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Old 05-15-2012, 08:14 AM   #26
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Hi Chris:

Thank you for spelling that out. I see very clearly what you are after. That is great. I am training for different reasons. In my opinion, also valid and good.

I am training first and foremost because it is fun...
to stay youngish, to be strong and fit and comfortable in my skin until I die. I want to be able to roll and fall in my 90's. I enjoy the philosophy of Aikido as I understand it. I am searching and reading and training. The inner work is important and that takes time.

Have fun on your journey.

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Old 05-15-2012, 09:21 AM   #27
Chris Li
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Roberto Orio wrote: View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baduanjin_qigong (BTW, how can be Baduanjin be translated?)
(in fact, there are a few more "warm up/breathing/solo" exercises which are not shown here)
"Eight stage (or step) brocade".

"Brocade" as in a high quality piece of cloth.

I believe that Tamura added those exercises to his training at some point after he left Japan (one of the European folks may have more information).

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-15-2012, 09:32 AM   #28
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Chris Knight wrote: View Post
Strength is debatable, anyone can be strong through learning to put their weight through an opponent - I'm interested in the strength and power which is contained in us at all times,
which can be unleashed in an atemi with no wind up
where the ground is felt in our body, anywhere at any time
where we are virtually untouchable (literally)

This is the power and strength I'm after, and so should the vast majority of aikidoka IMO
regards
Interesting. Aikido has no teacher who has this or any methodology to teach this and offer it to anyone that I have seen. I have seen pieces and and hints at it, but nothing fully developed (not saying I have seen everything either).
Those of us in Aikido who are training correctly....are going to change that.
Dan
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:41 AM   #29
Chris Knight
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Hi Chris:

Thank you for spelling that out. I see very clearly what you are after. That is great. I am training for different reasons. In my opinion, also valid and good.

I am training first and foremost because it is fun...
to stay youngish, to be strong and fit and comfortable in my skin until I die. I want to be able to roll and fall in my 90's. I enjoy the philosophy of Aikido as I understand it. I am searching and reading and training. The inner work is important and that takes time.

Have fun on your journey
Hi Mary - glad you enjoy what you do - so do I, but I have to keep in mind that I need to keep martially minded by it all, otherwise I would take up yoga. (no disrespect intended) I want to be able to train into old age but I also want to keep as close as possible to the founder's method of physical training - and power production. I understand the peace and harmony view, however to get there I believe I have to master the "basic" body training, as laid out in rather mysterious terms, by O Sensei - in basic terms I need to walk before I can run

Best regards

Chris
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:46 AM   #30
Chris Knight
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Interesting. Aikido has no teacher who has this or any methodology to teach this and offer it to anyone that I have seen. I have seen pieces and and hints at it, but nothing fully developed (not saying I have seen everything either).
Those of us in Aikido who are training correctly....are going to change that.
Dan
Hence why I looked outside of aikido

hope you're well

Chris
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:47 AM   #31
graham christian
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Interesting. Why though is it put down to mistranslation generally or inability to teach?

I see Ueshiba when speaking as more of a lecturer, not a teacher. On the mat, a teacher. In private or with Uchideshi maybe a mixture of both but probably due to his personality more the lecturer.

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.

No rush, no short cuts.

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.

So in the old traditional ways of some more enlightened folk he, in my opinion, chose to stick with giving the truth as it is and pointers towards attaining it and leaving the rest up to the student. Nothing wrong with that.

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.

Peace.G.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:27 AM   #32
Chris Li
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
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).

Quote:
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?

Quote:
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.

Peace.G.
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.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-15-2012, 12:39 PM   #33
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
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).

Just like Ueshiba knew that "nice young fellow from Hawaii" understood what he said?

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.

Best,

Chris
That nice young fellow should have been more honest methinks. He probably did know that too.

Untranslatable words is a good title for all enlightened ones say how words alone cannot convey.

I differentiate between lecture and teaching and it is a good differentiation to have and remember. In most lectures it is meant to be the responsibility of the student to take notes or in this day and age even record. Why? To go over in their own time.

Teaching is a two way flow actually. Lecturing is a one way flow. Teaching is involvement with the student(s). Thus the teacher is with the student sharing in the understanding of the student, staying with the student in a two way communication, until the student grasps what is given.

Lecturing has nowhere near as much involvement and places more responsibility on the student.

Questions may be asked after the lecture or not. If so a little teaching may ensue.

Peace.G.
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Old 05-15-2012, 12:43 PM   #34
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
That nice young fellow should have been more honest methinks. He probably did know that too.

Untranslatable words is a good title for all enlightened ones say how words alone cannot convey.
So Tohei was enlightened?

