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Thursday, April 25th 2013, 10:00pm

When does "Zeitgeist" mean "the spirit of the age"?

Hi folks,

Need your help on clearing one issue related to the use of the word "Zeitgeist". For the second time in a Vancouver lecture it seems to me that the word is not being used in a direct reference to TZM but in its original meaning. When it is clearly refering to TZM I think it doesn´t make sense to attempt to translate it. Which clearly happens most of the time in those videos I've been translating/proofreading.

But... In Peter Joseph´s "Origins and Adaptations" and in Aaron Moritz " Competent Communication" talks , both from Z-day in Vancouver, I found two moments where the word seems to be refering not to the Movement but to the actual original meaning of it which is "the spirit of the time/age", as Hegel defined it in its philosophical thinking.

My question is... is this actually a common word in the English language that english speakers, such as PJ and Aaron Moritz would use in its original meaning?

From 01.35 to 01.44 Aaron Moritz states as follows " We attempt to spread the values of sustainability, efficiency and scientific-based decision-making into the cultural Zeitgeist."

In this specific sentence he is refering to TZM as the "we" and so it seems to me that when he uses the word Zeitgeist he´s not refering to the Movement but the cultural spirit of the current time. In this case, I would rather translate the word Zeitgeist than keep the german word.

It would be great to know what others think on this.

Thanks

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Friday, April 26th 2013, 1:55pm

Hi Kassy,

Yep, I agree with you. In the sentence you mention it's definitely used in the original sense.

It is a word that's being used in English, although not really often, I think. But since the movement is called that way, people sometimes "play" with the word. :) From the context it should be clear in which meaning it's used, though.

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Friday, April 26th 2013, 3:47pm

Thanks Lizzie.

In this context, it makes sense to translate it... but now it leaves me with another question...

Should I add the "Zeitgeist" word inside [ ] next to the translation, to keep the original word play with the name of the movement? Or is that unncecessary?

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Friday, April 26th 2013, 9:54pm

In my personal opinion, that would be too much. The viewers probably already know that Zeitgeist means Spirit of the times. Even if they don't, it seems kinda redundant to add the word in brackets just for such a small thing; it's not needed in order to understand the meaning or anything.

But that's just my personal opinion, maybe others have a different one.

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