(Translation) 2019 童蒙先習

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Original Script

此五品者, 天敍之典而人理之所固有者. 人之行不外乎五者, 而唯孝爲百行之源. 是以孝子之事親也, 鷄初鳴, 咸盥漱, 適父母之所, 下氣怡聲, 問衣燠寒, 問何食飮, 冬溫而夏凊, 昏定而晨省, 出必告, 反必面, 不遠遊, 遊必有方, 不敢有其身, 不敢私其財.

父母愛之喜而不忘, 惡之懼而無怨. 有過諫而不逆, 三諫而不聽, 則號泣而隨之, 怒而撻之流血, 不敢疾怨. 居則致其敬, 養則致其樂, 病則致其憂, 喪則致其哀, 祭則致其嚴. 若夫人子之不孝也, 不愛其親而愛他人, 不敬其親而敬他人. 惰其四肢, 不顧父母之養, 博奕好飮酒, 不顧父母之養, 好貨財私妻子, 不顧父母之養, 從耳目之好, 以爲父母戮, 好勇鬪狠, 以危父母

噫! 欲觀其人行之善不善, 必先觀其人之孝不孝. 可不愼哉! 可不懼哉! 苟能孝於其親, 則推之於君臣也, 夫婦也, 長幼也, 朋友也, 何往而不可哉! 然則孝之於人大矣, 而亦非高遠難行之事也…


Student Translation : Canan


That which are the five relationships,


that is a rule unfolded by the heaven and it inherits the logic of people.

人之行不外乎五者, 而唯孝爲百行之源.

The behavior of people do not go out of these 5 but only the filial piety is the root of all behaviors.

是以孝子之事親也, 鷄初鳴, 咸盥漱,

Because of this, when the filial son is to serve his parents, when the first rooster cries, he gets washed and brushes his teeth.

適父母之所, 下氣怡聲,

Goes to the place where Father and Mother is, lowers his Qi [gets calm] and [with] a gentle voice

問衣燠寒, 問何食飮, 冬溫而夏凊,

asks if their clothes are warm or cold, asks what they eat and drink, in winter makes it warm [for them] and in summer cool.

昏定而晨省, 出必告, 反必面, 不遠遊, 遊必有方

in the evening makes their bed and in dawn looks after them. If he needs to go out, he informs them. If he comes back, he sees them. He does not go far to roam around [have fun]. If he needs to roam around, he has a certain place.

不敢有其身, 不敢私其財.

He does not dare to [think] that his body belongs to himself, he does not dare being selfish with his wealth.

父母愛之喜而不忘, 惡之懼而無怨.

When the parents love him he is happy and does not forget it. When the parents hate him he is afraid and does not blame them.

有過諫而不逆,三諫而不聽, 則號泣而隨之

When the parents are doing something wrong, he remonstrate three times and if they do not listen, then he will wheep and sob and will follow them

怒而撻之流血, 不敢疾怨.

If the parents are angry and beat him until there flows blood, he does not dare to hate or blame them.

居則致其敬, 養則致其樂,

When they reside him, he needs to respect them, when they raise him he needs to be happy

病則致其憂,喪則致其哀, 祭則致其嚴.

When they are sick, he completes his worry about them. When there is a funeral, he completes his grief, when there are memorial rites [for the parents], he completes the solemness.

  • Discussion points

(YO) Some translation-related points:
-此五品者天敍之典而人理之所固有者: These five items are those which are the permanent rules the heaven professed and (those which) the human principles inherently retain
-孝子之事親: a filial son’s serving his parents
-不遠遊, 遊必有方: he doesn’t travel far, and if he does he (tells them) where he is going.
-無怨: does not hold grudge
-居則致其敬, 養則致其樂,: In living [with them], he completes his respect [for them]; in nurturing [them], he completes their happiness.

Student Translation : Ethan

若夫人子之不孝也, 不愛其親而愛他人, 不敬其親而敬他人.

약부인자지불효야, 불애기친이애타인, 불경기친이경타인.

When it comes to sons who are not filial, they don’t love their own parents and love others; they don’t respect their own parents and respect others.[1]

惰其四肢, 不顧父母之養, 博奕好飮酒, 不顧父母之養,

타기사지, 불고부모지양, 박혁호음주, 불고부모지양,

His four limbs grow lazy in neglect of the nourishment of his parents; he only plays chess and Go, he favors drinking in neglect of the nourishment of his parents.

好貨財私妻子, 不顧父母之養, 從耳目之好,

호화재, 사처자. 불고부모지양, 종이목지호,

He is fond only of wealth and privatizing/ [selfishly] favoring wife and child in neglect of the nourishment of his parents, only following the pleasures of his ears and eyes.

以爲父母戮, 好勇鬪狠, 以危父母

이위부모륙, 호용투한, 이위부모

by doing so he’s the disgrace of his parents, fond only of being brave and quarreling, he endangers the parents.

噫! 欲觀其人行之善不善, 必先觀其人之孝不孝.

아! 욕관기인행지선불선, 필선관기인지효불효.

Ah! If one wishes to observe whether or not a person’s conduct is good, one must first observe whether or not that person is pious.

可不愼哉! 可不懼哉!

가불신재! 가불구재!

Can he not be but careful? Can he be but not fearful?

苟能孝於其親, 則推之於君臣也, 夫婦也,

구능효어기친, 즉추지어군신야, 부부야

If he indeed is filial, then he may extend such conduct into other relationships, of leader and subject, husband and wife,

長幼也, 朋友也, 何往而不可哉!

장유야, 붕우야, 하왕이불가재!

Elder and junior and between friends––wherever he goes with such conduct, can he not but adapt?

然則孝之於人大矣, 而亦非高遠難行之事也…

연즉효지어인대의, 이역비고원난행지사야.

This being the case, to human beings piety has great significance and is it not too lofty and distant, nor too difficult to be put into action.

  • Discussion points

A couple of translation points:
-人子之不孝: a son’s being unfilial = a son’s unfilial actions
-不顧父母之養: without looking after his parents nourishments

-苟能孝於其親: Should he indeed be capable of being filial to his parents
  1. This references one of the primary criticisms made by Mencius against Yi Zhi (夷之) and his defense of the Mohist philosophy of love without distinction (兼愛).