(2017Translation) 孟母三遷

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Original Script

鄒孟軻母,號孟母。其舍近墓。孟子之少時,嬉遊爲墓間之事。孟母曰:「此非吾所以居處子。」乃去,舍市旁。其嬉遊爲賈人炫賣之事。孟母又曰:「此非吾所以處吾子也。」復徙居學宮之旁。其嬉遊乃設俎豆,揖讓進退。孟母曰:「可以處居子矣。」遂居。及孟子長,學六藝,卒成大儒之名。君子謂孟母善以漸化。《列女傳. 母儀》


Translation

Student 1 : Sanghoon Na


The mother of Meng Ke(Mencius) of Zou was called Mother Meng. Her house was near tombs. When Mencius was little, he enjoyed playing and doing the [funeral] work among the tombs. Mother Meng said, "This is not the place where I dwell and house my son," and immediately went to [reside in] a house next to the market. Mencius enjoyed playing as a merchant by displaying things to sell. Mother Meng [once] again said, "This is not the place where I house my son,” and again moved to dwell next to a school. He, then, enjoyed arranging the sacrificial vessels and bowing, yielding, advancing, and retiring. Mother Meng said, “[This is] Suitable for dwelling and housing my son,” and accordingly settled down there. When Mencius grew up, he learned the six classical arts[1] and in the end achieved fame as a great scholar. The gentleman said, "Mother Meng was good at gradual edification."

Student 2 : Younès M'Ghari


The mother of Mengke1 of Zou2 was called 'Meng's mother'. Her house was near tombs. When Menzi3 was little, he liked to play out and act up the [funeral] matters among the tombs. Meng’s mother said: “This is not the place to make my son live at.” Therefore they left and dwelled next to a market. He liked to play out and act up the merchant advertizing. Meng’s mother said: “This is not the place to make my son live at.” They moved again to dwell next to a school. He then liked to play out, act up displaying the ritual vessels, bowing, yielding, advancing and retreating. Meng’s mother said: “Now I can make my son live [here].” Thus they lived there. Once Mengzi had grown older and learnt the Six Arts4, he finally became a great ritual scholar. The men of virtue say that Meng's mother was good at transformation by the [environment] changing.

1: Mengke (Chinese: 孟軻), the name of the Chinese philosopher Mencius (孟子, Mengzi)

2: Zou (鄒), a vassal state during the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE) in the southeast of contemporary Shandong Province

3: Mengzi (孟子), that is Mencius

4: The Six Arts (六藝) come from the ancient Chinese culture and were later integrated in the confucian vision of a perfect gentleman: the rites (禮), music (樂), archery (射), charioteering (御), calligraphy (書) and mathematics (數)

Student 3 : Petra Sváková


Mother of Mencius (Ch. Meng Ke) of the state of Zhou {%%Zou%%} was called Meng's mother. Her house was near graves. When Mencius was little, he enjoyed playing [around] and doing [funeral] matters among the graves. Meng's mother said: "This is not the place [where I want to] make my son live at." Therefore they left and [went to] live next to a market. He enjoyed playing around and doing matters of the merchants [when] they were advertising their products {%% laying out goods to sell%%}. Meng's mother said again: "This is not the place [where I want to] make my son live at." Again, they moved to live next to a school. He enjoyed playing around [with] the ritual utensils, bowing, yielding, advancing and retiring. Meng's mother said: "Now, I can make my son live here." and accordingly [they] stayed [there]. When Mencius grew up, he learned the Six Arts1 and finally completed the name of the great scholar. The virtuous men said [that] Meng's mother was good at the gradual transformation.

