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|German to English translations [PRO]|
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / quotation
|German term or phrase: Es kommt nicht darauf an, die Zukunft vorauszusagen|
|sondern darauf, auf die Zukunft vorbereitet zu sein"|
This Pericles quotation is being used in a presentation I'm translating. Does anyone have a clue WHAT it might be in English? It seems to be a popular quotation in German, but I can't find anything similar on any of the quotation websites. I realise that the original will have been in Greek, but it there's an established English translation it would be better to use that than my own from the German (à la Chinese whispers!).
Happy to receive any ideas on where to search etc.!
|English translation:It is not a matter of predicting the future, but of being prepared for it.|
I searched for the quote on the net. Another possiblity would be Bartlett's Quotations, which is a dictionary of quotes. And finally, if you really want to go the extra mile, try Professor Donald Kagan at the Yale University Department of History in the US. He's sort of a "grand old man" on the Peloponnesian War. The department's phone number is ++1 (203) 432-1366 and they're six hours behind continental Europe. Even if you're unlikely to get him, you probably will get someone who can either give you the right source or help you out finding the "official" quote.
A way around finding a direct, official translation would be to paraphrase (see sample sentences).
After all, this is a presentation. I would imagine the person giving it has a message for the audience, and that is ... not to dither about coming up with the correct prediction, but to be ready for whatever comes. That's the point, rather than getting Pericles absolutely and officially right.
If the speaker is a non-native speaker of English, the best thing to do is to put the term in simple, clear English that is easy to pronounce. Of course, it also depends on the audience. If they're Greek scholars or academics, then you might want to get the real quote.
If the speaker just wants to emphasize to the audience that it's best to be prepared, then you may as well keep it succinct and simple.
Hope this helps.
I frequently have to translate non-native speaking journalists' pieces-to-camera (when they stand up and summarize what's going on). In thirteen years of doing this, I've discovered it works best when the sentences are short and clear and the words easy to pronounce. Otherwise words like "...international crises." can come out sounding like " ... international crazies ... " and everyone ends up looking a bit silly.
Selected response from:
Eilzabeth Taryn Toro
Local time: 13:14
|Sorry to have been so long with the points. I've had 3 different urgent jobs on my desk at once... However, the light is beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel, and here are the points! |
It was quite difficult deciding who to award them to, and as so often I wish I could have split them. I've gone for Taryn in the end, as my "own" translation before posting was very similar to so many of the answers provided (particularly his and Amorel's), but Taryn provided so many other useful hints, including what may turn out to be an invaluable number...
Thanks to all!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
8 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +1 29 mins confidence: peer agreement (net): +5
|Es kommt nicht darauf an, die Zukunft vorauszusagen, |
It's not a question of foreseeing the future, but of being prepared for it.
Is the translation given at
Local time: 12:14
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Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 72