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Nov 18, 2018

LOST IN TRANSLATION


Posted by: Dan

In the TCC world both in its literature and teachings egregious errors due to inaccurate translations abound. Why so?

Most people, whatever the language, are just not good at writing. They are unclear, illogical and don't get to the point. Introduce the translation element and things are exponentially made worse.

If the language relates to arcane subject matter, then the translator though he or she may be well skilled in correct usage of the languages involved, the subject matter, the jargon, the technical terms used will defeat them.

Most TCC practitioners are just not experienced in fighting. They possess unconscious incompetence. There is no hope for them.

For those who are consciously incompetent, it depends if they have the energy, time and money to do something about it.

The consciously competent with great concentration know what they are doing, but it doesn't come natural.

For the unconsciously competent, they know it, they do it, they are it.

Let's  look at some misinterpretations.

DA SHOU GE - is the shortest of the 5 major TCC Classics and it literally means 'Striking Hands Song'. Striking Hands refers to 'Fighting' and to 'Fighters', yet it is often translated as 'The Song of Pushing Hands'. it doesn't mention pushing hands.

SUI - is one of 5 strategies mentioned in 'Da Shou Ge' and is often translated as 'Yielding'; this suggests retreating, but is misleading. If the opponent's force comes forward we can follow it by going back. If his / her force goes back as in pulling we can follow the force by going forwards. Not yielding, following.

JIN is the name for 8 tactics of applying force. To translate Jin as 'Energy' is moronic. Analysis of the character show the elements of silk and strength. The  term then means the skilled use of force.

YUN SHOU is 'Cloud Hands' in English. The term is either gibberish or an awful Chinese pun, using the character for cloud instead of the similar sounding character meaning to rotate. 

FEI HUA ZHANG - literally 'Flying Flower Palm' is a highly practical drill using 4 dualities, but the term should be 'Flying Transforming Palm'. The Chinese characters for 'flower' and 'transform' sound the same. 'Flying Flower Palm is a poor pun or an idiotic mistake.

BAO YI SHI is the name of the 2nd Yin Nei Kung technique. One of my teacher's Chinese students translated 'Bao Yi Shi' as Unity Style. Bao yi literally means Embracing Oneness and is a reference found several times in the Tao Te Ching relating to the concept of the Oneness of Heaven, Earth and Humanity.

I'm gonna stop now, that is enough New Age idiocy for a while.

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