Corrected text:

Mother of Mencius (Ch. Meng Ke) of the state of Zou was called Meng's mother. Her house was near graves. When Mencius was little, he enjoyed playing [around] and doing [funeral] matters among the graves. Meng's mother said: "This is not the place [where I want to] make my son live at." Therefore they left and [went to] live next to a market. He enjoyed playing around and doing matters of the merchants [when] they were laying out goods to sell. Meng's mother said again: "This is not the place [where I want to] make my son live at." Again, they moved to live next to a school. He enjoyed playing around [with] the ritual utensils, bowing, yielding, advancing and retiring. Meng's mother said: "Now, I can make my son live here." and accordingly [they] stayed [there]. When Mencius grew up, he learned the Six Arts1 and finally completed the name of the great scholar. The virtuous men said [that] Meng's mother was good at the gradual transformation.


1 The Six Arts (六藝) formed basis of education and it consisted of the arts of the Rites (體), the Music (樂), the Archery (射), the Charioteering (御), the Calligraphy (書) and the Mathematics (數).

Student 4 : (Write your name)


In the state of Zou,1 Meng Ke's2 mother was called Meng's Mother. Her home was close to a graveyard. In Mengzi's youth, [he] happily played [by] acting [out] graveyards' undertakings.

Meng's Mother said, "This is not the place I live in to raise a son."

[They] then went to live near a market. [Mengzi] happily played [by] acting [out] markets' dealings {^where merchants were laying out goods to sell^}.

Meng's Mother again said, "This is not the place I live in to raise my son."

Again [they] moved to live in the vicinity of a school. [Mengzi] happily played then at laying out ritual chopping blocks and ritual stemmed vessels, and bowing with hands clasped, raising hands with a tranquil heart, and advancing and retreating.

Meng's Mother said, "[Here I] can raise and live [with] a son."

[They] continued to live [there, and] when Mengzi grew up, [he] learned the Six Arts,3 [and] in the end [became] a great ritual scholar of renown.

Gentlemen called [this] Meng's Mother using goodness to gradually transform.

1In present-day Shandong.

2 Given name of the philosopher Mengzi, also known as Mencius (4th century BCE).

3The Six Arts are derived from the skills that nobles of the ancient Zhou dynasty learned: ritual, music, archery, charioteering, writing, and arithmetic, but after the Han dynasty (206–220 CE), became mastering a set of texts that became canonical that includes the Book of Changes (易經), the Book of Poetry (詩經), Book of Documents (書經, also called 尚書), Book of Music [or Odes] (樂), the Spring and Autumn Annals (春秋), and various works on ritual (禮). From Stephen W. Durrant, The Cloudy Mirror: Tension and Conflict in the Writings of Sima Qian (New York: SUNY Press, 1995), 47-48.

Student 5 : (Jae Yong Chang)


Mother {^of^} Meng Ke from Zou state was called Mencius’s mother. Her house was near a cemetery. When Mencius was young, he liked to play out for the matters of grave. Mother Meng said, "This was not my place to live and raise my son."

So, she left [there] and moved near a market. He liked to play out for the matter of merchants’ advertisement {^where they were displaying goods to sell^}. Mother Meng again said, "This was not my place to live and raise my son."

Again, she moved near a school. He liked to play out for the matter of arranging {^ritual^} plates and bowls, {^bowing and ceding and^}moving forward and backward. The mother Meng said, “This was a place to live.”

Therefore, she settled there. When Mencius grew up, he learned the Six Arts and in the end, he became a well-known Confucian scholar. The gentleman said, "Mother Meng was good at gradual transformation."

Student 6 : (Goeun Lee)


鄒孟軻母,號孟母。

Meng Ke's mother, [a woman from] Zou state {%%The mother of Meng Ke of Zou state%%}, was called Meng's mother.

其舍近墓。孟子之少時,嬉遊爲墓間之事。孟母曰:「此非吾所以居處子。」

Her house was near a cemetery. When Mencius was young, he would play a roll imitating {%%imitating%%} the matters between tombs. Meng's mother said, "This is not my place to live and raise my son."

