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Kenny同志

Translating 綠水青山就是金山銀山.

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Kenny同志

Hi folks,

 

How would you put this into English? This is something a colleague wanted me to help her with but I find it quite difficult. My attempt: 

A well-preserved environment is priceless/most precious. 
 

Thanks in advance for your help. 🙂

 

By the way, is 'A well-preserved environment is our biggest fortune' proper English? I find it a little odd. 

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Tomsima

Hi Kenny. I really enjoy following your translation questions here - another interesting one! As with some of your previous posts, it really depends on the context in which the translation is going to be used, particularly because the phrase is an official govt slogan.

 

If the translation is for someone interested in a layman's understanding of the phrase, I think 'a well-preserved environment is priceless' works fine.

 

However, the phrase is a lot deeper than that, as I'm sure you know, as it reflects on the govts shift from 'prosperity can only be brought about at the cost of the environment (ie industrialisation)' to 'we can keep making money while /also/ looking after the environment'. In which case, something like 'the environment must be treasured, as that is where true value lies' might do a better job of capturing this depth in meaning.

 

Finally, the more literal style that I believe is used in state media translations does not need to be glossed if the translation is for direct reporting on what the govt is saying about the environment. I believe it is, "Clear waters and green mountains are as valuable as gold and silver mountains". Sounds very Chinese, but that is not a problem in this last context.

 

Hope this helps a little

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Kenny同志

Hi Tomsima,

 

Your interpretation makes sense. And I love your translations! 

 

Thanks. Much appreciated! :mrgreen: 

 

There might be more to come, haha. 

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Leslie Frank

so here's ruminations from a glass half empty person. i've always had a bias against chinese who think solely in terms of making money.

 

i know it's not a chinese-only trait, it's just something that's personal (ABC whose father thought nothing of family but of making money) and also to some level a very chinese thing; otherwise why the popularity of the more canto leaning 恭喜發財 said during "chinese" new year, which is not a wish for a happy new year but one that brings monetary fortunes to mind, and you can almost see it in your query about 綠水青山就是金山銀山--a link of the wonders of nature to that of a gold or silver standard. so kinda like Tomsima, but not: the beauty of nature can be the golden/silver goose; that is, money can be made by exploiting nature.

 

i seem to remember some hotel being built to have stunning views of nature, while at the same time destroying much of nature to clear the way to build such a view.

 

again, as Tomsima mentioned, it's all about context, so it depends on what be written around this sentence you pose.

 

more than likely, it's the innocuous: nature is valuable/priceless.

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