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SOCNET  September 2003

SOCNET September 2003


more on INSNA translations


Tadeusz Sozanski <[log in to unmask]>


Tadeusz Sozanski <[log in to unmask]>


Wed, 24 Sep 2003 14:05:01 +0200





text/plain (760 lines)

***** To join INSNA, visit *****

Dear Socnet subscribers,

The weather on Monday Sept 22 was so beautiful across all
Central Europe that I chose hiking in the mountains instead
of keeping to my promise to send the next letter to the list.
Now the letter I completed Tuesday is ready to send.
It is very long (some 750 lines). However, if you are interested
in linguistic problems, you should not be disappointed
when you read my scholarly comments mixed with personal

When we translate from one language into another, four types
of errors are possible: spelling errors, gramatical or
syntactical, semantical, and stylistic. The distinction
between semantical and stylistic mistakes cannot be drawn too
clearly because both types have to do with "meaning". The
translation of "stupid guy" to Polish as "glupi czlowiek"
(which means "stupid man") is semantically correct, but a
translator would probably choose to translate it as "glupi
facet" as such a translation would be stylistically more
adeaqute. However, a translator might prefer less literal
translation, if he or she feels that the overall level of
negative evaluation in "glupi facet" is much greater than in
"stupid guy" because the Polish word "facet" is probably a bit
less "polite" than the English word "guy". "Oxford Advanced
Learner's Dictionary of Current English" I always consult when
I write in English has only "informal" as the stylistic
qualification of the word "guy".

Stylistic problems usually arise with translating poetry,
novels, newspaper articles, political speeches, etc.
Professional translators who do this job must have highest
competence in the two languages, though not necessarily in
their specialized fields. Do not seek help from them if you
want to translate INSNA, but you can ask them to verify how
these translations sound in general contexts. Instead I
recommend the use of a one-language dictionary like Webster's
if it is available for a given language. To close this point,
let me remark that some stylistic features of a language
cannot be translated into another language at all. For
example, it is impossible to render in Polish the language
etiquette of the New English to which I occasionally yield,
say, replacing "translator" by "he or she".

Sometimes radical solutions are needed to help the reader feel
the "taste" of a translated language or rather that of the
world of the native speakers of this language. Hemmingway who
had a perfect command of Spanish decided to revive the old
English pronoun "thou", now restricted to man-God relations.
He felt that the dialogues between the Spanish heroes of "For
Whom the Bell Tolls" would lose the climate of intimacy if he
used ordinary "you" instead of thou. Although I do like and
appreciate English, I prefer my native language in
interpersonal communication. In particular, Polish provides
the ways to mark the distinction between "interaction partners
of different status," to use the sociological jargon.

However, I prefer English over my native language when I write
mathematical papers. The articles ("a" and "the") which are
missing in Polish often help me say more precisely what I want
to say, even if many times I am not sure of which to use.
English has certainly become the means of international
communication not only for political reasons. It is really
well suited for this role. First, it is easy to learn. The
beginner can produce very fast meaningful statements. Early
success in communicating with others motivates him to learn
more. However, when you cease to be a beginner, you will soon
realize that you'll never put into your brain all Oxford
Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

There are many frustrating experiences which happen to
advanced learners of English. I remember the necessity to
rewind the tape back several times until I guessed that that
what I heard as "do" is in fact "due" pronounced by an
American speaker. This happened to me when I prepared the
typescript of Robert Merton's speech delivered in Krakow when
he received the honorary doctorate of the Jagiellonian

Let me mention another feature of English which makes this
language difficult for the speakers of the languages with long
words and rich inflections. Many if not most English words are
one-syllable. Although they are mixed in the speech stream
with auxiliary words (articles, prepositions and other
particles), the fact that ALL English words are short forces
the listener to process more information per unit of time than
he processes while hearing his native language. In addition,
there are so many homophones (net!). The fact that the
grammatical function of a word (verb, noun, adjective, etc.)
can't be recognized from its form makes it difficult to
decipher momentarily the syntax of a statement. However, the
mathematical simplicity of English syntax compensates for

Al Klovdahl <[log in to unmask]> jokes, saying that
"the errors on the back cover were put there intentionally to
encourage those whose first language is NOT english (who can
now clearly see how those of us whose first language IS
English struggle with other languages) to be less reluctant to
contribute to discussions about social networks." Intendedly
or unintendedly they were put there, they must have comforted
those wrestling with English by showing them that the native
speakers of English experience similar troubles with foreign