乃去,舍市旁。其嬉遊爲賈人炫賣之事。孟母又曰:「此非吾所以處吾子也。」

Thus they moved to a house near a market. Mencius would play a roll imitating {%%imitating%%} merchants promoting their sales. Meng's mother again said, "This is not my place to raise my son."

復徙居學宮之旁。其嬉遊乃設俎豆,揖讓進退。孟母曰:「可以處居子矣。」遂居。

Again, they moved to a house near a school. Then Mencius played with ritual utensils, [imitating ritualistic gestures such as] bowing, conceding, moving forward and backward. Meng's mother said, "[Now I] can live and raise my son here."

及孟子長,學六藝 1),卒成大儒之名。君子謂孟母善以漸化。

As Mencius grew up, he learned the Six Arts and finally gained fame as a great scholar. Noblemen say that Meng's mother steadily transformed [her son] with good.

《列女傳. 母儀》 <<Lienü zhuan>>

1) The classical six arts (禮,樂,射,御,書,數 propriety, music, archery, riding, writing, arithmetic).



Student 7 : (Alexandre Le Marchand)


The mother of Mongke {%%Meng Ke%%}from the state of Zou was also known by the designation of "Meng's mother". They used to live near graves, so Mencius during his youth went playing there and imitate funeral. So his mother said: "this is not the place I let my son live" so they immediately moved near a market. There Mencius used to play and imitate merchants promoting and selling things. So his mother said one more time: "this is not the place I let my son live" and then once again they moved to a house near a school. There Mencius used to play laying out ritual utensil while he bows, ceding {%%concedes%%} and going forward and retreating. He's mother said: "It is become {%%is %%} the place I allow my son to live". They continue living there and when Mencius reaches the adult age {^and^} he studied the Six Arts and suddenly {%%eventually%%} became famous expert of the rituals. Lords {%%Gentlemen%%}used to say Mencius' mother was good in term of gradually mutation {%%gradual education%%}.

Student 8 : Bryan Sauvadet


鄒孟軻母,號孟母。

The Mother of Meng Ke (Mencius) came from the state of Zhou. She was designated by ‘the mother of Meng”.


其舍近墓。

Their house was situated near a tomb.


孟子之少時,嬉遊爲墓間之事。

When Mencius was young, he liked {^to^} play out matters of funerals.


孟母曰:「此非吾所以居處子。」

The mother of Meng said: this is not a place where I make my son live.


乃去,舍市旁。

So they left to live next to the market.


其嬉遊爲賈人炫賣之事。

He liked to play out imitating merchant and advertiser {%%who laid out goods to sell%%}.


孟母又曰:「此非吾所以處吾子也。」

The mother of Meng said: this is not the way {%%place%%} where I make my son live.


復徙居學宮之旁。

So they moved to live next to a school building.


其嬉遊乃設俎豆,揖讓進退。

He likes to play out matters of rituals acting make offerings {^with ritual boards and utensils, as well as bowing, conceding, advancing and retiring^}.


孟母曰:「可以處居子矣。」

The mother of Meng said: I can make my son live here.


遂居。

According to me {%%Accordingly%%}, they lived there.


及孟子長,學六藝[2],卒成大儒之名。

Mengzi grew up and he studied the six arts. And finally, he {^eventually^} became an important name of the Ritualism school.


君子謂孟母善以漸化。

The gentlemen said that mother of Meng was gradually [immersing] her son in the proper ways.

Student 9 : HeeJin Lee


[In] the kingdom of Zou, Meng Ke['s] mother, [she was] called Mother Meng. Her house [was] near graves[.] When Mengzi/Mencius [was] young, [he] joyfully played [and] became concerned with matters related [to] graves. Mother Meng said: "This [is] not the place where I [can] reside [and raise my] son." So [she] left[,] [for] a house next to the market. He (Mencius) joyfully played becoming merchants [concerned with] affairs of ostentatious trade. Mother Meng again said: "This [is] not the place where I [can] live [and raise] my son." Again [she] moved [her] residence next to a study hall. He joyfully played therefore with preparing ritual utencils [and] respectfully advancing [and] retreating[.] Mother Meng said: "[I] can reside [here and raise my] son." And so [they] stayed. And [when] Mencius grew up, [he] studied the Six Arts, [and] in the end became a great scholar of fame. The gentlemen call Mother Meng [someone who is] good at gradual transformation.

