"Il faut jouer pour devenir sérieux"

English translation: one must play to be serious

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:il faut jouer pour devenir sérieux
English translation:one must play to be serious
Entered by: philgoddard

20:38 Jul 25, 2013
French to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Philosophy / Classics/Philosophy
French term or phrase: "Il faut jouer pour devenir sérieux"
This is a quotation from Aristotle. I've been trying to find the English equivalent but to no avail so far. Help much appreciated - I'm not sure where to look for such things. Thank you very much!
Sarah Day
Local time: 20:24
one must play to be serious
Explanation:
Since Aristotle wrote in Greek, you can translate it however you like. If he'd written in English, then you'd have to go hunting for the original quote.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 18 mins (2013-07-25 20:56:40 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here, it's worded as 'Play so that you may be serious' and attributed to the Scythian philosopher Anarcharsis:
https://twitter.com/thecreativ3bee/status/317537019855257600
But my point remains - the translation is not set in stone.
Selected response from:

philgoddard
United States
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +2one must play to be serious
philgoddard
4 +1"Play so that you may be serious"
David Hollywood
3All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
B D Finch
Summary of reference entries provided
Nicomachean Ethics Book 10, Chapter 6
Melissa McMahon
Nicomachean Ethics Book 10, Chapter 6 (other versions)
Wolf Draeger

Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
one must play to be serious


Explanation:
Since Aristotle wrote in Greek, you can translate it however you like. If he'd written in English, then you'd have to go hunting for the original quote.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 18 mins (2013-07-25 20:56:40 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Here, it's worded as 'Play so that you may be serious' and attributed to the Scythian philosopher Anarcharsis:
https://twitter.com/thecreativ3bee/status/317537019855257600
But my point remains - the translation is not set in stone.

philgoddard
United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks very much Phil - I suppose you're right, I just thought there was probably a kind of 'approved' English version but your translation sounds very plausible so I think it would fit my purpose. Thanks again for your help!

Asker: Very useful example - I agree with you, though, on the greater freedom of translation. Thanks!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kévin Bernier
4 hrs

neutral  mill2: a translation of a translation is never as good or reliable as a translation of the original//Agree with Sheri. The point is not to research the Greek but the published English translation by a knowledgeable Aristotle scholar
10 hrs
  -> Well, I suppose the asker could always find the original quote and then post a Greek-English question...

neutral  Sheri P: Agree with mill2. A published translation in a credible source of the original Greek into English (see reference comment below) is more reliable than a translation of a translation.
17 hrs
  -> There's absolutely no point spending hours finding the Greek and poring over the finer points of interpretation. The idea is perfectly clear in the French, and there are many possible ways of translating it.

agree  Wolf Draeger
4 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
"Play so that you may be serious"


Explanation:
www.2inspiredaily.com/...Quotes_Detail.asp?uid=5343&cat=Play
Do you have ideas on how to ... Huge List of Quotes; ... Back to Category: Play. Author: Anacharsis (Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle) Play so that you may be serious

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2013-07-26 00:41:08 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or: can become serious

www.2inspiredaily.com/...Quotes_Detail.asp?uid=5343&cat=Pla...
Author: Anacharsis (Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle) Play so that you may be serious. ~~ Anacharsis (Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle)
Play so that you may be serious.…Traducir esta página
www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/anacharsis377101.html
Play so that you may be serious. Anacharsis More Anacharsis quotes. Topics May, Play, Serious, You. ... Aristotle. Confucius. Lao Tzu. Friedrich Nietzsche. Socrates ...
Children's FOLK GAMES I*earn Multicultural…Traducir esta página
www.estcomp.ro/~cfg
The child laughs: The Game is my love and wisdom! ... Play so that you can become serious. Aristoteles, ...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2013-07-26 00:57:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

having said all that I think the idea is: play to put yourself in a position to work seriously

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2013-07-26 01:00:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

or freer: if you play hard you work hard (don't know what Aristotle would have said about that)

David Hollywood
Local time: 17:24
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  tkyrs: agree: http://www.quotationlibrary.com/index.php?sid=540160057&t=su...
5 hrs

neutral  philgoddard: I've already said this.
11 hrs
  -> didn't see that you had and I agree that we have to get something that sounds natural in English ... mine sounds like something my Latin teacher would have approved of but it's not what we would say today :) so gave a couple more modern options :)
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy


Explanation:
Perhaps the saying "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" derives from Aristotle?!

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 14 hrs (2013-07-26 11:30:29 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

According to Wikipedia:
"Though the spirit of the proverb had been expressed previously, the modern saying appeared first in James Howell's Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish (1659),[1] and was included in later collection of proverbs. It also appears in Howell's Paroimiographia (1659), p. 12."

B D Finch
France
Local time: 21:24
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 10
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Reference comments


3 hrs peer agreement (net): +2
Reference: Nicomachean Ethics Book 10, Chapter 6

Reference information:
You don't have to follow a published translation, but it's useful to identify the exact source (in any language), because a) you get the context and a better idea of the meaning of the phrase and b) both the French and English are translations of the Greek and so are themselves already interpretations. Comparing them gives you a better sense of the semantic "range" involved.

The translation below, for example, by Harris Rackham and available in an online archive, translates the phrase as "Play in order that you may work", which is narrower than playing in order to be "serious", though maybe the French translation makes the connection to work clearer with the full context.

The passage is below:

"Indeed it would be strange that amusement should be our End—that we should toil and moil all our life long in order that we may amuse ourselves. For virtually every object we adopt is pursued as a means to something else, excepting happiness, which is an end in itself; to make amusement the object of our serious pursuits and our work seems foolish and childish to excess: Anacharsis's motto, **Play in order that you may work**, is felt to be the right rule. For amusement is a form of rest; but we need rest because we are not able to go on working without a break, and therefore it is not an end, since we take it as a means to further activity."


    Reference: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3atext%...
Melissa McMahon
Australia
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 74

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Sheri P
1 hr
agree  Daryo: that gives it a different twist than just the isolated quote!
3 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 days
Reference: Nicomachean Ethics Book 10, Chapter 6 (other versions)

Reference information:
Just to see how it has been worded in other translations.

"But to amuse oneself in order that one may exert oneself, as Anacharsis puts it, seems right; for amusement is a sort of relaxation, and we need relaxation because we cannot work continuously".

"But to be serious and to labour for the sake of amusement seems silly and utterly childish; while to amuse ourselves in order that we may be serious, as Anacharsis says, seems to be right; for amusement is a sort of recreation, and we need recreation because we are unable to work continuously".


    Reference: http://www.constitution.org/ari/ethic_10.htm
    Reference: http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=s...
Wolf Draeger
South Africa
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)



Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs (or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.

KudoZ™ translation help

The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.


See also:

Your current localization setting

English

Select a language

Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search