Classical Chinese/Lesson 4
— 老子 (Laozi).
Vocabulary & Translation
- 道可道，非常道。名可名，非常名: The way that can be spoken of is not the constant way. The name that can be named is not the constant name.
- 道 (dao4) - The first & third: noun the dao, the way, the path; the second: verb to say
- 可 (ke3) - can, that can be
- 非 (fei1) - is not
- 常 (chang2) - eternal(ly), common, constant(ly)
- 名 (ming2) - The first & third: noun the name; the second: verb to name
- 無名天地之始；有名萬物之母: Without a name [it is] the beginning of heaven [and] earth. Having a name [it is] the mother of thousands of things.
- 無 (wu2) - without
- 天 (tian1) - heaven, the heavens
- 地 (di4) - land, earth
- 之 (zhi1) - possessive marker like English 's
- 始 (shi3) - start, beginning
- 有 (you3) - to have
- 萬 (wan4) - 10,000
- 物 (wu4) - things,
- 萬物 (wan4 wu4) - the myriad things
- 母 (mu3) - mother
- 故常無，欲以觀其妙: Therefore constantly [be] without desire in order to see its mystery.
- 故 (gu4) - reason, cause, therefore
- 欲 (yu4) - desire
- 以 (yi3) - in order to
- 觀 (guan1)- to see
- 其 (qi2)- his, her, its, their
- 妙 (miao4) - mystery
- 常有 , 欲以觀其徼: [But] constantly have desire in order to see its frontier.
- 徼 (jiao4) - frontier, border