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Goal = end ?

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Is the word 'goal' is the same as the word 'end' ? In English it is not the case, I think, except in the phrase : "The end justifies the means" ?

    In Dutch it is not the case, I think, as we have the word doeleinde (goal-end). Everyone associates goals with destinations, but not really with ends (in the literal sense). The phrase reads: "Het doel heiligt ('sanctions') the means".

    French: but =/= fin, but "La fin justifie les moyens".

    German: Ziel =/= Ende. And: "Das Ziel heiligt die Mittel".

    How about (in) your language?

    P.S. : I found a reference in this section to 'end' (opposite of beginning) and to 'means'.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  2. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    5. -en
    vastgesteld eindpunt
    (Van Dale)
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks. I realized that there is an implicit semantic link, like in this case the destination of a trip, which is indeed normally the 'ending point' of it. And somehow a goal or objective is always the point where we hope to arrive in a figurative sense: the whole process of efforts is like a trip.
    Yet, we can seldom replace one by the other in a Dutch sentence ('Het doel van mijn leven' is not 'het einde van mijn leven' ;)), one reason being that the end of our process or trip... is not always the goal we wished to attain. Or so I think.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  4. Juan Nadie Senior Member

    Castellano s. XX - Spain

    In Spanish goal: objetivo, meta and end: fin(al(idad)), and you can use end with the meaning of goal. The end justifies the means = El fin justifica los medios (it is a fixed sentence, but you can replace "fin" by "objetivo" and the meaning doesn't change). In a less fixed sentence any of those words would make almost every sentence to sound as natural as the other.

  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Great. That reminds me: we can use 'finaliteit' in Dutch in some cases, I guess, for 'goal', and yes, that implies an end indeed. I suddenly remembered a conjunction in Dutch: ten-einde plus subclause (which I'd
    paraphrase as 'towards the end/objective', 'with the goal/end/intention').

    I'd like to ask you for one or two examples, Juan, that show that you can replace one by the other...
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  6. apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek we translate "goal" as:
    1/ «Tέρμα» ('terma, neuter noun) deriving from the same classical noun «τέρμα» ('tĕrmă, neuter noun). It lit. means end, in point of time or distance, boundary. PIE base *ter-, to cross over. Cognate with Sanskrit तरति (tárati), German tor. In football, the goal is «τέρμα» and the goalkeeper/goalie is «τερματοφύλακας» (termato'filakas, masculine noun), lit. the guardian of boundary.
    2/ «Σκοπός» (sko'pos, masculine noun) deriving from the same classical noun «σκοπός» (skŏ'pŏs, masculine noun), lit. one that watches, one that looks about or after things, metaph. end, intent, objective.
    "End" is «τέλος» ('telos, neuter noun), from the ancient «τέλος» ('tĕlŏs, neuter noun), lit. fulfilment, conclusion. PIE base *telā-, to weigh, lift, probably due to the weighing of the correct amount of gold/goods one had to pay as a financial charge or other levy in order to meet the requirements or expectations of the State (from «τέλος», the ancient Greek unit of value and mass «τάλαντον», talent derives). This amphibology of «τέλος» has survived in Modern Greek: «Τέλος» describes both the fulfilment, conclusion and the rate, tax (e.g. stamp duty is τέλος χαρτοσήμου-telos xarto'simu in Greek).
    PS1: "The end justifies the means" is an idiomatic set expression in Greek-->«ο σκοπός αγιάζει τα μέσα» (o sko'pos aʝi'azi ta 'mesa), lit. the end hallows/sanctifies the means)
    PS2: In movies, the phrase by which the film ends is «Τέλος» (without the definite article)
  7. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Ah, great contribution again (from the bedrock of European civilisation ;-) )!

    The link with 'term' opens perspectives - and from now on I'll only talk about referees and termofilakai (I felt like writing thermofilakai, but those are different kinds of people, I suppose).
    A skopos then is some kind of guard, I imagine, whereas for a second I thought of a link with a perspective (-spicere, looking/ watching).

    I had in fact thought that 'telos' was ambiguous, meaning end and goal, but it is not in that way, I now read. Very interesting, thanks !
  8. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In Portuguese the words are like in Spanish, but I would say that a goal can mean many things:

    baliza: a goal in the game of football
    obje(c)tivo: an objective, an aim
    fim, finalidade: end, aim
    propósito, intenção: intention, aim
    meta: aim, target; also the finish line in a race
    alvo: target
    fim: 'the end' in a story
  9. Juan Nadie Senior Member

    Castellano s. XX - Spain
    Keep in mind that there may be more common ways to say it, but just as example...
    He reached the goal (running, literary) - Llegó a la meta//Llegó al final (he arrived to the end)
    He reached his goals - Logró sus objetivos (metas)//Logró su fin (it would go to "Logró los fines que perseguía" - He reached the goals he was aiming for).
    What is the goal of this strike? - ¿Cuál es el objetivo de esta huelga?//¿Cuál es la finalidad de esta huelga?

