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Thread: chinese translation help plz

  1. #1
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    chinese translation help plz

    no idea

    help plz
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    “Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit.” Napoleon Bonaparte

  2. #2
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    Re: chinese translation help plz

    Originally posted by dominic grant
    no idea

    help plz
    You dont even need to read chinese in order to translate this one. Its traditional chinese and says 'long quan bao jian' "dragon well treasured sword".
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  3. #3
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    It literally says "dragon phoenix treasured sword" in a script as used in China some 2000 years ago. This signature is very common on badly made modern repro jian made in Longquan.

    In pinyin that's "long2 feng4 bao3 jian4" where the numbers stand for each of the four possible tones.

    The term "bao jian" has become a common term in China for people to refer to ornamental jian, often also called "long2 quan2 bao3 jian4" meaning "Longquan (place of manufacture) treasured sword.

    -Peter

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    thank you
    “Do you know what astonished me most in the world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit.” Napoleon Bonaparte

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Peter Dekker
    It literally says "dragon phoenix treasured sword"

    In pinyin that's "long2 feng4 bao3 jian4" where the numbers stand for each of the four possible tones.
    Thanx Peter. I totally missed on that second hanzi... haha! Gotten so used to that one...

    Regards,
    I study at:
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    I work at:
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    Qing Zhong Knife & Sword Company.
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  6. #6
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    that second character

    Peter,
    I beg to differ with your translation of it, I think Ken's reading of "quan" or spring is the correct one. Admittedly, the archaic script is difficult to read, but I checked the modern form of both characters in Mathews Chinese-English Dict., and see that what's on the sword is closer to "quan" than "feng" in terms of stroke count. Then, going to Chang Hsuan's THE ETYMOLOGIES OF 3000 CHINESE CHARACTERS IN COMMON USAGE (HK Univ Press 1968), on page 449, BINGO! you'll find that it's indeed "quan". The standard "seal script" form is a dead ringer to what's on the blade.

    By the way, for us arms and armor geeks interested in Chinese, Korean, and even Japanese weaponry, Chang's ETYMOLOGY is very useful for "cracking" those archaic hanzi/kanji forms.

  7. #7
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    "baojian"

    I think that the term was applied to valuable swords long before the modern association with ornamental weapons. I recall seeing the phrase inscribed on some antique blades from the Qing and even Ming; the weapons were not necessarily ornate, but were sturdy and well designed so the apellation "treasured" may, in those days, have been given to those swords of high quality.

  8. #8
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    pt and kenneth is right. the second word is quan. (with the "q" pronounced like a "ch") the word feng, or phoenix, has no dot at the top and the interior should be the word bird. the "t" shaped form is not a typical alternation of the bird character. the word quan, or spring, has the dot at top and the 3 "legs" at the bottom which is the character for water.
    chi fan

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the correction!

    I think I was mislead by the contemporary characters for "feng" and "quan". The dot on top of my presumed "feng" should have rang a bell indeed.

    -Peter

  10. #10
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    the simplification process of the chinese written language was quite unfortunate and never served its purpose of easing the education of the masses. instead, it just undermined thousands of years of culture. the simplified version of feng has a big X (with a horizontal line at top 凤)in the middle....which is similar to feng (wind 风) but not even close to the original word (鳳) which has a bird in the middle, as it should be.
    chi fan

  11. #11
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    spot on, Mr. Wong!

    I share your unhappiness about the invention of those simplified characters. My biggest gripe is that this disrupts the whole logic of the radical/phonetic components of the ideograms. People have the mistaken notion that hanzi are a form of "hieroglyphics". They are much more complex and subtle concepts than that, and are a system that has matured over centuries of usage. If the people in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore (all very well educated) can get along fine with the old system, I don't think that the PRC should have monkeyed around with it.

    As far as tradition goes, yes, that is part of every language even though languages DO change over time (note how Russian and Portuguese have slight modifications to their written forms made early in the last century). In some cases, a radical makeover was necessary. Turkish used to be written in the Arabic script, which is artistically beautiful but a poor match for the vowel-rich Turkish language. Furthermore, the matching of Arabic consonants to Turkish sounds was sometimes inconsistent. All this was replaced by a Roman alphabet in the 1920s, and literacy rates did shoot up enormously because the new system was so easy to learn, even for adults who never went to school as kids.

    As regards to China' adoption of Pinyin romanization, it's good now there's something standard, even if some of the consonants are strangely represented: "Q" for the "ch" sound, for instance. But I wonder why the Chinese only went halfway with this, and didn't include symbols for the TONES. Modern written Vietnamese (actually a product of French Jesuit scholars of the 1600s) is wonderfully complete and logical -- all of the 7 or 9 tones are represented by special symbols attached to the vowels, and each letter is named individually according to its tone so thus the Vietnamese alphabet actually has at least 60 letters. Again, literacy rates in Vietnam climbed enormously since this system was made mandatory in schools since 1906.

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