Sometimes the reluctance of the speakers of English to learn
other languages is understandable. When I lived in a small
town in the middle of Wisconsin, I could watch my roommate
learning German, the native language of his grandparents. I
saw how painful was for him to repeat: Ich habe, du hast, er
hat, wir haben, etc. He said to me "Why the hell does German
have that many words where English has only two? (<have> and
<has>, the latter being equivalent to regular <have>+<s>)".
"You are right - I replied - even one word would be enough, as
English could be made even simpler by dropping the redundant
"s" in the third person of a verb's present tense. If you
learn German in order to feel safer while traveling to
Germany, it's not worth your effort. You'll always find
someone speaking English, but if you would like to get
familiar with the culture of your ancestors, you have to load
these words into your memory. Take comfort from the fact that
you don't have to learn Latin conjugations and declinations,
which had for centuries been considered the best way to
discipline students' minds until the teaching of mathematics
began to play the similar role".

If the Anglosaxons were more open to learning foreign
languages, this would help those learning English as a second
language. Let me explain this point in more detail. If you are
a beginner in English, the simpler the vocabulary of your
interlocutor, the better you can understand what he says.
However, the occurrence of just one rare word together with
commonly used words can make it difficult to understand the
whole statement. Then additional communication becomes
necessary. Usually, it is the beginner who asks first for help
"please, explain me the meaning of this word". Every time when
the initiative was taken by the other side, that is, every
time the speaker of English was first to notice that he had
used a difficult word, it turned out that the speaker of
English knew another language. The daughter of my roommate who
learned Spanish at school helped me more than her father. He
used to explain to me the words he considered difficult
himself, but these words, usually with Greek or Latin roots,
never appeared to me as difficult as "native" English words.

Let me go back to translation problems. Computer programs
cannot be blamed for SPELLING ERRORS found in the translated
texts. Machines are more reliable than human writers in this
matter. I often use the WordPerfect spellchecker to correct my
English texts. I suppose that the spellchecking modules for
other languages also behave more decently than the typists. It
is not my intention to blame anybody for neglect. Many office
workers saved their lives due to neglect: they failed to come
to WTC at 9:00. Possibly, more supervision is needed as
regards rewriting non-English texts. I suppose that the skill
of exact reproducing meaningless symbol strings is no longer
required of the university technical staff because the task of
rewriting data from paper forms to computer files is now
performed by scanners.

Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the programs which
correct grammar. Nor have I ever used an automatic translation
program. I suspect that such a program first identifies some
components of the text in the source language and looks for
their counterparts in the target language. Next, the pieces
are put together and the output becomes the input to the
grammar correction routine. The overall success depends on the
extent to which the "rough" translation is semantically
correct. If only the smallest meaningful units have been
assigned counterparts, the translation is unlikely to be
satisfactory. The larger are the units that are taken into
account, the greater the chance for a good translation.

The list of translations into MANY languages given by Bill
Richards in the file available on Internet would be more
informative if it included the source of each translation
(computer program, a native speaker, a professional
translator, etc.). To quote the Editor of Connections, "Most
languages have more than one translation. I strongly suspect
that many of the ones I have are not correct; translated back
into English they will result in something like 'Between
nation-states entanglement in case of human-socialistic
entwinement dissociation'." Indeed, the first Polish
translation given there is blatantly absurd. It can be
translated back to English as: "International Capital of
owners seen from the angle Sociable Capital of owners". In my
previous letter, I tried to guess how the Russian translation
(the one with "pletenka" for "network") might have arisen - by
showing a hypothetical conversation. Now I can't even state a
hypothesis explaining why the expression "wlascicieli" (=of
owners) appears here.

Since the time I started my work as a social scientist I have
always believed that that it is the METHOD that distinguishes
my cognitive activities from exploratory behavior of the
"ordinary" people.

Let us look methodically at the task of translating a rather
simple English text as INSNA is, the task that has caused so
much trouble to the translators. "Maybe the problem with many
of the translations lies in the fact that interpreters were
not into social sciences and not into SNA. They didn't know
what exactly Social Network Analysis would mean in their
native language because IT DIDN'T HAVE MUCH MEANING TO THEM IN
ENGLISH. (...) I think it is important that translations are
done or verified by social scientists-native speakers" (quoted
from the letters sent by Olga Mayorova <[log in to unmask]>
- emphasis mine). Imagine that I'm an "interpreter" like those
mentioned by Olga, not familiar at all with SNA.

