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Talk:Gérard Thibault d'Anvers

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I kept the archaic French orthography (e.g. the use of ‘ſ’ instead of ‘s’ at the beginning or in the middle of words) and followed the spelling, use of special characters, ligatures, and typographical errors, exactly. There are a number of inconsistencies in spelling that suggest that at least part of this text was dictated. I did, however, omit the hypenation of words at the end of a line, and occasionally adjusted for some spaces between words.

Two words occur, both of which translate to ‘thrust’ in English. The first is ‘estocade’ which derives from Italian ‘stoccata’ which Ridolfo Capo Ferro described as a thrust from the third position, i.e. hold the sword in hand below the shoulder with the wrist supine so the thumb and fingers are upwards. The second is ‘imbrocade’ derives from the Italian term ‘imbroccata’ which is a thrust from the first position, i.e. hold the hand above the shoulder with the wrist prone, so the fingers and thumb are downwards. English writers of the period use the Italian names, as have I, if it is not clear which type of thrust to use.

The printer laid out in the book in a variety of fonts, sizes and styles for decorative effect. Some chapters are set different from others. In some cases, his title, subtext, first letter, first line, and subsequent lines were all in different sizes and font styles. Labeling is inconsistent, even within the same chapter. Plate II, for example, begins with the section title that runs to a whole paragraph in two different fonts, the next one is broken into two fonts most of which is sub-text, and the third is, again, an entire paragraph for the title. I could have tried to copy this exactly, but instead, opted to simplify his abuse of fonts to a minimum number necessary to differentiate emphasis, and cleaned up titles, subtitles, and text for modern formatting. Each section in the original has an ornate capital letter, followed by another capital letter to begin the text. I have changed these to a regular capital, followed by the appropriate character, e.g. ‘u’ for ‘V’ and ‘ſ’ for ‘S’.

Thibault’s 17th Century French is idiomatic and sometimes his phrasing is quite tortuous. So the question for any translator is: does one translate the phrase as word-for-word, as exactly as possible, losing much that is implicitly understood by a native speaker and a good bit of comprehension that leaves the reader confused, or does one find some equivalent phrasing from their own liguistic idiom, that would convey almost the same multiple layers of meaning, but that would certainly not be a direct translation of the phrase? I opted for the latter, as I believe conveying the idea is the goal. Insofar as reasonable, I tried to keep the translation close, in the flavour of the language of the early 17th Century, but at times the only recourse is to completely re-phrase or re-write a sentence into modern vernacular to convey the idea he is getting across for 21st Century English speakers who are not fluent in French. For an English-only translation in a more word-for-word style, John Michael Greer has re-published his book. It can be purchased from Karnac books in as of February 2017 http://us.karnacbooks.com/product/the-academy-of-the-sword/38721/