Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What happened to Timothy J. Warnberg (1954 - 1993)?

In September 1982, I started Level 3 classes at the Yonsei Korean Language Institute in Seoul, Korea. In a Level 6 class, there was a young man about my age who I was told was quite fluent in Korean. The person who told me gave me an example of how fluent he was, but I cannot remember what the example was. Anyway, I got to hear the guy speak Korean at his graduation ceremony, and he seemed pretty fluent to me, especially since I had just finished the Level 3 courses. The guy's name was Tim Warnberg, an ex-Peace Corps volunteer who was an eyewitness to atrocities committed during the Kwangju Uprising.

I got to talk to Tim before he left to study at the University of Hawaii, but we did not talk about Kwangju because I was more curious to know how he learned to speak the Korean language so well. I was hoping he could give me some tips on studying the language. I do not remember what he told me, but I do remember being impressed by him, and I remember him being a nice guy. At the time, he was my idol in the sense that I wanted to learn to speak Korean as well as he did.

After Tim left Korea, I never heard anymore about him, which surprised me because he seemed like someone who would become well-known in the field of Asian Studies. I kind of expected him to get a professorship at some university, maybe even the University of Hawaii, but he just seemed to disappear until a 1987 article entitled "The Kwangju Uprising: An Inside View," by Tim Warnberg.

After that article, Tim Warnberg really did seem to just disappear. I do not know of anything else that he wrote. I assumed that he got a job with some US government agency and just disappeared into the system.

A few years back I did a computer search on Tim Warnberg and found something to make me think he had died, but nothing else. Tonight I did another search and found that he did, indeed, die on February 7, 1993 at the age of 38. The only thing I was able to find was part of an obituary from the February 8, 1993 edition of the "St. Cloud Times" of Saint Cloud, Minnesota.
1954, in Brainerd to Chuck and Lorraine Warnberg. He was a 1973 graduate of Brainerd High School, a graduate of the University of Morris, University of Hawaii and was working on his PHD under a fellowhip at University of Hawaii. He was in the Peace Corps in South Korea for three years with one year at a leprosy village and taught at the University of Yonsei-Seoul. Survivors include his parents; sisters and brothers, Roxanne Wilson, Sartell; Susan Silvernale, Lakeville; Lisa Tuomi, Brainerd; Todd, Antwerp, Belgium; Tom, Barron, Wis.; and Dave, Sacramento, Calif. He was preceded in death by a brother, Jeffrey. The family requests no flowers. Burial will be Oakhill Cemetery, Sartell.
It is sad to think that the only thing left to remember Tim Warnberg are the memories of his friends and family and an article he wrote in 1987, even though it was a very good article.

P.S. I found additional information on Tim Warnberg:
Tim Warnberg
Class of 1973
Passed Feb 07, 1993
Tim died of Aids. He used his illness as an education tool for others. He spoke at workshops about Aids & how it has affected him."
The following is an apparent scan from what I have read was a Peace Corps yearbook or something

Monday, November 28, 2016

What does 遠水難濟近火 (원수난제근화) mean?

In Naver's Chinese Character Dictionary (한자사전), the following Chinese expression appears:
Instead of translating the expression, Naver, for some reason, paraphrases and explains it as follows:
"먼 데 있는 물은 가까운 데의 불을 끄는 데는 쓸모가 없다는 뜻으로, 무슨 일이든 멀리 있는 것은 급할 때에 소용()이 없음을 이르는 말"
Why paraphrase instead of translate? The translation is easy:
“Distant () water () is no () help () [for] a nearby () fire ().”
"먼 물은 가까운 불에 도움이 없다." 
What was so hard about that? Why put a Chinese expression in a Chinese dictionary if you do not translate it?

Anyway, believe it or not, this is not what I wanted to post about. What I wanted to post about was the original expression, the one from the "Records of the Three Kingdoms," which was as follows:
Distant () water () is reluctant () to help () [with] a nearby () fire ().
Instead of "不救 (불구)," the original had "難濟 (난제)," so I wondered why it was changed. Maybe because 難濟 was too difficult to translate? I have not seen any accurate translations of the original; they all seem to be paraphrased, sometimes in Yoda-like language.

If people were confused by the original, I do not think they were confused by 濟 (제) since both  救 (구) and 濟 (제) can mean "to help" and together form the word 구제(救濟)하다, which means "to help," "to save," or "to give relief to." Koreans and Chinese may have switched from 濟 (제) to 救 (구) to avoid confusion since 濟 can also mean "to cross a river." In other words, maybe they worried people would think 濟 meant "cross a river," especially since "water" was mentioned in the expression.

But why not use the 難 (난) from the original expression? Maybe because they could not figure out how to translate it. 難 (난) is normally associated with the meaning "to be difficult," but it is hard to use that meaning to translate this sentence, even though many people try. However, besides meaning "difficult," 難 (난) can also mean "to shun," "to avoid," or "to be reluctant," which translates in Korean as "꺼리다."

In the original, I think "distant water" (遠水) was personified with the human ability to choose to help or not. Whether I am right or not, my translation flows much more smoothly than some of the translations I have seen on the Web. Plus, I can justify my translation. That's important.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How do you translate 讀書 (독서)?

讀書 (독서) can be translated as "reading (讀書) ," "reading (讀) books (書)," "books to read (讀書), or "books that are read (讀書)." With that said, here is an interesting sentence I recently translated for a book I am writing. It reminds me that the ancient Chinese were not very different from people today:
()()()()(), ()()()(), ()()()(), ()()()()()().  
[If] a person () loves himself (自愛其身), [he] only () has () books to read (讀書). [If] a person () loves () [his] children (子弟), [he] only () has () books to teach them to read (敎之讀書).

As a pronominal adverb, () means “self” or “personally,” and since it is an adverb, it always immediately precedes the verb, so 自愛 (자애) literally means “self () love ()” or “personally () love (). That means 自愛其身 (자애기신) literally means “personally () loves () his () body (),” which can be translated simply as “loves himself.” 讀書 (독서) can mean “read () books (),” so 惟讀書 (유독서) would mean “only () read () books (),” but here there is the verb (), which means “to have,” suggesting there should be an object that follows it. That means 讀書 (독서) should be translated here as a noun phrase or clause. As a noun phrase, () would be treated as an adjective, in which case 讀書 would be translated as “reading () books (),” “books for reading,” or “books to read.” As a relative clause, 讀書 (독서) would translate as “books that are read” or “books that [one] reads.” Likewise, 敎之讀書 (교지독서) can mean “teach  () them () to read () books (),” but here it should be translated as “books to teach them to read” or “books that [one] teaches them to read.”

In Korean, the
讀書 (독서) here would be translated as “읽는 () (),” and 敎之讀書 (교지독서) would be translated as “그들에게 읽기를 가르치는 (敎之讀) ().” 子弟 (자제) can mean “children,” “sons,” or “young people.”

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What are the nine thoughts of a superior man?

The following is my translation of passage 16.11 in the Analects of Confucius. I translated this for a book I am writing, but I am so disappointed with the translations I have seen on the Internet and even in a book I have that I decided to post it here. Why is there so much paraphrasing of this passage? Why is there still mistranslations? I don't know, but here is my translation, which is as literal as I could make it.
()()(), ()()()()(), ()()(), ()()(), ()()(), ()()(), ()()(), ()()(), ()()(), 忿()()(), ()()()(). 
Confucius (孔子) said (曰), "The superior man (君子) has () nine () thoughts (). [He] watches () [and] thinks of () discernment (), listens () [and] thinks of () retention (), [in] facial expression () thinks of () warmth (), [in] manner () thinks of () politeness (), doubts () [and] thinks of () questions (), speaks () [and] thinks of () honesty (), serves () [and] thinks of () reverence (), is angry (忿) [and] thinks of () restraint (), sees () gain () [and] thinks of () righteousness ()."
Besides meaning “bright,” () can mean “discernment,” which translates in Korean as “명찰 (明察).” () can mean “quick to hear,” but it can also mean “to have a good memory” or “to have good [mental] retention,” which translates in Korean as “총명(聰明)하다.”  Besides meaning “color,” () can also mean “facial expression,” which translates in Korean as “안색 (顔色)” or “얼굴빛.” () can mean “warm,” “soft,” or “kind.” () mean “appearance,” “bearing,” or “manner.” () can mean “politeness,” “courtesy,” or “reverence.” () can mean “loyalty,” “faithfulness,” and “honesty,” which translates in Korean as “충실(忠實)하다.” () can mean “respect” or “reverence.” 忿 () can mean “to be angry” or “to resent.” () means “difficulty” or “problem,” but it can also mean “prudence” and “restraint,” which translates in Korean as “삼가다.”