What can be done METHODICALLY when one must resort solely to
one's competence in general English? The first step that a
human or machine translator should make is to decompose the
complex text into lower level meaningful units, not
necessarily words. Here is my decomposition of INSNA

(International Network) (for) (Social Network Analysis)
         (1) (2) (3)

Now we can try to translate the three components. The
translation of (1) seems to be the simplest task.
"International" is an international word which sounds and
reads similarly in many European languages. Assume that the
word "network" has the unique most adequate counterpart in a
given language. Shall we use this counterpart in translating
the whole unit (1)? Some translations use in this context the
counterparts of English "association" (meant as in
"International Sociological Association") instead of the
counterpart of "network" (the latter is retained only in the
translation of (3)). Why? Because a translator may find it
desirable to remove any suggestions that "International
Network" might be a TECHNICAL system (say a network of
measurement stations dispersed across the world) rather than a
SOCIAL organization.

I strongly recommend to reject this objection. INSNA is not
like other scientific associations. It IS a network.


As such it deserves to bear a name in every human language
that tells what it is. It is the task of those who do
understand the name to explain its meaning to those who don't.
If my advice is followed, then the translations of (1) into 6
European languages will be

Le Reseau International (French)
La Rete Internazionale (Italian)
La Red Internacional (Spanish)
Internationales Netzwerk (German)
Miedzynarodowa Siec (Polish)
Mezhdunarodnaya Set' (Russian)

The ultimate decision on what to do should be made by the
members of INSNA who speak a given language. My tips as to how
to proceed are as follows: try to identify the main language
groups within INSNA, select a "spokesman" (for this particular
task only) for each group, ask him or her to provide a
translation, put the results in a pdf file on INSNA web page,
and ask all members for comments, leaving the final say to the
"spokesman". Following the suggestion of Tom Valente
<[log in to unmask]> I can take the responsibility for the
Polish translation. I don't know if there are any Polish
members of INSNA besides me. The Socnet list, sorted by
country, has four names, unknown to me, but a subscriber need
not be a member of INSNA. I suppose that more Poles work
outside Poland so that their names may be listed elsewhere.
The largest US group of subscribers contains my late colleague
Jacek Szmatka with his old South Carolina email address.

Mais, revenons a nos moutons, as the French would say, that
is, let's go back to translating (1)+(2)+(3). The translation
of component (2) should be left for the last step, since (2)
depicts a relation between (1) and (3)

Thus, let us try to translate first (3). Having seen more
translations supplied by Bill, I realized that the problems
have arisen because the translators used two different
interpretations of (3).

(a) Social Network Analysis = Analysis of Social Networks
(b) Social Network Analysis = Social Analysis of Networks

For me - an advanced non-native user of scientific English -
(a) is the only possible reading of SNA. Similarly, "Rational
Choice Theory" means for me the "Theory of Rational Choice",
not a "Rational Theory of Choice".

The Russian translation "Mezhdunarodnoye obshchestvo po
socialnomu analizu setei" quoted by Bill Richards is beyond
doubt based on understanding of SNA as (b). I found this
translation in the letter I received from him besides the one
sent to Socnet. Bill consulted a "Russian graduate student"
(by the way, this construction is not quite clear to me: was
the graduate student Russian or did he or she graduate in

A similar remark refers to the translations into German and
related Germanic languages (Dutch, Swedish, and others). A few
people I consulted (they teach German, but are not native
speakers of German) say it should be "Soziale
Netzwerkanalyse," but this seems to fall under (b) rather than
(a). Jana Diesner <[log in to unmask]> who has introduced
herself as a "reliable German native speaker" has proposed
"Soziale Netzwerk Analyse". Maybe she's right.

The translations into three Romance languages and two Slavic
ones perfectly render the meaning of (3) as understood
according to the pattern (a):

l'Analyse des Reseaux Sociaux (French)
l'Analisi delle Reti Sociali (Italian)
l'Analisis de las Redes Sociales (Spanish)
Analiza Sieci Spolecznych (Polish)
Analiz Socialnych/Obshchestvennych Setei (Russian).

