[quote=“sjcma”]Following 招財進寶, we have the following:
I’d like to see a good translation for this.[/quote]
“Ya gotta study your Confucius and Mencius”?
[quote=“sjcma”]Following 招財進寶, we have the following:
I’d like to see a good translation for this.[/quote]
“Ya gotta study your Confucius and Mencius”?
I’d like to see a good tranlation for the bronze inscription you posted! I’ve nailed all but four of the graphs, I think. Too bad I don’t have a good, scholarly bronze graph dictionary set. Hey honey, mind if we build an addition to the study? :loco: :help:
The graph above can be either 好學孔孟 hao4xue2kong3meng4 if you’re reading right to left or 孔孟好學 kong3meng4hao4xue2 if you’re reading left to right. Chris gave a good translation for it. It’s a neat graph with 子 common among all four characters.
Time to write to Dr. Chen.
Haha. Yeah. I’ll probably give her a ring. She set me up with good oracle bone books. I’ve been going through them tonight to try to nail down the remaining four graphs, to no avail (on the off chance that the OB and bronze forms are similar). :taz: Sorry, I’m obsessive when it comes to stuff like this.
Ok, gimme a new challenge!
Haha. Yeah. I’ll probably give her a ring. She set me up with good oracle bone books. I’ve been going through them tonight to try to nail down the remaining four graphs, to no avail (on the off chance that the OB and bronze forms are similar). :taz: Sorry, I’m obsessive when it comes to stuff like this. [/quote]
I get obsessive looking up new words as well, although 甲骨文 and 金文 are really out of the realm of my abilities.
Ask and you shall receive…
Unlike the previous two modern day 合文, this one has actually seen some use in publications as part of a sentence. It’s debatable whether this one really is a 合文, but a cool character nonetheless. If you’re translating texts from the 1920’s up to the 1950’s, you might have seen this character.
Yeah, I hit the same roadblock with half of you guys’ modern Chinese posts, like Chris’s 採街, but that’s what I get for specializing in useless archaic crap.
[quote]Unlike the previous two modern day 合文, this one has actually seen some use in publications as part of a sentence. It’s debatable whether this one really is a 合文, but a cool character nonetheless. If you’re translating texts from the 1920’s up to the 1950’s, you might have seen this character.
My first instinct is 圖書, just an assumption out of the blue.
I’ve come across this before: I believe it’s an abbreviation for 圖書館. I have no idea if it has its own pronunciation, and in what circumstances it’s used.
I’ve come across this before: I believe it’s an abbreviation for 圖書館. I have no idea if it has its own pronunciation, and in what circumstances it’s used.[/quote]
Bingo! It’s actually a character that was invented in 1924 by 杜定友 (Du4ding4you3) who was a scholar in the field of library sciences. He found that writing 圖書館 using 毛筆 (mao2bi3) in his correspondences to be too much of a hassle and created
. This new graph does not have its own unique pronounciation and retains all three syllables of 圖書館 (tu2shu1guan3). The usage of
is very simply as it is fully interchangeable with 圖書館 in meaning and pronounciation. In these 2 respects, it is very much like a modern day 合文. Unlike 合文, however, the character 館 is pretty much thrown away altogether.
The first published usage of
was actually in Japan. In 1926, 杜定友 visited Japan that year and subsequently, a new Japanese magazine dedicated to library sciences chose
as its title. The first issue of this magazine had forty pages and used
436 times. In China, the first usage was in 1929 when the Shanghai newspaper 申報 reported on the first conference of the China Library Society.
The evidence that
has been recognized as a valid character can be seen by its inclusion into dictionaries. 最新標準國語辭典 (哲志 1979) has a listing for
although the much larger and more comprehensive 國語活用辭典 (五南圖書 1990) has chosen to omit it.
It’s certainly a rare type of character, if not unique, in modern dictionaries.
More polysyllabic characters on the way tomorrow…
He should have added 宀 mian2 on top of it! Then you’d have something closer. But the real 合文 are just combined, not abbreviated. If bu2zheng4 were written 歪, that would be he2wen2.
He should have added 宀 mian2 on top of it! Then you’d have something closer. But the real 合文 are just combined, not abbreviated. If bu2zheng4 were written 歪, that would be he2wen2.[/quote]
You have a point there. OK then, here are three better examples of modern day 合文. There are more of course, but they are all along the same vein. These are the more commonly used ones, I’d say (not that they are that commonly used to begin with). I’ve actually come across the first character in actual usage as a result of my chosen profession.
