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  1. Oct 2020
    1. Concerning the discipline of sociology, he described the dichotomy of sedentary life versus nomadic life as well as the inevitable loss of power that occurs when warriors conquer a city. According to the Arab scholar Sati' al-Husri, the Muqaddimah may be read as a sociological work. The work is based around Ibn Khaldun's central concept of 'aṣabiyyah, which has been translated as "social cohesion", "group solidarity", or "tribalism". This social cohesion arises spontaneously in tribes and other small kinship groups; it can be intensified and enlarged by a religious ideology. Ibn Khaldun's analysis looks at how this cohesion carries groups to power but contains within itself the seeds – psychological, sociological, economic, political – of the group's downfall, to be replaced by a new group, dynasty or empire bound by a stronger (or at least younger and more vigorous) cohesion. Some of Ibn Khaldun's views, particularly those concerning the Zanj people of sub-Saharan Africa,[27] have been cited as a racist,[28] though they were not uncommon for their time. According to the scholar Abdelmajid Hannoum, Ibn Khaldun's description of the distinctions between Berbers and Arabs were misinterpreted by the translator William McGuckin de Slane, who wrongly inserted a "racial ideology that sets Arabs and Berbers apart and in opposition" into his translation of the Muqaddimah.
    1. The worst answer I can imagine is the one Pope Gregory VII gave for refusing to let the Holy Scripture be translated out of Latin: “... [I]f it were plainly apparent to all men, perchance it would be little esteemed and be subject to disrespect; or it might be falsely understood by those of mediocre learning, and lead to error.”

      I'd push back on this a bit by saying that there are huge swaths of people looking at English translations, of Latin translations, of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic translations. Not only is there some detail lost in the multiple levels of translation, but many modern Christians are actively mis-applying the stories in the Bible to apply to their modern lives in radically different ways than was intended.

    1. However, if Welsh does not yet possess a spoken standard, it does possess a literary standard which can be traced back to the translation of the Bible by Bishop WIlliam Morgan in 1588, which in turn is based on the language of the medieval court poets who were the heirs of the Cynfeirdd, the earl poets Aneirin and Taliesin. These lived in the sixth century AD and described battles which took place in today's Scotland and Northern England [...]

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    1. “Am I to understand,” I asked, “that you leave the whole of the property, of every sort and description, of which you die possessed, absolutely to Lady Verinder?” “Yes,” said Sir John. “Only, I put it shorter. Why can’t you put it shorter, and let me go to sleep again? Everything to my wife. That’s my Will.”

      This is so hilarious! An instance of translation, from legalese to ordinary speech and back.