Once we've got the translations of (1) and (3), we have to
solve the last problem of how to connect (1) and (2) to obtain
a meaningful whole. The preposition "for", having counterparts
in most languages I considered (pour, per, para, fur, dla)
suggests that INSNA is more than a SET of communicating people
who analyze social networks using various methods. As such
INSNA should be in itself a TOOL that helps analyze social
networks. This shade of meaning is lost if "for" is replaced
by another preposition ("po" in Russian, Genitive case=of in
Polish), but it may well be that retaining "for" will make the
"instrumental relation" too strong. INSNA is not a task group
united by a definite common research program.

This was the problem I had myself with translating INSNA into
Polish. The story began in July 1994 when I received an email
letter from my friend Jacek Szmatka then teaching in South

 (Jacek died Oct 20, 2001: see;
  click "STRUKTURA INSTYTUTU", next "Zaklad Badania Procesow
  Grupowych", "English version", "JACEK SZMATKA")

The message I've extracted from my archives and now translated
into English reads as follows

  Date: Fri, 29 Jul 94 23:17:48 EDT
  From: Jacek <[log in to unmask]>
  Subject: a small question
  To: Tadeusz Sozanski <[log in to unmask]>
  Steve Borgatti, the editor of the journal "Connections" and
possibly the co-founder of a new association which is called
"International Network for Social Network Analysis" has asked
me to say how this name would sound in Polish. They want to
publish this name in various languages in one of the issues to
appear. Thus, we face the problem of how to translate it. I
have four versions, which of them seems to you the best one?
"Free" translations ares permitted.

  Miedzynarodowa Siec Analizy Sieci Spolecznych
  Miedzynarodowe Stowarzyszenie do Analizy Sieci Spolecznych
  Miedzynarodowe Stowarzyszenie Analizy Sieci Spolecznych
  Miedzynarodowa Siec do Analizy Sieci Spolecznych.

  That is the small question. Regards!

Unfortunately, I can't quote my answer to the "small
question". My message was not recorded into the Sent folder
(created by Elm mail program I use until today along with
Pine) because of a system failure. However, I remember that my
answer rejected the two middle versions which have
"association" ("stowarzyszenie").

(Let me put in a digression here. I did not know at that time
what SNA and INSNA is, although I had by then published two
mathematical papers on "signed graphs"; they are listed in the
Bibliography prepared by Thomas Zaslavsky. Jacek himself
learned about SNA from Steve Borgatti. Later he attended
Sunbelt conferences many times. We worked together on
"exchange networks". Jacek was interested, first of all, in
empirical theories of power distribution and their
experimental testing. I focused on the "mathematics of
exchange networks". I will say more about this when my
monograph "Mathematical Theories of Power in Exchange
Networks", I'm still writing in English, will be published by
the Jagiellonian University. Recently, having looked at what
I've already done, I realized that what I do as a mathematical
sociologist has much to do with SNA. Hence the decision to
join INSNA I made last year)

I found it too hard to make a definite choice between the
first and last version. The entry "Social Network" I wrote for
the Polish Encyclopedia of Sociology (2002) has a paragraph on
INSNA but no official Polish name is given there. Jacek's last
version with "do" (the counterpart of "for" which is most
appropriate in this context) seemed to me too strong (INSNA as
a tool for...), the version without a preposition (the Polish
translation of expression (3) is in the Genetive case; Polish
does not have "of") seemed to me to weak because no
instrumentality was marked.

Jacek made the choice himself (today I think it was the right
choice) and that is how the Polish text appeared on the back
cover of Connections. The text Jacek had written and printed
with the use of WordPerfect must have been mistyped by someone
else so that spelling errors crept in. Bill Richards said in
his letter to Socnet "I didn't hear any complaints or
suggestions or comments about the back covers of 23(1),
24(1), 24(2), 24(3). They were all the same as what you see on
25(1)". For me issue 25(1) is the first of these issues which
I saw as hard copy so I could not respond earlier.

"It was a decoration for the back cover. I put the longer
lines below the shorter ones, rather than, say, putting the
languages in alphabetical order. The bottom line is not, as
far as I know, text in any language spoken by humans on this
planet." (from Bill Richards' letter to Socnet).

