Deprecated: Function set_magic_quotes_runtime() is deprecated in /home/dennisfong/tsoidug.org/blog/wp-settings.php on line 18

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::start_lvl(&$output) in /home/dennisfong/tsoidug.org/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_lvl() should be compatible with Walker::end_lvl(&$output) in /home/dennisfong/tsoidug.org/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::start_el() should be compatible with Walker::start_el(&$output) in /home/dennisfong/tsoidug.org/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0

Strict Standards: Declaration of Walker_Comment::end_el() should be compatible with Walker::end_el(&$output) in /home/dennisfong/tsoidug.org/blog/wp-includes/comment-template.php on line 0
Tsoi Dug Blog 才德博客 » Blog Archive » Xiao Shouldn’t be Translated as “Filial Piety” 孝不应译为“子女的虔诚”

Xiao Shouldn’t be Translated as “Filial Piety”
孝不应译为“子女的虔诚”

Some people ask me why I translate xiao into English as “being good to parents” rather than the prevalent translation of “filial piety”.  That’s because “filial piety” is open to cultish interpretation.

有人问我,为什么把“孝”用英语翻译为“对父母好“而不是通行的“子女的虔诚”呢?因为“子女的虔诚”一词,有时会令人用过度崇拜的角度来解释孝。

What cultish interpretation?  Well, around 1000 C.E., an intellectual movement came into dominance in China, and some people in that intellectual movement added some tendencies toward absolutes, excesses, metaphysics and cultish thinking onto Confucianism, originally a set of reasonable and practical tenets.

什么过度崇拜?就是公元一千年左右,有一股思潮在中国上升为主流,而这思潮中的一些人,对本来是一套合理实用原则的孔教,加上了一些绝对、过分、形而上学、过度崇拜等倾向 。

When it came to xiao some people with this mode of thinking advocated a sort of god-like worship of one’s living parents, a self-deprecating all-pervasive guilt feeling, constant self-punishment as a form of “offering” and piety, excessive emphasis on obedience and prostration, excessive grieving to the point of quitting all duty and staying night and day next to the parent’s grave for a full three years, and so forth and so on.

说到孝时,那思潮中的一些人提倡,好像对神那样崇拜还活着的父母,对父母怀着一种贬责自己、渗透一切言行的内疚,用不断的自我惩罚来作为“奉献”和“虔诚”,过分强调服从和俯拜,过分哀悼父母乃至丢掉所有职责、在墓旁日

It was precisely when this mode of thinking was at its zenith, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), that Jesuit missionaries working at the Emperor’s court coined “filial piety” as the term for xiao.

正是当这思潮处于巅峰时,即明朝时(1368-1644),在朝廷工作的耶稣会传教士把孝翻译为“子女的虔诚”。

I think xiao should mostly be a normal day-to-day activity of being good to parents and acting in their fundamental interests.  No god-like worship of one’s living parents is needed, no self-deprecating all-pervasive guilt feeling is called for, and no extraordinarily painful, self-punishing, excruciating exertion or sacrifice need be involved, except under certain special circumstances.  Instead of a subjective state of mind, i.e. a “piety”, I think xiao is more of an objective state, i.e. a way of conduct, indeed, as Confucius and Zeng Zi have said in Xiao Jing (The Classic of Xiao), a whole way of living one’s life.

我认为孝主要是日常行为对父母好,为父母的根本利益行事。不需要对还活着的父母好像神那样崇拜,不需要那种贬责自己、渗透一切言行的内疚,同时,除非特殊情况之下,也不需要异常痛苦的、自我惩罚性的、不必要的辛劳和牺牲。我认为孝的主要成分,并非是主观的一种心态或“虔诚”,而是一个客观的状态,是一种行为,事实上,好像孔子和曾子在《孝经》所提出一样,是一整套生活方式。

Thus I think it is more accurate to translate xiao as “being good to parents” than as “filial piety”.

所以,我认为把孝翻译为“对父母好”比“子女的虔诚”更为正确。

Feng Xin-ming  冯欣明

July 6, 2008 edited July 11, 2008


Please click to see: My Website, All Blog Entries, or The Latest Blog Entries.

请点击观看:我的网站所有博客贴文、或最新贴文


Web Design


Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply