(2017Translation) 塞翁失馬

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Original Script

近塞上之人有善術者,馬無故亡而入胡。人皆吊之。其父曰:「此何遽不為福乎?」居數月,其馬將胡駿馬而歸。人皆賀之。其父曰:「此何遽不能為禍乎?」家富良馬,其子好騎,墮而折其髀。人皆吊之。其父曰:「此何遽不為福乎?」居一年,胡人大入塞,丁壯者引弦而戰,近塞之人,死者十九,此獨以跛之故,父子相保。故福之為禍,禍之為福,化不可極,深不可測也。


Translation

Student 1 : Sanghoon Na


Among the people [living] near the border land, there was a man who was good at prognostication. A horse without any reason ran away and entered the land of northern tribes.[1] People all consoled him. The father said, "Why could this not become a blessing?" After several months, his horse leading fine horses of the northern tribes came back. People all congratulated him. The father said, "Why could this not become a misfortune?" The house was rich with fine horses. His son liked horse riding, but fell off and broke his thigh bone. People all consoled him. The father said, "Why could this not become a blessing?" After a year, the northern tribes in huge numbers invaded the border land. Able-bodied men drew bow strings and fought. Of those men near the border land, nine out of ten were killed. This [family] alone because of [his son's] being crippled preserved both father and son. Consequently, a blessing becomes a misfortune and a misfortune becomes a blessing. The change cannot reach the limit and its depth cannot be fathomed.

Student 2 : Younès M'Ghari


Among the people living near the border, there was a person who was good at predictings. A horse was lost and had entered foreign1 territories for no reason. People were all lamented about it. The father said: “How would this not be a fortune?” After several months, that horse brought fine horses of the foreign land and came back. People were all celebrating it. The father said: “How would this not be a calamity?” The family was rich of good horses and the son liked horse riding. He fell and broke his thighbone. People were all lamenting about it. The Father said: “How would this not be a fortune?” After a year, foreigners entered the border in great number. Those who were strong and healthy had to pull out their bows and fight. [Among the] People who were near the border, those who had died were 9 out of 10. Them only, due to that fracture, the father and the son took care of each other. In this reason, the fortune becoming a calamity, the calamity becoming a fortune: the transformation cannot end and the depth cannot be measured.

1: 胡 (ho), I prefered using the term 'foreign' to the term ‘barbarian’ which is too pejoratively connoted

Student 3 : Petra Sváková


Among people [living] near the border, there was a man who was good at predicting. [His] horse got lost without a reason and entered a foreign land. All people lamented [over it], and the father said: "How would this not become a fortune?" After several months, the horse brought [several] fine foreign horses and came back. All people congratulated [on it], and the father said: "How could this not become a misfortune?" The family was rich with fine horses. [The man's] son liked horse riding but [one day] he fell [off the horse] and broke his thigh bone. All people lamented [over it], and the father said: "How would this not become a fortune?" After a year, foreigners entered the border in a great number. Those who were strong and healthy drew [their] bows and fought. Among the people who were near the border, nine [out of] ten had died. It is only thanks to [the son's] fracture, [that] the father and the son were both saved. Therefore, fortune's becoming misfortune [and] misfortune's becoming fortune, the transformation cannot [come to] an end and the depth cannot be measured.

Student 4 : (Write your name)


Among the people near the border there was one who was good at prediction.1 [His] horse got lost for no reason and went [into] foreign territory, [and] the people all lamented [at] it. The father said, "How can this not be [good] fortune?"

Some months passed. The horse brought [several] fine foreign horses and returned, [and] the people all congratulated [this]. The father said, "How can this not be a misfortune?"

His son loved to ride, fell [off a horse] and broke his thighbone, [and] people all lamented [at] it. His father said, "How can this not be [good] fortune?"

A year passed. Foreigners came [over] the border, able-bodied men drew [their] bows and fought. [Of] the people near the border, the dead [numbered] nine [out of] ten. Only these [two], because of [the son's] lameness, were safeguarded.

Therefore, fortune's becoming misfortune [and] misfortune's becoming fortune changes and cannot end, [and its] profundity cannot be fathomed.

1 術 (K: sul; C: shu) here suggests a kind of arcane art for knowing what the future might bring.

Student 5 : (Jae Yong Chang)


Among people who live near the border, there was a man who had a good magic skill. A horse got lost without reason and entered into the lands of the barbarian. Everyone lamented over it. The man said, "how can it not be fortune?” After several months, the horse took the barbarian’s fine horses and came back. Everyone congratulated on that. The man said, “how can it not be disaster?” His house was rich with fine horses. The son liked rising a horse. He fell off a horse and broken his leg. Everyone lamented over it. The man said, "how can it not be fortune?” A year later, the barbarian entered the border with a great numbers. A strong men lifted weapons and went to battle. Of men who lived near the border, nine of ten was dead. Only the son [was alive] because of his fraction. The father and the son saved each other. Therefore, fortune might turn into disaster and disaster might turn into fortune. Change can not come to end, depth can not be measured.

Student 6 : Goeun Lee

[Among] the people who live near border, there was a man who were good at perceptive art. His horse somehow was lost and went over the border of Ho. People all lamented over that. The father said,“How would this [incident] not become a fortune?”After several months, the horse returned with fine horses from the foreign land. The father said,“How could this not become a calamity?”The family having a lot of good horses, the son enjoyed horse riding. He fell down and broke his thigh bone. All the people lamented but the father said, "How would it not become a fortune?" After a year, people of Ho entered the border in great number. Those who were healthy enough to serve in the military took weapons and participated in the battle. People who lived near the border, nine out of ten, died. Only this son, because of his fracture, with his father were both saved. Therefore, a fortune becomes a calamity, and vice versa. Such change cannot come to an end; its depth is too deep to be measured.



