an uncertain peace

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Allegro molto, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Allegro molto

    Allegro molto Senior Member

    Japanese
    Hello

    At Dayton, Richard and his team faced leaders of movements - warlords - for whom governance, providing their people with a better future, was not very important. How do you persuade such leaders to give up land or riches or power, when war is much more familiar than an uncertain peace? That is where the very human art of diplomacy takes the stage.
    (from Waging peace with justice, the IHT)

    Does "an uncertain peace" mean?
    1. an uncertain and temporary state of peace, i.e. lasting from a certain point in time to another one.
    or
    2. contrary to 1, the idea of lasting from a certain point in time to another one is excluded.

    Thank you
     
  2. Sharifa345

    Sharifa345 Senior Member

    USA
    US English, DR Spanish
    I would tend to translate that as peace that is not a sure thing, not guaranteed. So uncertain peace would be peace that may or may not come (or last, similar to your 1st definition).

    I await opinions of others.
     
  3. Languagethinkerlover Senior Member

    English-British and U.S.
    I think 'uncertain peace' means something that isn't quite what it is...or it could be. You just don't know. In the sentences you provided, I do not think they are ever too sure if there is peace between various parties. There might be agreements, certain treaties, but they feel as if war could still be imminent.

    Or maybe the wars are over (and they are at peace) but they are so used to fighting, they aren't sure if this peace is for real.

    It can go either way to me.
     

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