Classical Chinese/Lesson 2
Text[edit | edit source]
Vocab & Translation[edit | edit source]
- 人之性惡，其善者偽也。- Human nature is evil, all that is good about human nature is man-made (i.e. not really human nature).
- 今人之性，生而有好利焉，順是，故爭奪生而辭讓亡焉； - [The common person's nature,] following life and compassion, follows old disputes and ceases life, yet ignores the following of death. (Now it is human nature for one to be born with fondness of profit, following this leads to contention and strife arising while sense of modesty and yielding disappears.)
- 生而有疾惡焉，順是，故殘賊生而忠信亡焉；- One is born with feelings of envy and hate, following these leads to banditry and theft arising while loyalty and trustworthiness disappears.
- 疾 - sickness
- 惡 - wickedness
- 殘 - spoiled
- 賊 - thieved of
- 忠 - devotion, loyalty
- 信 - belief, trust
Grammar Notes[edit | edit source]
English sentence of the type: A is B (A was B, etc.), where A and B are nouns, is rendered in Classical Chinese this way: AB也
Note that 也 (yě) is a particle, not a verb like and English is. (Were it verb, it would have been placed between A and B).
Construction «AB也» is used if A is always B in any case. So, for example, you can say «I am a man» — «吾人也», but not «I'm a minister», because it´s something that can be taken from you.
In this case the verb 為 (wéi) is used, and it is a verb, not a particle (therefore it´s put between two nouns, line in English): A為B
For example, «吾為臣» — «I´m a minister».
Note that 為 (wéi) doesn´t change its forms like English verb does (am, is, are, be).