all the answers are here:
【兙】１.ㄉㄝ ㄎㄚ ㄍㄦ ㄚㄇ（得卡克蘭姆Ｄｅｃａｇｒａｍ）萬國衡名，克的十倍。
２.ㄍㄨㄥ ㄑㄧㄢˊ 我國標準制衡名，公錢的略稱。
【兛】１.ㄎㄧ ㄌㄜ ㄍㄦ ㄚㄇ（啟羅克蘭姆Ｋｉｌｏｇｒａｍ）萬國衡名，克的十倍。
２.ㄍㄨㄥ ㄐㄧㄣ 我國標準制衡名，公斤的略稱。
【兞 】１.ㄇㄧ ㄌㄧ ㄍㄦ ㄚㄇ（密里克蘭姆Ｍｉｌｌｉｇｒａｍ）萬國衡名，克的千分之一。２.ㄍㄨㄥ ㄙ 我國標準制衡名，公絲的略稱。
【兝 】１.ㄉㄝ ㄙ一 ㄍㄦ ㄚㄇ（得西克蘭姆Ｄｅｃｉｇｒａｍ）萬國衡名，克的十分之一。２.ㄍㄨㄥ ㄌㄧˊ 我國標準制衡名，公釐的略稱。
【兡 】１.ㄏㄝ ㄎ ㄊㄜ ㄍㄦ ㄚㄇ（海克托克蘭姆Ｈｅｃｔｏｇｒａｍ）萬國衡名，克的百倍。２.ㄍㄨㄥ ㄌㄧㄤˇ 我國標準制衡名，公兩的略稱。
【兣】１.ㄙㄣ ㄊㄧ ㄍㄦ ㄚㄇ（森梯克蘭姆Ｃｅｔｔｉｇｒａｍ）萬國衡名，克的百分之一。 ２.ㄍㄨㄥ ㄏㄠˊ 我國標準制衡名，公毫的略稱。
【嗧】ㄐㄧㄚ ㄌㄨㄣˊ 英美量名。gallon
【糎】ㄎㄧ ㄌㄛ ㄇㄝ ㄊㄜ ㄦ 法國長度名，等於我國ㄧ公里。
歪 = wai
不 + 好 = ?
歪 = wai
不 + 好 = ?[/quote]
hannes, what’s your source of this information? I’ve never see Zhuyin used in this way before. It’s kinda funny!
The pronounciations above are different from what I have:
qian1wa3 – 千瓦 written together, meaning kilowatt.
qian1ke4 – 千克 written together, meaning kilogram.
jia1lun2 – 加侖 written together, meaning gallon.
I had implied before that these are better examples of modern day 合文 because they fully retain both the pronounciation and the written form of their constituent characters. But what hannes has posted is news to me as I’ve never seen Zhuyin used in such a way as to approximate a foreign language.
With newly invented graphs such as these, I wonder why there hasn’t been additional characters invented to capture in a more compact way all the new terms that technology has brought upon society today.
As for the above bronze, the graph above the one you mention is clearly 孫 sun1 (same as 子 but with an additional little 8 mark (糸 mi4 ‘silk’, half of the modern 絲 si1 ‘silk’)) hanging from one elbow, and yes, it has the reduplication mark
So this reads sun1 sun1 zi3 zi3 (many descendants).[/quote]
So in this page from “Chinese Characters” by Dr. L. Wieger, S. J. it should read, “子子孫孫” and not “子二孫二”?
Yup. I can definitely confirm this. And there appear to be other mistakes too – Wieger is not a trustworthy source for learning how to read bronze inscriptions or for studying etymology!
My own strength is not bronze inscriptions, and I can therefore only offer the following with that caveat, but AFAIK, in the lower half of the page, the graph he interprets as 鼎 is instead 文; the one before it is 乍 (predecessor to 作) and the one after it is 父. In the last (left) column, the 2nd graph is 彝 yi2; and the last graph appears unrelated to 孫. I can’t competently decipher the whole inscription (give me a few years…) but what I see here certainly leads me to seriously doubt his competence.
So DB, are you going to post what it says on the bronze that I posted?
I’ve given it my best shot and this is what I’ve got:
I can’t figure out the first graph and I’m not quite sure about 敦 and 以 either. Your insights are welcome.
[quote=“sjcma”]So DB, are you going to post what it says on the bronze that I posted?
Yes, I’ll post what I’ve got shortly. I didn’t think anyone in this thread would be interested in my archaic perversions…
Posting what I initially read is easy. Taking time to comment on any readings you have which differ from mine is time-consuming. The greatest difficulty for me is that I don’t have specialized bronze dictionaries; mine are mostly oracle bones. I’m also not well versed in the usage and grammar of these bronze inscriptions, so it’s awfully hard for me to decipher something like “乍朕文考”. :help:
I’m curious – how did you manage to get readings like 彝, 朕 and 敦? I don’t mean the reason for these specific interpretations; I mean that most people can’t look at the graph which you’ve correctly interpreted as 彝 and understand it as 彝; do you have some good bronze dictionaries, or did you find a translation accompanying the original? Or is your recognition of pre-Qin scripts really this good?
