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really need a translation ! please


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hello evreybody,

I don't know if it's chinese or Japanese, but i really hope that somebody could give me a translation of this, or some clues about this :

http://img844.images.../caracteres.jpg

It's very old cabinet, dated 1900 i think. Here a global picture : http://img718.images...809/meubleb.jpg

I always wanted to know the meaning of this old engraving.

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*Should be read from top to bottom and right to left (typical traditional format):

欲把西湖比西子,淡妆浓抹总相宜。

----------甲寅春月子固作

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Translation:

The West Lake looks like the fair lady at her best.

Whether she is richly adorned or plainly dressed.

----- By Zigu in the Spring of Jiayin Year

---------------------

Notes:

西湖/West Lake: a famous lake located in Hangzhou, a eastern China city.

子固/Zigu: a special name for Zeng Gong (famous writer of Song Dynasty)

甲寅/Jia Yin Year: name of a year using “干支/Gan Zhi” year counting method which includes 60 different year types. Jia Yin is the first year on Gan Zhi list. If you want to go deep, Google干支纪年 to get the details.

----------------------------

More: these are the last two sentences from a famous poem written by Su Shi, a great poet. The whole poem goes like this:

水光潋滟晴方好,山色空蒙雨亦奇。欲把西湖比西子,淡妆浓抹总相宜。

The brimming waves delight the eye on sunny days.

The dimming hills give a rare view in rainy haze.

The West Lake looks like the fair lady at her best.

Whether she is richly adorned or plainly dressed.

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But with the translation of shinewood, we can think that it's older.

Why is that? If I said to you that this post of mine was written in 1742 would that make it true? Especially considering there might be other overwhelming evidence to suggest that actually it was written today.

(I don't know whether or not the cabinet is older, I'm just saying don't think it's old just because it has an 'old' date mentioned on it).

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But with the translation of shinewood, we can think that it's older.

What about his translation makes you think it's older? And how can you date it by what's written on it? If I made a cabinet and painted on a few lines of poetry by William Blake, would you automatically assume the cabinet was old?

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