games/fortune translation fix

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games/fortune translation fix

Alessandro DE LAURENZIS-3
Dear developers,

Currently the latin motto "Ad astra per aspera" is translated as "to the
stars by aspiration", which sounds weird.

The literal translation from Wikipedia [1] would be "through hardships
to the stars", but here I'm proposing a rewording by A. J. Finn, in "The
Woman in the Window: A Novel" (cited in Wikipedia too), which I like
more: "Through adversity to the stars":

[...]

> Index: games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2
> ===================================================================
> RCS file: /cvs/src/games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2,v
> retrieving revision 1.49
> diff -u -p -u -p -r1.49 fortunes2
> --- games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2    25 Nov 2017 05:55:40 -0000      1.49
> +++ games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2    2 Feb 2019 16:50:16 -0000
> @@ -7694,7 +7694,7 @@ Assume true for N, prove for N+1:
>         it is true for all N+1 floors.
>  QED.
>  %
> -Ad astra per aspera.  (To the stars by aspiration.)
> +Ad astra per aspera.  (Through adversity to the stars.)
>  %
>  Adde parvum parvo manus acervus erit.
>  [Add little to little and there will be a big pile.]
[...]

Just my 2 cents.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_aspera_ad_astra

--
Alessandro DE LAURENZIS
[mailto:[hidden email]]
Web: http://www.atlantide.t28.net
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/delaurenzis/

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

Jason McIntyre-2
On Sat, Feb 02, 2019 at 06:10:21PM +0100, Alessandro DE LAURENZIS wrote:

> Dear developers,
>
> Currently the latin motto "Ad astra per aspera" is translated as "to the
> stars by aspiration", which sounds weird.
>
> The literal translation from Wikipedia [1] would be "through hardships
> to the stars", but here I'm proposing a rewording by A. J. Finn, in "The
> Woman in the Window: A Novel" (cited in Wikipedia too), which I like
> more: "Through adversity to the stars":
>
> [...]

hi.

i should state that i know very little of latin before going any
further.

i agree "aspiration" looks like a mistake. i suspect the intention
was "asperity", which means harshness and rigour. there is a verb,
asperate, but i think it's a bit obsolete.

i'm a bit reluctant to just follow wikipedia blindly.  i think the
latin is pural, and "hardships" doesn;t sound awesome when plural.

also i prefer "by" to "through": since it's latin, a little archaicism
is good.

"adversity" would be easily understood and have the correct meaning
(i think). but the translation you recommend (by Finn) restructures
the phrase. i think it should begin "To the stars" (that's a minus
for wikipedia too). so "To the stars by adversity."

though i suspect "asperity" would have most of us reaching for our
dictionaries, it's not neccessarily a bad thing. it seems the
best fit to me.

jmc

> > Index: games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2
> > ===================================================================
> > RCS file: /cvs/src/games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2,v
> > retrieving revision 1.49
> > diff -u -p -u -p -r1.49 fortunes2
> > --- games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2    25 Nov 2017 05:55:40 -0000      1.49
> > +++ games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2    2 Feb 2019 16:50:16 -0000
> > @@ -7694,7 +7694,7 @@ Assume true for N, prove for N+1:
> >         it is true for all N+1 floors.
> >  QED.
> >  %
> > -Ad astra per aspera.  (To the stars by aspiration.)
> > +Ad astra per aspera.  (Through adversity to the stars.)
> >  %
> >  Adde parvum parvo manus acervus erit.
> >  [Add little to little and there will be a big pile.]
> [...]
>
> Just my 2 cents.
>
> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_aspera_ad_astra
>
> --
> Alessandro DE LAURENZIS
> [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Web: http://www.atlantide.t28.net
> LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/delaurenzis/
>

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

Ted Unangst-6
Jason McIntyre wrote:
> though i suspect "asperity" would have most of us reaching for our
> dictionaries, it's not neccessarily a bad thing. it seems the
> best fit to me.

That may be construed as the one going to the stars is the one with the
asperity, however. I think the intention is to describe overcoming adveristy,
not getting to the stars by being the adversity, no?

