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Request for Kanji for Phrase for Custom Wall Scroll

Posted: Dec 13, 2012 9:58 pm
by melandlaurel
"After the ten thousandth triumph, yet a beginner."

Re: Request for Kanji for Phrase for Custom Wall Scroll

Posted: Dec 13, 2012 10:25 pm
by Gary
Is this from a Japanese or Chinese proverb? If so, I can try to research the original text, rather than trying to translate this (which takes more effort and money).

-Gary.

Re: Request for Kanji for Phrase for Custom Wall Scroll

Posted: Dec 13, 2012 10:40 pm
by melandlaurel
Japanese, from a story that is fiction, but may be pulling upon the quote from Japanese historical fact. Thanks.

Re: Request for Kanji for Phrase for Custom Wall Scroll

Posted: Dec 13, 2012 10:47 pm
by Gary
Story or book title?

I need a starting point for the research.

-G.

Re: Request for Kanji for Phrase for Custom Wall Scroll

Posted: Dec 14, 2012 6:15 am
by melandlaurel
TULKU, by Stephen K. Hayes

Re: Request for Kanji for Phrase for Custom Wall Scroll

Posted: Dec 15, 2012 12:52 pm
by Gary
OK, I guess your definition of a Japanese book and my definition vary a bit. This is a book written in English about a fictional Japanese subject matter. There's no original Japanese to find here, unless Mr. Hayes used some Japanese phrase as a basis for a passage he wrote in the book. This seems unlikely, as I can't find any references to similar phrases in Japanese that date back farther than a decade or two.

Some contemporary Japanese martial arts masters have created phrases such as "One becomes a beginner after one thousand days of training and an expert after ten thousand days of practice" ~Sosai Masutatsu Oyama. Unfortunately, even these seem to have been composed in English, thus a Japanese origin may or may not exist somewhere.

I hate to just translate something like this into Japanese. Years later, you might find the origin, and see that it's quite different from the translation I gave you.

To explain further, translation is more art than science. If you have 5 translators work on a single phrase, and you'll probably get at least 3 variations of translation. Here's an English example:

Even the most unusual of bravery became common that day.
Rare Courage became a common sight.
When only a few are brave on a normal day, most found bravery on that day.

These could all be interpretations of the famous phrase:
Uncommon valor was a common virtue.
Said by Admiral Chester Nimitz reflecting on the sacrifice of Marines who fought at Iwo Jima.

Do you see how you would not want just a translation if text in the original language existed?

This is a difficult request. Often I get requests for a passage from Sun Tzu's "Art of War", which still takes a lot of effort, but the original text is available (I have at least three versions in my own library). In your case, just determining if original text exists is an uphill battle. Finding it will take even more effort.

Maybe you can do the ground work, and contact the author to see if he quoted some ancient source in Japan. Maybe he can give you the text directly (if he spent time in Japan, there's a chance he can just type in the Japanese text and email it to you). I'd rather you do it, as I need to start charging an hourly rate for my time otherwise - I don't want you to pay for something you could do yourself.

Yours,
-Gary.

Re: Request for Kanji for Phrase for Custom Wall Scroll

Posted: Dec 15, 2012 1:12 pm
by melandlaurel
The erudition of that reply is already more than I hoped for/expected...thanks much; Stephen Hayes might not be as accessible as I would like, but I'll give it a shot anyway; thanks much!