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Old 05-15-2012, 10:27 AM   #32
Chris Li
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,300
Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Graham Christian wrote: View Post

Thus writing what he said, as he said it, would be best of course but it would then have to be taken as you would a lecture at university.

From there on it is the responsibility of the student to look into what the words from that lecture mean and how to conceive them properly and understand and apply. Thus in my view the problem is once again the student and nobody else.
How is a lecture not teaching? If you go to a lecture at a university the person at the front is called a "teacher" and is expected to convey the concepts in a manner that will transmit the ideas to the students. Teachers at universities are routinely evaluated by their students as to their effectiveness at doing just that (there are some problems with the system, but that's another discussion).

Graham Christian wrote: View Post
For instance, in the op regarding what O'Sensei said it ended up being translated as plus Ki. He himself laughed and agreed that that would do and that the translator would from then on be his translator. Thus he knew the problem.
Just like Ueshiba knew that "nice young fellow from Hawaii" understood what he said?

Graham Christian wrote: View Post

Let's take what he did say, let's take the actual words he used and ask do you understand them? Love and light. There you are, in plain English. Do you understand? Sometimes I wonder 'Do you want to understand?' (a serious question) For a serious student who did want to understand that particular piece of information given would have to research what it meant wouldn't they?

So the next question would be where to look. Take the data given and go look in the right places and find out for yourself is the way of the student. How many Aikido folk could equate Ki with love and light? Thus how many via that statement have a reality close to what he meant on that particular point.?

Then we come to the main topic of this thread, untranslatable words. I think it's more to do with untranslatable concepts, not words.

The two concepts of love and light being a prime example.

So slightly to do with whether the words were translated properly, slightly to do with method of teaching but mainly to do with getting the concept as given. All good students know this is a process and will take time.

Actually, I used "Untranslatable Words" because - that's what Tohei called the section.

Anyway, I have my ideas about "love and light" (and I have a hunch that what Ueshiba was referring to was actually more complex than what it would seem to be), but since the context no longer exists (having been eliminated by Tohei) it would be hard to say for sure.



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