As regards the bottom line, at first glance I thought that the
text came into being at a big, full-fledged university which
should have a Chair of Egyptology so that one can ask a fellow
professor familiar with ancient Egyptian writing. At second
glance I gave up such a theory: the pictures are too simple to
be hieroglyphs. The enlightenment came after the third glaaance.
Why haven't I discovered at once that the last language must
be English? It suffices to count words and characters in each
to see the isomorphism with the original English text typed
with the use English alphabet. The English letters are coded
in such a way that "n" is replaced by the black box, "l" with
the large diamond, etc. The only sophistication that may
mislead the viewer is the use of different symbols for
lowercase and uppercase letters.

Jacek might have seen the "decorated" issues, though I can't
say with certainty that he saw. Jacek knew German and Russian
but not well enough to suggest corrections. If he located
spelling mistakes only in the Polish line, he might have found
them not worth responding. Who cares about spelling today?
Jacek would certainly agree with Steve who has said now "I
think it is good to fix the errors (even if it destroys a
natural experiment), but I hope NO ONE TAKES THEM TOO
SERIOUSLY." (emphasis mine). Myself, I wouldn't have reacted
either, unless I had noticed SO MANY ERRORS IN SO MANY LINES.

Who cares about the way the words are recorded to paper to
make them readable to others? Possibly, the Japanese. I asked
my Japanese acquaintance "Why do you still use kanji, once you
could fully switch to hiragana or katakana?" The answer was
"Because the kanji signs you perceive as abstract graphics
convey the meanings we do recognize, having acquired the
ability to recognize through long and tedious process of
learning. We would lose these meanings, thus losing part of
our cultural identity, if we were to adopt the European view
on the purpose of writing."

Actually, we the Europeans believe that the system of writing
(alphabet, spelling rules) invented for a given language must
serve one purpose: to graphically code the speech in such a
way that the phonological structure of the language is
represented by the structure of the written text as faithfully
as possible. Thus, the spelling need not have much to do with
other structures of a given language. Such is the principle,
even if it is not always respected (some French spelling rules
are constructed so as to reflect grammatical rules of this

If a language has more phonemes than its alphabet has letters,
some phonemes must be represented by letter combinations.
Particular languages may use different codes for the same
phonemes. The example is given below

Phoneme (written Polish Hungarian
  in English) spelling spelling

     s s sz
     sh sz s

Why does Polish differ from Hungarian? I suspect that in
Hungarian the phoneme (sh) occurs more frequently than (s),
while (s) is found in Polish speech samples more frequently
than (sh). This is a hypothetical explanation. I don't know if
the two national spellings meet these requirements. The
orthographies of most natural languages did not grow out from
theoretical considerations but were shaping up in a historical
process. If my hypothesis on Polish and Hungarian spelling is
true, the 16th century founders of Polish and Hungarian
spelling systems must have unintendedly discover the principle
theoretically elaborated in 20th century.

The use of letter strings as the ONLY method of coding some
phonemes is a special feature of English, though it can
applied to German too (by replacing o-umlaut with oe, etc.).
An alternative solution which consists in the use of letters
with diacriticals has been implemented in many European

Diacriticals are perceived as a nightmare not only by the
Anglosaxons. The editorial staff of Polish professional
journals are trained to handle German "umlauts" and French
"accents". They know also how to spell correctly Spanish
"senor" (with a tilde over n). However, if an expression is
not in a "world language" they behave like their American
colleagues. For example, when I sent a report on an
international conference to a Polish sociological journal,
they lost a diacritical in the last name of Hamit Fisek, where
"s" should have "," attached at the bottom ("s" with "," is
the Turkish and Rumanian counterpart of English "sh", French
"ch", German "sch", Polish "sz", Italian "sc" before "e/i" ).
Hamit has published a lot in English. So far as I know he does
not complain that his last name is written "Fisek" and hence
pronounced "fisek" instead of "fishek".

(The digressions make this letter very long, but listen again
to my story. In 1991 I had a course on Polish political
parties for a group of Canadian students. The participants of
the international program came to Krakow to take courses
offered by Polish professors lecturing in English. After the
semester the Canadian organizers decided to publish the best
students' essays along with some papers prepared as handouts
by the lecturers. I sent the printout of my paper and attached
the disk with the Wordperfect file. Next year I received a
copy of the book. I saw all proper names (names of political
parties and their leaders) stripped of diacriticals. My last
name was "cleaned" more radically: not only the counterpart of
Spanish tilde over "n" disappeared, but the following "s" was
also cut off. The Polish co-editor of the book apologized to
me, she said that the book was edited by the students. I
thought to myself "don't worry, be happy", or more
melancholically "Muss es sein? Yes, it must be so").

