2018 學語集 41 - 45

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Original Script

::: 學語集 :::

41. 牡丹

東風吹牧丹盛開花之富貴者無雙第一國香故曰花中王
  • N 之 A 者

42. 禽獸

飛者謂之禽走者謂之獸羽族毛族其類各有三百
  • N1 謂之 N2: N1 is called N2
  • 各: each

43. 牛

角者牛也農人牧之以耕田無牛何以爲農
  • VP1 以 VP2: VP2 by (doing) VP1
  • 何以 V: how (or with what) to V

44. 馬

馬之性善走致遠莫如馬故伯樂相之以取其良
  • 莫如 N: there is nothing/none like N

45. 狗

狗之爲物畜于人家守門備盜見人則狺狺
  • onomatopoeia


Translation

Sentence 41 : Petra Sváková


牡丹: 東風吹牧丹盛開花之富貴者無雙第一國香故曰花中王

Peonies: The east wind blows, the peonies blossom flourishingly. Out of flowers they are rich and precious, [and] peerlessly has the best fragrance in the state, therefore they are called "the king among flowers".

Sentence 42 : Petra Sváková


禽獸: 飛者謂之禽走者謂之獸羽族毛族其類各有三百

Birds and beasts: Those that fly are called birds, those that run are called beasts. The feather tribes and the furred tribes, their kinds each have three hundred [in number].

Sentence 43 : Petra Sváková


牛: 者牛也農人牧之以耕田無牛何以爲農

Oxen: Those with horns are oxen, by herding them farmers plough [their] fields, [if] you do not have an ox how could you farm.

Sentence 44 : Petra Sváková


馬: 馬之性善走致遠莫如馬故伯樂相之以取其良

Horses: Horses are good at running by nature. In reaching far [distances], there is nothing like horses, therefore Paek Nak (ch. Bo Le)1 read their faces [and] by [doing] that he obtained the good ones.

Sentence 45 : Petra Sváková


狗: 狗之爲物畜于人家守門備盜見人則狺狺

Dogs: Dogs as beings [are] raised in people's houses. [They] guard doors and prepare [for] thieves, [when] looking at people, then [they] bark "ǔn ǔn".2


1 Bo Le (680 - 610 BC) was a famous trainer of horses.

2 狺狺 - onomatopoeia for dog's barking.


  • Discussion Questions:

+[Julian] I really like how you use "read" to give the sense of 相 as "to thoroughly examine"—it seems both appropriately technical and just distant enough from a direct English translation to be poetic. I'm still unsure though whether he was obtaining the good ones (out of many horses) by reading their faces or obtaining the good (qualities) out of individual horses. I wonder if this would be clarified by reading more about Bo Le?