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

Jason McIntyre-2
On Sat, Feb 02, 2019 at 04:44:37PM -0500, Ted Unangst wrote:
> Jason McIntyre wrote:
> > though i suspect "asperity" would have most of us reaching for our
> > dictionaries, it's not neccessarily a bad thing. it seems the
> > best fit to me.
>
> That may be construed as the one going to the stars is the one with the
> asperity, however. I think the intention is to describe overcoming adveristy,
> not getting to the stars by being the adversity, no?
>

hi.

your mail doesn;t give me much to go on, so i'm unsure how to reply.

if you overcome adversity, then i guess you have asperity. can you give
me something more to go on?

jmc

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

Ingo Schwarze
In reply to this post by Jason McIntyre-2
Hi Jason,

oh well, these files are a mess, a random collection of funny
and not so funny stuff...  I dislike this one, too, for several
reasons.

 1. While "ad astra per aspera" sometimes occurs, the word order
    "per aspera ad astra" is much more commonly used.  It sounds
    much better - not only because it respects the logical
    chronological order, but even more so for metric reasons:
    "per aspera ad astra" follows a loosely trochaic rhythm
    " - | X- (x)-    X- " while    "ad astra per aspera" has no
    discernible metric whatsoever: " - | X- | -  X--   ".

 2. It doesn't actually appear to be an antique or even medieval
    latin proverb but merely a modern invention.

 3. According to my latin dictionary, "ad astra" did occur in
    antiquity, in a strongly metaphoric sense where "astra = heaven,
    immortality, sphere and home of the gods" rather than "stars" -
    though the only source cited there is Vergilius, Aeneis:
    Macte nova virtute, puer, sic itur ad astra.
      literal (hence somewhat misleading) translation:
        Blessings on your young courage, boy; that's the way to the stars.
      free translation, capturing the meaning and register better:
        Go on and increase in valor, O boy! this is the path to immortality.
    See e.g. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Aeneid
    Seneca also appears to use it in the context of a demi-god
    (Hercules) interacting with the Olympians.

    So "ad astra" appears to be a rather unsual phrase, highly poetic,
    suited to heroic legends about gods and super-human men interacting
    directly with the greatest gods.

 4. According to my latin dictionary, "asper" is a very common
    adjective with a wide range of everyday concrete meanings:
    rough, uneven, sharp, coarse, gruff, wild, disagreeable,
    sorrowful, severe, rancorous, ... and more.
    It was sometimes - but much less commonly, it appears -
    used as a noun, though usually with a qualification in the
    genitive, e.g. "aspera maris" = tempests (Tacitus).
    When used alone as a noun, it appears to have a relatively
    narrow, figurative, relatively mild meaning of "tribulations,
    annoying trouble, misfortune"; translations like "hardship" or
    "adversity" appear to exceed the severity of "asper(a)",
    making it sound too much like serious emergency and distress.

So a fitting translation of "per aspera ad astra", approximating
the meaning and stylistic register of both parts, might be

  "overcoming annoying problems to be elevated immortality"

which sounds, yes, ridiculous.

The word "aspiration" is definitely a blatant mistranslation.

So if you want to keep the entry, i'd recommend

  Per aspera ad astra.  (Through hardship to immortality.)

because that is probably how it is commonly understood today, with
a weakened sense of "immortality" = "greatness, being remembered
for one's achievements after death", and it is also a compromise
not too far deviating from the actual meaning of the latin words,
even if sharpening "aspera" a bit and weakening "astra" somewhat
to smooth out content and and stylistic register.

I think while the literal translation "to the stars" might work in
a heroic legend, it is quite misleading out of context and ought
to be fixed.

Yours,
  Ingo

P.S.
I don't know why i looked at this so closely given my disdain for
these files - but from time to time, it appears i fail to sufficiently
tame my appetite for literature.


> i agree "aspiration" looks like a mistake. i suspect the intention
> was "asperity", which means harshness and rigour. there is a verb,
> asperate, but i think it's a bit obsolete.