The real problem is that the letters with diacriticals
gathered from all European languages are too many to be coded
simultaneously as ASCII characters. As a consequence,
Microsoft has prepared several variants of the nonstandard
upper half of ASCII extended set. The variant recommended by
the Gates' men for use in Poland contains all special letters
which exist in Slavic languages using Latin alphabet. However,
these letters were coded at the expense of omitting few
letters with diacriticals found in the main languages of
Western Europe. Most Polish users have considered this
solution inadequate. They would prefer to combine with their
own language the main world languages rather than to put one
minority language with other minority languages into one sack.

I don't know if Microsoft has made corrections to meet such
requirements of Polish users. As regards myself I never use
extended ASCII characters at the operating system level or in
text files. Accordingly, my current message does not contain
letters with diacriticals. So don't treat the non-English
texts given earlier in this letter as ready to use (e.g. I've
written "reseau" without "accent aigu" over first "e"). My aim
in this letter is not to "fix the errors" but to disclose the
source of errors.


I learned English 4 years in high school, 3 years while
studying sociology, and 2 years at the course organized by the
British Council for our university lecturers. English is the
foreign language that I know best.

I should mention Russian in the second place. I had learned
Russian for 7 years from 5th grade of elementary school. Under
communist regime everybody had to learn the official language
of the Soviet empire, but the results were generally poor. In
addition the knowledge of Russian did not help anyhow when you
traveled across the middle European protectorates of the
Soviet Union.

(When I traveled to Hungary I did not know German the
knowledge of which could help a foreigner at that time /by now
English has probably superseded German in this role/, so I had
to speak Russian to ask a timetable question at Keleti railway
station. My too good Russian pronunciation resulted in
obtaining misleading data from the lady at the information
desk. The Hungarians still remained Soviet tanks in the street
of Budapest in 1956).

I mastered Russian much better than an average student because
I wanted to read Russian 19th century literature in the
original language. Paradoxically, having never visited the
Soviet Union or Russia, I had more opportunities to train my
Russian communication skills in the West. I can boast of some
experience in translating from Russian and into Russian. The
first trial came in 1974 when I participated in 7th UNESCO
International Seminar on the Use of Mathematics in the Social
Sciences held in Jablonna near Warsaw. What is called now
"political correctness" had some influence on this conference.
The Soviet professors enjoyed special rights. A professor from
Leningrad, a member of the Academy of Sciences or so, who
showed up in the last minute, induced the organizers to add
his presentation to the agenda, although he did not know the
official language of the conference. The organizers found a
way out of that uneasy situation. They asked me to translate
his paper from Russian to English and to read it for him. A
Bulgarian sociologist (I forgot his name) agreed to work as an
interpreter so a regular discussion could follow the lecture.

I'm glad to hear that INSNA does not base its activities on
political considerations. I don't treat the decision to hold
Sunbelt conferences in Europe every third year as political
but simply just and rational.

The second serious job I did was to translate from Russian
into Polish a chapter on sociometry from the book "The
Structure of Interpersonal Relations" which appeared in Kiev.
The chapter I translated was chosen by Jacek Szmatka for the
reader he edited. He was induced to include in the volume a
few papers representing the Soviet social sciences besides the
classical papers by American social psychologists. The Soviet
Union did not then recognize the copyright law so that we did
not have to ask the author's permission to publish the
translation. I recall this story because the author in
question, Vladimir Paniotto, might be the best person to take
responsibility for the Russian translation of INSNA. In 1990
we failed to meet face-to-face in New York where I spent a
week as a tourist, while he was a visitor to the Columbia
University. We talked by phone and later exchanged letters,
but I don't know what he is doing now.

French is the second foreign language I chose to learn with
English as a student of sociology (English was mandatory for
all sociology students, the second foreign language was left
for individual free choice). I wrote my first paper on signed
graphs in French because I did not know then that
"Mathematiques et Sciences Humaines" accepted English papers
as well.

