Who can help me translate this

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by glowy, Feb 15, 2011.

Feb 15, 2011

Who can help me translate this by glowy at 3:00 PM (1,269 Views / 0 Likes) 8 replies

  1. glowy
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    Newcomer glowy Advanced Member

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    Who's willing to help us translate this?

    We are trying to find out how old it is, where it came from, and what's on it

    We managed to translate some parts (but not sure if it's right)

    Any help is appreciated!!


    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
  2. Densetsu

    Former Staff Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    I don't know much about this, but I'm willing to offer what little help I can. I can read Japanese, which is somewhat helpful for Chinese since they use a lot of the same characters. If the Japanese is too old (pre-WWII era or older), then I can only understand a little bit. Japanese text from more than 100 years ago is difficult to decipher, even for native Japanese speakers younger than 60 years old. Text that old looks very similar to Chinese.

    The sign seems pretty old, but I can't be sure how old. It looks like it's Chinese in origin, or it could be a very old Japanese signboard (unlikely).

    I was able to type out most of the characters so it would be easier for you to search for them online. Anything in parentheses with a "?" means that I'm not sure I got the character right, and I only typed a character that looks closest to the one in the picture.

    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    For the last one, the four characters arranged in a square are in "seal script". This makes it difficult to read, and only a trained eye can really read this script. I could only identify two out of the four. Even then, I'm only positive about the one that says "river" (?) but I'm not sure about the one that says "prosperity/glory" (?). It looks like that might be the correct character, but it could be different. Again, the fact that it's seal script makes it difficult for me to tell.
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    My best educated guess is that this probably came from a school building or some other kind of educational institution.

    Try using this to look up the characters. There's also an option to search all of the characters at once, instead of one by one. Good luck!

    I'm hoping a Chinese person who can read this stuff will see this and call me out on how wrong I am and tell you what it really says [​IMG]

    By the way, where did you find it?
     
  3. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Well, I'm Chinese speaker, but not much into history of China. Here is what I can tell you,

    It is dated around 1877 (Qing dynasty/Guangxu Emperor). From skimming over pictures I have to agree with Densetsu3000 that this "wood plank" came from a group of student presented to someone (most likely to school).

    神之格思 (in this case reading it from right to left) means there is "no boundaries for thoughts, something so high, that people cannot reach".

    Perhaps other people can elaborate it better than I do.
     
  4. Densetsu

    Former Staff Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    Sorry, I forgot to mention that it's read backwards [​IMG]

    For anyone who cares at all, this is called chengyu in Chinese or yojijukugo in Japanese.
     
  5. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Actually, ???? is not considered Chengyu. ???? came from a Chinese poetry. Chengyu is a short Chinese phrase that means something and has a story behind it.

    ????????????????
    ????????????
    ??????????
    ???????????????
     
  6. Densetsu

    Former Staff Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    Thanks for clarifying. I was wondering why I couldn't find the phrase in any of the Chengyu dictionaries online.
     
  7. glowy
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    Newcomer glowy Advanced Member

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    Oh wow guys, this helps, and means a lot...

    As to where my friend got it from... long story short:
    an interior designer got it for a customer (don't know where from), but got stuck with it (customer bankrupt/died, dunno)
    so it was in storage collecting dust, and he could buy it for not too much.
     
  8. imsusan

    Newcomer imsusan Newbie

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    You are so great!! I guess this poetry must be very old?
     
  9. CarbonX13

    Member CarbonX13 GBAtemp 台灣人

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    trumpet nailed the 神之格思 part.

    As for the rest:

    And the text on the right side of the plaque (image 4) reads:
    雅州府學生員 何榮川 in the first line. It says the title of a student studying at the "Yazhou Building", likely a school or government building during the time. The student's name was He Rongchuan (or Rong-Chuan He if you want to put it in western style).

    川王宮大會首張公 币國順 is the second line. Stating the title of what appears to be the head/chief of the "Chuan Wang Palace"(see next paragraph for an explanation). 币國順 = Yin Guoshun or Guo-Shun Yin, may have been the person this was dedicated to.

    Just below all this are four characters 迊神之書. 迊神, I believe from a Google search, is some sort of term in the Taoism religion. This may indicate this was dedicated to a Taoist priest of some sorts. Taoist religious worship areas are known traditionally as "宮" (gong), or loosely translated as palace/temple. This would piece it all together that this work was dedicated to a Taoist priest that was at the 川王宮, the name of that temple in the area. This is further supported by the four large characters 神之格思, as the Taoists worship the 神 (Gods). Since in the day, and still is today, the main religions of China were Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, this would clearly place the fact that the people involved here were Taoist, as Buddhists worship 佛 (Buddha), and Confucians follow the teachings of Confucius (孔子).

    The final pictures has an image of a stamp mark on top, with 敬書 on the bottom. Traditionally, Chinese calligraphers will stamp their name with a mark like that, and then add 敬書 to indicate the author of this text or work, or to show sign of respect in offering this piece of work. The stamp reads 何榮川 (He Rongchuan), the person mentioned as the student in the first line of image 4. It appears that this was made by He Rongchuan and likely offered to Yin Guoshun and the Chuan Wang Temple.

    In image two, the text 光緒三年 新正月 初九日 indicates the date in which this was produced. Third Year of the Guang-Xu Emperor, on the First Month, Nineth Day in the Lunar Calendar. Guang-Xu Emperor's third year was 1877 for those wanting to know how old this is. Since we just past Chinese New Year a couple weeks ago, this work appears to be 134 years old.

    Was that good enough of a translation?
     

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