Can you translate my birthday present?

Other Chinese or Japanese calligraphy issues that does not seem to fit any of the categories above.
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winowill
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Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 13, 2012 8:25 am

I got a long ricepaper painting with chinese calligraphy, and I dont know what it means. The person who gave me the present, cannot help me either. can you?

I am not sure that it is the correct way, and for that I apologuise.
Attachments
calligrafi 039.JPG
figure 1
calligrafi 038.JPG
figure 2
calligrafi 037.JPG
figure 2
calligrafi 036.JPG
figure 4

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Gary
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by Gary » Sep 13, 2012 12:20 pm

Wow, I did not expect seal script. These are a little harder than characters you can just glance at and figure out. This style dates back about 2230+ years.

Note: The first two images are upside down.

It takes a lot of time to decipher. I did the first one (took me 20 minutes).
The kaishu looks like this:歧
Yours is roughly: 歧
Meaning: divergent; side road.

If these are all connected, I imagine they could be a phrase.

I tried to do a second character, but it kicked my butt. I'd need to get a translator/researcher working on this (expensive). They could probably do this in an hour or so, but I don't think you want to spend $20 on that. Maybe ask the person who gave them to you?

-Gary.

winowill
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 13, 2012 12:29 pm

he doesnt know either, but I have asked him to find out. If he doesnt, I would love to pay for the translation.

winowill
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 13, 2012 12:37 pm

Actually, I wouldnt mind paying for a researcher. It is worth 20 dollars. How do we do that then, so I dont have to show my credit card details here?

winowill
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 13, 2012 12:39 pm

thank you very much for helping me. It means a lot to me.

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Gary
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by Gary » Sep 13, 2012 1:38 pm

OK, I think she can confirm the first one, and give you the other 3 in about an hour of work. You can order that service here:
http://www.orientaloutpost.com/proddeta ... ranslation

I just feel bad, as it's a lot of work, but the results are so simple. She'll actually be looking each one up against a seal script dictionary of over 21,000 characters in 6 variant forms each. I have two such dictionaries, so there's potentially over a quarter million characters to look at.

-Gary.

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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 13, 2012 9:48 pm

Thank you very much. I am not sure I did it correctly, as I pasted the link to this topic in the box where the translated phrase was supposed to be.
My order id is: 15815

Again; thank you so much for your help.

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Gary
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by Gary » Sep 14, 2012 11:02 am

Everything is fine. I've sent this to the translator. The weekend is approaching, so it will probably be Monday before you get an answer.

-Gary.

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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 14, 2012 11:11 am

Thank you. I really appreciate this. Have a great weekend. :)

winowill
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 18, 2012 11:38 am

Hi,
What is happening with my translation?

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Gary
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by Gary » Sep 18, 2012 5:32 pm

She worked on it for two hours yesterday, but had other tasks with absolute deadlines that she had to switch to.

Apparently, I did one of the easy ones when your topic started. She's got two every hard ones.

And again, she has to look these up against a quarter-MILLION seal script figures to decipher it.

I think she finished looking them up, but now it's a matter of writing definitions.

She's working a very long schedule today, but should be free again on Wednesday.

-Gary.

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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 18, 2012 9:51 pm

Thank you. :)

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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by Gary » Sep 19, 2012 1:47 pm

I talked to her about this. She's still working on the actual characters. She's got a few hours of work into this now.

She also thinks I got the one I deciphered wrong (there's one stroke that I did not account for at the top of the left side).

I'm going to lose my shirt on this one, since I pay her $20 per hour. I might have to stop this and refund your money before I lose too much.

Something donned on me as I looked at your images again...
You've presented these as individual characters, which is the hardest way to decipher old seal script. By chance, are all of these actually written on one sheet of paper? If they are actually 4 characters that make up a phrase, it makes deciphering them exponentially easier. You can more easily guess the next or last character if you know it's a phrase.

If they are all on one sheet, please provide a picture of the whole thing.

-Gary.

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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 20, 2012 7:31 am

Please don't give up on me. I will of course donate money this month and the next month when I get paid.

I uploaded the whole picture, and hope it can help.
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calligrafi 001.JPG

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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by Gary » Sep 20, 2012 1:35 pm

She wrote this last night before your new post came with the full picture:
Cat wrote:Piz No. 036.jpg is 龢 (he2, an alternative way to write 和 he2) = peace/and harmony)

Piz No. 037.jpg is 人 (ren2) = human being/man

Piz No. 039.jpg is 政 (zheng4) = politics/government

Piz No. 038.jpg I can put the characters together from three raticals, but I can't find that character from the three most popular and official Chinese dictionaries.

I did find an ancient phrase which include three out of the four characters he provided, 政清人和(zheng4 qing1 ren2 he2), which basically means "when the political policy is reasonable and benevolent, the people's hearts will all belong to you..." ...

But I'm pretty sure the second character from that phrase is not the one from 038.jpg ...

I'll try again to figure that one out soon.

-Cat.
I'll see if the new image helps out at all.

-Gary.

winowill
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 20, 2012 9:39 pm

Thank you. I really appreciate it.

winowill
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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Sep 27, 2012 9:53 am

How are things going with the translation? :)

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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by Gary » Sep 28, 2012 3:40 pm

We're still at 3 out of 4 characters. It must be some crazy or rare variant form of that character. She's still toying with the research on that character when she has free time.

-Gary.

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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by winowill » Dec 11, 2012 12:44 pm

I understand that I will never know the real meaning, but that is ok. :) thank you so much for trying. Could I just ask you to tell me which way I should hang it, so it at least hangs the right way?
Thank you

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Re: Can you translate my birthday present?

Post by Gary » Dec 13, 2012 4:51 pm

In your last image of the whole piece, that's right-side-up.

I think the translator did kind of give up on figuring out that last character. Not from lack of effort. She also flew back to China for about a month to take care of and visit her father who had a stroke, so she's had other things on her mind.

Sometimes there is no easy answer on ancient seal script characters. It's like deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics. Only, whomever write it can make up their own character variations.

-Gary.

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