The knowledge of French helped me when I learned Italian a few
weeks preceding my travel to Italy. Actually, the travel was
only a pretext, I like learning languages. I usually use a
pocket dictionary with appendices on pronunciation and
spelling, and grammar. I learned many languages in this way,
in particular, Hungarian and Rumanian. A couple of years ago I
threw out all materials concerning all minor languages to make
room for new books. The dictionaries and manuals for Spanish
and German are still on the shelf so that I can consult them
if necessary. I'm not familiar at all with Portuguese and
Scandinavian languages. I have never heard about the language
called Klingon.

The file I've attached with separate letter sent to Bill
Richards contains the translations of INSNA to the following 5
languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian and

"SOCNET list has to be adapted for a variety of fonts before
you send any translation drafts. I received abracadabra for
Tad's spelling of foreign words, although usually I have no
trouble reading messages in non-latin fonts" (Olga Mayorova)

The codes I placed in my previous message are the
"coordinates" assigned to the characters by WordPerfect, the
wordprocessor STRONGLY PREFERRED by the editors of
'Connections'. While all my acquaintances failed to resist the
invasion of Microsoft Word, I still remain faithful to
Wordperfect. I prefer its DOS version 5.1 because I don't have
to check if a given character can be reproduced under a given

WordPerfect has many "character sets". The multinational set,
or character set #1, allows you to write in all European
languages which use Latin alphabet. Since "e" with "accent
aigu" is item #41 in character set #1, the correct spelling of
"reseau" was coded as "r#1,41#seau". If you don't know French
and can't recognize this variant of "e" in the table shown
when you press Ctrl-W, type "1,41" after Ctrl-W to see the
character marked in the table. If you press Enter, the
character will be copied into the text you write. Greek
alphabet is available as character set #8, and Cyrillic as

That is all what I can do. Don't worry, be happy

If you have read my letter (skipping possibly the post
scriptum), please send the message "I've read" to my
internet address [log in to unmask] If you answer
in the reply mode, do not copy the message to which you
reply. Instead of signing the answer with your personal
name, type the English name of your native language.

I will learn in this way (and will let others know) how many
subscribers are interested in the topic I've touched and what
first languages they speak.


P.S. I completely forgot about the communication I had with
Jacek concerning the Russian translation. Now I found in my
archives the following two letters.

  Date: Tue, 02 Aug 94 21:30:34 EDT
  From: Jacek <[log in to unmask]>
  Subject: Where you go
  To: Tadeusz Sozanski <[log in to unmask]>
  I can't help telling you exactly where you go (to attend ASA
meetings - TS). You go to El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina
de los Angeles del Rio de Porciuncula, that is to say, to the
Village of Our Lady Queen of Angels on the River Porciuncula,
the village which is now simply called Los Angeles.
  Would you like to try to translate into Russian the name of
Borgatti's association. I don't have a dictionary here and
don't even recall how is "network" in Russian. Steve will be
happy. I've already told him that we will do it for him.
  That is all. Take care, and see you soon!

  From ussozans Wed Aug 3 14:43:18 1994
  Subject: networks
  To: [log in to unmask] (Jacek Szmatka)
  My answer will be short. They physicists are going to close
the terminal room in a moment. I confirm receipt of your
  I would translate International Network... as
"Miezdunarodnaja siet' po analizu socialnych sietiej . This
should be rewritten in the English transcription, but I don't
know exactly how to do it, one should ask someone competent.
There should Chairs of Russian in the States.
 See you soon!

Let me comment on my answer to Jacek's question. I did not
suppose that Steve would need the translation written in the
Cyrillic alphabet, so I sent to Jacek the Polish
transcription, actually a nonstandard transcription I invented
myself for that occasion. Today I know more how to transcribe
Russian text into English (in general ask librarians about
these matters).

Now my 1994 Russian translation of INSNA can be rewritten as
"Mezhdunarodnaya set' po analizu socialnykh setei". I chose
"po" (which forces the Dative case: "po analizu") instead of
"dla" (which forces Genetive case: "dla analiza") and
translated "social" as "socialnyi" rather than
"obshchestvennyi". The first of two synonymic words which
sounds more bookish and scientific may be more appropriate

I don't know what Jacek did with the translation I sent to
him. We did not talk about this when we met in Los Angeles in
August 1994 nor any time later. Maybe he tried to rewrite the
translation with the use of WordPerfect but the task appeared
to him too tedious so that he suggested to Steve to look for a
native speaker of Russian.


SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.

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