Just follow the royal road the best way to your destination

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Unvoluntary-account

Member
Italian
Just follow the royal road the best way to your destination
[Topic sentence added to post. DonnyB - moderator]


Hello,

While translating the film "Shizumanu Taiyo" I came across this sentence, but I'm really struggling to understand what this is supposed to mean.
More specifically, I don't understand what's the meaning of "royal road", nor the "the best way" part.

As of the context, the Prime Minister of Japan is trying to incite a famous entrepreneur to take the lead of the flag carrier airline to restore the company's image after an important air disaster.

Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks!
 
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  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "The best way to your destination" is reasonably clear. It is the most suitable or the easiest route/path to follow.

    The expression "royal road" occurs infrequently and has no precise meaning. It might be a proper noun, that it really is a Royal Road, made by or made for kings, but it more often means a very good road, or a superlatively good road, which may be better than any other, or it may be the only road. It is also used figuratively, and OED says the modern expression in English originated in a figurative use by Euclid:
    royal road n. [ < royal adj. + road n., after a saying attributed to Euclid by Proclus ( Comm. on Euclid 68): μὴ εἶναι βασιλικὴν ἀτραπὸν ἐπὶ γεωμετρίαν there is no royal short cut to geometry] a smooth or easy way to learning; a way of attaining knowledge, understanding, or some other goal without trouble.​
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    This phrase is older than Euclid, at least as old as the Book of Numbers (20:17). In the King James Version of the Bible, it reads "Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king's highway, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders." Other translations use "the king's road," "the main road," and more.

    In any case, it means a major road on which travel is easier than on smaller roads or paths. Its Spanish equivalent is often the name of a major street in many California cities (and was the title of my first Spanish textbook, a long time ago).
     

    Unvoluntary-account

    Member
    Italian
    "The best way to your destination" would be translated literally if there was a coma after road, like this:

    "Just follow the royal road, the best way to your destination".

    Without coma, as a complete pleb and non native speaker, I would interpretate "the best way" as an adverb of manner, and that's why it's unclear to me what's the meaning.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "The best way to your destination" would be translated literally if there was a coma after road, like this:

    "Just follow the royal road, the best way to your destination".

    Without coma, as a complete pleb and non native speaker, I would interpretate "the best way" as an adverb of manner, and that's why it's unclear to me what's the meaning.
    It is a film; where is the text from? Is the punctuation reliable, and how are the words actually spoken?

    In standard English, a comma is required (I cannot think of any interpretation that would not need a comma). However, this is dialogue, and people do not usually speak in standard English. Without having seen the film, I don't think anything can be inferred from the absence of a comma.
     

    Unvoluntary-account

    Member
    Italian
    It is a film; where is the text from? Is the punctuation reliable, and how are the words actually spoken?

    In standard English, a comma is required (I cannot think of any interpretation that would not need a comma). However, this is dialogue, and people do not usually speak in standard English. Without having seen the film, I don't think anything can be inferred from the absence of a comma.
    Yeah it is a film, unfortunately it's spoken in Japanese so I don't really understand how they're talking. I'm not sure if the punctuation is reliable, but it doesn't seem to be too much, they're pretty bad not gonna lie.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yeah it is a film, unfortunately it's spoken in Japanese so I don't really understand how they're talking. I'm not sure if the punctuation is reliable, but it doesn't seem to be too much, they're pretty bad not gonna lie.
    So you are working from an English "translation" of Japanese dialogue? Subtitles? They are often not created by the best linguists:( Perhaps a request in the Japanese English forum?
     

    Unvoluntary-account

    Member
    Italian
    So you are working from an English "translation" of Japanese dialogue? Subtitles? They are often not created by the best linguists:( Perhaps a request in the Japanese English forum?
    I'm trying to translate to my native language (Italian) a movie that has three subtitle files: Chinese, English and Japanese. I've tried to ask both to Chinese and Japanese native speakers and they confirmed more or less the translation, so as last resort I came here cause if it's correct then I don't understand the meaning.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    "The best way to your destination" is reasonably clear. It is the most suitable or the easiest route/path to follow.

    The expression "royal road" occurs infrequently and has no precise meaning. It might be a proper noun, that it really is a Royal Road, made by or made for kings, but it more often means a very good road, or a superlatively good road, which may be better than any other, or it may be the only road. It is also used figuratively, and OED says the modern expression in English originated in a figurative use by Euclid:
    royal road n. [ < royal adj. + road n., after a saying attributed to Euclid by Proclus ( Comm. on Euclid 68): μὴ εἶναι βασιλικὴν ἀτραπὸν ἐπὶ γεωμετρίαν there is no royal short cut to geometry] a smooth or easy way to learning; a way of attaining knowledge, understanding, or some other goal without trouble.​
    The Royal Road was a highway system organized and built by Darius I in the 5th century BCE that included a road from Susa (in modern-day southern Iran) to Sardis (in modern-day western Turkey). Its existence meant that riders could carry messages extremely quickly from one end of the empire to the other. The Sardis-Susa road was known to the Greeks (Herodotus mentions it) and I expect that's what Euclid, who lived later than Herodotus, was thinking of in his quip about the lack of a 'fast lane' in the study of geometry.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I suspect this is also a reference to the fact that the flag carrier is a national - i.e. imperial, i.e. royal - enterprise in Japan, although you'd have to check with a Japanese speaker to see if this is a possible reading of the Japanese.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    There is a word ōdō in Japanese that literally translates to "royal road" and my dictionary gives the following in its definition, the last one being a possibility for the context. However, going back to the original (presumably Japanese) subtitles or screenplay should yield more reliable information
    righteous government, just rule, kingship, rule of right, noble path.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The Royal Road was a highway system organized and built by Darius I in the 5th century BCE that included a road from Susa (in modern-day southern Iran) to Sardis (in modern-day western Turkey). Its existence meant that riders could carry messages extremely quickly from one end of the empire to the other. The Sardis-Susa road was known to the Greeks (Herodotus mentions it) and I expect that's what Euclid, who lived later than Herodotus, was thinking of in his quip about the lack of a 'fast lane' in the study of geometry.
    Wow! This forum is such a mine of information. Thank you.
     

    Unvoluntary-account

    Member
    Italian
    There is a word ōdō in Japanese that literally translates to "royal road" and my dictionary gives the following in its definition, the last one being a possibility for the context. However, going back to the original (presumably Japanese) subtitles or screenplay should yield more reliable information
    This is definitely interesting, thank you!
     
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