"Walk a Mile in My Shoes"

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Postby Guest » 09/18/05 01:09 PM

This probably doesn't belong here, but I don't know where else to put this question. As helpful as some folks are on this forum, does anybody know the Latin translation for the phrase "walk a mile in my shoes," or a Latin phrase with the equivalent sentiment?

Clay
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Postby Guest » 09/18/05 02:07 PM

I don't know Latin, but my guess is that it would involve kilometers and sandals!
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Postby Guest » 09/18/05 03:08 PM

Ha Ha Ha! Any well-known German literary phrases with such a sentiment? C.
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Postby Guest » 09/18/05 03:09 PM

Richard

Half right! It's 36 years since I last turned my mind to this lark at Uni. You got the sandals.

In soleae mihi (literally - in my sandals) but our english word mile is a contraction of mille passus (a thousand paces). That leaves us with walking and we have to decide whether to command our victim, "Walk ... shoes!", or entreat him/her, "Would you walk...Shoes". The former is ambulate and the latter is ambulasne.

Something like this would probably fill the bill:

Mille passus in mihi soleae ambulasne?

Hope this helps, Clay.

Regards
Lindsay
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Postby Guest » 09/18/05 07:18 PM

Many thanks, Lindsay!

I guess I might ask the same kind of question, but in respect of Latin: are there any Latin literary phrases with such a sentiment?

I'll give an example. In the Greek culture, there is the tale of the sword of Damocles, and the moral is similar to "walk a mile in my shoes."

Clay
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Postby Guest » 09/19/05 01:42 AM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Lindsay Carroll:

Something like this would probably fill the bill:

Mille passus in mihi soleae ambulasne?
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Postby Guest » 09/19/05 02:11 AM

oops, excuse me for the previous incomplete post...
The proposed translation (mille passus in mihi soleae ambulasne?) does not fit the grammar (it sounds a bit like "are you walking in to me the slippers?"). It should be: "in calceis meis mille passus tibi ambulandum est" (you should walk a mile in my shoes) or, more literally, "mille passus in calceis meis ambula!", which sounds anyway too strong in Latin.
Of course, the worstestestestest of Latin scholar would understand this as a "fake" Latin; in Latin, "to put himself in [name]'s shoes" simply translates as "fingere animo" or "eundem se cum [name] facere". Latin is made for war, not poetry, very concrete and with not many metaphores :)
If you want to use Damocles' plot, there is a reference to it in Latin too, in Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes 5, 61, where the words are: 'visne igitur' inquit, 'o Damocle, quoniam te haec vita delectat, ipse eam degustare et fortunam experiri meam?' - "Do you want, he said, Damocles, because you appear to love my life, to taste it by yourself and to try my fate?". So, your sentence could be translated:
"degusta vitam meam", or "experire fortunam meam", that sounds much more "real" Latin; If you browse through Seneca I think you can find other suggestions.

Best

Massimo Manca
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Postby Guest » 09/19/05 03:11 AM

Thanks very much for this discussion and to Massimo for adding to it. Trivial as it may seem, I enjoy it! And it is for a purpose. Contributions on erudite questions such as this prove the varied talents of GF readers!

Perhaps I should add the context, although I'm not sure if it is apt to help. The context is that I call attention to the fact that some people criticize another's work, yet they have not themselves attempted to do the work which they criticize. "Walk a mile in my shoes" seemed an appropriate way of saying, "Before you criticize the writer, try to do it yourself."

So, I am not looking necessarily for a literal Latin translation, which Massimo says would be fake anyway. Massimo, of the phrases you offer, which do you think comes closest to what I seek? Not so broad as live/experience my life, I think more something like do the thing [you criticize] [I do] before criticizing it etc.

By the way, with Massimo and Lindsay on board here for a brief moment, Id like to confirm that my publishing name, Meminisse Magicam, actually translates to what Ive thought it translates to, roughly, to remember magic

My thanks again to all for this entertaining and very helpful - diversion ....

Clay
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Postby Guest » 09/19/05 04:37 AM

Originally posted by Magicam:
...context is that I call attention to the fact that some people criticize another's work, yet they have not themselves attempted to do the work which they criticize. ...
I've traced this back as far as 1960 in print, though have yet to find a citation to the full proverb: "I will not judge a man till I have walked a mile in his moccasins".