"Asperity" certainly matches the *adjective* "asper", but it matches
the *noun* "aspera" much less than "hardship" or "adversity" or
simply "trouble".

> i'm a bit reluctant to just follow wikipedia blindly.  i think the
> latin is pural, and "hardships" doesn;t sound awesome when plural.

The grammatical form is unimportant for the translation in this
case.  "aspara" (pl.) = "hardship, adversity" (sing.) is OK, just
like you can translate "glasses" (pl.) to "Brille" (german, sing.).
The idea in the Latin word is that it is plural because more than
one unfortunate element is required to cause hardship, but that
is already adequately expressed in the singular form "hardship".

> also i prefer "by" to "through": since it's latin, a little
> archaicism is good.

Not really.  It is fake latin, not a real proverb, but a modern
invention.  So it should sound natural and modern.

> "adversity" would be easily understood and have the correct meaning
> (i think). but the translation you recommend (by Finn) restructures
> the phrase. i think it should begin "To the stars" (that's a minus
> for wikipedia too). so "To the stars by adversity."

You should really invert the order to improve the metric
and follow chronologic order as well as the usual wording.

> though i suspect "asperity" would have most of us reaching for our
> dictionaries, it's not neccessarily a bad thing. it seems the
> best fit to me.

No, it only creates a mysterious aura around something that is
actually quite profane and simplistic and maybe even slightly
presumptous in some contexts.

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

Jason McIntyre-2
On Sun, Feb 03, 2019 at 01:13:18AM +0100, Ingo Schwarze wrote:
> Hi Jason,
>
> oh well, these files are a mess, a random collection of funny
> and not so funny stuff...  I dislike this one, too, for several
> reasons.
>

hey, don;t be so down on the fortune files!

while i don;t neccessarily like your translation, i do defer to your
knowledge of these matters (i did wave the don;t know latin flag
upfront). so please go ahead and fix it - you'll be contributing to an
important part of openbsd!

