Something I wrote in Clarity. I doubt it would fly very high with established Chinese translators but, for some reason, it makes sense to me.

Now, I find that er4 is a great word to debate semantically. Here is something interesting:

English Senses For: er4 ()

in ancient China – a deputy / to serve as a deputy / to suspect / to doubt / to distrust / changeable / an elaborate form of ” two “used in writing checks etc. to prevent forgery – / to repeat / double ness / a Chinese family name.

29.4 (from Steve Marshall’s Zhouyi transcription)

六四 樽酒簋貳。用缶。納約自牖。終无咎。

Now, look at the parsing above; if we take this as the correct parsing, then we have a four distinct verses here. Thus, er4 is part of the first verse…

The meaning I like most above is: [U]” an elaborate form of ” two “used in writing checks etc. to prevent forgery – / to repeat / double ness /”.[/U] From this, I depart from both Brad’s (number two, meaning a numeral) and Ewald’s (distrust) interpretations. If I was translating this on my own, I would see er4 as a way to “make sure; be assured of; doble-check something is accomplished –i.e. check door locks more than once, etc.–; surely; in a sure manner; with assurance; without doubt; etc.” An off-the-wall interpretation for “er4” could be as part of explaining “compulsive behaviour” by repeatedly doing something. Now, notice that my interpretation is, somewhat, a combination of “two”, as numeral, and “distrust”. It is derived from both.

I have other unorthodox semantic interpretations for the characters of the first verse.

One of the meanings for is “lush, luxuriant.” I like that. A lot. From there I can derive a meaning of “fine, luxurious”. This interpretation fits, IMVHO, like a glove with the next character, , which is translated as wine or liquor. Thus, I would interpret “ ” as “fine wine”, “precious wine”, meaning a wine that is only used for especial occasions or purposes (i.e. “holy wine”, etc.)

The next character, “,” is very interesting, contextually so. Its meaning being a “basket of bamboo” (bowl, if you want to stretch the meaning to other “hollow container”). But not just any “bamboo basket” (or bowl) it is a special basket used in sacrifices, offerings and/or special occasions, like in a feast. Its use something akin to the bronze “ding”, but in a wooden version.

Again, if this parsing is correct –and thus its contextual meaning–, “er4” I would translate “樽酒簋貳。” as:

“Making certain () the finest () {or proper/correct} wine/liquor () goes in the sacrificial basket {vessel} ()”

Of course, I know that above I transposed characters, etc., but it is a totally “right-brained” translation of the verse….


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One Response to 29.4

  1. Cheo says:

    Thank you for this brilliant interpretation, Luis.

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