[KS] Choson, The land of the morning calm... really?

Jacob postdali at gmail.com
Sat Jun 16 16:16:24 EDT 2007

Dear Ernesto,
I have no further knowledge about Chinese characters as well, but it might
be interesting for you, that in some Slavic languages, including my native
Polish The ancient name of Korea is translated in this way as "The Land of
Morning Freshness" instead of the morning calm. Which always bothered me as
well, since I felt confused with the world wide difference of the
translation, which is the reason why I shall observe the answers appearing
on this topic, so I can get to know more about the problem.
Best regards
Jakub Paprocki from Poland

On 16/06/07, Mark Byington <byington at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> Dear Ernesto,
> 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.
> Best Regards,
> Mark Byington
> 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
> > 1880's? 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 I've 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/
> >
> >

And that's the way these days pass by, and all of them filled with nougat
and sweet rose marmalade.
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