1. marco.buschini
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    marco.buschini Member

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    Stepladder (help with translation)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by marco.buschini, Jan 1, 2014.

    If I have to perform a sequence of steps in a given order, in Italian I call that sequence a "scaletta" which translates (thanks to Google Translate) to a stepladder. I am not really confident with that translation. Yes, I also checked up the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and it seems to agree, but I am not sure. Is the translation correct?

    Thanks!
    Marco
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It looks right to me, a little ladder, ma parlo solo un po italiano.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Remember that from one language to another, sometimes a single word must become a phrase, and vice versa. For example, Spanish has a simple, single word verb for giving someone a gift, regalar, but in English this must be a phrase, to give a gift. In English, stepladder, used in that fashion, sounds like an aid, something that helps achieve something else. Sequence of steps, just as you said it, though perhaps not poetic, is very precise and means exactly what you want it to mean,
     
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  4. marco.buschini
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    marco.buschini Member

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    OK, when I start writing a story I begin with a subject, which is a 10 lines flat summary of the story (called a subject), then I sketch the characters, again in a 10 lines summary each, then I sketch a plot. I usually do the plot with a sequence of 5 (for a short story) to 20 (for a novel) steps (10 lines each, of course). So probably "sequence of steps" or just "sequence" might be the preferred translation.

    Thank you.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, I agree with you. Your reasoning is sound. I work as a professional interpreter & translator for the federal courts in the U.S. District of Puerto Rico. ;)
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That will teach me to read too quickly. I missed "sequence of steps", and thought you were referring to a literal stepladder. :oops:
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I find this is an interesting thread. A stepladder (an object, not a verb or adverb) must be one of two or more meanings for "scaletta". And stepladder is not a word we would use in English for sequence of steps. But we do use "stairs" and "ladder" in sentences that refer to things other than physical stairs and ladders. I imagine in those cases those names might not translate well.
     
  8. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    Long version? La scala, as in Teatro alla Scala (The opera house in Milan) loosely translates to stairway - or step(s)/stair(s). So la scaletta, generally speaking, would go along the same lines to mean a stairway or, in your own translation, a small stepladder - a series of steps.

    So, short version. Yes. You are correct.
     
  9. marco.buschini
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    marco.buschini Member

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    Thank you for your support.
    I decided to translate it simply as "points" as this link suggests is the correct usage of the word.
    So, from now on, I will use three documents to plan my writings:
    1. subject;
    2. characters;
    3. 20 (or less for a short story) points of plot.
     

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