jmc

>  1. While "ad astra per aspera" sometimes occurs, the word order
>     "per aspera ad astra" is much more commonly used.  It sounds
>     much better - not only because it respects the logical
>     chronological order, but even more so for metric reasons:
>     "per aspera ad astra" follows a loosely trochaic rhythm
>     " - | X- (x)-    X- " while    "ad astra per aspera" has no
>     discernible metric whatsoever: " - | X- | -  X--   ".
>
>  2. It doesn't actually appear to be an antique or even medieval
>     latin proverb but merely a modern invention.
>
>  3. According to my latin dictionary, "ad astra" did occur in
>     antiquity, in a strongly metaphoric sense where "astra = heaven,
>     immortality, sphere and home of the gods" rather than "stars" -
>     though the only source cited there is Vergilius, Aeneis:
>     Macte nova virtute, puer, sic itur ad astra.
>       literal (hence somewhat misleading) translation:
>         Blessings on your young courage, boy; that's the way to the stars.
>       free translation, capturing the meaning and register better:
>         Go on and increase in valor, O boy! this is the path to immortality.
>     See e.g. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Aeneid
>     Seneca also appears to use it in the context of a demi-god
>     (Hercules) interacting with the Olympians.
>
>     So "ad astra" appears to be a rather unsual phrase, highly poetic,
>     suited to heroic legends about gods and super-human men interacting
>     directly with the greatest gods.
>
>  4. According to my latin dictionary, "asper" is a very common
>     adjective with a wide range of everyday concrete meanings:
>     rough, uneven, sharp, coarse, gruff, wild, disagreeable,
>     sorrowful, severe, rancorous, ... and more.
>     It was sometimes - but much less commonly, it appears -
>     used as a noun, though usually with a qualification in the
>     genitive, e.g. "aspera maris" = tempests (Tacitus).
>     When used alone as a noun, it appears to have a relatively
>     narrow, figurative, relatively mild meaning of "tribulations,
>     annoying trouble, misfortune"; translations like "hardship" or
>     "adversity" appear to exceed the severity of "asper(a)",
>     making it sound too much like serious emergency and distress.
>
> So a fitting translation of "per aspera ad astra", approximating
> the meaning and stylistic register of both parts, might be
>
>   "overcoming annoying problems to be elevated immortality"
>
> which sounds, yes, ridiculous.
>
> The word "aspiration" is definitely a blatant mistranslation.
>
> So if you want to keep the entry, i'd recommend
>
>   Per aspera ad astra.  (Through hardship to immortality.)
>
> because that is probably how it is commonly understood today, with
> a weakened sense of "immortality" = "greatness, being remembered
> for one's achievements after death", and it is also a compromise
> not too far deviating from the actual meaning of the latin words,
> even if sharpening "aspera" a bit and weakening "astra" somewhat
> to smooth out content and and stylistic register.
>
> I think while the literal translation "to the stars" might work in
> a heroic legend, it is quite misleading out of context and ought
> to be fixed.
>
> Yours,
>   Ingo
>
> P.S.
> I don't know why i looked at this so closely given my disdain for
> these files - but from time to time, it appears i fail to sufficiently
> tame my appetite for literature.
>
>
> > i agree "aspiration" looks like a mistake. i suspect the intention
> > was "asperity", which means harshness and rigour. there is a verb,
> > asperate, but i think it's a bit obsolete.
>
> "Asperity" certainly matches the *adjective* "asper", but it matches
> the *noun* "aspera" much less than "hardship" or "adversity" or
> simply "trouble".
>
> > i'm a bit reluctant to just follow wikipedia blindly.  i think the
> > latin is pural, and "hardships" doesn;t sound awesome when plural.
>
> The grammatical form is unimportant for the translation in this
> case.  "aspara" (pl.) = "hardship, adversity" (sing.) is OK, just
> like you can translate "glasses" (pl.) to "Brille" (german, sing.).
> The idea in the Latin word is that it is plural because more than
> one unfortunate element is required to cause hardship, but that
> is already adequately expressed in the singular form "hardship".
>
> > also i prefer "by" to "through": since it's latin, a little
> > archaicism is good.
>
> Not really.  It is fake latin, not a real proverb, but a modern
> invention.  So it should sound natural and modern.
>
> > "adversity" would be easily understood and have the correct meaning
> > (i think). but the translation you recommend (by Finn) restructures
> > the phrase. i think it should begin "To the stars" (that's a minus
> > for wikipedia too). so "To the stars by adversity."
>
> You should really invert the order to improve the metric
> and follow chronologic order as well as the usual wording.
>
> > though i suspect "asperity" would have most of us reaching for our
> > dictionaries, it's not neccessarily a bad thing. it seems the
> > best fit to me.
>
> No, it only creates a mysterious aura around something that is
> actually quite profane and simplistic and maybe even slightly
> presumptous in some contexts.
>

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

Pascal Stumpf-2
In reply to this post by Ingo Schwarze
Hi Ingo and Jason,

On Sun, 3 Feb 2019 01:13:18 +0100, Ingo Schwarze wrote:

> Hi Jason,
>
> oh well, these files are a mess, a random collection of funny
> and not so funny stuff...  I dislike this one, too, for several
> reasons.
>
>  1. While "ad astra per aspera" sometimes occurs, the word order
>     "per aspera ad astra" is much more commonly used.  It sounds
>     much better - not only because it respects the logical
>     chronological order, but even more so for metric reasons:
>     "per aspera ad astra" follows a loosely trochaic rhythm
>     " - | X- (x)-    X- " while    "ad astra per aspera" has no
>     discernible metric whatsoever: " - | X- | -  X--   ".

That is not correct because it ignores the fact that Latin employs a
quantifying metre, determined by long and short syllables, not word
accent.

So:

per aspera ad astra:
v - v v - x (with elision between "aspera ad")

ad astra per aspera:
v - v v - v x

So the word order "per aspera ad astra" clearly fits nicely at the end
of a dactylic catalectic hexameter, the common metre employed for epic
poetry ( – vv – vv – vv – vv – vv – x).  However, I am not aware of any
poetic work using the phrase in this metrical position.

