KudoZ home » English to Chinese » Poetry & Literature

fish or bearpaw

Chinese translation: 鱼和熊掌

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.
13:41 Jan 10, 2008
English to Chinese translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / expressions, proverbs
English term or phrase: fish or bearpaw
Or, alternatively, fish or bear's paw. I understand it's core meaning, but would you please enlighten me on its rhetorical connotaions and origins, which I suspect are Chinese.
Mahammad Kalfat
Local time: 21:33
Chinese translation:鱼和熊掌
Explanation:
鱼和熊掌, from an ancient Chinese essay

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 mins (2008-01-10 13:51:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Versions of translation:
He who hunts two hares leaves one and loses the other.
You can't have your cake and eat it too.
...
成语“鱼与熊掌不可兼得”出自孟子《鱼我所欲章》。
“鱼,我所欲也,熊掌,亦我所欲也;二者不可得兼,舍鱼而取熊掌者也。生,亦我所欲也,义,亦我所欲也;二者不可得兼,舍生而取义者也。”孟子用人们生活中熟知的具体事物打了一个比方:鱼是我想得到的,熊掌也是我想得到的,在两者不能同时得到的情况下,我宁愿舍弃鱼而要熊掌;生命是我所珍爱的,义也是我所珍爱的,在两者不能同时得到的情况下,我宁愿舍弃生命而要义。在这里,孟子把生命比作鱼,把义比作熊掌,认为义比生命更珍贵就像熊掌比鱼更珍贵一样.

本文节选自《孟子·告子上》。《告子上》的主要内容是阐明“性善说”,即人性里天生就有向善的种子,所谓“恻隐之心,人皆有之;羞恶之心,人皆有之;恭敬之心,人皆有之;是非之心,人皆有之”。这种善的天性,就是人的“本心”。“本心”不可小视,因为它们分别是仁义礼智这几种道德的萌芽形态:“恻隐之心,仁之端也;羞恶之心,义之端也;辞让(意近“恭敬”)之心,礼之端也;是非之心,义之端也。”人应该推求本心,顺着“本心”的方向发展,并将它发扬光大,从而成为道德上完善的人。因此,放到《告子下》全文里看,本文讲的是每个人都有“本心”,无论在什么情况下,人都应该保有自己的“本心”。只要“本心”在,即使在生死关头,人也能经受住考验;而如果丧失了“本心”,人就会做出有损于人格的事来。

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 days23 hrs (2008-01-13 12:50:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The ancient Chinese thinker Mencius compared fish to life, and bearpaw to righteousness. As "he who hunts two hares leaves one and loses the other", so he took bearpaw/pursued righteousness.
Selected response from:

Frank Wang
China
Local time: 03:33
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +10鱼和熊掌
Frank Wang


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +10
鱼和熊掌


Explanation:
鱼和熊掌, from an ancient Chinese essay

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 mins (2008-01-10 13:51:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Versions of translation:
He who hunts two hares leaves one and loses the other.
You can't have your cake and eat it too.
...
成语“鱼与熊掌不可兼得”出自孟子《鱼我所欲章》。
“鱼,我所欲也,熊掌,亦我所欲也;二者不可得兼,舍鱼而取熊掌者也。生,亦我所欲也,义,亦我所欲也;二者不可得兼,舍生而取义者也。”孟子用人们生活中熟知的具体事物打了一个比方:鱼是我想得到的,熊掌也是我想得到的,在两者不能同时得到的情况下,我宁愿舍弃鱼而要熊掌;生命是我所珍爱的,义也是我所珍爱的,在两者不能同时得到的情况下,我宁愿舍弃生命而要义。在这里,孟子把生命比作鱼,把义比作熊掌,认为义比生命更珍贵就像熊掌比鱼更珍贵一样.

本文节选自《孟子·告子上》。《告子上》的主要内容是阐明“性善说”,即人性里天生就有向善的种子,所谓“恻隐之心,人皆有之;羞恶之心,人皆有之;恭敬之心,人皆有之;是非之心,人皆有之”。这种善的天性,就是人的“本心”。“本心”不可小视,因为它们分别是仁义礼智这几种道德的萌芽形态:“恻隐之心,仁之端也;羞恶之心,义之端也;辞让(意近“恭敬”)之心,礼之端也;是非之心,义之端也。”人应该推求本心,顺着“本心”的方向发展,并将它发扬光大,从而成为道德上完善的人。因此,放到《告子下》全文里看,本文讲的是每个人都有“本心”,无论在什么情况下,人都应该保有自己的“本心”。只要“本心”在,即使在生死关头,人也能经受住考验;而如果丧失了“本心”,人就会做出有损于人格的事来。

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 days23 hrs (2008-01-13 12:50:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The ancient Chinese thinker Mencius compared fish to life, and bearpaw to righteousness. As "he who hunts two hares leaves one and loses the other", so he took bearpaw/pursued righteousness.

Frank Wang
China
Local time: 03:33
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 24
Grading comment
Selected automatically based on peer agreement.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Naikei Wong: 我们这边较常的说法“鱼与熊掌”(followed by 不可兼得) -- used even in daily conversation
5 mins
  -> Many thanks!

agree  Shirley Lao
20 mins
  -> Many thanks!

agree  franksf
39 mins
  -> Many thanks!

agree  J.H. Wang
59 mins
  -> Many thanks!

agree  Jason Ma
1 hr
  -> Many thanks!

agree  Yang Min
2 hrs
  -> Many thanks!

agree  orientalhorizon: When you have to choose between exclusive alternatives, you shall choose the one of higher value.
11 hrs
  ->  Many thanks!

agree  Han Li
15 hrs
  ->  Many thanks!

agree  Smartrans He
18 hrs
  ->  Many thanks!

agree  lhcm: I think what the asker wanted to know is the meaning of this saying and the wisdom behind it. Not its writing in Chinese.
23 hrs
  ->  Many thanks! You are right. He needs explanation instead fo translation.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


Changes made by editors
Jan 10, 2008 - Changes made by Jason Ma:
Language pairChinese to English » English to Chinese


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