2018年10月30日 星期二

The Three-Character Poem 三字經 3

The first part of the Three-Character Poem can be found here.  The second part can be found here.  The Three-Character Poem (or "Three-Character Classic") consists of 1071 characters arranged in three-character sentences.

This time I'm including the introduction to the poem found in the All in One 三字經, published by 世一文化事業股份有限公司 (ACME Cultural Enterprises Co., Ltd.) in 1992.  I'm not sure why I didn't do this for the first entry.

After the introduction you'll find the third part of the poem, this part numbering 294 characters.  This would bring us about 1/3 of the way through the Three-Character Poem.

Oh, and it's worth mentioning that any translation of the Three-Character Poem is very loose, and involves a lot of "reading between the lines."  All published editions of this work contain copious notes and commentary, and it's only from these notes and commentary that any translation is possible.  If you're not "seeing" the English verses in the Chinese text, this is why.  By way of further explanation there are also notes at the bottom.

I placed periods at the end of every four lines of the poem.  This was done to enhance its readability, and also reflects the way in which the poem is presented and explained in the book.


前言 Introduction

在西風東漸之後, 今日的臺灣又面臨日, 韓文化的大肆流行, 雖然在服飾, 裝扮上, 也許流行復古的傳統中國風味, 但令人擔心的是中國文化及傳統倫理觀念的日漸式微, 我們的孩子會在這股外來文化的洪流中, 逐漸失去對傳統文化的認識及接受文學作品薰陶的機會.  As Western [and other] cultures began to infiltrate [China], modern Taiwan experienced an influx of Japanese and Korean culture.  Even though foreign costume was very popular, and even though this popularity was the reason it replaced more traditional Chinese forms of dress, it caused people to worry about the weakening of traditional Chinese culture and ethics.  Our children were swept up in the fervor over foreign cultures, and were gradually losing an appreciation for their traditional culture and not developing an appreciation for [our] culture's literature.

三字經是我國古代學塾所用的兒童啟蒙教材, 全書內容均以三字為一句, 便於郎讀, 易於背誦.  孩子除了可以從中吸收知識外, 更重要的是了解待人接物的方法及處世的原則, 建立正確的人生觀.  The Three-Character Poem was used by our country's academics in ancient times as a primer for children.  The whole book consists of sentences composed of three characters, which are easy to both memorize and recite.  Aside from absorbing information from it, children can also learn how to deal with people, and the principles upon which the world operates.  [All of these things help them] establish a proper outlook on life.

三字經相傳是宋人王應麟所撰, 現今的版本曾經章炳麟修訂.  本書採章炳麟修訂版本, 並於書末增錄王應麟原著全文, 供對照參考.  The Three-Character Poem was written by Wang Ying-lin during the Song Dynasty.  The current version was edited by Jhang Bing-lin.  The book you hold in your hands is this same version edited by Jhang Bing-lin, and can checked against the original version written by Wang Ying-lin.  [This version has been] appended to the end of the book for reference.

本書內容編排除列出原文, 加上注解及白話翻譯外, 並附有和原文相關或延伸的故事, 也等於是原文的補充說明, 讓孩子能因而更了解經文的意義, 也更喜愛本書.  This edition of the book includes the original text of the poem, annotations,vernacular translations, and includes stories related to or derived from the poem.  These are presented by way of explaining the poem and helping children understand its meaning, and also to increase their appreciation of it.

三字經的內容包含甚廣, 舉凡天文地理, 科學常識, 歷史知識, 人格教育, 品德培養, 生活倫理... 等, 均在其中, 是孩子啟蒙文學的最佳選擇, 也是孩子進入古文世界的第一步.  The scope of the Three-Character Poem is very broad, including astronomy, geography, math, common knowledge, historical facts, character building, the cultivation of morals, ethics and more.  Aside from these topics, [the Three-Character Poem] is also the best example of a literature primer, and represents a child's first step into the world of ancient literature.


