Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Maybe you remember the central character of Voltaire's Classic: Candide.
This masterpiece relates the adventures of Candide, who tries to get along as well as possible in this material world, that, according to Leibniz's philosophy it's supposed to be "the best of all possible worlds".
"In the Discours de Metaphysique (Discourse on Metaphysics) (1686) Leibniz emphasized the role of a benevolent deity in creating this, the best of all possible worlds, where everything exists in a perfect, pre-established harmony with everything else. Since space and time are merely relations, all of science is a study of phenomenal objects. According to Leibniz, human knowledge involves the discovery within our own minds of all that is a part of our world, and although we cannot make it otherwise, we ought to be grateful for our own inclusion in it." (quoting from philosophypages.com).

The meaning of "candide"in French or cándido in Spanish is: "innocent, ingenuous, naive". Today, the Spanish word refers to a non-manipulative and genuine person. On the other hand, the English word "candid" or "candidly" means: "open, openhearted, plain, straightforward, unconcealed, undisguised, undissembled, undissembling, unreserved".

Let's imagine for a moment that an American native speaker chooses to relate to a "hispanohablante" (Spanish speaker) with the opening sentence: "candidly speaking"… his intention in this case is to disclose sensitive or personal feelings that denote his true view of a certain situation, yet these very words would be perceived by the hispanohablante in a completely different fashion… likewise, for the native English speaker perceives "candidly" a "candid" person as a direct and sincere fellow, that says its mind without BEATING AROUND THE BUSH (**please do not translate literally to ANY language, yet, surprisingly, this idiom translates as IRSE POR LAS RAMAS (going on the boughs of a tree), an image that does not necessarily matches the "cándidos" of this world…

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