Tuesday, November 16, 2004


And then I find myself drifting dreamily in agreement with him, back to my beloved East, and wondering, indeed, how on Earth it can be that we speak a language that has no equivalent for the most subtly delicious of all Japanese phrases: mono-no-aware, which means no more and no less than appreciating the sadness of existence. You see the cherry blossoms on the trees in Kyoto in April and you love them, but you love them most of all because you appreciate, so sadly, that soon they will all be gone. Mono-no-aware: a phrase, which like all Japanese words has every syllable pronounced, which deserves never to be lost in translation, and which serves as a reminder that the understanding of tongues other than our own offers us a chance to come to a better understanding of peoples other than ourselves—an understanding that can only be for the betterment of us all.

Simon Winchester In Other Words: A Foreword via wood s lot

more on mono-no-aware at language hat and the link to Jonathan Delacour's Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sadness

And on a different tangent (perhaps because it is impossible to be seriously sad on such a glorious day) I put the quote through this Online translator recently found by barista
It is possible to be to speak the language which most does not have
the equal amount for that how as for us all Japanese phrases being
tasty in the earth most delicately?: Monaural it is understood, above this or no it does not mean or,
either one recognizes the grief of existence, at times a little. But
you observe at that the cherry tree of the April and your Kyoto wood
loves those being to recognize, it loves those mainly, heavyheartedly,
those go so eventually entirely. Monaural it is understood: Phrase, are pronounced there are all syllables which or like all
Japanese word either one being lost with translation it is not worthy
of under any condition either one

World Lingo Online translator (via barista)

Comments: translations

Yoko means horizontal. I didn't know that. In other laingo related news ...

oont kis karwat baithta hai

Not necessarily "sits".
Posted by Tony.T at November 17, 2004 12:36 PM

Laingo, of course, is from the old English and means lingo.
Posted by Tony.T at November 17, 2004 12:37 PM

was sometimes...

I Like "laingo" - sounds like a nice drawl.

a few about in the blogosphere. Probably me on a good day.
Posted by boynton at November 17, 2004 01:41 PM

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