Well, I posted that bronze initially to illustrate the ditto mark. Then I became obsessed about figuring it out and translating what it said. I’ve already spent too much time on this but it’s just one of those things…
Based on what I’ve read from other bronze translations, the first graph is the name of the family. The second graph is the name of the person within that family that made the bronzeware (tripod in this case). The third graph is thus typically 乍, which is the precursor for 作. Thus “XY乍” means “Dude Y from Family X created this bronzeware”. What follows 乍 often is the person for whom the bronzeware is dedicated to or the owner of the bronzeware. 朕文考 has stumped me as well. I’ve read a few bronzeware translations that include 朕文考. The translator goes into detail for just about every graph but seems to assume the reader already knows what 朕文考 means and skips commenting on this altogether. I believe it may be the name of a small fiefdom or ruling class because the line reads 朕文考甲公, so I’m thinking that this guy 甲公 belongs to this country/ruling class called 朕文考. My second thought is that it’s an honorary name for the ancestors of this clan (since 朕 means 我) and this tripod was made to honour the now deceased 甲公. So 朕文考甲公 may mean “my honoured ancestor 甲公”. Obviously, I don’t really know what I’m talking about so please feel free to correct me.
There was no translation accompanying the original and hence my obsession with figuring it out. Some of the graphs are pretty obvious like 文, 公寶, 日朝夕, 祀于人 and 孫孫子子 (which you’ve already provided the answer for). For 彝, once I had deciphered 寶尊, it wasn’t too long before I found that this is typically followed by 彝, with 寶尊彝 meaning bronzeware in general (quote: 早期多為銅器通稱：寶尊彝或寶彝、寶尊、旅彝，或單一字尊或彝). For 朕 and 敦 (I understand that 敦 can mean 簋), I found a 金文楷原對應表 PDF which is simply a list of 楷書 on the left hand column accompanied by its corresponding 金文 on the right hand column. It’s 380+ pages with 20 or so graphs per page. I painstakingly scrolled through all the pages forwards and backwards until I figured out 朕 and 敦. I’m still not sure about 敦 since the match is perfect on the left side of the graph but I’m not so sure about the right side. I’m also not sure about 以 since that’s not a great match either but it was the closest which I found which kinda fit the context. The PDF that I have shows the graph in the 2nd column, third from bottom, as 箕 but I’ve also seen a few websites from the mainland which interprets it as 其. I’m not sure whether there is a real difference between 箕 and 其 or whether they are really one and the same in 金文. For 朕, I was pretty sure I was right based on the PDF but I knew I nailed it once I found out that 朕文考 is an actualy term used in bronzeware script. The PDF was also useful in verifying the easier ones which I had interpreted myself. No magic here…a PDF and a bit of persistence.
PS: If you’re interested in the PDF, contact me via PM and I’ll email it to you. Don’t mistaken it for a dictionary though. It’s just a big long list of graphs and its accompany modern script. You may already have something better.
Cool, thanks! Like I said, I’m not very good at reading this stuff, so it’s wonderful to get someone else’s take on it.
I’ll refer to these by Column ABC&D then by number for the graph. I’d previously said I thought I had all but four of the graphs. Those four were A1, A4, C3 and D1. Here is my version:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
A: Your X啟乍朕文考甲 / My □肁(=肇?)乍(=作)□文考甲
#1 I don’t know character 1 either. Certainly reminiscent of 獄, no? (I mean an element sandwiched between 犭 elements.) But I haven’t seen any variants replacing 言 with 巳 or 日. Might be a graph read sī, which replaces 言 with either 耳 or the lower half of 官 (both of which roughly resemble the center element here sometimes), and means 獄官??? Just guessing here. Neither is listed as a surname in HYDZD Hanyu Da Zidian. Sometimes a title like 王 rather than a surname is used in the initial position. 獄官 is a title, so this is my best guess so far. But I’m pretty far out on a limb, really.
#2 You gave 啟. Understandable, given the door + hand composition, but the additional vertical element in the hand is unaccounted for, and none of my texts give such an example for 啟. I initially went that direction too, but the right side just doesn’t fit. I’m sure that it is instead 肁zhào, as it quite clearly comprises 戶 + 聿 yù. Zhào means 剛開門; 開始; 謀; Note the semantic overlap, therefore with 啟! Also note that adding one more hand makes 肇 zhào, occur, happen, cause; these two graphs could easily be cognate. I prefer this reading in terms of the grammar and meaning of the inscription, i.e., “The official in charge of prisons caused (to be) made (this… for my excellent deceased-ancestor Jia3 Gong1) vessel.”
#3 yes, 乍 (=作). Same animal.
