Calligraphy Translation

Other Chinese or Japanese calligraphy issues that does not seem to fit any of the categories above.
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JHKIM
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Joined: Dec 17, 2012 3:29 pm

Calligraphy Translation

Post by JHKIM » Dec 17, 2012 3:56 pm

A friend sent me this and I haven't come across any characters that match. What kind of characters are they and please can you tell what is their meaning? Thank you.

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Cat
Professional Chinese Translator
Posts: 345
Joined: Nov 4, 2007 11:28 am

Re: Calligraphy Translation

Post by Cat » Dec 22, 2012 11:56 pm

I'd like to help, but the image seems to be removed.

-Cat.

JHKIM
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Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 17, 2012 3:29 pm

Re: Calligraphy Translation

Post by JHKIM » Dec 23, 2012 4:50 am

Cat - thanks for trying to help. Sorry I broke the link I thought the image was embedded.

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Cat
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Joined: Nov 4, 2007 11:28 am

Re: Calligraphy Translation

Post by Cat » Dec 24, 2012 12:36 am

The characters read from left to right, top to bottom, seems to be:

远由依为迫
?手田渺了 (Can't recognize the first character)

I believe they are Japanese Kanji (Chinese characters), and possibly part of a poem. But they don't make much sense in Chinese.

Sorry, that's all I can get...

-Cat.

JHKIM
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Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 17, 2012 3:29 pm

Re: Calligraphy Translation

Post by JHKIM » Feb 12, 2013 3:13 pm

Thanks Cat, and sorry for my delay in getting back to this. I think you're correct saying this is something poetic, probably a couplet. The first two characters 远 [yuǎn]由 [yóu]probably refer to a poem called Yuan You, one of the Chu Ci (Songs of the South); traditionally attributed to Qu Yuan (340? - 278 BCE). Hopefully, I can get the rest but at least it's a start. You're quite talented and 1,000 thanks for your effort.
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Cat
Professional Chinese Translator
Posts: 345
Joined: Nov 4, 2007 11:28 am

Re: Calligraphy Translation

Post by Cat » Feb 21, 2013 11:35 pm

You are welcome :) And don't worry, my respond is way slower...:)

Very impressive you know QuYuan and ChuCi! :)

Well, I took another look. The poem written by QuYuan called 远游, which pronounced exactly the same as the two characters from the "poem" you got. But the second character is not the same.

"远游" means "travel far"
"远由" means "(travel) from a long way(vs shortcut)".

So I'm not sure it's related with QuYuan...

Sadly I don't have much more to tell since I still couldn't figure out what's that "poem" about...

-Cat.

JHKIM
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Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 17, 2012 3:29 pm

Re: Calligraphy Translation

Post by JHKIM » Feb 25, 2013 3:17 pm

Thank you Cat. I see what you mean...and it's clearer. Would you check 为 and 手 please?
Could 为 be 如 possibly? Could 手 be 平? Happy New Year!

Cat
Professional Chinese Translator
Posts: 345
Joined: Nov 4, 2007 11:28 am

Re: Calligraphy Translation

Post by Cat » Feb 28, 2013 11:47 pm

You are welcome:)

What you suggest does make sense! I checked 如 and 平, found couple of different ways to write cao script, here's how they might look like:
如:
如or如

为:
為or為

平:
平or平

手:
手or平

As you can see, they do look a lot like. But to me the characters from your picture still look more like "为" and "手" instead of "如" or "平". I could be wrong though...

I also looked for the sentences of that poem with "为" and “平”, couldn't find much that make sense...

Now to think of it...I gave another look, checked the meaning, word by word, of the first sentence "远由依为迫", realized it could be explained as "(travel)from a long way is all because (I have)no other choice". (依=according to,为=because of/because, 迫=being forced). But I'm having trouble to figure out the meaning of the second sentence and the mysterious first character is not so helping...:)

Wish I knew more about ancient Chinese, or Japanese or Korean... would be helpful then...:)

-Cat.

JHKIM
Advanced Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 17, 2012 3:29 pm

Re: Calligraphy Translation

Post by JHKIM » Mar 25, 2013 5:03 pm

Great effort thank you so much for the extra effort.

Your "(travel)from a long way is all because (I have)no other choice". (依=according to,为=because of/because, 迫=being forced)" is pretty good. From what I've recently learned about the background of the verse, I believe this is military context as in an army being ordered to go on a campaign.

As to the poetry...I think it's possibly done in an ancient style,not Ci nor Qu, very strict, this one is a 2 verse 5 character quatrain and rythym seems to matter more than rhyme. I read a paper on this subject where a scholar was translating a 7 character style quatrain, there is a precise rythym to it.
枫桥夜
"Night Mooring at Fengqiao Village‟

yuè luò wū tí shuāng mǎn tiān
jiāng fēng yǘ huǒ duì chóu mián
gū sū chéng wài hán shān sì
yè bàn zhōng shēn dào kè chuán

However, mine is not so ancient, only (and maybe) written in the old style.

Thanks again. I have to see if I can get a better image posted of the troublesome character. I sent some images to Gary but they probably got blocked by a filter.

Cat
Professional Chinese Translator
Posts: 345
Joined: Nov 4, 2007 11:28 am

Re: Calligraphy Translation

Post by Cat » Apr 7, 2013 10:02 pm

You are welcome. Glad we can help a little bit. :)

I love that poem, 枫桥夜泊(feng1 qiao2 ye4 bo2) by 张继(zhang1 ji4) :)

月落乌啼霜满天,江枫渔火对愁眠。
姑苏城外寒山寺,夜半钟声到客船。

Anyway, people still wrote poem in ancient style nowadays, so what you were saying is totally possible.

-Cat.

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