[BLML] Duplicate Bridge Law 2017 intensifiers [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

richard.hills at immi.gov.au richard.hills at immi.gov.au
Tue Sep 25 01:41:58 CEST 2012

You Are Old, Father William (sixth verse):

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

Konrad Ciborowski, 3rd March 2010:

I o to sie rozchodzi.

I was on the team that did the translation of the 2007
Laws to Polish and those intensifiers were really
killing us. The problem with them is that intensifiers
are one of the toughest words to translate from one
language to another. All languages have them but
usually their "intensity levels" don't match. You can
always find some stronger ones and some weaker
ones but it is usually very hard to find the _exact_
translation - think about how you would translate the
same German sentence with and without "doch" to
English and you will know what I mean.

If one were translating literature it wouldn't be a big
problem. But the translation of a legal document is
another story. You have to be precise especially
during translation of the most crucial laws of the
game. I remember that we really struggled with all
those "wells". The word "well" appears in this
sense in L16B2 ("damage could well result"),
L21B1(a) ("the decision to make the call could well
have been influenced by"), L23 ("this could well
damage the non-offending side"), L27D ("the
outcome of the board could well have been
different"), L83 ("could well be in order").

The problem was that even though I managed to
find an equivalent form in Polish ("spokojnie mogl
wplynac na decyzje" = "could well influence the
decision") it is a form far too colloquial to have a
place in an official document. Other intensifiers
were either too strong or too weak so we decided
to translate these laws as if they didn't contain the
word "well" at all.

I must say that in the main we considered the
word "well" to be a mere stylistic ornament, we
had no clue that it was put in there as a key factor
and a subtle way to "raise the bar" in rulings
concerning possible damage.

So I'm afraid that to the Polish TDs (or least those
who don't speak English or don't bother to
consult the English text of the Laws) the key
point of this discussion would be lost in
translation forever. I take full responsibility for
that although I must admit that if the Laws
Committee wanted to "raise the bar" there were
other (much more explicit) ways of doing it.

I wonder how this "well" stuff was translated to
other languages.

Anyone can help?

From what I can tell the French version chose
to ignore "well", too ("qu’elle pourrait léser le
camp non fautif", "qu’undommage pourrait en
résulter") even though in French conveniently
there is a word "bien" that is used in almost the
same sense so one might perhaps try "pourrait
bien léser" or "dommage pourrait bien en

The Russian translation attempts to translate
"well" as "вполне" in L23, L21, and L27
(although I don't consider it a good one - it is
definitely too strong for my taste, it sounds like
"could totally have influenced the decision"
which is not the same, though I'm not a
Russian native speaker) but again ignores
"well" in L16B2.
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