June 25th, 2003

breaking bad

Victory

I've been on a course, still am in fact. I thought people might like to read a bit of translation.

Here's a verse in chinese

kang bing xiang jia
ai zhe sheng yi

This is what the words mean (roughly)

contend army mutual undertake
grief it victor done


Here is how Ursula Le Guin translated it


When matched armies meet
The one who comes to grief
is the true victor"


Here is a well respected modern translation (Feng-English)

When battle is joined
The underdog will win


Here is my translation

In battle
Misery is victory


I don't think it is clear whether misery will bring victory, or that to feel misery is to be victorious

(or perhaps that victory will bring grief)