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Nomen non est omen

English translation: belying its name

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11:37 Oct 28, 2006
Latin to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
Latin term or phrase: Nomen non est omen
I am translating a German press release about the winter flight schedule of an airport into English. The (somewhat clumsy) German headline reads "Nomen ist in diesem Fall non est omen", followed by the explanation that this is all about the "winter" flight schedule but that most of the flights are "into the summer" (not yet sure how to word this anyway).
How commonly is the expression "nomen est omen" (or its negative variant) used in English? Is it easily understood by the general public?
silvia glatzhofer
Local time: 12:08
English translation:belying its name
Explanation:
I really think you have to get right away from this hideously clumsy and far-from-natural kind of phrasing in EN.

The general idea would certainyl be conveyed by my suggestion of 'belying its name...', but of course you couldn't use that as a drop-in solution in your title, you'd need to work it round a bit, maybe something along the lines of:

"A winter flight that belies its name"

...that sort of idea.

I presume what they mean is that these are winter holiday flights to sunny places?



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Note added at 29 mins (2006-10-28 12:07:35 GMT)
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Another way we might express it in English is:

"By name but not by nature"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2006-10-28 13:54:51 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I can't resist taking up the Shakespearian baton proffered by Jack, and suggesting, as a suitably enigmatic title:

"What's in a name?"

or in less bardic mode:

"Names can be deceptive"
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 12:08
Grading comment
thank you
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5belying its name
Tony M
2 +4Now is the winter of our discontent made summer...
Jack Doughty
4It is not really used SilviaAnna Maria Augustine at proZ.com
4Winter (or rather/perhaps summer) timetable, as the name doesn't suggest
Ian Davies
3the name is not a sign / not true to its name
Fabio Descalzi
3Winter is not a winter is not a winter is not a winterLeonardo Marcello Pignataro


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
nomen non est omen
It is not really used Silvia


Explanation:
It is the first time I have uses it so probably best to give a better English equivalent.

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Note added at 9 mins (2006-10-28 11:47:02 GMT)
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It means "true to its name" which I think it is best to use.

List of Latin phrases (F–O) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
navigare necesse est vivere non est necesse, "to sail is necessary; to live is not ... nomen est omen, "the name is a sign", Thus, "true to its name". ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.e. - 116k - Cached - Similar pages

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Note added at 10 mins (2006-10-28 11:48:22 GMT)
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Sorry, It is the first time I have seen it but I would avoid it except for a legal text where it is common to keep the Latin.

Anna Maria Augustine at proZ.com
France
Local time: 12:08
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
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12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
the name is not a sign / not true to its name


Explanation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.e.
nomen est omen = "the name is a sign" / thus, "true to its name".

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Note added at 53 mins (2006-10-28 12:30:42 GMT)
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Just like the other answerers are saying, this expression is hardly used in 21st-century English newspapers...
Latin is and will be Latin - and the context to use Latin in an English text is rather a humanities essay or a scientific work.
So you'd better think about a fully English translation.

Fabio Descalzi
Uruguay
Local time: 07:08
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 4
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Now is the winter of our discontent made summer...


Explanation:
Shakespeare, Richard III.
As this is about winter being mixed up with summer, this might do.
A maker of marquees for entertainment events once held a winter sale of its products under the slogan:
"Now is the winter of our disco tent".

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Note added at 1 hr (2006-10-28 13:31:36 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Come to think of it, the sale slogan may have been
"Now is the winter of our discount tent".

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:08
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: my absolute favourite, but I used Tony's translation, so the points go to him. Sorry. The "discount tent" is brilliant, but I'm afraid wasted on the general public


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Tony M: Not sure if it would work in the context, but brilliant thinking, Jack!
19 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Can Altinbay: with tony on this one.
51 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Dave Calderhead: Might work if the hub was York?
1 hr
  -> Thank you. Yes, that would help.

agree  Miroslawa Jodlowiec
1 hr
  -> Thank you.
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29 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
belying its name


Explanation:
I really think you have to get right away from this hideously clumsy and far-from-natural kind of phrasing in EN.

The general idea would certainyl be conveyed by my suggestion of 'belying its name...', but of course you couldn't use that as a drop-in solution in your title, you'd need to work it round a bit, maybe something along the lines of:

"A winter flight that belies its name"

...that sort of idea.

I presume what they mean is that these are winter holiday flights to sunny places?



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 29 mins (2006-10-28 12:07:35 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another way we might express it in English is:

"By name but not by nature"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2006-10-28 13:54:51 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I can't resist taking up the Shakespearian baton proffered by Jack, and suggesting, as a suitably enigmatic title:

"What's in a name?"

or in less bardic mode:

"Names can be deceptive"

Tony M
France
Local time: 12:08
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
thank you

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  David Knowles: I'd prefer the definite article: The winter flight that belies its name, but I think this is a brilliant suggestion!
1 hr
  -> Thanks a lot, David! I guess in truth it's the plural anyway, so something has to be done...!

agree  Can Altinbay: Very nice.
1 hr
  -> Thanks a lot, Can!

agree  Robert Fox: Winter by name - but summer by destination!!
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Robert! Yes, excellent, you really ought to post that as an answer.

agree  Dave Calderhead: Good answer - I like Robert's idea for possible title
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Dave! Mmm, me too!

agree  Miroslawa Jodlowiec
2 hrs
  -> Thnaks, Miroslawa!
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Winter is not a winter is not a winter is not a winter


Explanation:
Since Latin "Nomen [est] omen" - which, as already explained, means "name is a sign" - is not so commonly used in English (while it is in Italian, for example) -, you could use a negative paraphrasing of the widely known Gertrud Stein's sentence "rose is a rose is a rose is a rose": just as the Latin "nomen omen", it means that a name immediately calls to mind what is associated with it.

Leonardo Marcello Pignataro
Local time: 12:08
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Tony M: Perhaps a little too erudite for the average winter sun-seeker?! // My point exactly! ;-))
7 mins
  -> Not more erudite than the original German sentence, but you do have a point: I did not keep in mind that the new target would not be the well cultured German speakers anymore! :-) :-) Salut!
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14 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
Winter (or rather/perhaps summer) timetable, as the name doesn't suggest


Explanation:
A lighthearted way of saying it...

Ian Davies
Australia
Local time: 20:08
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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Changes made by editors
Oct 28, 2006 - Changes made by Fabio Descalzi:
Language pairEnglish » Latin to English
FieldOther » Art/Literary
Field (specific)General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters » Idioms / Maxims / Sayings


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