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中国茶文化Chinese Tea Culture

Posted by bluehorizon June 7, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

"When a guest comes to my home from afar on a cold night, I light bamboo to boil tea to offer him." — Ancient Chinese poem. 

 China is the home country of tea. Before the Tang Dynasty, Chinese tea was exported by land and sea, first to Japan and Korea, then to India and Central Asia and, in the Ming and Qing dynasties, to the Arabian Peninsula. In the early period of the 17th century, Chinese tea was exported to Europe, where the upper class adopted the fashion of drinking tea. Chinese tea—like Chinese silk and china—has become synonymous worldwide with refined culture. At the heart of the art of tea—the study and practice of tea in all its aspects—is the simple gesture of offering a cup of tea to a guest that for Chinese people today is a fundamental social custom, as it has been for centuries. China traces the development of tea as an art form to Lu Yu, known as "the Saint of Tea" in Chinese history, who lived during the Tang Dynasty and who wrote The Book of Tea, the first ever treatise on tea and tea culture. The spirit of tea permeates Chinese culture, and throughout the country there are many kinds of teas, teahouses, tea legends, tea artifacts and tea customs. Better-known places to enjoy a good cup of tea in China include Beijing noted for its variety of teahouses; Fujian and Guangdong provinces and other places in the southeast of China that serve gongfu tea, a formal serving of tea in tiny cups; the West Lake in Hangzhou, also the home of the Tea Connoisseurs Association, noted for its excellent green tea; and provinces in southwest China like Yunnan where the ethnic groups less affected by foreign cultures retain tea ceremonies and customs in original tea-growing areas.     

The Chinese people, in their drinking of tea, place much significance on the act of "savoring." "Savoring tea" is not only a way to discern good tea from mediocre tea, but also how people take delight in their reverie and in tea-drinking itself. Snatching a bit of leisure from a busy schedule, making a kettle of strong tea, securing a serene space, and serving and drinking tea by yourself can help banish fatigue and frustration, improve your thinking ability and inspire you with enthusiasm. You may also imbibe it slowly in small sips to appreciate the subtle allure of tea-drinking, until your spirits soar up and up into a sublime aesthetic realm. Buildings, gardens, ornaments and tea sets are the elements that form the ambience for savoring tea. A tranquil, refreshing, comfortable and neat locale is certainly desirable for drinking tea. Chinese gardens are well known in the world and beautiful Chinese landscapes are too numerous to count. Teahouses tucked away in gardens and nestled beside the natural beauty of mountains and rivers are enchanting places of repose for people to rest and recreate themselves.     

China is a country with a time-honored civilization and a land of ceremony and decorum. Whenever guests visit, it is necessary to make and serve tea to them. Before serving tea, you may ask them for their preferences as to what kind of tea they fancy and serve them the tea in the most appropriate teacups. In the course of serving tea, the host should take careful note of how much water is remaining in the cups and in the kettle. Usually, if the tea is made in a teacup, boiling water should be added after half of the cup has been consumed; and thus the cup is kept filled so that the tea retains the same bouquet and remains pleasantly warm throughout the entire course of tea-drinking. Snacks, sweets and other dishes may be served at tea time to complement the fragrance of the tea and to allay one's hunger.


中国人饮茶, 注重一个"品"字。"品茶"不但是鉴别茶的优劣,也带有神思遐想和领略饮茶情趣之意。在百忙之中泡上一壶浓茶,择雅静之处,自斟自饮,可以消除疲劳、涤烦益思、振奋精神,也可以细啜慢饮,达到美的享受,使精神世界升华到高尚的艺术境界。品茶的环境一般由建筑物、园林、摆设、茶具等因素组成。饮茶要求安静、清新、舒适、干净。中国园林世界闻名,山水风景更是不可胜数。利用园林或自然山水间,搭设茶室,让人们小憩,意趣盎然。



  2.领略饮茶情趣:take delight in tea-drinking。


  4.择静雅之处:securing a serene space。

  5.细啜慢饮:imbibe slowly in small sips。


  7.使精神世界升华到高尚的艺术境界:until your spirits soar up and up into a sublime aesthetic realm。

  8.利用园林或自然山水间,搭设茶室:翻译时用了tucked away和nestled,比用built要形象、优美得多。



  11.当有客来访:是"凡来了客人"的重复,可不译。根据下文的内容,加上before serving tea,使上下衔接贴切自然。


  13.主人在陪伴客人饮茶时:译为in the course of serving tea,与前面before serving tea相呼应。


  15.随喝随添:and thus the cup is kept filled或者and in this way the cup is kept filled。



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