    The Spanish sentences translates almost word by word into English.
    I tried to use them all, but if there is a sentence in mind, just say it!
  10. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    @ Outsider: can you substitue fim for any of the other words then? I guess not, just asking...

    @Juan: no, no, this is fine. I notice that you can really 'switch' them quite often...
  11. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    You cannot replace fim for baliza (football goal) or alvo (target). You can replace it for the other words in many cases, but it depends on the context. For example, fim cannot replace meta when it means 'finish line'. Even when meta just means 'aim' or 'goal' in general, there are expressions where you can replace it by fim but there are others where you can't.
  12. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Interesting. That is quite different from Dutch.
  13. apmoy70 Senior Member

    haha, yes they sound similar but they are not (interesting neologism this thermofilakas, the guardian of heat ;))
    Σκοπός-Sko'pos is indeed the guard/sentry in military language. The noun derives from the verb «σκοπεύω» (sko'pevo), a classical one: «Σκοπέω» (skŏ'pĕō)-->to look at or after a thing. From PIE base *spek-, to observe (cognate with Eng. scope, Lat. specere (to look at). In Modern Greek with «σκοπεύω» (sko'pevo) we also describe the aiming with a gun.
  14. sakvaka

    sakvaka Moderoitsija

    Football goal is "maali", but this is rarely used metaphorically to signify "a goal of sth". We usually use the word päämäärä (end limit?*) or tavoite (< "tavoittaa" 'reach') .

    End is either loppu or pää (~ of a rope, for example).

    However, the saying is translated differently. In Finnish, tarkoitus pyhittää keinot. The purpose sanctifies the means.

    * In modern Finnish, pää = head and määrä = amount. Head amount? The etymological source is Russian мера, "measure; degree, extent, limit". "End limit" makes sense, but I may be wrong...
  15. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I suppose end and head are related, as two parts of a rope. It makes sense indeed, I think ! Thanks !
  16. mataripis Senior Member

    Tagalog: 1.)Goal=Layunin 2.)Mission=Adhikain i cannot see in these two words if there is link between goal and end but we have this phrase (gawaing dapat tapusin) "things needed to complete" Tapusin " here is also synonymous to "bring to an end" but with the meaning "to accomplish"/to complete.
  17. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    You seem to be suggesting that there is a link with end, somehow: completing. But can you analyse those words? Is the word for 'end' in 'to complete' ?
  18. sakvaka

    sakvaka Moderoitsija

    Oh, and in Swedish tavoite and maali are both "mål", so there seems to be one language without the distinction.

    uppfylla målet ("fill up the goal/objective")
    = saavuttaa tavoite ("reach what you have been trying to reach") or päästä maaliin ("get [in]to the goal/cross the finish line")
    = meet targets

    skjuta över målet ("shoot over the goal")
    = ylittää tavoitteet ("surpass the thing you've been trying to reach")
    = exceed targets
  19. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks for the information. But are we not referring to one meaning here? I know: not quite, but I mean... The soccer goal is some kind of target (one is playing towards), I think. It would still be stronger if we had the same root for both 'end' and 'goal'. or am I somehow mistaken?
  20. sakvaka

    sakvaka Moderoitsija

    Oops, sorry! That was indeed one meaning and not two!

    (end) doesn't appear to be related to mål, so I think Swedish speaking people are better at looking for possible connections.
  21. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Well, don't worry. It is interesting to learn that soccer goals can be goals and v.v. !

    You know, any ideas regarding the background of the questions are interesting. I mean: a link between finality and purpose or goal seems almost self-evident, in some respects at least, but it is hard to find direct traces in languages, so it seems. So feel welcome to let your mind wander... For example: I think the syntactic/lexical environment of both words might refer to some common meaning - like: both need a preposition indicating direction, I think.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  22. mcibor Senior Member

    In Polish (as in German) goal is "cel", but also meaning target, like a shooting target.

    Interestingly "means" in Polish is środek/środki (a mean value, middle)

    end (koniec) indicates finish than any other English meaning
  23. A.O.T. Senior Member

    In Ukrainian we say: Мета випрадовує зусилля/заходи. (Meta vypravdovuye zusyllya/zahody)

    It's interesting to find out from the above posts (##4 and 8) that a word meta has the same meaning in Spanish and Portuguese languages.
  24. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    But could you explain the above sentences? Does meta have other meanings as well?
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  25. A.O.T. Senior Member

    Meta in the sentence above means a final goal/aim.

    We also can use a russified equivalent of meta. It's a word "ціль" (tsil') but it more has to do with a meaning "target".
  26. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    ціль: interesting. The pronunciation and meaning remind me of German. Could it have been taken from German? In Dutch too it is a target as well, as in Finnish: a soccer goal for example ?
  27. A.O.T. Senior Member

    Yeah, I think you're right "ціль" has a German origin - "Ziel". Thank you for pointing this out for me! The pronunciation & meaning are the same.
  28. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    you're welcome. Just wondering: how about this idea of end? Do you see it implicitly (explicitly) included in your words for purpose, goal, target?
  29. A.O.T. Senior Member

    A word meta (in Ukrainian) implicitly means that it's a final/ultimate/eventual goal/purpose/aim. So there should be done something by someone to get closer to it or to make it come true.
  30. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Quite right, you are pointing out the implicit semantic link between both meanings. My question referred to how that could be proved referring to syntax, certain prepositions, etc.
  31. A.O.T. Senior Member

    ОК. I'll try to explain.

