Classical Chinese/Lesson 2
Vocab & Translation
- 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.
- 疾 - sickness
- 惡 - wickedness
- 殘 - spoiled
- 賊 - thieved of
- 忠 - devotion
- 信 - belief
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).