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How to translate 夫?



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#1 sufidao

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:32 PM

I've seen so many translations of Old and Classical Chinese texts simply ignore the character 夫, while in Daoist texts one may encounter a statement like "夫道者" which obviously is not ignorable.

 

Considering contents of the texts, I've guessed these as translation:

"O friends!"
"Therefore"
"As a fact"

 

But none can be supported by dictionaries.

 

How should we translate the character 夫 used separated, for example, before a comma at the beginning of a sentence?


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#2 dawei

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:43 PM

Here is a very useful website for looking at word combinations and usage:

 

 

http://humanum.arts..../Lexis/Lindict/



#3 sufidao

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:17 PM

I've checked the website and almost all other useful websites and dictionaries but I've not found my answer, that's why am asking here :)


Edited by sufidao, 28 April 2013 - 05:20 PM.

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#4 Harmonious Emptiness

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:48 PM

So,

 

So consider [maybe],

 

 

Man, so like...  :P



#5 dawei

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 06:09 PM

Here was the relevant section I found:

 

(LL beginning sentences and opening generalizations) now, as regards: 夫仁者 now (as regards) 仁;

 

夫道若大路然 now the Way (Tao) is like a broad highway;
夫何憂何懼 now what is there to worry about? 夫如此,夫如是 only so;
夫豈不知 now don’t I (dosen't he) know? 夫既如此 now that it is so;
that being so;
夫唯不爭,故… it is because he does not contend, therefore…;

 

 

From:  A Concise Grammar of Classical Chinese

 

fū  (M. 1908) Noun: "man."

when pronounced , it may have the following meanings:

Demonstrative pronoun: "that one, he."

Introductory particle to indicate a topic: "[As for, regarding] that one . . . "

Fú may be combined with  何, giiving  hé  何 which means "whatever, however," &c.

Final particle: "is it not?" (like the French n'est-ce pas?). In this last use it represents a fusion of bu 不 and hū 乎, and does not represent an development of  (man) or  (he, that one.)

 

 

Alquiros notes as an example for DDJ8:

13. 夫 (initial particle) also: above all, because / vor allem (darüber hinaus), weil; here: 夫唯 for only (just) / denn nur (gerade).


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#6 sufidao

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 05:15 AM

Thanks Dawei,
It helped me a lot. Consequently when it is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is a grammatical particle, not to refer to a reality. Now, I wonder how it is interpreted in a classical Chinese text like this:

 

人得一為大,大得一為天,超出天外,方為夫字。

 

http://www.26869273..../htmlpage10.htm


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#7 ChiDragon

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 08:53 AM

I've seen so many translations of Old and Classical Chinese texts simply ignore the character 夫, while in Daoist texts one may encounter a statement like "夫道者" which obviously is not ignorable.

 

Considering contents of the texts, I've guessed these as translation:

"O friends!"
"Therefore"
"As a fact"

 

But none can be supported by dictionaries.

 

How should we translate the character 夫 used separated, for example, before a comma at the beginning of a sentence?


In classic,  夫 was used as an auxiliary word at the beginning of a sentence or phrase to make the phrase sound better or to draw someone's attention.

"夫道者" is similar to "ah! a virtuous person.....".

When "夫" was place at the end of a phrase or sentence, it is equivalent to an exclamation "!" mark.


Edited by ChiDragon, 29 April 2013 - 08:54 AM.

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#8 sufidao

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 09:41 AM

Thanks ChiDragon, But:

 

Consequently when it is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is a grammatical particle, not to refer to a reality. Now, I wonder how it is interpreted in a classical Chinese text like this:

 

人得一為大,大得一為天,超出天外,方為夫字。

 

http://www.26869273..../htmlpage10.htm


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#9 ChiDragon

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 10:11 AM

Thanks Dawei,
It helped me a lot. Consequently when it is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is a grammatical particle, not to refer to a reality. Now, I wonder how it is interpreted in a classical Chinese text like this:

 

人得一為大,大得一為天,超出天外,方為夫字。

 

http://www.26869273..../htmlpage10.htm

 

sifudao....
What you have referenced is a Taoist classic which is so esoteric. It may be ineffable to us ordinary human beings. 

