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English translation: someone who could be an enemy but whose capacity to do you harm is of little consequence

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:was a potential enemy of no particular danger
English translation:someone who could be an enemy but whose capacity to do you harm is of little consequence
Entered by: Balasubramaniam L.
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03:35 Jul 23, 2005
English to English translations [PRO]
Other
English term or phrase: phrase
In time laughter became associated with the external signs of injury in others: a broken nose, a black eye, or a maimed leg. The injured party with his telltale signs of humiliation was a potential enemy of no particular danger.

What is meant by "was a potential enemy of no particular danger."
Sandeep
someone who could be an enemy but whose capacity to do you harm is of no consequence
Explanation:
Some one who could turn out to be an enemy, but who still need not be taken seriously because his capacity to do harm is limited or inconsequential. He is already a defeated party, as his signatures of defeat clearly indicate (the broken nose, the black eye, the maimed leg, etc.), and more to be considered a fit subject for ridicule than fear.
Selected response from:

Balasubramaniam L.
India
Local time: 06:07
Grading comment
Thanks
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +8someone who could be an enemy but whose capacity to do you harm is of no consequence
Balasubramaniam L.
3 +3someone who could be an enemy but isn't dangerous right now [due to the injury]ntext
3 -2you never know when he might retaliate
Elizabeth Lyons


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
a potential enemy of no particular danger
someone who could be an enemy but isn't dangerous right now [due to the injury]


Explanation:
My interpretation.

ntext
United States
Local time: 19:37
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  xxxsarahl
59 mins

agree  Sonia Geerlings
5 hrs

agree  Robert Donahue
8 hrs
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34 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +8
someone who could be an enemy but whose capacity to do you harm is of no consequence


Explanation:
Some one who could turn out to be an enemy, but who still need not be taken seriously because his capacity to do harm is limited or inconsequential. He is already a defeated party, as his signatures of defeat clearly indicate (the broken nose, the black eye, the maimed leg, etc.), and more to be considered a fit subject for ridicule than fear.

Balasubramaniam L.
India
Local time: 06:07
Native speaker of: Native in HindiHindi
PRO pts in category: 28
Grading comment
Thanks

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Dave Calderhead
1 hr
  -> Thanks.

disagree  Elizabeth Lyons: SEE MY COMMENT ABOVEThe most dangerous child in the school yard is the one who is ridiculed and defeated. Think about Columbine. Think about what is going on in the world right now. Humiliation is wounding without killing the king- the highest danger.
1 hr
  -> That may well be, but what has that got to do with the above quoted text? We must interpret only within the context of the given text, even if it is technically or scientifically wrong.

agree  flipendo: I would only change the last part into "of no serious danger", as "no" makes it sound a little too absolute. Don't you think so?
1 hr
  -> Yes I agree.

agree  Sonia Geerlings
5 hrs
  -> Thanks.

agree  Nick Lingris: Yes, even as an enemy he would pose no threat.
5 hrs
  -> Exactly, that puts it succinctly

agree  Johan Venter: Absolutely. He has already been defeated and as a result of that defeat he is now less able of inflicting any harm, possibly even no danger at all.
5 hrs
  -> Thanks.

agree  juvera: Following flipendo: "of no serious threat". (The author has fancyful theories about humor and laughter). Well, sometimes we do, but also of happiness, silliness, relief,etc. I guess humor is a development out of all these.
6 hrs
  -> Very true. Normally people are taught not to laugh at people with deformities and injuries. It would be a serious lapse of etiqutte to laugh at people's weaknesses.

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
7 hrs
  -> Thanks.

agree  Saleh Chowdhury, Ph.D.
13 hrs
  -> Thanks.

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
13 hrs
  -> Thanks.
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19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): -2
you never know when he might retaliate


Explanation:
I think it is an awkward phrase. But this would be my take. When you hurt or humiliate someone, you never know when he might take his revenge. He is a non-specific ("no particular")but potential danger.



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs 2 mins (2005-07-23 05:37:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This text even with the extra information is a bit obscure. Perhaps Kim had the right idea and all we are offering is moot. But I still believe this is a more universal statement than specific and calls for a broader interpretation -- this has nothing to do with strict science. This is about the human condition on every level.

Elizabeth Lyons
United States
Local time: 17:37
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Simon Gregory: witb your explanation. But briefly: latent (enemy)?
23 mins
  -> 'Latent' certainly sums my answer, sure. Thanks : )

disagree  Dave Calderhead: IMO no particular danger means of little consequence, i.e. not a real danger, in this context
1 hr
  -> The phrase is a potential enemy of no particular danger - if it meant little consequence, it would be a contradiction in terms. An enemy of any type is dangerous. There are many forms of danger.

disagree  Balasubramaniam L.: With Dave above.
1 hr
  -> You can disagree with me; I am putting this absolutely within the context of the limited text we have. My comments still stand. I am looking for a more universal meaning in this text.

neutral  flipendo: I think it is a little far-fetched to interpret it this way. Potential means he is a latent enemy, but what s/he can do is actually negligible. You cannot, as a translator, specify the extent of danger, you only translate. Conclusions are for readers.
2 hrs
  -> Perhaps, but the asker wants interpretation. That's mine. "Far fetched" is a value judgment and that seems over the top to me. :)

neutral  Sonia Geerlings: with flipendo...
5 hrs
  -> LOL, I think this is called the bandwagon effect : )))

disagree  Johan Venter: I think it is quite clear that this is an enemy who has already been beaten by someone else and is no longer a serious threat due to that injury.
6 hrs
  -> same as above :)))
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Changes made by editors
Jul 23, 2005 - Changes made by ntext:
LevelNon-PRO » PRO


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