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She took night classes in the science of self-defense.
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Sentence #313549

She took night classes in the science of self-defense.
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She took night classes in the art of self-defense.
Elle a suivi des cours du soir dans l'art de l'auto-défense.
彼女(かのじょ)護身(ごしん) (じゅつ)夜間(やかん) 講座(こうざ)()った 。
tā zài yè xiào shàng zìwèi shù kèchéng .
Sie nahm Abendunterricht in der Kunst der Selbstverteidigung.
Ŝi iris al vesperlernejo por lerni la arton de memdefendo.
A hölgy esti képzésen tanulta az önvédelem művészetét.
Ha fatto un corso serale di autodifesa.
Ella tomó clases nocturnas de autodefensa.
Ella tomó clases vespertinas en el arte de la autodefensa.


2009-07-15 02:36
While "the art of self-defence" comes to mind first (as it can sometimes remind of a beautiful and dynamic performance of a dancer) there may be other terms that might better suit the idea of knowing the techniques of using acquired skills to defend yourself. "Science" is, in my opinion, not the best of them.
2009-07-15 07:57
"science of self-defense" sounded strange to me as well (I'm not an native English speaker though). But searching that in Google returns 22,900 results. I suppose it is not so wrong to use it.
2009-07-15 10:43
Please allow me to disagree. Just that something is happening or can happen, does not necessarily mean that it is right. The number of people believing that the Earth is flat or that the Sun rotates around the Earth is irrelevant, when compared with facts that can be proven in a serious, scientific way. Unfortunately, there really are other aspects of the problem, and the main one is: "Is there a definition of science that is generally accepted, universally understood and not [ab]used to mean other things as well?" Or in other words: how many scientists does it take to make something recognized as science?
This comment is too limited to debate the question "What makes [a] science 'science'?" or "What is really a 'science', when we are not extending it to mean any sufficiently known subject [like "A science of washing the dishes" or "A science of unbuttoning"]?"

Again, let me point out that the original sentence should not be misrepresented by the translation (the translation, if possible, should not tell something significantly different than the original sentence). In this case the word "術" is used, and I believe that the person had not been studying at the Tokyo University the scientific nuances of psychological and anatomical aspects of successful self-defense. What she was, most likely, studying were the methods and techniques to remain safe and unharmed when attacked. Please look at some words:
術 【じゅつ】 (n,n-suf) art, means, technique;
術 【すべ】 (n) way, method, means;
術を使う 【じゅつをつかう】 (exp) to practice magic;
術を授ける 【じゅつをさずける】 (exp) to teach tricks to;
術師 【じゅつし】 (n) technique user, magician;
術者 【じゅつしゃ】 (n) practitioner (in medicine, art, etc.)

So, it is acceptable to use the term "the science of self-defense" in certain contexts and situations, but here it is, in my opinion, a mistranslation.

This might be of additional interest to other users/readers:
Science @ Wikipedia
What Makes Science 'Science'? @ TheScientist.com
2009-07-15 15:39
Well, thanks for the analysis :)

When it comes to the accuracy of the Japanese => English translation, you are so far the only one in here who has the knowledge to judge that.

For the moment it's not possible to "disconnect" the Japanese and English sentences though, nor to specify which of the English translations is better. It will be implemented someday though.