#4 None of my books give this structure for 朕 zhèn; rather, they show 舟 (as here), plus two hands holding a stick or line; sometimes the line is replaced by fire. The graph here could be derived from 舟 + 火, so it’s possible this is a variant. 朕 meaning “my” here is at least intelligible. I googled and found 朕文考, so at that point I assumed you were right and it must be a variant form that I don’t have in my books. The graph zhèn is often cited as an exclusively royal pronoun but after reading about it these couple of days I believe that before Qin Shihuang it was more widely used as a first person pronoun alongside 我. (Actually, I didn’t know this graph before this exercise. )
#5, 6, 7 yes. Looking it up, I find 文 means 善 (right honorable, excellent, virtuous bla bla). 考 here means a deceased parent or relative, right?
Thus we have so far “[獄官]肇作朕文考甲” The officer of prisons has had this made in honor of my virtuous deceased ancestor Jia3 Gōng”
B: your 公寶尊彝箕日朝 / my 公寶尊彝其日朝
All look good to me except I had read 其 rather than 箕.
They share the same origin, as a pictograph for a winnowing basket; however, the graph was quickly borrowed phonetically for use as a pronoun etc., and you’ll generally see it in this borrowed usage. The bamboo top is a later addition as a disambiguating semantic to indicate the original meaning of a winnowing basket. AFAIK, unless a basket is specifically meant, you should not be adding the bamboo, which is why I read it as 其. I also couldn’t find any information indicating a possible bronze vessel type called 箕, so I’m pretty sure this is 其 a grammatical particle and not part of the string of vessel names.
So we have公寶尊彝其日朝: “…precious zūn, yí (and other bronze vessels) 其日朝夕. I’m going to take a wild guess and say 其 is 祺 qí auspicious, paired with 日; or 期日 ‘on a fixed date’? And 朝夕 zhao1 xì ‘day and night’. Correct me if you see anything wrong of course.
C: your 夕用敦祀于人百 / my 夕用□祀于匕百
All ok except 敦 and 人.
First, the left side of #3 certainly matches 敦 as you say; it is also the phonetic chún as in 淳醇錞鶉. The reading of dùi for 敦, being a ritual bronze vessel, is certainly possible. The context “use ritual-vessel to worship sb.” is meaningful. What confuses me is the right side, which resembles 帚 or a bird; my sources don’t have any such version for 敦. It really looks like a bird to me, but a reading of鶉 doesn’t make sense to me unless this is a phonetic loan of 鶉 for 敦. Perhaps there’s a verb □祀 which is a kind of sacrifice? Or perhaps □ is something being used for such a sacrifice.
Second, as for your reading of 人, I don’t understand its function here, and note that bronze forms of 人, 匕, 氒 jué and 勺 on occasion all look like this. I’ve never heard of 祀于人; 祀于 should be followed by the recipient of sacrifice, and such recipients are never just “人” AFAIK, but rather specific persons or deities. However, 祀于匕 is very meaningful, with 匕 being an early form of 妣 bĭ, female ancestors of various generations, whether direct (mother, grandma etc.) or indirect (aunt, great aunt etc.). I thus interpret this as 匕 (妣). Normally 匕(妣) or other ancestral terms (e.g., 父 or 祖) are further specified with a 天干, so the next problem is that 匕 is followed by 百 – very odd. Were the sacrifice to multiple female ancestors it might read 多匕 but not 匕百 afaik. Searching further today as I was writing this up, I noticed that a disambiguating term is sometimes added between the ancestor and the 干, since for example 父乙 could be one of several male ancestors. Thus we get phrases like父高乙. Could 百 be such a disambiguator (with D1 then being a Heavenly Stem)? I couldn’t find a list of all known ancestral disambiguators (kinda hard to google for), so I’m a bit stuck.
D: your 以孫孫子子箕永寶用 / my □(乙?) 孫孫子子其永寶用
The possibility of 百 as an ancestral disambiguator naturally led me to suspect that D1 (which I previously could not decipher) is a Heavenly Stem. Unfortunately, its resemblance to the nearest ones, 乙 and 己, is hardly remarkable. I keep kicking myself because I’m sure I’ve seen this graph before. If the bronze is badly cast or damaged (note that 孫孫 just below it is not very legible), it’s possible this is an incomplete graph. It actually matches a portion of some bronze versions of 申. But I don’t think the Earthly Branches were used to specify ancestors, were they? In sum, for lack of a better guess I’m going with 乙 here. But I’m not convinced.
Cool. We suffer from the same kind of obsession.
BTW, I didn’t know 寶尊彝 meant bronzeware in general; I was reading it too literally, as one or more of these three specific vessel types.
really? I don’t think so. The dui4 and gui3 are two different bronze vessel types, not interchangeable names AFAIK.
I want that PDF! I’ll send you my email address by PM.
Gotta run! Feel free to tell me where you think I might be wrong – I feel neck deep in water when I try reading these bronzes.