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Thread: Translations of I Ching

  1. #11
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    Hi Hilary,

    What makes an original translation rank as original? Gia-Fu started with the Chinese Text and his own memory of his childhood Taoist training but the manuscript was rejected by Random House as being too similar to Wilhelm. The differences are quite subtle mostly and small in percentage terms of the word count; though Primal Bliss Fruitful to have Zest isn't at all like Supreme Success Perseverance Furthers.

    Those who don't read ancient Chinese may or may not still be making an original translation of the hexagrams and their experience with them from their divination.

    And those who do read Chinese require careful philological grounding to avoid confusing what they automatically understand or read in their various dictionaries; and what was the meaning over the last three millennia of that particular ideogram in that context.

    Put another way, it is about how long would the list be if limited to those thought to be worthwhile and of course that is totally subjective...

    Frank
    I Ching hexagram meaning from line structure
    and King Wen Sequence Explained: www.stars-n-dice.com/fluxtome.html
    Learn astrology meaning of signs, houses, planets from just the dot-number patterns on the dice cube:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/learnastrology.html
    New Yi Oracle Perspective:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/vaginaliching.html

  2. #12
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    Yes, that would certainly be a good - and subjective - list-shortening method. But I just meant 'translation' literally - translating into English from the original Chinese - like Legge, Rutt, Wilhelm, Lynn, Wu Jing Nuan... . Doesn't mean that other books are not useful, or not making original contributions, only that they're not translations. (Hope it doesn't, anyway, as I can hardly call myself a translator.)

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hilary View Post
    Yes, that would certainly be a good - and subjective - list-shortening method. But I just meant 'translation' literally - translating into English from the original Chinese - like Legge, Rutt, Wilhelm, Lynn, Wu Jing Nuan... . Doesn't mean that other books are not useful, or not making original contributions, only that they're not translations. (Hope it doesn't, anyway, as I can hardly call myself a translator.)
    Hi Hilary,

    The ancient Greeks called translators Traitors since the meaning can change so much from the original through the bias and assumptions of the translators. That an author begins reading the original text is hardly an objectively valid means to judge the quality or usefulness of the result. It is pure cultural prejudice to value words more over the less tangible notion of concepts. Words are never as concrete as some would hope.

    Words are slippery things and especially in Chinese where the dictionary entries for each ideogram mushroom and set off sparklers of possible tangents and dead ends. Charly gives great examples of that in his translation exercises.

    There is also the Great Divide between Chinese and Western attitudes towards concepts and relationships. Chinese is a language and culture based upon relationships. Western languages are based upon hierarchies of independent entities with 'relationship'
    being another independent entity.

    There are sentences such as "Yang and Yin are like Day and Night" that have totally different philosophical implications in English and Chinese though everyone can nod their heads in agreement that the sentence has clear meaning to them. In Chinese Day and Night are clearly both part of the dynamics of the motion of the Sun and rhythms of daily life as a single continuous process. There will always be day and night with a regular process of increasing and then decreasing light and public social activity.

    In English, Day is associated with positive and goodness and clarity while Night is connected to evil and sinister and dangerous first and then it is a separate technical detail that day and night occur together each 24 hours due to the celestial dynamics of orbits and rotation. This can be seen in practical reality by the importance of artificial lighting in modern life so that all 24 hours/day can be all lit up and not dark--the day as 24 hour time period has been saved from the old lapses into darkness. A proper technological city is all the same environment at any hour, it is only individuals and social groups who might choose to change their activities to sleep or get away from work at certain hours.

    Far more important than whether a set of ancient Chinese text strings and dictionaries were used as authority are the questions of which I Ching books deal with the some aspect of the inherent reality of the Yi and which like Legge are just strings of English words associated with some portion of the range of Chinese ideograms with as little contact with any Chinese culture or concepts as possible.

    Frank
    I Ching hexagram meaning from line structure
    and King Wen Sequence Explained: www.stars-n-dice.com/fluxtome.html
    Learn astrology meaning of signs, houses, planets from just the dot-number patterns on the dice cube:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/learnastrology.html
    New Yi Oracle Perspective:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/vaginaliching.html

  4. #14
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    So, like, do your own thing, man
    Translation's too hard!

  5. #15
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    Default Do! Your thing is about expressing your Atman = Braham ...

