Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

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Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

Unread postby Fornadan » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:36 pm

Using the powers of the internet, I've made a very rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in Jinshu Chapter 001. (Less the rather long afterword)

https://bookofjin.wordpress.com/chapter ... eror-xuan/

I've no doubt made hundreds of errors, and there are also many places were I have not been able to figure out the meaning.
Even so, I hope it can still be of some interest to you guys. It should at least give some idea of what kind of information is contained in his biography
Translations from the Book of Jin: http://bookofjin.tumblr.com/index
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Re: Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

Unread postby Xu Yuan » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:00 am

While rough it is still exceedingly well comprised! I love the annotations put in the end there to clarify certain events and point where you are unsure you mark that explicitly. I have enjoyed what I've read thus far and would love to see more of your translations.
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Re: Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:34 pm

Thank you for the hard work Fornadan, look forward to reading your other bio's on that site
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Re: Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

Unread postby Fornadan » Thu Aug 20, 2015 7:16 pm

I've finished a second biography, that of Sima Shi, which covers about one third of Chapter 2

https://bookofjin.wordpress.com/chapter ... peror-wen/

Roughly half the biography is devoted to the events of 254 when Sima Shi destroyed the conspiracy of Xiahou Xuan and replaced Cao Fang with Cao Mao. The focus is on public memorials and court debates, which I often had difficulty making much sense of. Some of the allegations levelled against Cao Fang seems to have been quite juicy though.

The last part covers the rebellion of Guangqiu Jian and Wen Qin, where I believe I'm on much safer ground. Much of this part of the text has already been translated by Fang in part 2 of his Chronicle
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Re: Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

Unread postby Zafar Khan » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:32 am

its good effort of compilation.
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Re: Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

Unread postby TigerTally » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:22 am

I tried to add some comments for JS002 but failed, so I think I should post them here.

少流美譽 As young, he had reputation for good looks

美譽 should be a "beautiful (=good) reputation", and 流 a verb that means "flow" or "spread". It is the basis for the comparison with Xiahou Xuan and He Yan in the next sentence , and is obviously not connected to his "stylish look" aforementioned.

晏常稱曰 Yan spoke often to him

稱 means "praise" here, and his comments does not seem to be something said to Sima Shi himself.

累 involved

This 累 means "accumulate", or "accumulatively". This is a technical jargon for official promotion, in the sense that an officer has accumulated enough merits and experience to rise in rank.

為選用之法 selected to employ the law
舉不越功 raised not beyond the contribution
吏無私焉 the magistrates were not intimate with him


Sima Shi made the method/law of election (selecting officers) and the result is that no one would advance beyond his deserved promotion. 無私 is a phrase that means "selfless" or "inselfish", and here it is meant to be the positive result of Sima Shi's new policy rather than him being isolated.

以至孝聞 until noted for filial piety

至 means "most" instead of "until" here. 孝 is like an adjective in Chinese here but there is no counterpart for it in English so you may want to render it into something like "showing the utmost of filial piety".

如常 like old

常 in most case means "normal(ly)".

人間 gate people

間 (among) is not 閘 (gate).

至是一朝而集 Now once the court yet assembled

朝 is morning here. The "death troops" were scattered among different people before, yet they all "assembled in just one morning by now".
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Re: Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

Unread postby Fornadan » Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:48 am

Thank you very much for your comments

Apparently the default setting in WordPress is that the site owner needs to manually approve all comments, which is why nothing immediately appeared
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Re: Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

Unread postby TigerTally » Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:48 am

伊尹既卒,伊陟嗣事 His rule at last, he climbs to inherit the affair.

This is a quotation of the story of Yi Yin 伊尹 and his son Yi Zhi 伊陟 who inherited his position.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yi_Yin

明少長 understood the young and old
理廢滯 managed and removed obstructions

It seems a bit more logical to translate 明 into "clarify". 廢 here is not a verb but another noun that is similar to 滯 , meaning the deserted/ruined things. The three lines after "promote the worthy and talented" also seem to be what Sima Shi instructed the officials rather than his own doings.

掌選舉 clothed [?], selected and promoted

Some online texts miswrite 掌 (in charge of) as 裳 (cloth/dress). The whole sentence should mean Lu Yu and Li Feng were appointed to be in charge of the selection and promotion of officers.
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Re: Rough translation of Sima Yi's biography in JS001

Unread postby Fornadan » Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:16 pm

Thanks again for the corrections and comments, I've updated the text to try taking them into account
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