KudoZ home » Chinese to English » Poetry & Literature

学得越多,懂得越少。

English translation: The more you dabble in, the less you grasp

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Chinese term or phrase:学得越多,懂得越少。
English translation:The more you dabble in, the less you grasp
Entered by: Wenjer Leuschel
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

13:16 Aug 29, 2008
Chinese to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Common Expression
Chinese term or phrase: 学得越多,懂得越少。
我的一位朋友翻译 José Saramago 的著作时,按照 Saramago 的阐释,把拉丁文句子 "Onerat discentem turba, non instruit, multoque satius est paucis te auctoribus tradere, quam errare per multos."(英译:The learner is, not instructed, but burdened by the mass of them, and it is much better to surrender yourself to a few authors than to wander through many.)简译成“学得越多,懂得越少”。Saramago说得有道理,但我有点纳闷,他对这句话的理解是否正确。如果不正确,那么“学得越多,懂得越少”应该怎么翻译成英文呢?

道谢在先!
Wenjer Leuschel
Taiwan
Local time: 13:44
The more you dabble in, the less you grasp
Explanation:
不真懂拉丁文。从英文来说,其本义大致相当于中文的“贪多嚼不烂”,似乎是“全才”,实则啥都是只知道点皮毛,所谓“样样通、样样松”。有点象家庭烙大饼,摊得越大,就越薄,切下一块来也就越没什么东西可吃,连塞饱肚子都成问题。从总体而言,在这个上下文里,这句话译为“学得越多,懂得越少”应该是不错的,而且还有“平淡之中更出味道”的感觉。
Selected response from:

orientalhorizon
Local time: 13:44
Grading comment
也谢谢Carol!但为避免弦外之音,我选择这个翻译。
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
3 +3The more you learn, the less you know
Carol So
4The more you dabble in, the less you grasp
orientalhorizon
Summary of reference entries provided
Jason Ma

Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


49 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
The more you dabble in, the less you grasp


Explanation:
不真懂拉丁文。从英文来说,其本义大致相当于中文的“贪多嚼不烂”,似乎是“全才”,实则啥都是只知道点皮毛,所谓“样样通、样样松”。有点象家庭烙大饼,摊得越大,就越薄,切下一块来也就越没什么东西可吃,连塞饱肚子都成问题。从总体而言,在这个上下文里,这句话译为“学得越多,懂得越少”应该是不错的,而且还有“平淡之中更出味道”的感觉。

orientalhorizon
Local time: 13:44
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 21
Grading comment
也谢谢Carol!但为避免弦外之音,我选择这个翻译。
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

35 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
The more you learn, the less you know


Explanation:
I have encountered this quote many times and it seems like it is quite a popular one:

The more you learn, the more you know.
The more you know, the more you forget.
The more you forget, the less you know.
So why LEARN?

The more you study, the more you remember.
The more you remember, the more you forget.
The more you forget, the less you remember.
So why STUDY?

You can see it quite often on bookmarks and souvenirs sold in Oxford but unfortunately I still can't work out who said this.

If you google it you will find that sometimes people change the quote a bit and they would just say ' The more you learn, the less you know'.

The link attached said it's from George Bernard Shaw, I don't know.




--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-08-29 14:39:29 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It seems that the quote I quoted here doesnt really mean exactly the same thing as the Latin quote. I agree with orientalhorizon on the interpretation of the Latin quote in question, which roughly means that it's better to devote yourself into a few limited specialisms/ theorists/ theories, rather than knowing a bit of everything. The more authors you read, the more confused you are.

The quote " The more you learn the less you know" is a bit different. It is a kind of paradox due to the fact that we are just human being but not computers, and we have limitations.

Another interpretation to the Chinese quote is that the more you learn, the more you know what you dont know, so you understand how ignorant you are, and how less you know in the sea of knowledge.

I am not sure if different interpretation to the Chinese saying would give different translations.


    Reference: http://www.c2i.ntu.edu.sg/AI+CI/Humor/tlquotes_M.html
Carol So
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:44
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Beverly Zhang
12 mins
  -> thanks

agree  orientalhorizon
16 mins
  -> thanks

agree  Du Wei
2 days11 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Reference comments


1 hr
Reference

Reference information:
Not necessarily related to Wenjer's question, just treat this as brainstorming.
Nice parodox, but a poor joke:
Reading is knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. Corruption is a crime. Crime doesn't pay. Therefore if we read more, we go broke!



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-08-29 14:25:32 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I'm amazed to find the enthusiastic participation in English Kudoz.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr (2008-08-29 14:43:06 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

我曾读到有人一生只读一两本书,却获得无尽的财富。这书可能是《毛泽东选集》,可能是Bible,可能是Koran, 可能是... 总之,因人而异。
不过像我这样的初入门槛的译者,不多看书就会捉襟见肘。


    Reference: http://www.proz.com/kudoz/english/certificates_diplomas_lice...
Jason Ma
China
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 8
Note to reference poster
Asker: 老九嘛,三日不读书,便觉言语无味,面目可憎,是不是?

Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search