Student 7 : (Alexandre Le Marchand)


Among people who live near the border, a man was talented {at techniques of the art of prognostics}. For no reason the horses lost their way and enter into barbarian territory. The people lament about that, but the father said: “How it would not become a fortune?” A several mouth pass, the horses that left took fine foreign horses and came back with it. Everyone congratulate them, but the father said: “How can it not be a calamity?” The house was rich of fine horses and the man’s son liked riding horses but he fell and broke his bones. The father said: “how it cannot be fortune?” Everyone lament it but a year after foreigners enter passing the border in great numbers. People strong enough to serve took weapon and went to battle. Among people near the border nine out of ten died, only the one with reason of fracture remains. Father and son protect each other. Therefore fortune turn to disaster and disaster turn to fortune, the mutation cannot come to its end and its depth cannot be measured.

Student 8 : Bryan Sauvadet


近塞上之人有善術者,

Among those people nearby border, there is a man, who is good on skill,


馬無故亡而入胡。

A horse, without reasons, got lost and enters in a foreign land.


人皆吊之。

People lamented about it.


其父曰:

The father said:


「此何遽不為福乎?」

This how could not become bless?


居數月,其馬將胡駿馬而歸。

After several months, the horses that left took fine foreign horses and came back with it.


人皆賀之。

Everybody congratulated him.


其父曰:

The father said:


「此何遽不能為禍乎?」

This how could not become a disaster?


家富良馬,其子好騎,墮而折其髀。

The house was rich of 5 horses, the son who like horse riding, fell and broke his bones.


人皆吊之。

Everybody congratulated him.


其父曰:

The father said:


「此何遽不為福乎?」

This how could not become a bless?


居一年,胡人大入塞,,

One year after, foreigners enter passing the border in great numbers.


丁壯者引弦而戰,

People strong enough to serve took weapon and went to battle.


近塞之人,

Among people who are near the border


死者十九

Nine or ten died,


此獨以跛之故,

Only, because of his fracture,


父子相保。

The son and the father, save each other,


故福之為禍,

Therefore fortune turns to disaster


禍之為福,

Disaster turns to fortune,


化不可極,

The mutation cannot come to its end


深不可測也。

It is depth cannot be measured.

Student 9 : HeeJin Lee


Recently [among] the people on the border, [there] was one who [was] good [at] portending [.] A horse for no reason [got] lost and entered foreign lands [beyond the border]. People all lamented this. [The] father (ref. to the one in the first sentence) said: "How [can] this not become a fortune?" A few months passed, this horse [together with a] fine foreign horse returned. People all celebrated this. [The] father said: "He can this not become a disaster?" The family [came] to have many fine horses, his son loved riding [,] [but he] fell and broke his thigh bone. People all lamented this. [The] fther said: "How [can] this not become a fortune?" A year passed, foreigners [in] great [numbers] entered the border, those who were strong and healthy [had to] draw [their] bow strings and fight, [and] people close to the border, those who died [were] nine out of ten, he (ref. to the son) alone by the reason of the fracture, the father [and] son protected each other. Therefore fortune becoming disaster, disaster becoming fortune, the transformation cannot come to an end, [and] its depth cannot be measured.

Student 10 : Jelena Gledić


Among the people near the border, there was one who was good at intuiting. A horse got lost by accident and entered Hu[2] territory. People lamented over this, and the father said: “How will this not become a blessing?” Several months passed, and the horse returned with a noble steed from Hu. People cheered over this, and the father said: “How will this not become a curse?” The household was rich with fine horses and the son liked riding, [but] he fell and broke his thigh. People lamented over this, and the father said: “How will this not become a blessing?” A year passed, and the Hu people vastly penetrated the border. Healthy and strong men drew their bows and battled. Among the borderland people, nine out of ten died. It is only because of the disability that the father and son were both saved. Thus, what is a blessing becomes a curse, what is a curse becomes a blessing – the transformation has no end, the profoundness cannot be measured.

Student 11 : (Write your name)



Student 12 : (Write your name)


There was a person who was good at Daoist magic in the borderland. His horse got lost without any reason and entered a land of barbarians. People all comforted him. His father said, “Does not this rather become fortune?” After several months of living, the horse returned and brought another fine foreign horse. People all congratulated on that and said: “Is not this rather able to become a disaster?” The house became rich with good horses. His son liked horse-riding, and fell off and broke his thigh. People all comforted the father. The father said: “Does not this rather become fortune?” After a year of living, barbarians in great numbers invaded (entered) the borderland. Healthy male adults were conscribed for a battle. In the people who were in the borderlands, nice out of ten were died. At this, only for the reason of this fracture, the father and son saved each other. Therefore, fortune could become a disaster, a disaster could become fortune. The change cannot come to the end. The depth (of life) cannot be measured.

Student 13 : (Write your name)


  1. [1] 胡: Northern tribes, including Tartars, Mongols, Turkics.
  2. 胡, used to denote peoples that were not considered part of the Chinese empire, the term means foreign, foreigner. It is often translated as Barbarian, as it was sometimes used in the context of highlighting the contrast between the Chinese civilization and foreign, mostly nomadic people.