Gli uomini passano, le idee restano

Emma Neve

Senior Member
Italian
Hi there you wonderful people,
I was wondering if you find the following phrase "men pass, ideas remain" to be the most appropriate English translation of the phrase by Falcone "Gli uomini passano, le idee restano". I'm not interested in the "politically correct" option of using "people" instead of "men". My question is more about the verbs that are being used.
Thank you very much :):thank you:
Emma

Devi inserire solo la frase ORIGINALE nel titolo del thread, non la tua traduzione
Come devo scegliere i titoli delle discussioni?
 
  • HalfTaff

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Non madrelingua, ma "people go, ideas stay" o "people die, ideas leave live on"...

    I also think it sounds better as "men die [rather than 'people'], ideas live on" - and Emma did say that political correctness isn't an issue.
     

    Emma Neve

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Thank you all very much for your help.
    I take a wild guess and say that Giovanni Falcone (who made no secret he took into account the possibility - if not even the high probability - he would be killed by the mafia, as eventually happened) used the verb “passare” rather than “morire” because the former is, in a way, more powerful in conveying the precariousness of human life (and, of course, of his life in particular) and also because it conveyed the idea that the life of a single man, no matter how unique and important, is somehow “replaceable” and less significant than his ideas which, and here I quote Falcone again, “remain and will continue to walk on other men’s legs.” I’ve always thought that Falcone liked to stress the idea that men are doomed to be replaced anyway. He pointed out the obvious: all men die and that is just the most natural and unavoidable thing in the world. But only someone possessing the highest moral values can say, almost lightheartedly: “look, it’s not this huge deal if you die before your time. What counts are the ideas (that is, the moral values) that you carry within your spirit and your soul and your conscience because ideas have the power, the potential to be immortal”.
    My problem is, on the one hand it’s hard to find a synonym for “die”, on the other hand, as many of you have suggested, the verb “pass” is not really convincing.
    How about “pass on”? “Men pass on, ideas remain”
     

    metazoan

    Senior Member
    US English
    I also think it sounds better as "men die [rather than 'people'], ideas live on" - and Emma did say that political correctness isn't an issue.
    I like the basis of this formulation with the strong, simple die/live contrast. Must one be politically correct to acknowledge that women participate in death and ideas? And maybe with a semicolon:
    People die; ideas live on.
     
    Last edited:

    HalfTaff

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Must one be politically correct to acknowledge that women participate in death and ideas?

    No, of course not. It's just that Emma said she wasn't interested in the 'option of using "people" instead of "men" ', so I went along with that. (And I also thought it sounded snappier).
     
    Last edited:

    MR1492

    Senior Member
    English -USA
    We could try, "Men pass away but ideas remain alive."

    It's not literal but mimics the original. It might be a bit wordier than the original but has a similar cadence.

    Phil
     

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    I don't necessarily see 'passano' as meaning 'pass away' or even just 'become obsolete'.

    I tend to agree with "Men come and go, ideas live on".

    Or, if this sounds too sex-and-the-city'ish like Ron says at #7, how about "individuals come and go, ideas live on"?
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I agree with 'Men die, ideas live on'. Even 'Men die, ideas outlive them.' In any case (assuming judge Giovanni Falcone to be the speaker), I think the notion that though the men who have the ideas, whose lives are guided by ideals and principles, may die, the ideas and principles they stood for will survive them, has to be implied, and 'suggestions like 'Individual come and go, ideas live on' seems to me to rather lose this suggestion, or at least it becomes more remote.
     
    Top