Pa Yih 13 analysis

Tranlation’s words

谓:Legge’s translation: “meaning”, Eno’s translation: “sense”.

媚:Legge: pay court to; Eno: appeal to; Lau: be obsequious to

灶:Legge: furnance; Eno: the kitchen god; Lau: the kitchen stove

奥: Legge: the south-west corner; Eno: the god of the dark corner; Lau: the south-west corner of the house

Legge translated “问曰”into “asked, saying” . Comparing to “asked” (Eno’s translation) and “said” (Lau’s translation) , Legge translated both words. Wangsun Jia asked a question after “问曰”in this chapter, so it is also understandable if only translate “问曰”into “asked” or “said”.

Legge translated “媚”into “pay court to” . “媚”has several meanings (love or flatter)1 as a verb. Comparing to Eno’s translation (appeal to) , “pay court to” is more close to the original meaning of “媚”. But “pay court to” has been old-fashioned than “appeal to” from 1800.

“灶” has two meanings in Chinese: “kitchen stove” or “kitchen god” , In Chinese culture, “灶”is Legge’s translation is “furnace” . Eno’s translation is “kitchen god” , Lau’s translation is “kitchen stove” . In this chapter, “灶”refers to kitchen god living near the kitchen stove, also called “灶神”or “灶君”. Why Legge translated “灶”to “furnace” instead of “stove” or “kitchen stove” ? Maybe it’s due to the limited information on “灶”in Morrison’s dictionary, “灶”、“炉”(fireplace) 、“窖”(cellar) , they all mean a same thing: A furnace. But “灶神”is included in this entry, it refers to “the god of the furnace, employed in the dressing of provisions.” 2For that reason, Legge should know the meaning of “灶”(灶神) in this chapter, therefore we can conclude that Legge’s translation is reasonable.

“获”means “get” or “capture” , “罪”means “crime” or “fault”. Literally, “获罪”can means “be proved guilty” or “be convicted”. But in this chapter, “罪”doesn’t mean an illegal action which can be punished by law in society, it’s related to “Heaven” , so Legge, Eno and Lau all translated it into “offend against”.

“天”: Legge’s translation is “Heaven” , Legge explained it as “The lofty one who is on high” . “天”may not be a place in this chapter. It doesn’t mean “Heaven” itself, it may refers to Moral Power or Moral Law3. “Choo He says, Heaven means principle” . Because the concept of “天”is rather ambiguous, Eno just translated “天”into pinyin “tian“.

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