tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Thu Nov 26 14:56:31 2009

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RE: ghojqu'

Agnieszka Solska ( [KLI Member] [Hol po'wI']

lab bI'reng:
>Hello all,
>I've tried to translate a famous passage from 
>"The Great Learning" by Confucius. 
>I have a translation that I'm happy with, so now 
>I offer it here for comment and criticism.

>wo'Daq batlh ngaqmeH joH, SepDaj che'chu'.
{batlh} seems a reasonable way to render "virtue," though it could be argued 
that {ghob} would work better.
The noun {ngaq} seems out of place here. You probably confused it up with the verb {Qutlh}, 
which is an easy mistake to make since both word mean "support," but I'm not sure why you 
want to talk about *supporting* honor/integrity. I would probably opt for {'agh} "show, 
demonstrate, display". It doesn't mean the same as "illustrate", but seems closer to the 
original MING, which conveys something like "make known, visible".
I'd consider putting {tIQ} somewhere in this line. After all, the text doesn't speak of
lords but of the ancients. Maybe {tIQwI'}, {tIQwI'pu'} or {joHpu' tIQ} would do the job. 
>SepDaj che'laHpa', tuqDaj DevnIStaH.
Hmm, {-nIStaH} indicates that they continued to need or continuously needed to lead their
houses. The text doesn't say that they *needed* to do anything. It states what they 
actually did (regulated their families, cultivated their persons, etc.) Using {-nIS} 
here and in other lines introduces modality which is absent in the original.
BTW, how I wish we had an adverbial meaning "first"!
>tuqDaj DevlaHpa', ghobDaj QorghnIStaH.
I'm not convinced that {ghob} is the right word to use here but I can't think of 
anything better. Maybe I'd just use a reflexive {-egh} on the verb. Is {Qorgh} 
"take care of" the best verb, though? The Chinese ZHENG has the sense of to "rectify, 
correct, set right." Surely we could do better than {Qorgh}.

>ghobDaj QorghlaHpa', tIqDaj qeqnIStaH.
Instead of {qeq} I would consider {Dub} "improve", {lughmoH} "correct" or even 
{lIS} "adjust". Why not use one of these words here, and another one in the line above?
>tIqDaj qeqlaHpa', yabDaq vItnIStaH.
We do have the word {'Il}, meaning "be sincere". Why not use it?
>yabDaq vItlaHpa', vaj reH ghojchu'taH.
Note that each line contains a verb and an object. Why lose the parallelism, 
if it could so easily be retained if we use the noun {Sov} "knowledge". 
It could be followed by {ghurchu'} "perfectly/completely increase" or {Sachchu'} 
"perfectly/completely expand," though arguably {SachmoHchu'} would actually be called for.
>ghojchu'meH joHvam, Dochmey HaD 'ej wam.
>Dochmey jonta'mo', vaj ghojchu'taH joH.
{HaD} seems fine. Another option could be {nuD} "examine". I'm not sure if I like 
{wam} or {jon}. To me investigating things involves examining or studying them, 
not hunting or capturing them.
Another point: in this line (and the last one below) you used {-taH} ({ghojchu'taH},{SachtaH}), 
in the intervening lines you used {-laH} ({qeqlaH}, {QorghlaH}, {DevlaH} and {che'laH}).
I see no reason why the basic structure of these lines should not be the same.
>'ej ghIq ghojta'mo', yabDaq vItlaH joH.
>yabDaq vItta'mo', tIqDaj qeqlaH joH.
>tIqDaj qeqta'mo', ghobDaj QorghlaH joH.
>ghobDaj Qorghta'mo', tuqDaj DevlaH joH.
>tuqDaj Devta'mo', SepDaj che'laH joH.
>SepDaj che'chu'mo', vaj batlh SachtaH wo'.
>yajnIS Hoch, voDleHma' rewbe'mey je:
I think you were right in translating TIAN ZI as {voDleH}, rather than {chal puqloD}! 
>mIw'a' pabtaH qo', ghob'a' Qorghlu'mo'.
I feel quite honored to see the word {mIw'a'}, which I used in my translation of the
Tao Te Ching. It is also interesting to see that you've coined your own neologism {ghob'a'}.
Still, using these two words here will result in a line that departs quite a lot from 
the original text. This may be exactly what you want to do. However, it might wise 
to rephrase the line and bring it closer to the original text. At the very least, 
I'd suggest using the same words you used when talking about cultivating one's person. 
You didn' use {ghob'a'} there, so maybe there is no need to suddenly use it here.
toH: batlh bImugh. 'ay' Damughta'bogh vItIv.  


The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout
the world, first ordered well their own States.
Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families.
Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.
Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts.
Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in
their thoughts.
Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the
utmost of their knowledge.

Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.
Things being investigated, knowledge became complete.
Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere.
Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified.
Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated.
Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated.
Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed.
Their States being rightly governed, the entire world was at peace.
>From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must
consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides.
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