Guan Yu new bio

Join the Romance of the Three Kingdoms discussion with our resident Scholars. Topics relating to the novel and history are both welcome. Don't forget to check the Forum Rules before posting.
Kongming’s Archives: Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms Officer Biographies
Three Kingdoms Officer Encyclopedia
Scholars of Shen Zhou Search Tool

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby Guan Yan » Tue May 27, 2008 11:10 am

I shall drop the notes. :D
Yuan shu you dare declare yourself emporor I shall bring the justice of the Han upon your head.
Guan Yan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1859
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:53 am
Location: Central coast

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby Liu Yuante » Tue May 27, 2008 4:01 pm

Guan Yan wrote:That is his character though he did attach a Feather to the letter as a sign of urgencey it gives more info I wrote it differently in a more understandable way.


Lady Wu is correct - 羽書與諸葛亮 - that sentence is extremely literal, and it just says "Yu wrote to Zhuge Liang", there's no feather in there. 羽 refers to Yu - as in Guan Yu, just as 諸葛亮 is not referring to various kinds of bright arrowroot but, rather, is the name Zhuge Liang.

On a more general note, I'm also kind of confused as to what this is a translation of - you list numerous source texts. A translation is a process of rewriting a text - a single text - from one language into another, and is more than just finding the meanings of various characters and stringing them together. I looked over your text and some of it works pretty well, but you say the passages from ZZTJ were translated by de Crespigny, which is making me wonder what work belongs to whom. And some your text just doesn't work, and that isn't meant as a knock - this is coming from someone who took it upon himself to learn Classical Chinese and do translations. I'd say it took a good year before I was producing much of anything worth looking at.

As someone who went through some of these same kinds of issues, I can see a lot of things here - like Guan Yu writing to Zhuge Liang about "the bright knowledge that he protects" - that immediately reads as if something has been mistranslated. Would you mind explaining what methods for doing the translating you are using? Have you had previous experience with Classical Chinese? Are you using - as Lady Wu said - Babelfish (which if you are, don't)? The reason why I ask is because I don't want to condescend, and be all "You need to actually learn the language" if you've had previous study with it, but it just doesn't feel that way reading it.

However, you seem really enthusiastic about this, so I would hate to dissuade you from learning from this and continuing to learn and improve. I would recommend first off, though, that you not be so resistant to critique - help from people like Lady Wu (especially) and Seven At One Stroke was essential to my eventually turning out a translation I could take some pride in. Instead of arguing, consider that maybe people trying to help you out know what tehy are talking about, and that by listening to them you will actually get better.

You need to develop an eye for knowing, if not what a particular passage means, then at least that you don't know what it means or that your translation makes no sense. And this requires a strong command of English grammar as well as Classical Chinese. If, in reading your translation back to yourself, it sounds funny, then you need to fix something, whether a mistranslation or a problem with your construction of the sentence in English.

My recommendation would be to get a good textbook, a good grammar (for Classical Chinese, on both counts), and doing as many exercises and things as you can. It must be said that experience is the best teacher, and a lot of the patterns, stylistics and grammatical goings-on of Classical Chinese will be much more readily apparent as you do more work.

I'd go on, but really most of this info and more is over in the Classical Chinese thread, which I started four years ago as tyro trying to learn this stuff: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9364

Again, I don't want to make it sound like I'm coming down on you - lord knows if I'd posted my first fumblings with the language, I'm sure LW would have advised I go write some original biographies in English, too - but you need to do some more work on this.

Adrian
User avatar
Liu Yuante
绯红王
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 12:20 am
Location: Central Pennsylvania

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby Lady Wu » Tue May 27, 2008 5:22 pm

Guan Yan wrote:That is his character though he did attach a Feather to the letter as a sign of urgencey it gives more info I wrote it differently in a more understandable way.

First, 字 means "style name" here, not "character". Online translators such as Babelfish and most Chinese-English dictionaries deal with Modern Chinese, not the classical language in which the SGZ was written; without attempting to learn Classical Chinese you risk misinterpreting words that mean something different now than they did 1700 years ago.

While Guan Yu might have attached a feather to his letter (though unlikely, since the use of the feather was reserved for military matters primarily), IT DOESN'T SAY THAT IN THE ORIGINAL CHINESE. Therefore, once you include it, your work is no longer a translation but your own version of what happened.

Your enthusiasm is laudable but you need to understand that the term "translation" has a very specific meaning. It means nothing added, nothing subtracted, but simply a literal retelling of a text in one language into another language. It's not a matter of me approving or not approving your work---it's just that what you have here is not a translation, not by any definition of the word. Which was why I recommended you to turn this into an original biography instead (which it is already).
"Whatever you do, don't fall off the bridge! It'll be a pain to try to get back up again." - Private, DW 8
User avatar
Lady Wu
There's no better state than Wu
There's no better state than Wu
 
Posts: 12840
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 2:35 am
Location: Wu-ere else?

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby johnsonwinterberry » Wed May 28, 2008 6:53 am

That is very informative Guan Yan it is more like the original text and i like the way it is written out
if you dont like bodyboarding you wont like me.
johnsonwinterberry
Initiate
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:14 am
Location: central coast

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby Guan Yan » Wed May 28, 2008 6:55 am

I am taking into account your words of advise Lady Wu and adrian but one question what is babelfish?
and what was translated was he attached a feather as a sign of urgency which it wasent it seemed Guan Yu really cared about Zhuge Liangs opinion.

Thank you johnsonwinterberry :D
Yuan shu you dare declare yourself emporor I shall bring the justice of the Han upon your head.
Guan Yan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1859
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:53 am
Location: Central coast

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby Lady Wu » Wed May 28, 2008 7:03 am

Babelfish = an online translator.

