What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Picture translation

Karilyne

後輩
Joined
16 Sep 2016
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
I'm trying to upload a picture that I would like to know what it means in English. I can't get the picture to upload here.

karilyne.JPG
 

lincstreff

後輩
Contributor
Joined
13 Jan 2016
Messages
108
Reaction score
47
The large character is 静, which means "peacefulness, stillness, silence, tranquility" (etc., etc.).

The eight medium-sized characters below it are (written in an atypical order):
澹泊明志 寧静致遠

Apparently this is a shorthand term (a collection of 4 two-character words) which is used to describe a particular passage in an old Chinese text called "誡子書", the purpose of which is to train children in the proper ways to behave.

The following Japanese-language blog post gives the original Chinese text of the aforementioned passage, as well as a Japanese-language interpretation of its meaning: 寧静致遠 | 寧静致遠(ねいせいちえん)

I'll leave the rest as an exercise...
 

Karilyne

後輩
Joined
16 Sep 2016
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Thank you :) i have been trying to translate this forever, translation apps are useless. Ok so it is actually Chinese, not Japanese? Is there no direct translation of the smaller kanji? A way of teaching children seems strange to be on a lantern. The most I could figure out on my own was something do with "rather than dark", which made sense on a lantern.
I really appreciate the info and your time :)
I guess I was hoping for a direct translation. This was a gift from a friend that got it for me in New York area Chinatown because he knew my love of Japanese decor. I've never had such a problem before being able to decipher these things on my own. My old college professor was fluent in Japanese and lived there many years, he used to translate things for me all the time, but he has passed on now. Thanks again!
 

Mike Cash

骨も命も皆此の土地に埋めよう
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
16,454
Reaction score
2,248
This was a gift from a friend that got it for me in New York area Chinatown because he knew my love of Japanese decor.
How very odd that it would turn out to be Chinese....
 

lincstreff

後輩
Contributor
Joined
13 Jan 2016
Messages
108
Reaction score
47
Ok so it is actually Chinese, not Japanese? Is there no direct translation of the smaller kanji?
Yes, it is Chinese.
By smaller kanji, do you mean the eight below the big one?
The following web page provides an English translation of the entire original Chinese text:
Sagebooks Chinese for kids
I cannot vouch for the accuracy.
The fourth and fifth lines contain the words on your lantern, but the translation of the fourth line looks very loose to me.
Based on that translation, and a little extra speculation, I would translate the four terms on your lantern as:
澹泊 - simplicity; a simple life
明志 - clarity of will
寧静 - tranquility; calm
致遠 - great achievement
If you need an accurate translation, you will have to go elsewhere.
 

Karilyne

後輩
Joined
16 Sep 2016
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
How very odd that it would turn out to be Chinese....
LOL right! I thought it was Chinese originally being where it came from, then several people awhile back that I showed it to were "positive" it was Japanese. It's good to have an idea what it says now. It seemed silly to own something in which I had no idea what it meant.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
16,649
Reaction score
2,972
Those are more likely Chinese origin four-character idioms that are known also in Japan, just like 風林火山. The original poem is like the below, as in the site lincstreff-san linked.

澹泊無以明志 非寧静無以致遠
澹泊にあらざれば以て志明らかならず
寧静にあらざれば以て遠きを致すなし
Tanpaku ni arazareba motte kokorozashi akiraka narazu
Neisei ni arazareba motte tooki wo itasu nashi

It's already translated, but more literal translation would be like this;
Those who are not unselfish can't determine their aim in life.
Those who are not calm can't reach their far distant goal.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Top Bottom