Say It Right Series
speak chinese like a native

第一回: Chunk 14

Posted by derek July 24, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Next the two masters reply to the stone...

二仙师听毕,齐憨笑道:"善哉,善哉!那红尘中有却有些乐事,但不能永远依恃,况又有`美中不足,好事多魔'八个字紧相连属, 瞬息间则又乐极悲生,人非物换,究竟是到头一梦,万境归空,倒不如不去的好.

Translation:

The two celestial masters heard this and together smiled saying: Shan Zai, Shan Zai!  Within that human society there are disadvantages and a few pleasures, but [you] cannot always depend upon [this], moreover, always have this eight character adage in mind, "a blemish in a perfect thing, the road to happiness has many setbacks";  joy can quickly change to sorrow, people cannot change, ultimately it is a dream, great circumstances return to nothing, [so] it would be better if you did not go [to the human world].

Breakdown:

二仙师听毕,齐憨笑道:"善哉,善哉! -> The two celestial masters heard this and together smiled saying: Shan zai, Shan zai!
(善哉,善哉 is an expression I have often heard in Chinese films and TV programs,usually spoken by a Buddhist/Daoist monk, but I have never seen a definition of it in any dictionary.)

那红尘中有却有些乐事 -> In that human society there are disadvantages and a few pleasures.
(有却有.... I think this pattern is commonly used to make a contrast between good and bad points.)

但不能永远依恃 -> but [you] cannot always depend upon [this].

况又有`美中不足,好事多魔'八个字紧相连属 -> moreover, always have this eight character adage in mind, "a blemish in a perfect thing, the road to happiness has many setbacks"
(Two 成语 combine to produce a type of aphorism or adage.)

瞬息间则又乐极悲生 -> joy can quickly change to sorrow
(similar to the 成语: 乐极生悲, extreme joy begets sorrow)

人非物换 -> people cannot change
(I think this is a 成语, but I am not sure of its exact meaning.)

究竟是到头一梦 -> ultimately it is a dream
(Literally: actually, be in the end, a dream)
 
万境归空 -> great circumstances return to nothing
(Or perhaps it is the 禅 Buddhist principle that everything is illusion.)

倒不如不去的好 -> it would be better if you did not go
(倒......的好 reinforces that a contrary opinion or statement is better?)

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