Another thing I like about the book is the Translation Exercises from Chinese to English and English to Chinese. One of the reasons I like them is that many of the sentences are unitentionally comical. Here are a few examples from today’s lesson:
1) The bird raised its tongue and laughed. The fish was in the water and did not hear.I think Mr. Rouser may have mistranslated Sentence #4. Instead, I think it should be translated as follows:
2) The father wants to leave the house and drink in a tall tree.
3) Water that is shallow is not as good as trees that are tall.
4) The bird roosted in a lofty tree for its own sake, whereas the fish abandoned shallow water for the sake of its children.
“Birds roost in tall trees for their own sake, but fish go to shallow water for the sake of their offspring.”去(거) can mean “to go," “to leave” or “to abandon.” Mr. Rouzer translated 去(거) as “abandoned,” but I think it should be translated as “go to.”
Birds build their nests in tall trees because it is safer for them and their offspring, but fish lay their eggs in shallow water, possibly to prevent their eggs from being eaten by big fish. However, by going to shallow water to lay its eggs, a big mother fish risks being caught by an animal or becoming stranded in the shallow water. Therefore, I think the “proverb” meant to say that a fish risks its life for its offspring, but a bird does not.