted that congratulations on various occasions in different languages were connected to each other, opening the borders and allowing business partners and friends from various countries to congratulate their colleagues and loved ones with relevant and important for them events.

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Примите участие в нашей викторине!
Каждый третий участник получит по почте сувенир от нашего бюро переводов.

The difficulties of table text translation in the absence of context

Translators have often to deal with table texts in their work. These are various consignment notes, customs documentation, product catalogs, and lists of goods, for instance. The lack of context is the main difficulty in translating such texts.

We are looking for a native English speaker

Translation agency “Flarus” has a vacancy to be filled with a native English speaker.

History of translation: "Three Little Pigs" with a Spanish Flavor

It`s not a secret pupils and students often contact our agency to get support in translating their researches, theses or simply home assignment. Thus, we have recently translated in Spanish the tale "Three Little Pigs." What problems faced the Spanish native speaker translating this folklore text?

Подросток из Японии представил переводчик для глухонемых

16-летний изобретатель из Японии представил созданное им устройство Talk для альтернативной связи глухонемых людей с окружающим миром. Аппарат был продемонстрирован научному сообществу на выставке Google Science Fair.

A Bark is Local, but the Cat Speaks Just One Meow

The Word of the Year

Word-happy Americans anointed their choice of this year`s most representative word/phrase/term on Jan.6, when the American Dialect Society held its 21st annual Word of the Year vote.

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tags: politeness, explanation, strategy, words, anthropologist, speaker, talk

شركة ترجمة Бюро за преводи Бюро перакладаў 翻译社 Překladatelská kancelář Übersetzugsbüro Oversættelse bureau Translation Agency, Moscow, Russia Agencia de traducciones Käännöstoimisto Бюро переводов Фларус, Москва Agence de traduction მთარგმნელობითი ბიურო Γραφείο μεταφράσεων अनुवाद एजेंसी Prevodilacki biro Fordítóiroda Penerjemahan Biro Agenzia di Traduzioni 翻訳代理店 번역 회사 Аударма бюросы Орчуулгын товчоо Biuro tłumaczeń Agência de tradução Birou de traduceri Flarus Prekladateľská agentúra Tercüme Bürosu Бюро перекладів Văn phòng phiên dịch
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"Временное свидетельство", Юридический перевод, Translator №578

translation tags: технический, студент, министерство, консульский, государственный, египет, печать.

Translations in process: 37
Current work load: 59%

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Concise Scots Dictionary And The First Global Conference On Slang

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