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JimW

Grammatical difficulties

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JimW

Right at the moment, I'm going through the Gospel of John in Chinese (in part because it's easy to find it in Characters, pin yin, and English translation).

It sdeems that quite sometimes the Chinese words have a slightly different meaning than they come up with in the dictionary (Or in Babel.)

I have here a phrase, in both GB characters and pin yin, And though I know what it is supposed to be getting across in English, the Chinese seems a little off. Can someone give me a grammatical explanation of the sentence?

--ye1su1-zhuan3/4-guo1/4-shen1-lai2-,-kan4jian-jian4/xian4-ta1men-gen1-zhao1/2/zhe5/zhuo2-,

-jiu4-wen4-ta1men-shuo1*-,-ni3men-yao1/4-shen2me-.-ta1men-shuo1*-,-la1bi3-,-zai4-na4li

-zhu4-.-(-la1bi3-fan1-chu1lai-,-jiu4-shi4-fu1zi3-)

--耶稣转过身来,看见见他们跟着,就问他们说,你们要什么。他们说,拉比,在那里住。(拉比翻出来,就是夫子

Thanks,

Jim Wagner

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jz87

This is a really bad translation for a work as important as the Holy Bible. That passage had no flavor at all, it's like reading a log. I hope the real bible isn't this unpoetic.

"Jesus turned around, saw that they were following him, and spoke: What do you people want? They said, Labi, where does he live?"

(I'm not sure what Labi is, in case it's another name for Jesus, and they're addressing him, then the last part means "Labi, where do you live?")

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JimW

"Labi" is as close as Mandarin phonetics can come to "Rabbi," a Jewish term of respect to a scholar.

The part in brackets Is supposed to say something like "Rabbi is translated as 'Master.'"

This is from the Chinese Union Vesion, which I suspect was done in some sort of "Cross-China" dialect so as to be understood by the greatest number of people.

That, of course, gets the message across, but is never particularly impressive as literature.

Thanks very much.

Jim Wagner

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Altair
This is a really bad translation for a work as important as the Holy Bible. That passage had no flavor at all, it's like reading a log. I hope the real bible isn't this unpoetic.

From what I recall, parts of the New Testament (i.e., the Christian additions to the Jewish Bible) are just this simple and dry, but probably intentionally so. The idea was to transmit historical facts and information, rather than to inspire with language. The equivalent today would be a news story. Other parts of the New Testament have a more poetic and philosophical tone.

This is from the Chinese Union Vesion, which I suspect was done in some sort of "Cross-China" dialect so as to be understood by the greatest number of people.

As I understand it, the New Testament language probably had a similar origin. The authors are thought to have written in fairly simple style of Greek in order to reach Jews and Christian who spoke many different languages. The "common language" they generally used was a particular type of Greek that was not used for writings with literary pretensions.

Jim, as for your original question, I think I follow most of the nuances of the grammar, except for the repetition of 见 in 看见见. Do you still need help with any of the grammar? If so, what does not seem to make sense? All of the rest of the Chinese seems to match what I recall of this passage.

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