Subject: Re: [OT] "Of course ..." in your language
To: Magnus Eriksson <>
From: Todd Vierling <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 10/02/2005 11:52:56
On Fri, 30 Sep 2005, Magnus Eriksson wrote:

>   I also submitted more than one, with backtranslations.  It's different in
> Swedish, depending on whether you mean "This machine is [currently] running
> NetBSD" or "NetBSD is capable of running on this machine".
>   I would suppose this holds for other languages as well..  Is there a
> particular meaning you're after?  (I'd assume the second one, from reading the
> German versions)  It could save some confusion.  And typing.  :-)

"Of course it runs NetBSD" is a PR slogan, so it's important to dissect the
linguistic elements:


- "Of course" applies an idiomatic tone of obviousness, as if it is a fact
  everyone should know implicitly.

- "it" is referring to an unnamed piece of hardware, but slightly
  emphasizing the singular, as if the speaker is physically pointing to a
  specific item (rather than using the pronoun "anything").  Also, as an
  abstract pronoun, "it" is meant to evoke the thought of any item, not just
  a familiar computer box.

- The inverted active voice ("it runs NetBSD" vs. "NetBSD runs on it") has
  the effect of emphasizing the "NetBSD" in relation to the pronoun "it".
  This is common in Germanic languages such as English, but for some
  Romance languages, has the opposite effect.  The idea to emphasize is
  that "NetBSD runs on anything".


"NetBSD is capable of running on this machine" is an approximation of the
meaning, but if you can capture the tone of obviousness, you would be much
closer to the goal.

-- Todd Vierling <> <> <>