[KS] Choson, The land of the morning calm... really?
byington at fas.harvard.edu
Fri Jun 15 22:23:39 EDT 2007
If one felt it necessary to translate the characters of the name ChosOn
literally, for their semantic meaning in Chinese, "morning freshness" is
not far from the mark - at least it is one pleasant-sounding possibility
among several. However, this is really little more than word play since
the name, which first appears as early as the fourth century BC, is almost
certainly a non-sinitic name, rendered by Chinese writers using Chinese
characters for their phonetic values to approximate the sounds of a
foreign name (be it a toponym or ethnonym, or something so related). The
original meaning of this name was probably lost two millennia ago. This is
important to bear in mind when attempting to "translate" the name into
English. Of course, during the later ChosOn period, the literati of that
state may have read more into the name, and for that I defer to those who
work on that period.
On Fri, 15 Jun 2007, Ernie . wrote:
> Dear list members, I just hope this subject has not appear before, but would
> you agree with the translation of Cho-son as The land of the morning calm?,
> which have been fully accepted since Lowell wrote his famous book in late
> 1880s? I lack the knowledge on Chinese language to explain these two
> characters which form the world Cho-son, but what about changing CALM for
> RADIANCE or FRESHNESS, or even PURITY as Ive some times read?
> Thanks and regards.
> Ernesto, from Madrid
> Dale rienda suelta a tu tiempo libre. Mil ideas para exprimir tu ocio con MSN
> Entretenimiento. http://entretenimiento.msn.es/
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