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flippant

I'll be the first to admit I have far too little experience with 文言 to be able to accurately translate, but with this one in particular, it seemed to me like I elaborated and embellished far too mich. However, I couldn't really make sense of it without doing so. Hoping some of the bright minds here can chime in with suggestions.

"畏影恶迹"(庄子)

人有畏影恶迹而去之走者

People who fear their own shadows and their evil deeds will flee from them.

据足愈数而迹愈多

The more they lift their feet, the more traces(?) they leave behind

走愈疾而影不离身

Regardless of how fast they run, they cannot escape their shadow

自以为肖迟

Mistaking this as being too slow

疾走不休

(they are) always on the run, always fleeing

绝力而死

Having exhausted their strength, they die

不知处阴以休影

Without having known whether or not their sinister side ended with their shadow

(very unclear on this one; unclear on whether or not the 'rest' of 休 can be taken as the English rest, as in 'rest with')

处静以息迹

(or) whether or not peace was left behind in their footprints

(and this one

愚亦甚矣!

Foolish and surely terrifying?

(lots of trouble making this sentence have some sort of relevance as a closing statement)

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CrisPal

Translation of the 文言文 into mordern Chinese

  人有畏影恶迹而去之走者

 (有个人因为害怕自己的影子,讨厌自己的脚印而不停地跑,想要摆脱它们.)走--跑(in 文言)

 据足愈数而迹愈多

 (抬脚的次数越多,脚印就越多)

  走愈疾而影不离身

 (跑得再快影子却离不开身体)

  自以为肖迟

  (他自认为还是跑得慢)肖--通稍?(通假,文言修辞法)

  疾走不休

  (持续快跑而不停) 休--停下,休息。

  绝力而死

(气力耗尽而亡)

不知处阴以休影

  (却不知道处于阴凉处才能摆脱影子) 休--摆脱,去掉,not rest

处静以息迹

(安静下来才能摆脱脚印) 此处"息"意同上句"休"

愚亦甚矣!

(这个人)真是太愚蠢了。

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I'll be the first to admit I have far too little experience with 文言 to be able to accurately translate, but with this one in particular, it seemed to me like I elaborated and embellished far too mich. However, I couldn't really make sense of it without doing so. Hoping some of the bright minds here can chime in with suggestions.

You should check out the translation by James Legge available here

"畏影恶迹"(庄子)

人有畏影恶迹而去之走者

People who fear their own shadows and their evil deeds will flee from them.

It's not a general statement, but talking about a specific person (also signalled by "有...者". Did you read the text that comes before it? Context helps.

据足愈数而迹愈多

The more they lift their feet, the more traces(?) they leave behind

literally "the more numerous their footprints"

走愈疾而影不离身

Regardless of how fast they run, they cannot escape their shadow

自以为肖迟

Mistaking this as being too slow

以为 does not necessarily have a connotation of being mistaken in Classical Chinese

疾走不休

(they are) always on the run, always fleeing

"he ran, without stopping"

绝力而死

Having exhausted their strength, they die

see above.

不知处阴以休影

Without having known whether or not their sinister side ended with their shadow

(very unclear on this one; unclear on whether or not the 'rest' of 休 can be taken as the English rest, as in 'rest with')

I don't have my Classical Chinese dictionary with me right now, but this looks more like a causative construction to me, " he did not know to stay in the shade to make his shadow go away"

处静以息迹

(or) whether or not peace was left behind in their footprints

(and this one

parallel construction to the above one, "to stay in the quiet (Legge translated this as "if he had remained still")to make the footsteps disappear"

愚亦甚矣!

Foolish and surely terrifying?

(lots of trouble making this sentence have some sort of relevance as a closing statement)

where do you see a word that means "terrifying"? This sentence means something like "His stupidity was really excessive". It's not really a closing statement, it just the end of the example. The example of the person afraid of his own shadow is part of a larger conversation.

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