Mike Sigman wrote:
Maybe the "powers" would be easier to understand if you translated them in the more commonly understood terms, Erick:
Potayto, potahto. You got it. I have seen about four or five different expressions of those four pair in English. Nevermind the other Western tongues. If we wanted to avoid any native variations in connotation we wopuld simply use the original Japanese, no wait -- it was Chinese, no wait ... You see the regression problem, I am sure.
None of them seems any better (or worse) suited to comprehensibility, apart from their reference to some established scheme of reference or nomenclature. The problem is that for people not prepared to invest themselves in that background data the terms are something like distguishing -- florch, trept and gissit. Nonsense syllables that merely become names for non-verbal concepts.
Nomenclature is part of the point I am trying to step behind. Aircraft fly the same in Chinese or Japanese as in English. We often make (justifiable) fun of "Engrish" -- attempts at such transliteration of English by the Japanese (See a classic Zen-like example here:
But we certainly risk doing no better by sticking to their terminology as mere labels in trying to teach our students, who may then make the same types of errors in application.
There must be a better way to digest this in native terms. We are very big on "better ways" in the Western tradition. There is a lot of math and thinking on things like gyrodynamics and other methods of analysis or physical analogy that may apply. For instance the math applicable to torque conversions in gyrodynamics is very much related to the math for electromagnetic fields and currents. This kind of analogue principle approach is very much the mainstay of Western tehcnical development