tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sat Nov 16 06:52:35 2002

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Re: Tao Te Ching (part III)

From Nick Nicholas Tue, 05 Nov 2002:

>>bIQ rur nIvbogh potlh[A].
>or potlh nIv'e'. And yes, I'd put the -'e' in.
>>qaDbe'taHvIS bIQ, wa'netlh Doch je'.
>The strife wouldn't necessarily be caused by the water, but by the
>things quarreling, I'd have thought. wa'netlh Doch je',

Well, the original doesn't say that water doesn't cause things to quarrel 
(or contend). It simply says that water itself doesn't contend (or quarrel/ 
compete/ strive). No object is stated but the line could also be understood 
as implying that water doesn't contend (or quarrel etc.) with them, i.e. 
with the ten thousand things.

As for {ghoH}, it was one of the words I was considering when working on 
this line. I might use it both here and in some other places, including the 
last line of this chapter.

Hmm, perhaps the first two lines could be rewritten in the following way:

     bIQ rur potlh nIv'e'.
     wa'netlh Doch chepmoH bIQ 'ach ghoHbe'.

     [The highest good is like water.
     Water benefits the ten thousand things and does not contend.]

>>qaDbe'lu'chugh DIvbe'lu'.
>qaD probably has all the wrong connotations for this. ghoH, or Sol, or 'ov.


>>Daqmey 'eS'e' lumuSbogh nuv ghoS.
>luvuvHa'bogh. Hate and disdain are very different.

I think both work but I agree that the two versions should match.

>>vaj mIw'a' rurchoH.
>>juHlIj DachermeH yav SaS yIwIv.
>>bIQubqu'taHvIS yablIj yIjotmoH.
>Again, you might be missing parallelism here:
>juH Dacherpa', SaSnIS yavlIj.
>nab Dawuqpa', joynIS yablIj.
>Or not; you know the original.

The problems is that in this chapter SEVEN lines parallel each other.

     ju     shan    di,
     xin    shan    yuan,
     yu     shan    ren.
     yan    shan    xin,
     zheng  shan    zhi,
     shi    shan    neng,
     dong   shan    shi.

What I'd love to do is to render this passage in a way that simultaneously
  - captures the sense
  - retains the parallelism
  - remains readable and clear.

I realize that my current version (repeated below as 8K-0) doesn't meet 
these criteria. <sigh>

Well, over the last week I've been trying to bring my rendition as close to 
the original version as my current skills allow. If anyone would care to 
comment on the acceptability and/or merit of the following alternatives, I'd 
be very grateful indeed:

BTW, many of the words in the Chinese text allow for multiple readings. That 
is why some of the items in the new versions are different from what I used 
in the old version (eg. nob>>qoch, vum (v)>>malja', Qu'(n)). I have to 
admit, though, that occasionally I may also be guilty of mistranslating the 

8K-0 (old version)

     juHlIj DachermeH yav SaS yIwIv.
     bIQubqu'taHvIS yablIj yIjotmoH.
     bInobtaHvIS potlh law' yInob.
     bIjatlhtaHvIS bIvItnIS.
     bIqumtaHvIS bImaynIS.
     bIvumtaHvIS bIpo'nIS.
     bIvangmeH poH pup yIwIv.

8E-0 (old version)

     Setting up home, choose the level ground.
     Deliberating, keep your mind serene.
     In giving be generous.
     In your words be truthful.
     In governing be just.
     In your labors be skilled.
     In action choose your timing well.

8K-1 (a slight modification of my old version)

     juH DachertaHvIS Daq DawIvnISchu'.
     bIQubqu'taHvIS yablIj DajotnISmoH.
     bInobtaHvIS bIwIvHa'nIS.
     bIjatlhtaHvIS bIvItnIS.
     bIqumtaHvIS bImaynIS.
     bIvumtaHvIS bIpo'nIS.
     bIvangtaHvIS poH DawIvnISchu'.


     Setting up home, choose the best site.
     In giving be kind.

8K-2 (a continuation of Nick's suggestion)

>juH Dacherpa', SaSnIS yavlIj.
>nab Dawuqpa', joynIS yablIj.

     juH DachertaHvIS nIvnIS DaqlIj.
     bIQubqu'taHvIS jotnIS yablIj.
     bInobtaHvIS wIvHa'nIS tIqlIj.
     bIjatlhtaHvIS vItnIS mu'lIj.
     bIqumtaHvIS maynIS ta'lIj.
     bIvumtaHvIS po'nIS laHlIj.  [A]
     bIvangtaHvIS pupnIS vangmeH poH.

[A]: I don't think I can describe the noun {laH} with {po'}. The verb 
probably only refers to people.

8K-3 (new version)
[I realize this version is at best controversial and possibly downright 

     juH'e', potlh Daq.
     qech'e', potlh Qubchu'bogh yab.
     qoch'e', potlh wIHHa'bogh tIq.
     mu'e', potlh vIt.
     qum'e', potlh ruv.
     Qu''e' [A], potlh laH.
     vangchoHghach'e' [B], potlh poH pup.

[A]: Alternatively, {malja''e'}.
[B]: Alternatively, {Qu''e'}.


     In a dwelling what matters is the location.
     In thinking - the clarity of mind.
     In relationships - kindness.
     In speaking - truthfulness.
     In governing - justice.
     In doing a job/In business affairs - competence.
     In action - timeliness.

8K-4 (A reverse of the above with respect to what is put into focus)

     juH Dablu'taHvIS potlh Daq'e'.
     Qublu'taHvIS potlh qech nIv'e'.
     qoch tlhejlu'taHvIS potlh wIHHa'ghach'e'.
     jatlhlu'taHvIS, potlh vIt'e'.
     qumlu'taHvIS, potlh ruv'e'.
     vumlu'taHvIS, potlh laH'e'.
     vanglu'taHvIS, potlh poH pup'e'.


     It's the location that matters in a dwelling.
     The clarity of thought that matters in a mind.
     Kindness in relationships.
     Truthfulness in speaking.
     Justice that matters in governing.
     Competence in business affairs/doing a job.
     Timeliness in action.


     DaqDajmo' nIv juH.
     Qubchu'mo' nIv yab.
     wIHHa'mo' nIv qoch.
     vItmo' nIv mu'.
     maymo' nIv qum.
     po'mo' nIv vumwI'.
     pupmo' nIv vangmeH poH.


     The value of a house is in its location.
     The value of a mind - in the clarity of thought.
     The value of relationship - in kindness.
     The value of speech - in truthfulness.
     The value of governing - in justice.
     The value of a worker - in competence.
     The value of action - in timeliness.

Too many options? Hmm, as my friend used to say:
"I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure". {{;-)


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