    Normally if you want to say in Ukrainian a phrase: "to hit a target" then you have to use a word ціль and this phrase will be: "влучити/поцілити у ціль. (Vluchyty/potsilyty u tsil'.)

    If you want to say a phrase: "to reach a goal/purpose" then you have to use a word мета: "досягнути мети".

    The main thing that points out whether you have to use мета or ціль is wholly depends on the meaning of a verb which is used to express some action and plays a role of a predicate in a sentence.

    It's important to notice that in Ukrainian we haven't a plural for мета. That's why the plural for ціль is used in this case - цілі (tsili) (the stress is on the first syllable) even if the meaning in singular should be expressed by means of an appropriate verb + мета.

    Perhaps my explanation may seem a bit (or more than that) confusing for you but I did my best to make it clear for you.;)
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  32. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks a lot for the information. Interesting distinction you make: indeed, also in English you will be using different verbs, and that shows that the meanings seem different. That is interesting because indeed in Dutch we will say : het doel/ het einde bereiken (to reach the goal/ the end) and het doel treffen, when referring to hitting the target. So the goal and end meaning seem more related than the target meaning, seems to be the conclusion so far.

    I am not so sure though whether the verb determines the choice, I think the meaning (target or goal) does and then leads to one of both verbs. Or am I seeing things wrongly?

    Interesting point: мета has no plural. That seems to imply that it is an abstract (uncountable) noun, but I cannot think of a parallel in English. Could you imagine that to be true? And/or: could you find a 'rationale' for that?
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  33. Orlin Senior Member

    The same applies to Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian cilj.
  34. A.O.T. Senior Member

    I had to notice once again that in Ukrainian the verbs indeed play a crucial role in this case when chosing a correct/appropriate noun: мета which implicitly means a final goal or a word ціль (target). From your example above, I think that those Dutch verbs are also important as for expressing different meanings and actions. And I totally agree with you that the words a goal and an end are more kindred than a target.

    I thought about it but I couldn't find any equivalent of such a word in English. As you know there are some uncountable nouns in English but I've never come across the case when an English uncountable noun could use another countable noun to form a plural like we have it in Ukrainian with those words: мета (singular) -> цілі (plural).
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  35. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, AOT. The main thing that interests me is: why doesn't it have a plural? Would you have any idea?

    As for the choice being governed by verbs, I am afraid I still don't quite understand. I still wonder whether the verb can define the object...
  36. mataripis Senior Member

    Not exactly. the word"Tapusin" has two meanings based on how it is used in the sentence. 1.) To complete= The writings are complete already.(Natapos/nagawa na ang sulatin) the possible root word for this (undocumented) is "Puspos"= filled with/completely full. 2.) the second meaning is " end" * Natapos ang usapin sa pulong nang magkasundo sila sa nabuong mga mungkahi/panukala.= The meeting/session is adjourned/ended when they all agreed with all of their good suggestions. * Sabi ng mga MAYANO , katapusan na ng Daigdig sa taong 2012! (The mayans said,year 2012 is the end of the world!) I am not sure why the case of this word is like this, There is Greek " TELOS" meaning end, that might influence Tagalog and resulted the formation of word "TAPOS" in Tagalog.
  37. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    That is interesting: complete refers to plenum/.... too, I believe. And when something is full, that is the end of course. Yes, I forget the association goal/ end/ fullness. Thanks !
  38. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Could anyone comment on the origin of the word 'meta', which turns up in all kinds of language. I know 'metalanguage' but I do not see a link with 'goal' there...
  39. Saluton Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    goal = цель
    football goal = ворота (= 'gate')
    end = конец
    the end justifies the means = цель оправдывает средства

    Meta in metalanguage is a Greek prefix μετά = "after", "beyond", "with", "adjacent", "self". Surely different from what you're looking for.
  40. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    INdeed, I suppose that 'цель' does not have to do with Greek 'meta', but then: what is the origin ? Do you know ?
  41. AutumnOwl

    AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Swedish - Sweden, Finnish
    The Swedish word mål have many meanings, one of them is goal, but it can also mean meal (ett mål mat = a meal of food), ability to talk (ha mål i mun), dialect (dalmål = the dialect in Dalarna), a contract (in words such as gemål = husband or wife; giftermål = marriage) and so on. For more info: http://runeberg.org/svetym/0585.html

    Swedish have two words for end, slut and ända. Both words can be combined with mål, slutmål = final destination (slutmålet för resan var... = the end destination for the trip was...) and ändamål = endgoal, final destination, end (17th century), from the German endziel, (ändamålet helgar medlen = the end justifies the means). For more info: http://runeberg.org/svetym/1302.html

    As for why Swedish uses mål for goal I don't know the answer, perhaps the endgoal for playing a match is for the ball to end up in the goal :D

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