Friday, April 17, 2015

Sending salt to your enemy - if a job's worth doing....

"Teki ni shio wo okuru" is a Japanese phrase that literally translates as "Sending salt to your enemy" the meaning of which is taken to be that even in conflict, one should act with humanity

The origins date back to the long running conflicts and feudal disputes that ravaged Japan prior to unification under a single Shogun Ieyasu in the early 17th century. Laying siege to a castle, the lord of the besieging army believed it unfair to starve out his enemy and instructed that salt be delivered so that they may live to fight (and presumably die) in true battle for the lands.

Without debating whether this would also be the act of a true Klingon, the question though as to whether it is the appropriate colloquial translation. Given that the attacking army was looking to ensure the destruction of the defenders through open battle where they could be despatched with sword and arrow, a more accurate translation might be "If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing well".

No comments:

Post a Comment