Suggestion

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Re: Suggestion

Postby Josh Young » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:24 pm

I'd like to point out that Erle was notorious for giving mistranslations of Chinese words and terms.

As Gord points out Erle cared more about the market he sold to and less about the proper use of words, like Kata, Dim Mak, fajin etc. He was not the first and won't be the last to do so. It does create some confusion as that a word in the WTBA that is used by many systems often has a meaning or use in the WTBA that comes from how Erle used it, and does not mean the same thing in his system that it does in Mandarin and or in other systems.

His work is a lot like that of Count Dante, in that regard.

Pete, I think you have a point, I know of many people who throw around Chinese words without any idea what they mean. It is all about mystifying students, like using the term 'ancient masters', it is designed to give an air of mystical meaning.

However in some cases western translations are incredibly poor, this is true for many terms used in CMA. The eight energies of the 13 postures are like this. The term "ward off' for example is unable to convey the meaning of the energy in a meaningful way, not that Peng does either, there is a parallel criticism of the use of the Mandarin word.

My point here is that words are of limited use, in any language, and they require explanation beyond simple words and terms. Often without a physical demonstration that can be felt there is little that can be conveyed or learned with terms of any language. For this reason students of teachers (like Erle and many others) who give mistranslations or misuse terms rarely care about the language issue and care more about the demonstrable context of the term. This results in a sort of martial arts tower of babylon in terms of language paradigm issues, but only in terms of communication between different schools.

What X word means in one system can mean something totally different in another system, this flusters communication at places like this forum where diverse contexts and systems interact and relate.

I don't feel that misusing a word undermines any form of credibility other than historical accuracy and knowledge. On one hand it shows that in terms of tradition and history a person has no clue and does not know what they are talking about, on the other hand it does not mean that they are not martial or credible as a martial artist or system creator.

If you care about historical accuracy then it is an issue, but if all you care about is your own system then it doesn't matter if your teacher has no clue about the true meaning of the terms and words he uses.
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Re: Suggestion

Postby pete5770 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:25 pm

wpgtaiji wrote:
pete5770 wrote:I originally wrote about this...

..because you like to be argue for the sake of arguing, nothing more!

pete, if you take a look at what Erle wrote/recorded/etc, he used the word that best fit. For example, he used the word kata for form as that was what his market used. He used very few chinese words in any of his explanations, and those he did use, he explained how HE used them (for example, Sung), and he was still misunderstood! mate, there is no "easy" way! Look at yourself pete! 40 years in taiji and you dont understand or accept fundamental concepts! FUNDAMENTAL concepts! LOL It runs deep mate.


I realize that you yourself have found the ultimate truths and want to share them with everyone.
Still, that quote about "Believe those seeking the truth. Be wary of those claiming to have found it." keeps flashing through my mind. Why is that?
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Re: Suggestion

Postby adamfuray » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:34 pm

pete is on to something with this. Is this thread about ancient chinese etymology or is this thread about using english words in place of chinese words to avoid confusion between english speaking people? Most Chinese martial arts terms have a very clear english translation that is only confusing to people who don't understand them, or wish to purposefully keep them confusing and mystical.
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: Suggestion

Postby wpgtaiji » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:04 pm

pete5770 wrote:I realize that you yourself have found the ultimate truths and want to share them with everyone.
Still, that quote about "Believe those seeking the truth. Be wary of those claiming to have found it." keeps flashing through my mind. Why is that?

no pete. i have not found any ultimate truth. My point with mentioning Erle was, it has been done already. pete is not being original in this vein. In fact, he is anything but.

adamfuray wrote:pete is on to something with this. Is this thread about ancient chinese etymology or is this thread about using english words in place of chinese words to avoid confusion between english speaking people? Most Chinese martial arts terms have a very clear english translation that is only confusing to people who don't understand them, or wish to purposefully keep them confusing and mystical.

Very clear translations in english? When someone does what you suggest, people get on their backs and call them morons (see Josh's post for an example). One is damned if they do or damned if they dont. As to the validity of the idea, this belongs in the trash, with the rest of pete's taiji understanding. why we humor the dude, is beyond me.
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Re: Suggestion

Postby Josh Young » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:22 pm

I have seen fluent Mandarin speakers and readers have issue with meanings and translations of terms, like Peng.

Some Chinese terms have clear translations, but some seem to require explanations that involved contexts that required explanations etc.


Some people give their opinion of what they think words (should) mean and totally ignore the literal translation, true.

But consider the controversy of and surrounding the eyebrow comments of Li Ya-xuan and you will see that there is significant argument about terms even among native Chinese.

One need not be a sinologist to know that archaic word use in China is often distinct from modern use and that a result of this is divergent translations and meaning. This is often true for any language and culture. Consider the word terrific in english as an example...


I feel that even the term tai chi is translated poorly and agree with this paper:
http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Religion/F ... 0Taiji.pdf
I think 'grand ultimate' is a terrible translation and that it totally misses the meaning.

Then you have the basic fact that Chinese characters and words often have multiple meanings and interpretations, this can often complicate translations as that some old writers would employ a context where both readings were valid and gave rise to different aspects in a way akin to puns.

If even native speakers of the language have issues with definitions and connotations, and they do, then it is dubious to think that translations can be had simply in all cases.

But who cares what an old ghost thinks?
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Re: Suggestion

Postby adamfuray » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:24 pm

Pete has a pretty firm grasp on reality, and martial arts. As far as I have seen, his only transgression has been de-railing threads with advice that isn't relevant to the OP's question, but serves to illuminate that the question is flawed to begin with. EXAMPLE: why ask about qigong when qigong isn't real? This is a legitimate perspective, but poor forum etiquette.
"I know sir, that I have played out of tune, but when I learn where to place my fingers, this shall no longer happen."-Giovanni Bottesini
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Re: Suggestion

Postby pete5770 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:32 pm

adamfuray wrote:Pete has a pretty firm grasp on reality, and martial arts. As far as I have seen, his only transgression has been de-railing threads with advice that isn't relevant to the OP's question, but serves to illuminate that the question is flawed to begin with. EXAMPLE: why ask about qigong when qigong isn't real? This is a legitimate perspective, but poor forum etiquette.


I could be wrong but I don't believe that I ever said Qigong wasn't real. I may have asked what if
it isn't real or most likely said I don't believe it's real. In any case the key words are "what if" and "I don't believe". Not believing or believing in something is nowhere near like stating, that you or I know for a fact, that it is or isn't real.
Hmmmmm, and you're right about my derailing. I do tend to chime in when I feel I have 2 cents worth to say and not always on topic. Still, I guess conversations will go where they will. :wink:
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Re: Suggestion

Postby Brian » Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:37 am

Josh Young wrote:I have seen fluent Mandarin speakers and readers have issue with meanings and translations of terms, like Peng.
Some Chinese terms have clear translations, but some seem to require explanations that involved contexts that required explanations etc.
Some people give their opinion of what they think words (should) mean and totally ignore the literal translation, true.
....Then you have the basic fact that Chinese characters and words often have multiple meanings and interpretations, this can often complicate translations as that some old writers would employ a context where both readings were valid and gave rise to different aspects in a way akin to puns.
If even native speakers of the language have issues with definitions and connotations, and they do, then it is dubious to think that translations can be had simply in all cases.


Just to add a little...here is a link that looks at the characters for 'Peng', 'Jin' and 'Li':

http://www.chuckrowtaichi.com/Peng.html
Taiji, QiGong and Meditation
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