2. Until: a fast unto death.
3. By: a place unto itself, quite unlike its surroundings.
... The American Heritage
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Hello, can anyone help with this sentence please ?"The Taoists viewed the body as a small and complete universe unto itself""Les Taoistes conçevaient le corps comme un univers miniature parfait en soi"I'm not sure about the adjectives and "unto itself" (...)
My sense is that "a small and complete universe unto itself" would be translated as "un univers en soi, miniature et parfait." That is, I feel that the phrases and units are different in the French and English versions of the sentence. (...)
I think your French version sounds better than the original English!! : unto itself is very archaic and pedantic and is found in religious texts from the 18th century and earlier : parfait / en soi sound better to me (in either order i.e. lucas's or your version) because the meaning of the English is that the body is a complete closed unit independent of the universe of which it is a (small) perfect part. The idea of a perfect smaller whole inside/within a perfect larger whole is maybe how Taoists see the universe?
I have checked with my corpus usage dictionary which gives 50 modern sample uses of any word/phrase; and in modern English "unto itself" is only used in very specific fixed phrases :
- A law unto itself. a world unto itself, an island unto itself, a means unto itself, an entity unto itself, a world wholly unto itself, sufficient unto itself.
- The meaning is clearly "totally independent as a unity/entity standing on its own" Reference : google "BNC" and type any phrase into the text box - British National Corpus. (...)