FWIW, Nonaka always maintained that he really, honestly did not understand.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-15-2012, 01:29 PM   #35
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
So Tohei was enlightened?

FWIW, Nonaka always maintained that he really, honestly did not understand.

Best,

Chris
Oh dear, lost in translation again. I am not talking about Tohei or those who said they didn't understand. I am talking about such things as love and light and all concepts given down by 'illuminated' people.

Anyway, Tohei was definitely more enlightened than many, that's for sure.

Peace.G.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:59 AM   #36
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Smile Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I blew out my back last year running and I'm still working through it. None of this stuff should hurt your back, but we've had a couple of guys who described the same kinds of problems - mainly because of trying to pull too hard with the back when turning. It may help to concentrate on releasing the musculature and letting the turn come out naturally (you may also find that you can actually turn further that way).

FWIW...

Best,

Chris
I think I am one of those guys that Chris was talking about. I was so eager that I actually was in pain for a while. Difficult to describe but there is a difference between "relax" stretching and "muscle" stretching. From my own experience, if I have to use my muscle to force myself to do the exercise, something is wrong. However, if I relax my body to do the exercise, it is correct. Bottom line.....you should feel tired but no pain after the exercise. If you fell pain, you did something wrong somewhere. Hope that helped.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:36 PM   #37
Russ Q
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Thanks Henry!

Russ
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #38
Chris Li
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Un pont d'argent - Budo Shugyosha mentioned "Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words" in his blog post on Aikido in Hawaii (link uses Google Translate):

http://tinyurl.com/pontdargent

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-02-2012, 06:46 PM   #39
David Orange
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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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?
Mmmmmm.......do you think Ueshiba actually said "love and light"....in plain English? Again....that's Tohei's translation.

If you've read Tohei's interviews with Stan Pranin, you'll see that he actually retained a bit of resentment of OSensei. And he carried a resentment of aikikai with him a long time after the split. It seems he aggressively discarded pretty much everything O Sensei talked about and just taught the outer form and described it with his own concepts. He didn't know and didn't care what Ueshiba was talking about, except that he considered it pointless.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
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.
I know Chris is doing that as a qualified translator of Japanese, long-experienced in aikido and having access to some of the greatest aikidoka in the world.

Have you done that???? Do you want to understand (serious question).

You sum up everything so nicely, tidily and simply....in theory...that you seem not to have put into real action.

Thanks for the clarification.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 06-02-2012 at 06:50 PM.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 06-03-2012, 07:36 AM   #40
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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David Orange wrote: View Post
It seems he aggressively discarded pretty much everything O Sensei talked about and just taught the outer form and described it with his own concepts. He didn't know and didn't care what Ueshiba was talking about, except that he considered it pointless.
In the 25 years I spent as Sensei Maruyama's student I can assure you that the idea that Tohei Sensei taught only the outer form of Aikido is incorrect. All of the teaching (Ki development and waza) was directed at fostering a strong mind/body connection, first within oneself and then with a partner. The push testing employed by O Sensei was carried over and employed with regularity. After leaving the Ki Society Maruyama Sensei continued to stress that for Aikido to be effective students had to develop power and strength that didn't rely on muscle. This power is generated from what he termed "correct feeling".

Ron

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Old 06-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #41
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
In the 25 years I spent as Sensei Maruyama's student I can assure you that the idea that Tohei Sensei taught only the outer form of Aikido is incorrect. All of the teaching (Ki development and waza) was directed at fostering a strong mind/body connection, first within oneself and then with a partner. The push testing employed by O Sensei was carried over and employed with regularity. After leaving the Ki Society Maruyama Sensei continued to stress that for Aikido to be effective students had to develop power and strength that didn't rely on muscle. This power is generated from what he termed "correct feeling".
Ron, it would be crazy to say that Tohei's aikido was not very, very powerful. It was. And he did the push test, etc. So it's not mere outward form. It's very excellent form with a lot of content.

What I mean is that he simply rejected a lot of what O Sensei said as being utter nonsense. Ueshiba was definitely extremely eccentric and idiosyncratic. Mochizuki Sensei, not only a very close lifelong student of O Sensei, but also his close personal friend, never tried to address those esoteric concepts very deeply, but he did not reject them as Tohei did, substituting his own extensive rationale for the esoteric matters he (and no one else, apparently) understood.

We can look at Tohei's interviews with Stan Pranin and see that he had a lot of resentment about a lot of things relative to O Sensei. Tohei actually married Ueshiba's daughter, which opportunity Mochizuki Sensei declined (probably a different daughter). He pokes at Tohei by saying something like, "I felt that would end up badly...it seems my awareness of ki was stronger than Tohei's in that regard." It was one of the few times he said anything about ki. (Another was "Ki is something very simple. It is inspiration.")