>  2. It doesn't actually appear to be an antique or even medieval
>     latin proverb but merely a modern invention.

Correct.  My Latin corpus (PHI) has 0 occurrences of the phrase.
However, a verse from Seneca's Hercules Furens is often quoted as an
antique source:

Non est ad astra mollis e terris uia.  (Sen. HF 437)

>  3. According to my latin dictionary, "ad astra" did occur in
>     antiquity, in a strongly metaphoric sense where "astra = heaven,
>     immortality, sphere and home of the gods" rather than "stars" -
>     though the only source cited there is Vergilius, Aeneis:
>     Macte nova virtute, puer, sic itur ad astra.
>       literal (hence somewhat misleading) translation:
>         Blessings on your young courage, boy; that's the way to the stars.
>       free translation, capturing the meaning and register better:
>         Go on and increase in valor, O boy! this is the path to immortality.
>     See e.g. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Aeneid
>     Seneca also appears to use it in the context of a demi-god
>     (Hercules) interacting with the Olympians.
>
>     So "ad astra" appears to be a rather unsual phrase, highly poetic,
>     suited to heroic legends about gods and super-human men interacting
>     directly with the greatest gods.

Agree on the meaning, but it is far from unusual, albeit quite poetic,
yes.  It is an expression used almost exclusively in Augustan
poetry (Virgil, Horace, Ovid ...) with the connotation of "to the gods".

To add to the list: Ov. M. 9, 272 and 15, 846; Verg. E. 5, 51f; Hor. C.
4, 2, 23; Hor. S. 2, 7, 29; Cic. Att. 2, 25, 1.

>  4. According to my latin dictionary, "asper" is a very common
>     adjective with a wide range of everyday concrete meanings:
>     rough, uneven, sharp, coarse, gruff, wild, disagreeable,
>     sorrowful, severe, rancorous, ... and more.
>     It was sometimes - but much less commonly, it appears -
>     used as a noun, though usually with a qualification in the
>     genitive, e.g. "aspera maris" = tempests (Tacitus).
>     When used alone as a noun, it appears to have a relatively
>     narrow, figurative, relatively mild meaning of "tribulations,
>     annoying trouble, misfortune"; translations like "hardship" or
>     "adversity" appear to exceed the severity of "asper(a)",
>     making it sound too much like serious emergency and distress.

Not necessarily.  Even in the Tacitus case you cited I'd probably argue
for the narrow meaning of "uneven, rugged place", describing the sea's
surface during a storm.  Whether the adjective has a more literal or
more figurative meaning seems to depend not on whether it is used as a
noun, but on context.  But since "astra" already works in a metaphoric
register, your conclusion is correct.

> So a fitting translation of "per aspera ad astra", approximating
> the meaning and stylistic register of both parts, might be
>
>   "overcoming annoying problems to be elevated immortality"
>
> which sounds, yes, ridiculous.
>
> The word "aspiration" is definitely a blatant mistranslation.

Yes.

> So if you want to keep the entry, i'd recommend
>
>   Per aspera ad astra.  (Through hardship to immortality.)

