1

In a language forum, someone posted the following sentence for translation:

Но увлекаться ягодой не стоит, ведь она сильный аллерген.

At first sight, it seems illogical to me because by my reasoning (and I'm not the last coke in the desert), if you're allergic to something, you can't even eat one, so I don't see the logic in не увлекаться in this context. I also feel that this sentence would have more logically been addressed to those with an allergy to... Furthermore, if the allergen is so сильный, by all logic, it wouldn't take more than one unit to cause a reaction. Am I missing something? Is there a linguistic element present in the word аллерген that we don't have in English? By the way, the sentence is about strawberries and is based on this article.

1
4

The sentence is grammatically correct but colloquial and scientifically unsound, as is common for postings on the internets. In Russian the word «аллерген» has exactly the same meaning as in English. When someone says «сильный аллерген» he/she typically means that either a large portion of the population is allergic to the substance or, for those allergic to it, even a very small amount of it causes significant reaction. The exact meaning would need to be derived from the phrase context.

1
  • Thank you, that was my reasoning exactly - it's unsound and illogical-sounding to me, which is why I'm having a hard time translating it as is.
    – CocoPop
    Dec 25 '20 at 15:07
1

Well, not everything said in Internet is correct even if somebody insists on being correct ;) This phrase indeed does not make sense because true, being allergic to something is a pretty binary thing: either you are allergic or not. And yep, "аллерген" is something that causes allergy.

My guess would be the author meant something like "but be careful, it's allergenic" but this Stack is not about guesses.

2
  • Exactly - "being allergic is a binary thing" - well said!
    – CocoPop
    Dec 25 '20 at 15:07
  • I think the intent was to warn against consuming to much of the thing because it may cause an allergic reaction. Not sure how scientific/based in reality it is, but some things may be problematic/allergenic if consumed in certain quantities (determined individually).
    – Dan M.
    Dec 29 '20 at 15:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.