The Fox and the Grapes

Something else from archive.org: Esop’s fables written in Chinese (1840). Once again, the B/W pdf is probably the most convenient option.

I’ve transcribed “The Fox and the Grapes” (because it’s mercifully short well-known and quite interesting) plus the Chinese on the title page, and also added a word-by-word translation.

I put in some extra effort for this one because it’s so fascinating. I do hope there aren’t any major mistakes, but it is quite possible as I am well outside my comfort zone with this. The text is written in what you might call semi-literary Chinese, I believe.


Aesop • Esop • 伊索 • Yīsuǒ • 意拾 • Yìshí • ΑἴσωποςAísōpos
Mun Mooy Seen-Shang*
Robert Thom • 羅伯特·托姆 • Luóbótè·Tuōmǔ • Sloth

*Possibly: 蒙昧先生 • Méngmèi Xiānshēng • “Mr. Ignorant”


 

 

Esops Fables Title Page

意拾喩言 (意拾喻言)
yì shí yù yán
Aesop’s Fables

孤掌難鳴 (孤掌难鸣)
gū zhǎng nán míng
It is difficult for a single palm of the hand to emit a sound
[google offered “Takes two to tango” as a translation]

五湖四海皆兄弟 (五湖四海皆兄弟)
wǔ hú sì hǎi jiē xiōng dì
Those of the Five Lakes and those of the Four Seas are all Brethren!
人生何處不相逢 (人生何不相逢)
rén shēng hé chù bù xiāng féng
Where may not members of the family of Man meet together?


The Fox and the Grapes


Trad. Simp. Pinyin
 狐指罵蒲提  狐指蒲提  Hú zhǐ mà pú tí
 狐經蒲提架下  蒲提架下  Hú jīng pú tí jià xià
 渴欲啖之因其  渴欲啖之因其  Kě yù dàn zhī yīn qí
 架太高跳踴而  架太高跳  Jià tài gāo tiào yǒng ér
 摘之不得逐悵  摘之不得逐  Zhāi zhī bù dé zhú chàng
 悵然指罵之曰  然指之曰  Chàn grán zhǐ mà zhī yuē
 此蒲提大不中  此蒲提大不中  Cǐ pú tí quǎn bù zhòng
 用酸而無味抑  用酸而味抑  Yòng suān ér wú wèi yì
 知酸正可以生  知酸正可以生  Zhī suān zhèng kě yǐ shēng
 津而止渴不過  津而止渴不  Jīn ér zhǐ kě bù guò
 因其不得而反  因其不得而反  Yīn qí bù dé ér fǎn
 罵之耳俗云皆  之耳俗云皆  Mà zhī ěr sú yún jiē
 因自己無能反  因自己能反  Yīn zìjǐ wú néng fǎn
 說他人無用世  他人用世  Shuō tā rén wú yòng shì
 間無日不加是  间无日不加是  Jiān wú yuē bù jiā shì
 也  也  Yě

The Fox and the Grapes
A fox passing below a stand on which Grapes were growing, being thirsty, wanted to taste them. But as the stand was too high, with all his leaping and skipping he could not manage to get hold of them; so with bitter disappointment he abused them, saying, “these grapes (I declare) are utterly useless! They are sour and devoid of all taste!” Now did he know, that being sour they would most fitly moisten (his lips) and assuage his thirst! Only because he could not get them, he began on the other hand to abuse them! The proverb, says–“entirely owing to his own want of ability he abuses on the contrary other people as useless!” and in this world there is not a single day that it is not so!


Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 狐  狐  hú  hu2  fox
 指  指  zhǐ  zhi3  point at
 罵  骂  mà  ma4  curse
 蒲  蒲  pú  pu2  vine
 提  提  tí  ti2  grapes

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 狐    hú  hu2  fox
 經    jīng  jing1  to pass
 蒲    pú  pu2  vine
 提    tí  ti2  grapes
 架    jià  jia4  frame
 下    xià  xia4  below

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 渴    kě  ke3 thirsty
 欲    yù  yu4 to wish for
 啖    dàn  dan4 to eat
 之    zhī  zhi1 them

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 因    yīn  yin1  because
 其    qí  qi2  that
 架    jià  jia4  frame
 太    tài  tai4  extremely
 高    gāo  gao1  high
 跳    tiào  tiao4  jump
 踴    yǒng  yong3  leap
 而    ér  er2  but
 摘    zhāi  zhai1  to pluck
 之    zhī  zhi1  them
 不得  不得  bùdé  bu4de2  cannot

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 逐    jiàn  jian4  gradually
 悵然    chàngrán  chang4ran2  frustrated
 指    zhǐ  zhi3  to point at
 罵    mà  ma4  to curse
 之    zhī  zhi1  them
 曰    yuē  yue1  to say

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 此    cǐ  ci3  these
 蒲    pú  pu2  vine
 提    tí  ti2  grape
 大    dà  da4  greatly
 不中用 不中用  bù zhōng yòng  bu4 zhong1 yong2  useless
 而    ér  er2  and
 無味    wúwèi  wu2wei4  tasteless

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 抑    yì  yi4  to restrain
 知    zhī  zhi1  to know
 酸    suān  suan1  sour
 正    zhèng  zheng4  correct
 可以  可以  kěyǐ  ke3yi3  able to
 生    shēng  sheng1  produce
 津    jīn  jin1  saliva
 而    ér  er2  and
 止    zhǐ  zhi3  to stop
 渴    kě  ke3  thirsty

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 不過    bùguò  bu4guo4  only
 因     yīn yin1  because
 其    qí qi2  that
 不得  不得  bùdé bu4de2  cannot
 而    ér er2  and so
 反    fǎn fan3  instead
 罵    mà ma4  to scold
 之    zhī zhi1  it
 耳    ěr er3  merely

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 俗    sú  su2  common
 云    yún  yun2  saying
 皆因    jiēyīn  jie1yin1  simply because
 自己  自己  zìjǐ  zi4ji3  oneself
 無能    wúnéng  wu2neng2  incapable
 反    fǎn  fan3  instead
 說    shuō  shuo1  to say
 他人  他人  tārén  ta1ren2  another
 無用    wúyòng  wu2yong4  useless

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
 世    shì  shi4  world
 間    jiān  jian1  between
 無    wú  wu2  no
 日    rì  ri4  day
 不加  不加  bùjiā  bu4jia1  without
 是    shì  shi4  is
 也    yě  ye3  (truly)

Related mnemonics:

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