Original:
註:夫,人神好清者,一陰一陽乃為人,人得一為大,大得一為天,超出天外,方為夫字。

Interpretation:

解:人在後天本是陰陽混合之體,此色身得一,即得先天氣,就是大,大仍是人,只是色身日壯,陰氣日消,陽氣日長,大又得一先天氣,即小天地與大天地之元始始氣合為一體,若是煉神還虛,煉虛合道,就能超出三界外,不在五行中,就是超出天外,就是夫。

Translation of the interpretation:
The human body, in the post-natal phase, was the combination of the yin-yang, thus the body was said to be obtained "unity" which is the pre-natal Chi. It is great, great then it is human, but the body is getting strong everyday, the Yin Chi was diminishing, and the Yang Chi is increasing, great(human) also gained the pre-natal Chi, which are the combination of the original chi of the little and big universes integrated as one body. If one practice the "shen return to the void", practice "void united with Tao", then one can transcend beyond the three realms, not within the Five Elements, thus it was transcended beyond Heaven, thus this is a man.
 


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靜觀其變 以靜制動
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Handle adversity with calmness

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#10 sufidao

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 12:28 PM

Thanks again,

 

The Interpretation is quite deep and it seems that the author is well versed in Daoism. Please, let me know, whose writing is this and where can I find the complete text of the interpretation for this chapter and the rest?

 

* I'm not a sifu, but a sufi  ;)


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#11 ChiDragon

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:12 PM

Sufidao.....
You welcome...!!!

I had googled this particular section. The translation of the interpretation was done by yours truly. I don't think that you can find a good translation for the complete text, not in English anyway. What you can do is post anything that you want it to be translated or interpreted. I am glad to be at your service..... :)


靜觀其變 以靜制動
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Handle adversity with calmness

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#12 sufidao

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 01:58 PM

That was a good translation, but the link to the Chinese text would be sufficient for the time being.


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#13 dynamictao

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 08:32 AM

Thanks Dawei,
It helped me a lot. Consequently when it is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is a grammatical particle, not to refer to a reality. Now, I wonder how it is interpreted in a classical Chinese text like this:

 

人得一為大,大得一為天,超出天外,方為夫字。

 

http://www.26869273..../htmlpage10.htm

 

This is my take. Very interesting sequences: roughly

 

What is a gentleman (Fu)?

Man attains Oneness to have "Significance (Da)";

Significance attains Oneness to become with "Heaven";

Only if it can be beyond Heaven,

It is (the word for ) a trule "gentleman."

 

Gentleman -> Fu-tzu ->Sage?


Edited by dynamictao, 30 April 2013 - 08:34 AM.

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#14 hydrogen

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

Thanks Dawei,
It helped me a lot. Consequently when it is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is a grammatical particle, not to refer to a reality. Now, I wonder how it is interpreted in a classical Chinese text like this:

 

人得一為大,大得一為天,超出天外,方為夫字。

 

http://www.26869273..../htmlpage10.htm

 

I think the "fu" in this context is related to tao idea of "realized human" or "real man".

 

It may be the same stage as "awakened" in Buddhist. The "immortal" is the same as the "enlightened".


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#15 sufidao

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:33 PM

This is my take. Very interesting sequences: roughly

 

What is a gentleman (Fu)?

Man attains Oneness to have "Significance (Da)";

Significance attains Oneness to become with "Heaven";

Only if it can be beyond Heaven,

It is (the word for ) a trule "gentleman."

 

Gentleman -> Fu-tzu ->Sage?

 

 

I think the "fu" in this context is related to tao idea of "realized human" or "real man".

 

It may be the same stage as "awakened" in Buddhist. The "immortal" is the same as the "enlightened".

 

That's right. Surely, Fu is interpreted as "Universal Man" in that text, but the problem is that in the main text it's but a grammatical particle.

夫,人神好清;而心擾之。

Anyway, in olden times language was not as dead as today to be understood mechanically.


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#16 Harmonious Emptiness

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Posted 01 May 2013 - 06:02 PM

I think a large part of the meaning comes from the image of a man as being authoritative and knowing what he's talking about, so it implies this to whatever follows, just as "thus" or "so" but more like "note" since it might not tie the preceding thought to the proceeding.  "Now" probably has closest flow in English when appearing at the beginning.  There are other words that do this at the end of the sentence, to say that what was said was of substantial import, but FU this starts the sentence that way rather than tying it up at the end that way.

 

I sort of reminds me of how French people often start a sentence as "Me, I like to.../Moi, j'aime..."  The first "Me" is redundant but it focuses the discussion to the new subject of discussion.  So again, "now" seems to be the best English translation.


Edited by Harmonious Emptiness, 01 May 2013 - 06:03 PM.

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