三字經 The Three-Character Poem (3)

曰水火
It is said water, fire,
木金土
Wood, gold and earth,
此五行
These five elements,
本乎數
Gave rise to all things.
十干者
The heavenly stems (1),
甲至癸
From "jia" to "guei",
十二支
The earthly branches,
子至亥
From "dze" to "hai".
曰黃道
It is said that through its orbit,
日所躔
The sun moves among the planets,
曰赤道
It is said that the equator,
當中權
Lies around the Earth's middle.
赤道下
Below the equator,
溫暖極
It is very warm (2),
我中華
We Chinese people,
在東北
Are in the northeast.
曰江河
It is said the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers,
曰淮濟
It is said the Huai and Ji Rivers,
此四瀆
These ocean-going rivers,
水之紀
Stand out among rivers.
曰岱華
It is said Dai and Hua Mountains,
嵩恆衡
Song, Heng and Heng Mountains (3),
此五岳
These five peaks,
山知名
Are famous among mountains.
曰士農
It is said scholars and farmers,
曰工商
It is said laborers and merchants,
此四民
These four types of people,
國之良
Make the country better.
曰仁義
It is said kindness and justice,
禮智信
Decorum, wisdom and honesty,
此五常
These five ideals (4),
不容紊
Cannot be disregarded.
地所生
That which grows from the earth,
有草木
Includes flowers and trees (5),
此植物
These plants,
遍水陸
Fill up the waters and land.
有蟲魚
There are insects and fish,
有鳥獸
There are birds and land animals,
此動物
These animals,
能飛走
Can fly or walk.
稻梁菽
Rice, millet and beans,
麥黍稷
Barley, broomcorn and unsticky grains,
此六穀
These six grains,
人所食
Are eaten by all people.
馬牛羊
Horses, cows and goats,
雞犬豕
Chickens, dogs and pigs,
此六畜
These six domesticated animals,
人所飼
Are raised by all people.
曰喜怒
It is said happiness and anger,
曰哀懼
It is said sadness and fear,
愛惡欲
Love, disgust and greed,
七情具
Are seven native emotions (6).
青赤黃
Green, red and yellow,
及黑白
Also black and white,
此五色
These five colors,
目所識
Comprise all the eye sees.
酸苦甘
Sour, bitter and sweet,
及辛鹹
Also spicy and salty,
此五味
These five flavors,
口所含
Are all the mouth savors.
羶焦香
Musky, burnt and sweet-smelling (7),
及腥朽
Also freshly-killed and rotten (8),
此五臭
These five scents,
鼻所嗅
Are all the nose smells.
匏土革
The "melon flute," clay and leather (9),
木石金
Wood, stone and metal,
與絲竹
Also bamboo stalks,
乃八音
Make eight types of instrument.
曰平上
It is said the flat and rising tones,
曰去入
It is said the falling and "fourth" tones (10),
此四聲
These four sounds,
宜調協
Should be used harmoniously.
高曾祖
Paternal grandparents three generations back (11),
父而身
From your father to yourself,
身而子
From yourself to your children,
子而孫
From your children to your grandchildren.
自子孫
From a son to his children,
至玄曾
To grandchildren and great-grandchildren,
乃九族
In these nine generations,
人之倫
All people are ordered.
父子恩
The love between father and son,
夫婦從
The deference between husband and wife,
兄則友
The care of siblings for each other,
第則恭
The younger children should respect this.
長幼序
The younger should give way to the older (12),
友與朋
Friends and scholars,
君則敬
The king should exercise discretion,
臣則忠
Ministers should do their utmost.
此十義
These ten virtues,
人所同
All people should pursue,
當順敘
When pursuing them,
勿違背
One cannot waver.
