tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Oct 21 12:55:29 2002

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RE: Tao Te Ching; Chp. 9

tlhob DloraH:

>>[E] {'u' mIw}: Perhaps {chal mIw} is better.
>What does the original chinese really mean?

Literal meaning:

Either:  (This is) the way/Tao of heaven.

Source: The so-called Wang Bi version of Tao Te Ching:

      *tian zhi dao*

      tian1 (=heaven),
      zhi1 (='s/of; particle),
      dao4 (=way, Tao)
      [numbers indicate tones]

Or:  (This is) the way/Tao of heaven indeed.

Source: The so-called Mawangdui version of Tao Te Ching:
(BTW There are many versions of TTC)

      *tian zhi dao ye*

      tian1 (=heaven),
      zhi1 (='s/of; particle),
      dao4 (=way, Tao)
      ye3 (=indeed; modern Chinese: also)

"Interpretive" meaning:

(tIQbogh) China nganpu'vaD le' chal. QI'tu' 'oHbe'.
Qun rurlaw'mo' chal pagh Qun 'oHlaw'mo' Human San SeH.
wa' Dol naQ (chang'eng) luchenmoH chal tera' je.
'ay'vamDaq 'u' HoSmey, 'u' chutmey joq 'oSlaw' chal.
chutmeyvam pabnIS Humanpu' 'e' maq TTC. pabHa'chugh qaSlaH Seng.

As far as I know, "heaven" (tian) had a special significance for the 
(ancient) Chinese. It was not seen as the abode of the god(s) and/or the 
spirits of the dead but as a divine force controlling human fate. Together 
with Earth (di), it formed a unity, a pair: "Heaven and Earth" (tian di). In 
this chapter, heaven seems to symbolize the forces of the universe, the laws 
of nature, which people had better obey if they want to avoid all kinds of 

tlhIngan qa' ghajbe' paqvam 'ach jatlh tlhInganpu': <Dal pagh jagh>. pIj 
tlhIngan wo' jagh luDa Humanpu'.  tera'Daq le'mo' "Tao Te Ching" ghaytan 
paqvam mughqangchoHlaH tlhIngan mughwI'. qatlh? paqmavmo' De' potlh ghojlaH 
tlhIngan QI'. ngoDmeyvam tIqel:

     - paqvam lumughta' tera' mughwI' law'qu'.
       tera' paqmey lumughlu'ta'bogh luqellu'DI'
       wa' latlh paq neH Qat law' "TTC" Qat puS.

     - QojmeH mIw Delbogh latlh paq potlh qonwI' pIlmoH
       paqvam: "Qojlu'chu'meH" mughbogh Sun Tzu'e'
      (Would this be a good translation of the title?).

     - tonSaw' Segh law' 'oghta' mIw'a' pabwI'pu' (=taoists).

tera'Daq paqvam qonlu' 'ach yuQvamDaq Sepmey law' lutu'lu'. pIm Hoch 'ej 
le'. le' je China vaj ghaytan China qeSmey choHbe'qang tlhIngan mughwI'.

"Tao Te Ching" is a product of a specific Earth culture. Though in lots of 
ways the book is very un-Klingon, it might conceivably attract the attention 
of a Klingon translator mainly because "Dal pagh jagh" (No enemy is boring): 
there might be something strategically important to learn from it about the 
Terrans. Consider the following facts:

   - "Tao Te Ching" is the second most often
      translated book on the Earth.

   - It inspired one of the key works on how to
     wage war (Sun Tzu's "The Art of War".

   - It was written by taoists (or possibly one taoist), who
     not only continued to cherish it but also invented numerous
     martial arts systems.

It is conceivable that such a translator would want to retain (or at least 
would not mind retaining) the peculiar Chinese vision of the world, manifest 
in numerous idioms which still make sense even if translated literally:

    - under heaven (tian xia), {?chal bIngDaq} meaning:
      everything, the world, (on) the earth, (in) the empire

    - heaven and earth (tian di), {?chal tera' je} meaning:
      everything, the whole world, the entire creation

vaj "tian" vImughmeH {chal} vIwuq.
Bottom line: I think I'll probably stick with {chal}.



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