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Old 06-04-2012, 08:23 PM   #56
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
pont = bridge
d' = contraction of de before a vowel = of. The particle de is just the way to express the genitive. Like jus d'orange = juice of orange = orange juice.
argent = silver (money is a derived meaning)
monnaie = coins
or = gold

French is one of the languages everyone in the Netherlands learns for some years in school (4 years in my case). My French is good enough to manage on vacation, but I would expect that Tom speaks French fluently as he obviously lives in France. Also, his name is Dutch or Belgian, which suggests he also learned French in school even if he moved to France as an adult.

Still, pont d'argent is simple to translate, and I'd expect any French translator to translate it as either silver bridge or money bridge, depending on the context.
I don't see how it could be bridge money (whatever that means). I think bridge money would be argent de pont.
Now you are flattering me ! My French is really not that good and far from fluent. French was not my favorite language at school.

As far as the google translation is concerned; bridge money does not really make any sense to me either, so I just guessed it was sort of a direct translation of pont (bridge) and argent (money - and that not even being correct).

But it does show I think how easy things get lost in translation or get mixed up. Something we should always keep in mind when we read a translation of an originally Japanese text on Aikido.

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