But Tohei's marriage to O Sensei's daughter made him brother-in-law to Kisshomaru, the doshu, and Tohei's technical superiority to Kisshomaru, along with the natural friction between brothers-in-law, along with Tohei's need to replace O Sensei's esoteric rambling with a ki-based logic that not everyone at aikikai understood or accepted, led to the split that so shocked the aikido world. Having come through the yoseikan system, which was never affected by that split, I didn't know much about it and it doesn't much matter to me except as historical interest.

What I really mean is that we can't look to Tohei to interpret what O Sensei either said or exactly what he meant since Tohei just waved most of it aside. If you look at the photo on Chris' blog, with O Sensei getting the lei at Honolulu Airport, Tohei stands slightly apart with a very big smile that actually looks rather forced, if not purely tatemae. He commented in one interview that O Sensei was "childish" and maybe in the same interview pointed out that O Sensei had never faced any kind of challenge like Tohei had faced when he went to Hawaii to introduce aikido. He talked about the huge guys me met there and such, so that his accomplishment was greater than O Sensei's.

I don't know about that. I certainly don't worry about it Tohei certainly was great. I really enjoyed Aikido in Daily Life and it underlies a lot of my thinking even now. Since I've been involved in IP training, a lot of it comes back to me, but I'm not sure that what he was talking about was the same as IP or that it really covers what O Sensei was doing.

So apologies if it sounded as if I were dismissing him. I always wanted to meet him and I was sorry when he passÚd away.

Best to you.

David

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Lao Tzu

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Old 06-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #42
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Un pont d'argent - Budo Shugyosha mentioned "Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words" in his blog post on Aikido in Hawaii (link uses Google Translate):

http://tinyurl.com/pontdargent

Best,

Chris
Speaking of translations; Google translates here pont d'argent with bridge money.
The French word "argent" means gold, but is commonly used for the money that you have on the bank or the notes that you have in your wallet. The word money is used for coins.
It is a funny example of how a translation may lead to misinterpretation.

Tom
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:34 PM   #43
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Speaking of translations; Google translates here pont d'argent with bridge money.
The French word "argent" means gold, but is commonly used for the money that you have on the bank or the notes that you have in your wallet. The word money is used for coins.
It is a funny example of how a translation may lead to misinterpretation.

Tom
Are you sure? I tried the link (which runs the entire page through Google Translate), and I tried plugging just that phrase into Google Translate directly, and they both translated the phrase correctly - "Silver Bridge".

And wouldn't "gold" be "or"? (of course, it's been a long time since high school french ).

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:06 PM   #44
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Are you sure? I tried the link (which runs the entire page through Google Translate), and I tried plugging just that phrase into Google Translate directly, and they both translated the phrase correctly - "Silver Bridge".

And wouldn't "gold" be "or"? (of course, it's been a long time since high school french ).

Best,

Chris
I read it as "bridge of money".

FWIW

David

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #45
Chris Li
 
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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David Orange wrote: View Post
I read it as "bridge of money".

FWIW

David
Wow - I wonder if that's part of Google's personalization settings, it comes up fine for me.

I'm sure people have noticed, but search engine results in Google now vary widely depending on your location and your personal search history - but I didn't think that it would affect the online translation engines...

Anyway, I still think that gold is "or", not "argent"...

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #46
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

Or is gold.
Argent originally means silver, it also means money.

Automatic translators can be helpful but never provide reliable translations.
I would actually recommend the site www.linguee.com , which works as a translation search motor. I use it very often at work.

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #47
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 06-04-2012 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:28 PM   #48
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Dave de Vos wrote: View Post

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.
Actually, I just tried it and both come up with "silver bridge ("argent de pont" is capitalized for some reason) in Google Translate. Go figure...

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-04-2012, 02:32 PM   #49
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

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Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Or is gold.
Argent originally means silver, it also means money.

Automatic translators can be helpful but never provide reliable translations.
I would actually recommend the site www.linguee.com , which works as a translation search motor. I use it very often at work.
Automatic translators for Japanese just don't work very well at all, but at least with European languages I can read enough to figure out what's happening.

I agree,I don't recommend relying on them for anything that requires any kind of real accuracy either.

www.linguee.com looks good, but it doesn't translate whole websites on the fly like Google Translate - or does it? I may have missed something.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-04-2012, 05:48 PM   #50
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Re: Morihei Ueshiba: Untranslatable Words

No it doesn't, but it has the advantage of providing translations in context, which is most of the times the difficult part.

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