斬齊衰
The two types of funeral clothes (13) ,
大小功
The big "gong" and little "gong",
至缌麻
Also the finer hemp clothes,
五服終
Are of five types.
禮樂射
Etiquette, music and archery,
御書數
Chariot-driving, the study of Literature and mathematics,
古六藝
Six ancient arts,
今不具
Are not practiced now.
惟書學
(Now) there is only the study of Literature (14),
人共遵
Which all should follow,
既識字
Acquiring the knowledge of words,
講說文
Reciting the "Shuo Wen" (15).
有古文
There is the ancient way of writing (16),
大小篆
The big and little "Jwan",
隸草繼
 Leading to the "tsao" and "li",
不可亂
Do not confuse them.
若廣學
If one studies Literature,
懼其繁
One cannot fear its difficulty,
但略說
If one understands,
能知原
One can comprehend the source of knowledge.
凡訓蒙
All those who begin study,
須講究
Must concentrate upon it,
詳訓詁
Those who understand the value of words,
明句讀
Should study punctuation.
為學者
Those who study Literature,
必有初
Need a good foundation,
小學終
When one completes the study of characters, sounds and meanings,
至四書
Then come the four books (17).
論語者
The Analects of Confucius,
二十篇
Has twelve chapters,
群弟子
Many students,
記善言
Recorded the edifying words (18).
孟子者
Mencius,
七篇止
Has only seven chapters,
講道德
Elucidates morality,
說仁義
Explains righteousness.
作中庸
He who wrote The Doctrine of the Mean,
乃孔伋
Was Confucius' grandson Dze-sse,
中不偏
The middle way does not change,
庸不易
The source remains the same.
作大學
He who wrote The Great Learning,
乃曾子
Was Dzeng-shen, student of Confucius,
自修齊
From the cultivation of yourself to the cultivation of your family,
至平治
Comes the perfection of earthly things.
孝經通
Understanding the Classic of Filial Piety,
四書熟
Knowing the four books,
如六經
Then the six works (19),
始可讀
Can be studied.
詩書易
The Classic of Poetry, the Book of Documents and the Book of Changes,
禮春秋
The Rites of Zhou and the Spring and Autumn Annals,
號六經
These are the six works,
當講求
Which are studied.
有連山
There is the Book of Lian Mountain (20),
有歸藏
There is the Book of Guei Tsang,
有周易
There is the Book of Jhou (21),
三易詳
Three books in all.
有典謨
There is continuity and ministerial advice,
有訓誥
There is imperial admonition (22),
有誓命
There are oaths and commands,
書之奧
This is the deep meaning of the Book of Documents.
我周公
Our honored Lord Jhou,
作周禮
Wrote the Rites of Zhou,
著六官
Established the six types of ministers,
存治體
And preserved national order.
大小戴
The "big" and "little" Dai (23),
註禮記
Summarized the Book of Rites,
述聖言
Narrated the saints' messages,
禮樂備
And the complete rituals.
曰國風
It is said the songs of 15 countries (24),
曰雅頌
It is said the "Ya" and "Song" songs,
號四詩
These four odes,
當諷詠
Should be recited by all.
詩既亡
The Classic of Poetry was forgotten,
春秋作
The Spring and Autumn Annals were written,
寓褒貶
They contain praise and condemnation,
別善惡
Distinguish between good and bad.
三傳者
The three lords Jwan (25),
有公羊
There was Gong Yang,
有左氏
There was Dzuo Shr,
有穀梁
There was Gu Liang.
經既明
After understanding the famous works,
方讀子
You can study every type of philosophy,
撮其要
Select their key points,
記其事
Remember what is important.