ok pascal@

> because that is probably how it is commonly understood today, with
> a weakened sense of "immortality" = "greatness, being remembered
> for one's achievements after death", and it is also a compromise
> not too far deviating from the actual meaning of the latin words,
> even if sharpening "aspera" a bit and weakening "astra" somewhat
> to smooth out content and and stylistic register.
>
> I think while the literal translation "to the stars" might work in
> a heroic legend, it is quite misleading out of context and ought
> to be fixed.
>
> Yours,
>   Ingo
>
> P.S.
> I don't know why i looked at this so closely given my disdain for
> these files - but from time to time, it appears i fail to sufficiently
> tame my appetite for literature.
>
>
> > i agree "aspiration" looks like a mistake. i suspect the intention
> > was "asperity", which means harshness and rigour. there is a verb,
> > asperate, but i think it's a bit obsolete.
>
> "Asperity" certainly matches the *adjective* "asper", but it matches
> the *noun* "aspera" much less than "hardship" or "adversity" or
> simply "trouble".
>
> > i'm a bit reluctant to just follow wikipedia blindly.  i think the
> > latin is pural, and "hardships" doesn;t sound awesome when plural.
>
> The grammatical form is unimportant for the translation in this
> case.  "aspara" (pl.) = "hardship, adversity" (sing.) is OK, just
> like you can translate "glasses" (pl.) to "Brille" (german, sing.).
> The idea in the Latin word is that it is plural because more than
> one unfortunate element is required to cause hardship, but that
> is already adequately expressed in the singular form "hardship".
>
> > also i prefer "by" to "through": since it's latin, a little
> > archaicism is good.
>
> Not really.  It is fake latin, not a real proverb, but a modern
> invention.  So it should sound natural and modern.
>
> > "adversity" would be easily understood and have the correct meaning
> > (i think). but the translation you recommend (by Finn) restructures
> > the phrase. i think it should begin "To the stars" (that's a minus
> > for wikipedia too). so "To the stars by adversity."
>
> You should really invert the order to improve the metric
> and follow chronologic order as well as the usual wording.
>
> > though i suspect "asperity" would have most of us reaching for our
> > dictionaries, it's not neccessarily a bad thing. it seems the
> > best fit to me.
>
> No, it only creates a mysterious aura around something that is
> actually quite profane and simplistic and maybe even slightly
> presumptous in some contexts.
>

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

Ingo Schwarze
Hi Pascal,

Pascal Stumpf wrote on Sun, Feb 03, 2019 at 11:13:12AM +0100:

> That is not correct because [...]

Which illustrates yet again that getting good grades at school
doesn't imply real understanding; i dared to try and research the
matter anyway because i forgot that with pascal@, we have somebody
in our group who really understands classical languages and literature.
Thanks for your insight, Pascal.

>> So if you want to keep the entry, i'd recommend
>>
>>   Per aspera ad astra.  (Through hardship to immortality.)

> ok pascal@

Committed.
  Ingo

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

lists-2
In reply to this post by Alessandro DE LAURENZIS-3
Sat, 2 Feb 2019 18:10:21 +0100 Alessandro DE LAURENZIS
<[hidden email]>
> Dear developers,
>
> Currently the latin motto "Ad astra per aspera" is translated as "to the
> stars by aspiration", which sounds weird.

It is NOT weird, but improved upon.  Your "improvements" reverted those.

> The literal translation from Wikipedia [1] would be "through hardships
> to the stars", but here I'm proposing a rewording by A. J. Finn, in "The
> Woman in the Window: A Novel" (cited in Wikipedia too), which I like
> more: "Through adversity to the stars":
>
> [...]
> > Index: games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2
> > ===================================================================
> > RCS file: /cvs/src/games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2,v
> > retrieving revision 1.49
> > diff -u -p -u -p -r1.49 fortunes2
> > --- games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2    25 Nov 2017 05:55:40 -0000      1.49
> > +++ games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2    2 Feb 2019 16:50:16 -0000
> > @@ -7694,7 +7694,7 @@ Assume true for N, prove for N+1:
> >         it is true for all N+1 floors.
> >  QED.
> >  %
> > -Ad astra per aspera.  (To the stars by aspiration.)
> > +Ad astra per aspera.  (Through adversity to the stars.)
> >  %
> >  Adde parvum parvo manus acervus erit.
> >  [Add little to little and there will be a big pile.]  
> [...]
>
> Just my 2 cents.
>
> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_aspera_ad_astra
>

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

Scott Cheloha
In reply to this post by Ingo Schwarze
On Sun, Feb 03, 2019 at 02:41:28PM +0100, Ingo Schwarze wrote:

> Hi Pascal,
>
> Pascal Stumpf wrote on Sun, Feb 03, 2019 at 11:13:12AM +0100:
>
> > That is not correct because [...]
>
> Which illustrates yet again that getting good grades at school
> doesn't imply real understanding; i dared to try and research the
> matter anyway because i forgot that with pascal@, we have somebody
> in our group who really understands classical languages and literature.
> Thanks for your insight, Pascal.
>
> >> So if you want to keep the entry, i'd recommend
> >>
> >>   Per aspera ad astra.  (Through hardship to immortality.)
>
> > ok pascal@
>
> Committed.