Student 10 : Jelena Gledić


The mother of Meng Ke[3] from [the state of] Zou, also called Meng’s mother[4], was residing near a gravesite. When Mencius was small, he liked to play out activities that are performed among the graves. Meng’s mother said: “This is not a place I make a son live.” So, they left and settled next to a market. He [then] liked to play out the boasting and peddling activities of merchants. Meng’s mother again said: “This is not a place for my son.” They again moved to live next to a school. He then liked to play arranging ritual artifacts and bowing when moving forward or backing away[5]. Meng’s mother said: “[This is] a place a son can live.” And so, they stayed. When Mencius grew up, he learned the six arts[6] and eventually became a great name of Confucianism[7]. Gentlemen say that Meng’s mother was good at gradual transformation[8].

Student 11 : (Write your name)


The Mother of Meng Ke (Mencius) of Zou was known as Meng Hao {00 Hao 號 here means "was called" and the line reads "was called Mengmu [Mother Meng]. 00}. Their house was nearby grave. When Meng was littile, he enjoyed roaming and playing around ritual things of grave. Mother Meng said: “this is not where I raise my son to live”. They left and reside close by market. He enjoyed playing and roaming around market and act like as merchant {^who laid out their goods to sell^}. Mother Meng again said: “this is not where I raise my son live”. Again they shifted to live close by school. He enjoyed playing with ritual zu and dou utensils and also did progress in ritual act{^such as bowing, conceding, advancing, and retiring^}. Mother Meng said “Now I can raise my son here”. Finally, they lived there. He grew up and learned Six Arts . In the end he became a great ritual scholar. The gentlemen said that mother Meng was good at gradual transformation.

Student 12 : (Write your name)


The mother of Meng Ke from Zou was called the Mother of Mencius. Their home was nearby a grave. When Mencius was young, he liked playing among the graves while imitating ‘the building of graves and the burying of the dead’ (墓間之事). His mother said, “This is not the residential area where I should live.” Then soon, they left and moved to a house near a market. He liked playing at selling goods like a merchant. His mother again said, “This is not the place where I should live with my son.” Again, she moved to a dwelling near a school. He liked playing with ritual utensils and performed proper rituals when he came in and went out. The mother said, “Now I can live here with my son.” Accordingly, as he got grown up, he learned the classical six arts (禮,樂,射,御,書,數 propriety, music, archery, riding, writing, and arithmetic) and finally became a big name in Confucianism. Gentlemen said that the mother was good and (with her goodness) she gradually transformed (her son).

Student 13 : (Write your name)


  1. [1] 六藝: the classical six arts (禮,樂,射,御,書,數 propriety, music, archery, riding, writing, arithmetic).
  2. 六藝 : The Six Arts formed the basis of education in ancient Sinized cultures: Rites (禮) Music (樂) Archery (射) Charioteering (御) Calligraphy (書) Mathematics (數) Men who excelled in these six arts were thought to have reached the state of perfection, a perfect gentleman.
  3. 孟軻, birth name of the famous Chinese Confucian philosopher Mencius.
  4. 孟母, Meng Mu, literally meaning “the mother of Meng”.
  5. Behavior characteristic for educated people.
  6. 六藝, skills that were the basis of education in ancient China: rites, music, archery, chariot riding, calligraphy and mathematics.
  7. 儒, sometimes translated as Ruism.
  8. 漸化, this concept embodies the Confucian idea that development consists of gradual progress and that it is significant that each step in development (in this case, of a person) is in line with the desired goal.