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Notes:

1. The "heavenly stems" or "ten heavenly stems" are an ancient Chinese system of counting.  In this system you go from 甲 or "one" to 癸 or "ten."  This number systems figures a lot into Taoism, and each "number" in the system can have magical, astrological, or even philosophical meanings.

The "earthly branches" is in some ways very similar.  Ancient astronomers, observing the orbit of Jupiter, divided this orbit into periods of twelve years.  Each of these twelve years was later assigned an animal in the Chinese zodiac.The "first year" 子 or "dze" could be correlated with the rat, and the "last year" 亥 or "hai" could be correlated with the pig.  As with the "heavenly stems," many interpretations of the "earthly branches" are possible.

2. Very warm for people in ancient China, that is.  As they approached the equator it would have gotten warmer and warmer, and very little was known about the southern hemisphere when this poem was written.

3. 恆山 and 衡山.  In Chinese they sound exactly the same.

4. "五種不變的法則," or "five unchanging laws."  I used the word "ideals" above because I think it makes more sense for Western readers.  The Chinese is more in line with a kind of universal law as opposed to an ideal.

5. I translated 草 as "flowers," but "flowering plants" is closer to the poem's usage.  The next line uses 植物 or "plants," and using "plants" twice seemed repetitive.

6. The poem uses 具 or "equipped with," implying that everyone is born with these emotions.  This is why I used "native" in the above translation.

7. 羶 more literally translated means "the smell of sheep," but I thought musky was more to the point of this section.  香 isn't necessarily sweet-smelling, but rather anything that smells good.

8. Since 腥 encompasses the smell of blood, meat, fish and other "offensive" (臭) smells I chose to translate it as "freshly killed."

9. 匏瓜 is a type of melon, but in this passage 匏 signifies a type of musical instrument.  I couldn't find any name for this instrument, so I decided to call it a "melon flute."  There's a picture here.

10. According to the book, Chinese (Mandarin) doesn't employ this sound anymore.  I assume it was replaced by the falling/rising tone.

11. Why paternal and no maternal?  In traditional Chinese thinking the woman marries out of her own family and into her husband's.  Thus the custom of a wife/mother "returning" to her family during Chinese New Year.

12. This part reiterates Confucian ideals.

13. The tailored (usually white) kind and the roughly cut hemp/burlap kind.  The first kind is commonly seen at Taiwanese funerals.  The next line, 大小功 also refers to two types of funeral dress.  There's a picture here.

14. The "now" in the line above refers to the Song Dynasty, when the Three-Character Poem was originally written.  The scholar class/Mandarinate had given up the ancient arts of warfare for the study of Literature alone.

15. The 說文 or "Shuo Wen" is the abbreviated title of 說文解字, a book studied during the Eastern Han Dynasty.  It formed a basis for future studies of Literature.  (It was was basically a big dictionary)

16. The 古文 are the very ancient characters inscribed on oracle bones.  The big and little "jwan" or 篆 were character systems used from the Jhou Dynasty to the Chin Dynasty.  The 隸 "li" and 草 "tsao" were later writing systems derived from the big and little "jwan."

17. The 論語 or Confucian Analects, 孟子 or Mencius, 大學 or The Great Learning, written by one of Confucius' disciples, and 中庸 or The Doctrine of the Mean.  These are the four great books of Confucianism.  I've studied the first two and only glanced through the second two.

18. The words Confucius spoke, that is.

19. Deeper, more difficult works that can be studied after the four books mentioned above.  These six works include the 易經 or Book of Changes.

20. Still more obscure books.  Couldn't find any English name for 連山 (連山易) on Wikipedia.  I'm guessing it's less familiar to Western audiences.

21. This book is also called the Book of Changes and deals with the same subject matter.  I'm not sure if the two books are identical or not.

22. Sorry to get all wordy here.  This section discusses a king's interactions with his ministers.  It's all very Confucian and hard to phrase in English.

23. Scholars during the Eastern Han Dynasty.

24. Literally ALL countries, but it was ancient China and they only cared about 15, all of which are now part of China itself.  There's a fine line between "ode" "song" and "poem" in this section.  This section refers back to the 詩經 or Classic of Poetry.

25. Three famous scholars who interpreted ancient texts.  They each wrote famous commentaries on the subject.

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