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Old 04-19-2013, 05:10 AM   #16
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The longest language of all is definitely Politician.
A representative can talk for ours actually saying nothing...
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:17 AM   #17
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I'd try the Bible. Say Genesis, or one of the Gospels. Hundreds of translation languages to choose from, including, in the case of the Gospels, the original Greek versions from which all the translations emerge. The King James translation is a masterpiece of simple language, it was prepared that way intentionally.

Also you can chose just about any text length you like for comparison.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:53 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by barutanseijin View Post
Excellent points.

It occurs to me that the relative simplicity of English grammar forces writers to use dialogue tags where writers of other languages might get away with grammatical hints. All those "he saids" & "she saids" pad the word count.

The original text of the Tale of Genji has no names because refering to a person by name was considered rude in the Heian court. Honorifics, humble forms and the various inflections of politeness hint at who is speaking about whom, but there are also explicit references to positions, etc. that help identify characters. In other words, there are grammatical efficiencies that are undone by social rules. Translators give the characters names. Nevertheless, it remains a pretty thick book when translated.
In a related issue, many japanese manga that are translated into english include an introduction that explains what the different honorifics are and how they are used.
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