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"state of being"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Italian Junkie, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. Italian Junkie New Member

    Springfield, MO, USA
    English, Missouri, USA
    I understand the phrase. <<One's 'state of being' consists of their condition, attributes, personality, etc.>> However, I'm trying to translate it. So, could anyone give a better definition or alternative phrasing that would make this philosophical idea easier to translate??


    thanks
     
  2. Sallyb36

    Sallyb36 Senior Member

    Liverpool UK
    British UK
    What language are you trying to translate it into?
     
  3. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Connecticut
    US-English
    I found "existence" as a synonym for "state of existing/being"

    From thefreedictionary.com:
    Hope this helps!
     
  4. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    One thing that might be giving you trouble (if you're translating into Italian) is that the phrase "of being" is basically redundant. The "of being" emphasizes rather than clarifying, and it exists because there are so many other meanings of the word "state." The redundancy is not glaring in English because the first word is Latinate and the second Germanic.

    But "state" in this particular sense means "being," and when you translate the phrase literally, you find yourself dealing with a language where the words are the same-- you have to find a way of not saying something like "stato di stare."

    I'd look for a synonym of "state of being" and then translate that. Depending on your context, "quality of existence" conveys an abstract idea. But if "being" means your inner life or essence, "state of mind" works. There's also "quality of life"-- that means "state of being" in a more pragmatic and subjective context.

    Finally, you don't need a phrase. "State of being" can simply be a wordy way of saying "condition." Or "situation."

    In other words you're up against the crux of all translation-- to what degree are you allowed to "edit," to convey what the writer meant because what he wrote can't be gracefully conveyed in the target language.
    .
     
  5. nelliot53

    nelliot53 Senior Member

    Puerto Rico
    Spanish [PR], English [US]
    I just thought of something: state of the self .

    Could that be right?
     
  6. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Not really, in my idiom. I'd think it was a foreigner-- or an academic psychologist trying to describe some kind of unfortunate psychiatric problem-- for a book he's writing, tentatively entitled that.
    .
     
  7. Italian Junkie New Member

    Springfield, MO, USA
    English, Missouri, USA
    So many replies!! I like that!! In response...

    I'm trying to put it into Italian. I posted the question in both languages in hopes that someone would either know it in Italian, or have ideas for different phrasing in English. My little fishing expedition seems to have paid off!!

    Unfortunately, this is my own doing. I'm trying to translate my own thoughts, not someone else's. (Usually is more of a challenge!!) :) I picked up the idea from various philosophy lessons that all of one's qualities, conditions, attributes, personality, etc can be generalised as their 'States of Being.' I'm compiling a very detailed vocabulary of typical 'states of being' both to improve my english vocab and to methodically learn my italian vocab. And I'm very nit-picky when it comes to organizing these lists, since once I commit something to memory, it is as if it were stamped in concrete. :)

    The Italian responses recommended stato di esistenza (state of existance) and/or stato d'essere (state of being) which appears to mesh with all the input supplied here and with what I had originally thought it could be, so I can now stop obsessing!! Yea!!

    Thanks so much!!
     
  8. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I like stato di grazia but can't seem to achieve it but fleetingly.
    .
     
  9. Lyrical New Member

    Kirkland Washington
    English - Pacific Northwest
    Hi! May I please ask some further questions on the same topic? I am writing a song using different languages about the states of being. I was hoping to know how to say "State of Joy, State of Dance, Come Be in This State" - I know that "State of Dance" isn't considered a state of being ; ) Any help would be very much appreciated.
     

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