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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:36 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 3:28 pm
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There's a book in Swedish, a short collection of poems (?) by celebrity linguist Fredrik Lindström called Jag är en sån som bara vill ligga med dej (2005) - translated, I'm the kind of person who only wants to sleep with you.
The title is ambiguous as it be interpreted as both
  • I only want to sleep with you, no one else; or
  • I only want to sleep with you, and have nothing else to do with you.

So the translation challenge is: I only want to sleep with you
or, the longer version: I'm the kind of person who only wants to sleep with you
and the interesting part is of course how ambiguous it is, if at all, in your language.
Also, whether there is a verb or expression in your language for having sex similar to how sleep with and ligga med (lie with) are used here.

(The book itself is pretty interesting, it's been a few years since I read it but I remember enjoying it.)

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:57 pm 
Smeric
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:40 pm
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Location: Anarcho-Centrist Island
Ubghuu:
kɔ́ɔ́ ŋa byukh yę́f/arag ʔdziʂtiŋmàhų̀zùŋ mààdzɔ̀r kheed
1s TOP younger_female only/alone TR.ALLO-feel-hand-OPT=NMLZ this=like person

The sentence is not ambiguous, as the choice of word for "only" determines the interpretation: yę́f is specified for an action that is carried out unsatisfactorily or incompletely, whereas arag implicates restriction to one choice out of a set.

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R.Rusanov wrote:
seks istiyorum
sex want-PRS-1sg

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:36 pm 
Osän
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Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2003 2:57 pm
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Poswa:
Hmm, Im going to have to work on this. I can translate the sentence just fine, but it's even more ambiguous than the English. The entire expression I want to sleep with you is just a single word, žaššabompombo, and adding the postverb mažo "only" modifies the entire verb. The big word could be broken up, or have morphemes changed out for different morphemes, but the ambiguity would remain since the postverb can only appear after the verb.

I dont think this is a huge problem, because really, in English, the only modifier really only fits in that one slot. Other variants of the sentence could exist, like

Only I want to sleep with you.
I want only to sleep with you.
I want to sleep only with you.

Which are all perfectly grammatical in English, but even in situations where a more precise meaning is desired, English speakers would generally go for the sentence order given in the song, even though it's ambiguous. Therefore I will stick with the instinctual

Žaššabompombo mažo, "I only want to sleep with you." Note that mažo is inflected for 1st person, just like the main verb it agrees with, and so it means "I only ...".

Poswobs in general are a very literal-minded people ... euphemisms are nearly absent, and the vocabulary for sex reads rather like one would expect to find in a wildlife documentary about an animal of little interest to humans. Etymologically, žašša is no more and no less than "meeting of flesh ", though scholars of the language may amuse themselves with more than a hundred possible folk etymologies, as Poswa has retained the majority of the vocabulary from its early ancestor, the Gold language, spoken more than 7000 years earlier. For example, had it been a common phrase at the time, "to axe a pineapple" would have also reached the modern language as žašša.

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