Re: foxs's latest translation- xian tian gong is usually translated as ?pre-heaven seraph.
Troll ControlOriginally Posted by bliss
The more I dig into it the more complex it becomes. After drifting through several websites dealing with the trigrams theory or qigong / neigong training, the meaning varies a fair amount depending on the word linkages. If xian tian are linked there's one meaning, and if the link is tian gong then there's a new meaning. Where are the ancient masters when you need them?
Last edited by JamesG; 05-17-07 at 10:15 PM. Reason: More research
Sorry guys I can't help until i see the chinese characters. I am assuming tian gong is equivalent to heavenly bodies or heavenly palace..
The phrase "Xian tian" means inborn or innate I guess is the best way to describe it. But in terms of gong [achievement/merit].. to come up with an elegent term for it, hhmmmm...
The word, "Xian" means former/first/early/in advance.. "Tian" obviously means sky/heaven.. My thoughts may be something like, "First-Heaven"?
Han Solo's word seraph in my large dictionary means 'to be eminent or noble' [the 'to burn' definition doesn't fit].
I really want to come up with something suitable for the readers with no Chinese cultural knowledge and still gets the idea across without straying too far from the intent of the phrase. The phrase comes up many times so I need to think of something that won't get the 'purists' on my case.
Okay. I've just consulted my dictionary and here goes -- you guys pick the meaning you deem fit.
First meaning: as I have stated earlier in my previous post in this thread.
Second meaning: inborn or innate, as fellow poster overjoy has mentioned. Generally, it refers more to people's physical attributes.
Third meaning is a toughie. This comes from the I Ching, so there's probably some connection between this meaning and the one in Xian Tian Gong, but I don't see it. It refers to how things are done before circumstances allow for it to occur, implying there's some form of foreseeing the future going on.
Fourth meaning has some psychological roots to it and well ... the etymology dates back to the 17th/18th century, so this most likely wasn't what the skill meant.
先天功 is a(n internal) skill --named after-- the gift, and by that token, --not-- necessarily giving the user (e.g. Wang Chongyang, Yideng, etc) any extraordinary gift of foresight beyond the normal logical and deductive process of the human mind.
工 gōng work / worker / skill / profession /
功 gōng merit / achievement / result / service
I've sort of decided , after discussing it with foxs_, that the easiest option is to leave the pinyin 'xian tian gong' untranslated and explain in brackets that it's yet another internal energy cultivation technique.
Last edited by JamesG; 05-23-07 at 08:18 PM. Reason: Additional thoughts
CFT Posted this in the Book 4 thread:
"xian tian gong" is frequently translated as "Pre-Congenital Art" I think because it describes the cultivation of pre-congenital chi/qi. Traditional Chinese medicine splits chi/qi into 2 groupings: pre-birth (pre-congenital) and post-birth."
The implication is that there is a form of internal energy that is present before birth. Innate in other words. WCY apparently showed Yi Deng how to access this innate form of internal energy.
How about 'Prenatal Innate Internal Energy'?
Well, I think to translate those wuxia fiction is a great challenge. Because there are certain chinese terminology that even we native speakers can't give the exact meaning! (For example, words like "JiangHu","NeyLi","Dianxue","shaqi") It's very complicated. We can only judge by the closest meaning according to the image that is presenting on the screen. And wuxia fiction somtimes contains some chinese tradition or customs that other countries don't have. Speaking of pinyin, to add some footnotes will help the readers easily to understand the abstract meaning.
When I read "xian tian gung" I get the impression that it's an ability so great that it's greater than the heavens. Kinda like, "before even heaven, this skill is".
So something like "Transcelestial Internal Energy"?