Excellent Move / Discussion

Sub-page of ExcellentMove

2005 August 23

Bill: Tderz expressed the opinion that Excellent Move shoud be the main page and the oriental terms the aliases. I usually don't care about such things, but, having had to de-alias pages before, I have my doubts.

True, excellent move is a translation of 妙手, but there are others. I like exquisite play, myself. Brilliant move also comes to mind. The thing is, I can imagine an English commentary that refers to an excellent move, but the play does not rise to the level of 妙手. The English term, is, I think, more general. (As ALegendWai says, correct me if I'm wrong.)

I suppose this is nit-picking, and I don't see any immediate problem, but I have been annoyed with careless aliasing in the past.

P. S. I just looked it up in the Go Players Almanac, which gives brilliant move and brilliancy.

tderz: Bill, I fully agree with your point that not the English term should be the stem.

It should be 妙手 , which is the same anchor for the Japanese and Chinese pronunciations (was unable to find the Jorean equivalent).
I made my proposal at a time when some hours ago, when there were only the aliases referencing to each other miaoshou <-> myushu <-> excellent move, without any further explanation or stem given, resp. erased.
Because some useful information as "this page is temporarily maintained - its former content is not available right now" was not given, I, the inexperienced Wiki-user thought of some careless vandals having erased the information while aliasing.

I am usually not in for time-losing nit-picking as long as the common denominator/base is big enough for all parties (no information lost; fully retrievable).

Thanks for clearing this up Bill.

Dieter: As said, I was automatically blocked while re-aliasing. hence the loss of content. I thought we were moving towards English "stems" and aliasing the Chinese an Japanese terms. I agree "Excellent move" is unlucky. We want something like "surprisingly good move" or "sudden brilliance". We run into Charles' articulation problem in its smallest interpretation again, in that we try to covet Japanese and Chinese terms, instead of concentrating on the concepts behind it.

Bill: I would be happy with Brilliant Move as the stem, especially given the entry in the Go Players Almanac. What do other Japanese, Chinese, and Korean readers think?

Tderz, I found the lack of content confusing, too. ;-)

unkx80: I actually do not know how to translate miao shou. If there is a precedent in English literature to use brilliant move, I think we should just use existing terms and not invent yet another new term for the same thing.

John F. Why all the fuss about a trivial word? I'd be surprised to see a chess dictionary list "good move" as a technical term, so why are we tryimg to elevate myoushu to a technical term. In reality it's used in the full range from good to exquisite, though admittedly with a strong bias to the latter end of the range. As the queen told Alice, it means what I want it to mean. The nearest it gets to a technical usage is the equivalent to chess's !! in lists of moves, e.g. as answer to a problem (usually abbreciated to myou/miao).

I do hope we're not going to get people going round saying "That's a myoshu", though experience teaches that (a) we will and (b) some will pronounce it my-oh-shoe.

On a practical level, the Orientals do not go in for elegant variation the way we do. The Chinese original of Hatsuyoron as translated by Sid Yuan had miao shou in virtually every paragraph (literally). No decent western translator would put "brilliant move" every time.

Bill: I agree that we do not want to promote the use among Westerners of myoshu. It is not like it is a concept that will help one play or understand go. If you are reading an Oriental go text, it's nice to know the translations, but that's about it, I think.

Tamsin: Why not use myoshu to describe a particularly good tesuji? So long as one doesn't use the word about one's own moves, I can't see the harm in it. Of course, using such a fancy word might make you look a bit of a clever dick, and others might wonder what on earth you mean...

Rich - from reading Nie Weiping on Go, I got the impression that 'exquisite move' was the translation used for tesuji - given that Japanese terms tend to be avoided in that translation. However, at the time I didn't know that there was a more general term like myoshu, which actually makes more sense in the context of the book. Some of the 'exquisite moves' were more whole-board than the word 'tesuji' implies.

Bill: When I got back from Japan, I used a lot of Japanese go terms. I did not think of them as Japanese words per se, just as I do not think of finesse in bridge as French, or Zugzwang in chess as German. However, I gradually came to realize that a lot of Westerners find the extensive "foreign" terminology of go an obstacle to learning and playing it, rather than an aid. When possible, I think, go concepts should be expressed in the vernacular.

Tamsin: Being the contrary kind of girl that I am, I would point out many people, myself included, find learning foreign words fun and for us they add appeal to the game.

(Hicham) For a lot of us, English is a foreign language too( I have to admit, one we can use better then Japanese in general, but still...). I am with Tamsin here. I have books that use 'skillfull finesse' instead of tesuji, but as I am used to tesuji I find this rather unnatural and forced. Also, the Japanse words have their uses when talking to a more internatianal crowd I think.

Tderz: As long as one can find it, one does not need to care how s.o. else might prefer to call a concept. If all are linked, all are retrievable.
The hub are the characters 妙手.
Is this discussion here now (only) about the best single & exclusive English equivalent?

John F. I suggest these last couple of points are wide of the mark. I fall firmly into the category of believing learning foreign words is fun and adds appeal. I also say tesuji, even though I was also the one who first floated finesse for tesuji (in a shogi context; I never followed it through).

The real points are elsewhere. One is that many people don't learn or pronounce the terms properly - tesuji is a good example in both respects, as is buy-oh-yoh-mi. Another is that using them can suggest, often falsely, that there is a concept behind them (and there certainly isn't behind myoushu). A third is that while it might appeal to you it puts others off. It seems that Bill had had similar experience to me and has come to the same conclusions.

The oft-cited argument here that non-English speakers might as well learn a new Japanese word as an English word is bogus if you end up learning the least useful word. There's no extra effort involved in learning the English word, which will benefit you anyway outside of go.

chrise How about "wicked", as in wicked move? Sorry could not resist :p

Excellent Move / Discussion last edited by tapir on February 8, 2011 - 18:53
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