In this case, the man would be a routine or item and moccasins would be actual experience performing the work. Sometimes people let their fingers do a bit more walking outside of source books and get onto the keyboard even before trying out routines. To them I sometimes post: "Reading is fundamental".

The obvious though unstated syllogism follows:
If you read the item discussed.
And understood what you read.
And followed the instructions.
You would have some functional understanding of the matter.
Thus I wonder why you have not asked a different question.

Those who don't read well enough to get the implication are dismissed without need of confrontation or insult.

Getting back to playing footsie in foreign languages, I heard the expression attributed to American Indians and using the term moccasins. Anyone know if this is a legitimate origin of the expression or just another Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox type thing? I was going to make comment about the implications of transplanting the quote into a western context as a cultural issue. If folks were to learn the lesson about walking in another's shoes, it might be worth tolerating an Orwellian re-cast of the expression. Clearly the Native Americans borrowed if from Seneca, Right? ;)
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Postby Guest » 09/19/05 09:30 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
I've traced this back as far as 1960 in print, though have yet to find a citation to the full proverb: "I will not judge a man till I have walked a mile in his moccasins".
"Fremont Gets Next Meeting" p. 11 col 6.
Nebraska | Lincoln | The Lincoln Star | 1930-10-10

"In its attitude toward Indian affairs, the American nation, he [E. A. Bates, late of the Indian Dept in Washington, and then at Cornell Univ] said, would do well to think of the Indian maxim, "never criticize the other boy or girl unless you have walked a mile in his moccasins." "

The basic idea goes back much further, to the New Testament: "Judge not, lest ye be judged."
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Postby Guest » 09/19/05 10:19 AM

According to several on line webs, the quotation which follows is Cheyanne Indian:

"Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins."

It has been widely paraphrased and the wisdom behind it may well go back far beyond Babel, thought to be Babylon, where there was a confusion of "tongues".

The ancient wisdom is, of course, evident, but the "two moons" and "moccasins" pretty much say it more than likely has its "modern" roots as early American Cheyanne Indian.

I kind of like that, since my paternal grandmother was Cheyanne....

opie
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Postby Guest » 09/20/05 10:53 AM

I prefer the more modern version:

"Never critcize another until you have walked a mile in his shoes. For then, you are a mile away from him -- and you have his shoes."
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Postby Guest » 09/20/05 11:30 AM

Originally posted by Bill Palmer:
I prefer the more modern version:

"... For then, you are a mile away from him -- and you have his shoes."
Shoes? Go for the car. Start with the car keys and perhaps use your best NW or boon to manage the title too.

Then again some malls are close to a mile walk. ;)

For some reason the moons in the moccasins suggests a moment in a cups a balls routine that might be fun. The ball you put in your pocket does not go under the cup, but instead detours into your shoe.
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Postby Guest » 09/20/05 12:24 PM

Off topic.

Massimo Manca,
Two things about your post prompt this. One, you post from Italy; two, you know Latin. So the question: do you know Mario Altabelli? He was at one time secretary of the Italian Ring of IBM. He also, I believe, taught Latin in a secondary school. I spent two very pleasant evenings with him in Naples in 1953. He didn't speak English nor I Italian. We did well in his good French and my rather halting bit of that language.
tonga
gthomp1@mindspring.com
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Postby Guest » 10/13/05 08:19 PM

Hey Massimo!

Are you out there? Thanks again for your help. A friend wrote to me with the following and I wanted to ask you if it sounded right to you:

"Eumdem calceum omni pedi inducere"

or

"Hodie mihi cras tibi"

Thanks!

Clay
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Postby Marco Pusterla » 10/14/05 02:36 AM

Hi!
Massimo - as far as I know - doesn't regularly check the Genii Forum so I would assume the best way to contact him is via email (through his profile)...

Ciao!
Marco Pusterla - http://www.mpmagic.com

Paradise Lost out now - Christian Chelman's latest effect!
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Postby Guest » 10/14/05 09:27 AM

Grazie, grazie Marco!
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