Perhaps there are other online translation programs that use Babelfish's engine. And perhaps it's just an uncanny coincidence that, when I plugged the first line of Guan Yu's SGZ bio into Babelfish, I got exactly the same sentence as what you have in your bio.

Either way, it's wrong.
"Whatever you do, don't fall off the bridge! It'll be a pain to try to get back up again." - Private, DW 8
User avatar
Lady Wu
There's no better state than Wu
There's no better state than Wu
 
Posts: 12840
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 2:35 am
Location: Wu-ere else?

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby Guan Yan » Wed May 28, 2008 7:50 am

Is a dictonary wrong that is traditonal chinese? :|
Yuan shu you dare declare yourself emporor I shall bring the justice of the Han upon your head.
Guan Yan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1859
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:53 am
Location: Central coast

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby Mikhail » Wed May 28, 2008 11:33 am

I remember you mentioning in a post that you used Wordlingo.com to translate traditional Chinese to English, but since you deny it and say that you only use a dictionary, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

However, some of your sentencing needs a lot of work. Some of the sentences are phrased awkwardly while some seem to really work well. Also, I can't get over the "feather" parts of the bio. Never once have I heard Guan Yu and "feather" in the same blurb. That isn't to say that its wrong, since I do not know traditional Chinese, but its uncanny.

Just to reiterate what others have said before. You shouldn't have combined the SGZ and ZZTJ since it makes it hard to discern which is which. When you translate, use one source and try not to add anything else to it. Remember, translations are like quotes. You don't change what the person is saying, nor the you try to interpret it for other people (as sometimes bias and knowledge get in the way). With documents like these, its best to translate it without any additions.

But, overall, I commend you for attempting something like this and trying to contribute to the forum.
Soweneul Malhaebwa (Tell me your wish).
User avatar
Mikhail
Great Sage Equaling Heaven
 
Posts: 2627
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:15 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby Guan Yan » Wed May 28, 2008 10:27 pm

Mikhail wrote:I remember you mentioning in a post that you used Wordlingo.com to translate traditional Chinese to English, but since you deny it and say that you only use a dictionary, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt..

I never said I didnt I used both :wink:

Mikhail wrote:However, some of your sentencing needs a lot of work. Some of the sentences are phrased awkwardly while some seem to really work well. Also, I can't get over the "feather" parts of the bio. Never once have I heard Guan Yu and "feather" in the same blurb. That isn't to say that its wrong, since I do not know traditional Chinese, but its uncanny.

It often said Guan Yu was called Feather or The Feather, also like Sun Quan was reffered to as The Power.

Mikhail wrote:Just to reiterate what others have said before. You shouldn't have combined the SGZ and ZZTJ since it makes it hard to discern which is which. When you translate, use one source and try not to add anything else to it. Remember, translations are like quotes. You don't change what the person is saying, nor the you try to interpret it for other people (as sometimes bias and knowledge get in the way). With documents like these, its best to translate it without any additions..


It is very informing though it gives more information but what if I laid it out like this
eg
Sgz:
Zztj:
And then write what is from what source, as in put this infront of each different text. What are your thoughts on that?

Mikhail wrote:But, overall, I commend you for attempting something like this and trying to contribute to the forum.

I was thinking of doing one on Cao Zhang which I have already started but I guess I will wait awile before trying anything else until I get this bio approved with help :)

The idea noted before what are your thoughts on it?


[Edit] Allterations have been made.
Yuan shu you dare declare yourself emporor I shall bring the justice of the Han upon your head.
Guan Yan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1859
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:53 am
Location: Central coast

Re: Guan Yu new bio

Unread postby Mikhail » Thu May 29, 2008 12:11 am

Guan Yan wrote:
Mikhail wrote:I remember you mentioning in a post that you used Wordlingo.com to translate traditional Chinese to English, but since you deny it and say that you only use a dictionary, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt..

I never said I didnt I used both :wink:


Then if you did use both, that would be the problem. Using translation websites usually returns awkward phrasing and sometimes wrong (literal) wording. If you do plan on translating in the future, I would definitely recommend that you don't use an online translator at all. I for one would not use any source that was even partially assisted on by an online translator, because of the afformentioned reasons.

Like Liu Yuante has said, translations require a good command of the original language (in this case Classical Chinese) as well as a good command of the translating language, which is English. I would suggest you reduce the dependency of online dictionaries and translators before you attempt another translator.

Sorry, I know I'm sounding harsh and very critical, and I don't mean to be, but its the truth. I'm sure Rafe de Crespigny had to have studied and learned Classical Chinese before he was an expert at it before he would even attempt a translation, lest he might get something wrong - which would lead to his work to be ridiculed and his reputation tarnished.

Guan Yan wrote:
Mikhail wrote:However, some of your sentencing needs a lot of work. Some of the sentences are phrased awkwardly while some seem to really work well. Also, I can't get over the "feather" parts of the bio. Never once have I heard Guan Yu and "feather" in the same blurb. That isn't to say that its wrong, since I do not know traditional Chinese, but its uncanny.

It often said Guan Yu was called Feather or The Feather, also like Sun Quan was reffered to as The Power.


I've searched far and wide and I have NEVER heard of these two men being referred as you said they are. My guess is its the online translator's fault, but if it is as you say, I'm sure the many scholars here will back you up and will enlighten me on the situation.
Soweneul Malhaebwa (Tell me your wish).
User avatar
Mikhail
Great Sage Equaling Heaven
 
Posts: 2627
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 11:15 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

PreviousNext

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved