子曰, 三十而立, 四十而不惑.
- 子 -- "Master," Confucius; 공자 (孔子)
- 曰 -- to say (used when quoting someone)
- 三 -- three
- 四 -- four
- 十 -- ten
- 而 -- and; then; 에
- 立 -- established; independent; 자립 (自立)
- 不 -- not; no
- 惑 -- doubt; 의혹 (疑惑); 미혹 (迷惑)
The Master (子) said (曰), “At thirty (三十而), [I] was established [in society] (立). At forty (四十而), [I was] without (不) doubts (惑).”
In English, 而 could be translated as "and" or "then," resulting in translations like "30 and established; 40 and without doubts" or "30, then established; 40, then without doubts." However, for me it is easier to first mentally translate this sentence into Korean, resulting in 삼십에 (三十而) 자립 (立); 사십에 (四十而) 불혹 (不惑), which I then translate into English as "At 30 [I] was established; at 40 [I] was without doubts," The phrase "without doubts" means "confident." "In Korean 而 translates as 에, which translates in English as "at." When I see a number or a time word like 二月 followed by 而, I first think of 에.