Oof, folks I think we've missed the forest for the trees here.

By focussing on the minutiae of the Latin translation we've discarded
the English motto ("through <something> to the stars") that imho
anchored the whole thing.

As noted previously, this phrase was a modern invention with a hasty
Latin translation conscripted to it to add some credence so you could
sew it onto a vest or stamp it onto a medal.

The intent of the whole thing was a poetic English verse, not an
accurate Latin translation.  The Latin was subordinate, as evidenced
by the difficult translation.  The intended audience spoke English.

But okay, because it isn't attributed to anyone or anything in our
file I can see how we focussed in on that and worked from the Latin
toward a more correct English translation.  And translation is
puzzle-solving and puzzle-solving is fun.

I empathize.

But... I humbly suggest we partially revert and instead add an
attribution.  Some quick googling suggests "Per ardua ad astra" is the
motto of the Royal Air Force:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Air_Force
https://web.archive.org/web/20120810164309/http://www.raf.mod.uk/links/faqs.cfm

and that their translation is "through adversity to the stars".  Which
is completely consistent with my understanding of their M.O.,
artistically or otherwise.

So if we do this:

Index: fortunes2
===================================================================
RCS file: /cvs/src/games/fortune/datfiles/fortunes2,v
retrieving revision 1.50
diff -u -p -r1.50 fortunes2
--- fortunes2 3 Feb 2019 13:35:33 -0000 1.50
+++ fortunes2 5 Feb 2019 05:54:18 -0000
@@ -7694,7 +7694,8 @@ Assume true for N, prove for N+1:
  it is true for all N+1 floors.
 QED.
 %
-Per aspera ad astra.  (Through hardship to immortality.)
+Per ardua ad astra.  (Through adversity to the stars.)
+ -- Motto of the Royal Air Force
 %
 Adde parvum parvo manus acervus erit.
 [Add little to little and there will be a big pile.]

we aren't guilty of mistranslation.  Now we're just quoting a known
entity.  And we get the great, poetic English bit back.

And I know I'm showing up late, so I guess I'll live if we keep
it as Ingo committed it :)

-Scott

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Re: games/fortune translation fix

Ingo Schwarze
Hi Scott,

Scott Cheloha wrote on Tue, Feb 05, 2019 at 12:02:39AM -0600:

> Oof, folks I think we've missed the forest for the trees here.
>
> By focussing on the minutiae of the Latin translation we've discarded
> the English motto ("through <something> to the stars") that imho
> anchored the whole thing.
>
> As noted previously, this phrase was a modern invention with a hasty
> Latin translation conscripted to it to add some credence so you could
> sew it onto a vest or stamp it onto a medal.
>
> The intent of the whole thing was a poetic English verse, not an
> accurate Latin translation.  The Latin was subordinate, as evidenced
> by the difficult translation.  The intended audience spoke English.
>
> But okay, because it isn't attributed to anyone or anything in our
> file I can see how we focussed in on that and worked from the Latin
> toward a more correct English translation.  And translation is
> puzzle-solving and puzzle-solving is fun.
>
> I empathize.
>
> But... I humbly suggest we partially revert and instead add an
> attribution.

I tried to find the original source but couldn't.  So unless somebody
finds out who originally coined the phrase and for which purpose,
giving an attribution looks like a thoroughly bad idea to me.

> Some quick googling suggests "Per ardua ad astra"

That's not even the same motto.

Are you arguing that a different phrase should be cited?
If so, why?
If anything, "per aspera" appears to be more widely used,
and less exclusively focussed on a military meaning.

> -Per aspera ad astra.  (Through hardship to immortality.)
> +Per ardua ad astra.  (Through adversity to the stars.)
> + -- Motto of the Royal Air Force

I dislike that for the reasons stated above.

If somebody wants to continue this discussion, it should probably
be moved to misc@.

Yours,
  Ingo