About Translation

Wu Hanren

PureInsight | December 12, 2005

[PureInsight.org] Generally speaking, no matter how hard a person works, it is quite difficult for him/her to truly master one or more foreign languages very well. And there are more than a thousand different languages in the world! There are very few people who know many languages well. The majority of translators are quite limited in their abilities. Some can do fairly well orally, but are unable to make deep conversation. Some can translate from a foreign language to their native language, but cannot do it the other way around. Some can translate orally well, but not in writing, while some can translate in writing well but not orally. Even some professional translators are only good at certain aspects of translation, but are not as good in areas with which they are not very familiar.

According to the definition from a classic Chinese dictionary, Explaining Simple and Analyzing Compound Characters (說文解字), [the character for] "Yi" (譯 or "Translator") consists of two Chinese characters, 言 ("speech") and 睪 ("four nations"), [and thus] refers to a person who passes words from four nationalities. "Yi (譯)" is pronounced the same as "Yi (夷)." "Yi (夷), consists of two Chinese characters, 大 (big) and 弓 (bow), and means people from the east."

A "translator" (譯 or Yi), is "a person who passes words from four nationalities." In other words, a translator is an expert in many different nationalities' languages. In ancient times, China was called the Celestial Empire, the center of the world. People in eastern China were called "Yi (夷);" southern China, "Man (蠻);" western China, "Qiang (羌);" and northern China, "Di (狄.)" Together they are referred to as the "Four Yi" (四夷 or four nationalities).

Many well-known translators in history were cultivators. They wanted to spread the Buddha Fa or other religions; therefore they had conscientiously done research on many languages from different nationalities. In addition, cultivators have a very tranquil mind and are usually in the state of enlightenment. Therefore, they can do large amounts of very high quality translation. The famous translators in Chinese history such as An Shigao (who lived around 148 A.D.), Fa Xian (337-422 A.D.), Jiumo Luoshi (344-413 A.D.) and Xuan Zang (Tripitaka or Tang San Zang) (602-664 A.D.) were all accomplished monks. A catholic Cardinal named Mezzofant spoke several dozen languages perfectly.

The gods had their reasons to limit human beings and give them different languages and writing systems. But in this Fa-rectification period, the limitation of language does not suit the needs of truth-clarification in Fa-rectification. Moreover, it has become an obstacle arranged by the old forces. Without breaking through the obstacles in language and writing systems, Falun Dafa cannot spread to the entire world. Among Falun Dafa practitioners, there are many "people who pass words from the four Yi (夷)." These practitioners have translated Falun Dafa books into more than thirty languages, and therefore Falun Dafa has spread to more than seventy countries and regions in the world… Some Falun Dafa practitioners can clarify the truth in two or more languages. These translator practitioners not only have done things to spread Falun Dafa and clarify the truth, but also have broken through the obstacles in language and writing systems arranged by the old forces, and have help spread Falun Dafa's messages to the remotest corners of the world. The practitioners who have "passed words from the four Yi" are truly admirable!

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/11/29/34762.html

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