Is Galileo's Famous Quote About Heaven Lost in Translation?

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In summary: .Ahh...Semper ubi sub ubi!To be pedantic, Galileo likely spoke the Florentine dialect of Tuscan, the most immediate ancestor to modern Italian, which was another Tuscan dialect adopted to be the state language after unification in the 19th century.
  • #1
KingGambit
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Dear Physics Forum,

It's been a while since I logged in here. And I hope everybody is in good health.

Recently I read Galileo's "The Bible shows how to go to Heaven not how the Heavens Go"
Very interesting quotes.
And frankly, I don't know whether I should ask this question in history section, or even language section. But I think Classical Physics is fine by me.
So my question is this. This quote seems so English, to me. That I don't know if it's translated to other language, it still has the same meaning or pun.

Did Galileo say this in English or Italian?
At least I know that Galileo used English in Diagramma (from Angels and Demons novel).

Thanks for any enlightment here.
 
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  • #2
KingGambit said:
At least I know that Galileo used English in Diagramma (from Angels and Demons novel).
One of the most authorative sources known :rolleyes:

Cut and paste can do a lot to produce irrefutable evidence to support this claim. But to me it seems the picture here with the razor sharp title is an absolute nadir. The remainder was stolen here

And Galileo did Italian and Latin. Not English.

##\ ##
 
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  • #3
This epigram is from the Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. It was written in Italian, with accompanying Latin translation.
In Italian it goes:
come si vadia al cielo, e non come vadia il cielo
I couldn't find the Latin text, so I don't know how it goes there. But it has to be pretty similar given the history of the languages.
Galileo doesn't claim authorship, btw. He attributes this epigram to one Cardinal Baronius.
 
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  • #4
Bandersnatch said:
This epigram is from the Letter to Madame Christina of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. It was written in Italian, with accompanying Latin translation.
In Italian it goes:
come si vadia al cielo, e non come vadia il cielo
I couldn't find the Latin text, so I don't know how it goes there. But it has to be pretty similar given the history of the languages.
Galileo doesn't claim authorship, btw. He attributes this epigram to one Cardinal Baronius.
Thank you @Bandersnatch
 
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BvU said:
One of the most authorative sources known :rolleyes:
Come on...
 
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One needs to be careful with quotes. In the words of L.P. Berra, "I never said all the things I said."

There is no evidence that I am aware of that Galileo spoke English. He wuld have had little reason to. But if he did, it won't be today's English; it would have been Shakespeares's.
 
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  • #7
Vanadium 50 said:
One needs to be careful with quotes. In the words of L.P. Berra, "I never said all the things I said."

There is no evidence that I am aware of that Galileo spoke English. He wuld have had little reason to. But if he did, it won't be today's English; it would have been Shakespeares's.
I can't imagine anyone actually spoke in iambic pentameters!
 
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  • #8
Not even everywhere in the plays. Listen to the witches in Macbeth.

Language evolution slowed - Chaucer is very different from Beowulf, Shakespeare is very different from Chaucer, but Shakespeare is intelligible enough to modern readers that high school students can be assigned it and complain about it.

But what would the point be for Galileo to learn English? The British Isles at that time were a places of pirates, barbarians and heretics. Insofar as they had anything sensible to say, they said it in Latin.
 
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  • #9
Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
 
  • #10
That is very profound
 
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Ibix said:
Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
Not if you read the phrase on the men's loo at our university. It ended with ... ergo sum, but I do not even dare to repeat the verb in Latin here.
 
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  • #12
Ibix said:
Quidquid Latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
1682882434997.png


Ahh...
 
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  • #13
Semper ubi sub ubi!
 
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  • #14
To be pedantic, Galileo likely spoke the Florentine dialect of Tuscan, the most immediate ancestor to modern Italian, which was another Tuscan dialect adopted to be the state language after unification in the 19th century. In Galileo’s day some three dozen distinct Romance languages were spoken in what is now Italy, with varying degrees of mutual comprehension
 

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