    Quote Originally Posted by bradford View Post
    So, like, do your own thing, man
    Translation's too hard!
    Brad, brad brad... You got your sources all wrong and twisted.

    Translation is the first step, part of early stages of learning and then you have to spread your wings and fly with the dragons. Working with Gia-fu (Feng) on a Taoist Translation of the I Ching was an essential preparatory step to my later work. Translation from published dictionaries and texts is just too easy a cop-out avoiding real insight and creativity. It ends up being mostly just projecting your own beliefs and limitations upon the revered text, trying to wrap your limitations in a fancy outer wrapper like a cheap cigar. This is why the ancient Greeks called translators: traitors, they betrayed the actual meaning of the text.

    As to The Great Imperative of my generation, you got it all anachronistically wrong. Your sense of it meaning doing whatever you alone approve of is only silly nonsense of those who were frightened by long hairstyles on boys. It was a revolutionary slogan of personal courage and self-expression steeped in deep study and brutal experience. Hosiah William of SCLC put it as: You can't control when you will die, but you can decide which ditch you will make your last stand by the flag of your choosing. We listened to that and chose the 'freak-flag' of our uncut hair in the most hallowed halls of traditional academia.

    And in my case, still graduating in 4 years with my degree as I alone demanded: with honors in Chemistry and Other Religions. Walking barefoot in the Engineering sciences building with hippie beads doing research in ancient cere perdu bronze casting, etc.
    Giving a very well received colloquium to the University too. You have no idea what it is to choose the hard road in academia.

    What we were saying was actually !DO! Your thing. That is accept what it is that is unique to you as an individual and instead of staying in the closet or putting on a gray-flannel suit or obeying parental expectations come out into the sunshine in your own native costume and live out or Do! that thing which is divinely and uniquely YOU!

    That is another example of getting your scholarship all screwed up following official academic sources without personal experience or original understanding.

    If you find translation work hard rather than joyous, you are doing it Wrong. Creative endeavors in any and all fields share the magic and the joy of their creativity. The work details are just puzzles to solve and burdens to carry over the mountains and rivers to bring them home to share them with the Universe.

    Best Wishes and good Magic...

    Frank
    I Ching hexagram meaning from line structure
    and King Wen Sequence Explained: www.stars-n-dice.com/fluxtome.html
    Learn astrology meaning of signs, houses, planets from just the dot-number patterns on the dice cube:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/learnastrology.html
    New Yi Oracle Perspective:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/vaginaliching.html

  6. #16
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    Having a conversation with Frank is like getting athlete's foot
    and it spreads from thread to thread. I need a good fungicide.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradford View Post
    Having a conversation with Frank is like getting athlete's foot
    and it spreads from thread to thread. I need a good fungicide.
    Hi Brad,

    There is a fungus among us?

    Don't think fungicide would help you. It is in your mind not your feet--and has nothing to do with me. It comes from misconstruing the KWS as an English checker board of pairs. When did that expression of the two halves of the Chou Yi emerge? In the classic text it is divided after hexagram 30.

    Frank
    I Ching hexagram meaning from line structure
    and King Wen Sequence Explained: www.stars-n-dice.com/fluxtome.html
    Learn astrology meaning of signs, houses, planets from just the dot-number patterns on the dice cube:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/learnastrology.html
    New Yi Oracle Perspective:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/vaginaliching.html

  8. #18
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    I can't remember who posted this link recently, or where (sorry)
    but this 1997 translation by Jeh-Tween Gong is worth studying
    http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/yijing.htm
    It's an original translation. He moves the grammar around a little too much for my taste, but at least he does it for the sake of being clearer. He rounds off a lot of the culture-specific terms so the reader doesn't have to research what they mean, and so he takes it into a more cosmopolitan, less Zhou Chinese context. Finally, he has found a lot of very good glosses for some of the Chinese characters that I've never seen or thought of. Good one to bookmark.

  9. #19
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    Yes, indeed. He also has some other books, including a Chinese Etymology book that promises a lot and for a price that very few can afford. Pity. At least the Yijing translation is available.

  10. #20
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    Thank you - bookmarking.

    54.3 - "When the bride-to-be seeks, it will be the little sister who is married instead."
    - really? Very different. Seeking rather than waiting/ growing hair, and then a different woman altogether getting married...?

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