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The wind attempts to strip the traveler of his cloak, illustrated by Milo Winter in a 1919 Aesop anthology
The sun strips the traveler of his cloak

The North Wind and the Sun is a fable attributed to Aesop. The story concerns a competition between the North wind and the Sun to decide who was the stronger of the two. The challenge was set to make a passing traveler remove his cloak. However hard the North Wind blew at the traveler, the traveler only wrapped his cloak tighter, but when it was the Sun's turn, and the Sun shone, the traveler was overcome with heat and had to take his cloak off. The moral was stated at the end of the fable as:

Persuasion is better than force. The complete moral of this is "Kindness, gentleness, and persuasion win where force fails."

Contents

Use in phonetic demonstrations

The fable is made famous by its use in phonetic descriptions of languages as an illustration of spoken language. In the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association and the Journal of the International Phonetic Association, a translation of the fable into each language described is transcribed into the International Phonetic Alphabet. For example, the description of American English in the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association includes the following as a sample text:

Broad transcription

ðə ˈnoɹθ ˌwɪnd ən (ð)ə ˈsʌn wɚ dɪsˈpjutɪŋ ˈwɪtʃ wəz ðə ˈstɹɑŋgɚ, wɛn ə ˈtɹævəlɚ ˌkem əˈlɑŋ ˈɹæpt ɪn ə ˈwoɹm ˈkloʊk.
ðe əˈgɹid ðət ðə ˈwʌn hu ˈfɚst səkˈsidəd ɪn ˈmekɪŋ ðə ˈtɹævəlɚ ˈtek ɪz ˈkloʊk ˌɑf ʃʊd bi kənˈsɪdɚd ˈstɹɑŋgɚ ðən ðɪ ˈəðɚ.
ðɛn ðə ˈnoɹθ ˌwɪnd ˈblu əz ˈhɑɹd əz i ˈkʊd, bət ðə ˈmoɹ hi ˈblu ðə ˈmoɹ ˈkloʊsli dɪd ðə ˈtɹævlɚ ˈfold hɪz ˈkloʊk əˈɹaʊnd ɪm;
ˌæn ət ˈlæst ðə ˈnoɹθ ˌwɪnd ˌgev ˈʌp ði əˈtɛmpt. ˈðɛn ðə ˈsʌn ˈʃaɪnd ˌaʊt ˈwoɹmli ənd ɪˈmidiətli ðə ˈtɹævlɚ ˈtʊk ˌɑf ɪz kloʊk.
ən ˈsoʊ ðə ˈnoɹθ ˌwɪnd wəz əˈblaɪʒ tɪ kənˈfɛs ðət ðə ˈsʌn wəz ðə ˈstɹɑŋgɚ əv ðə ˈtu.

Narrow transcription

ðə ˈnɔɹθ ˌwɪnd ən ə ˈsʌn wɚ dɪsˈpjuɾɪŋ ˈwɪtʃ wəz ðə ˈstɹɑŋgɚ, wɛn ə ˈtɹævlɚ ˌkem əˈlɑŋ ˈɹæpt ɪn ə ˈwɔɹm ˈkloʊk.
ðe əˈgɹid ðət ðə ˈwʌn hu ˈfɚst səkˈsidəd ɪn ˈmekɪŋ ðə ˈtɹævlɚ ˈtek ɪz ˈkloʊk ˌɑf ʃʊd bi kənˈsɪdɚd ˈstɹɑŋgɚ ðən ðɪ ˈʌðɚ.
ðɛn ðə ˈnɔɹθ ˌwɪnd ˈblu əz ˈhɑɹd əz hi ˈkʊd, bət ðə ˈmɔɹ hi ˈblu ðə ˈmɔɹ ˈkloʊsli dɪd ðə ˈtɹævlɚ ˈfold hɪz ˈkloʊk əˈɹaʊnd ɪm;
ˌæn ət ˈlæst ðə ˈnɔɹθ ˌwɪnd ˌgev ˈʌp ði əˈtɛmpt. ˈðɛn ðə ˈsʌn ˈʃaɪnd ˌaʊt ˈwɔɹmli ənd ɪˈmidiətli ðə ˈtɹævlɚ ˈtʊk ˌɑf ɪz kloʊk.
ən ˈsoʊ ðə ˈnɔɹθ ˌwɪnd wəz əˈblaɪʒ tɪ kənˈfɛs ðət ðə ˈsʌn wəz ðə ˈstɹɑŋgɚ əv ðə ˈtu.

Orthographic version

The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveler came along wrapped in a warm cloak.
They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveler take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other.
Then the North Wind blew as hard as he could, but the more he blew the more closely did the traveler fold his cloak around him;
and at last the North Wind gave up the attempt. Then the Sun shined out warmly, and immediately the traveler took off his cloak.
And so the North Wind was obliged to confess that the Sun was the stronger of the two.

In comparative linguistics

It has also been proposed as a parallel text in comparative linguistics as it provides more natural language than the Lord's Prayer. In other words, while the Lord's Prayer is "set in stone" and recited word-for-word even by English speakers who would never use words such as thy in conversation; the fable represents English as it would be spoken by everyday users. It also provides for differences within languages (dialects, national varieties)- note that a British English version would use shone instead of shined.

See also

References

  • International Phonetic Association (1999). Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge University Press. p. 44. ISBN 0-521-63751-1.  

External links

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

The North Wind and the Sun
by Aesop

Townsend's translation (1887)

The North Wind and the Sun

The North Wind and the Sun disputed as to which was the most powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes. The North Wind first tried his power and blew with all his might, but the keener his blasts, the closer the Traveler wrapped his cloak around him, until at last, resigning all hope of victory, the Wind called upon the Sun to see what he could do. The Sun suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The Traveler no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed and bathed in a stream that lay in his path.

Persuasion is better than force.

Jacobs' translation (1894)

The Wind and the Sun

The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin." So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.

Kindness effects more than severity.

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