tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Sun Oct 27 07:20:39 2002

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Tao Te Ching; Chp. 43

qaStaHvIS 'op jaj jIDach. DaH jIchegh 'ej TTC latlh 'ay' vIlabrup. wej SupuQ 
'e' vItul. yojraj vIpoQbej.


letbogh [A] Dol [B] jeylaH qo' tunbogh Dol'e'.
Subbogh Dol 'ellaH Hap Hutlhbogh Dol'e'.
vaj vangbe'ghach [C] potlh vISov.

mu'mey lo'be'bogh paQDI'norgh'e', vangbe'ghach potlh je –
bIHvam yaj puSqu'bogh ghot.


The soft things of the world can overcome the hard ones.
Those which have no substance can penetrate the solid.
Therefore I know the value of non-action.

Teaching without words, the value of non-action –
These are understood by the very few.

[A] { letbogh, tunbogh}: Initially, my translation of this line was:
{letqu'bogh Dol jeylaH qo' tunqu'bogh Dol'e'}.
This is closer in meaning to the Chinese original text, which talks of the 
"softest" and "hardest" things.
However, I later dropped the two {-qu}'s, because:
- Without them the first two lines parallel each other in terms of structure 
and rhythm.
- The main idea of the original seems to be captured.
- They do not really create superlatives anyway.

[B]: {Dol}, not {Doch}, seems to be called for here. However, the English 
text has "things", a word that can apply to almost anything, whether 
physical or not. The English word "entity" sounds a little too formal.

[C] {vangbe'ghach}: Since non-action is one of the key concepts of taoism, I 
decided the use of a {-ghach}–ed form is justified.


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