Rules and Chinese
Rule is the controls of action.
From as wide as a nation, to as parochial as a small family, from as big as a
building project, to as small as peek-a-boo, nothing is free from rules and
No other language in the world has more rules than Chinese. Standard characters should be written in a special square, with allotted space for each stroke, even the strength to spot is settled, and a large variety of calligraphies have been developed.
Chinese architecture shows Chinese attitudes perfectly. Chinese ancient building has its most reputation for palace and metropolis, which are almost the same seemingly, because a set of principles for building palace is strict, especially with details. They have turned up horns, black tiles and exact orientations. Nowadays Chinese buildings, especially for living, tend to be regular. And streets across cities are usually square.
Chinese have a complex table system, even today. Here are some examples. First, there are the superior seat, the second seat, the humble seat, the host seat, etc, each of which has its exact location. The house should be located in the north, toward the south. And before serving a meal, chopsticks are set beside the bowl, with its pole neither towards yourself nor your guest. Never touch your chopsticks before the host begins to use the chopsticks. Next, when toasting wine to your seniority, make sure that the top edge of your cap is lower than the seniority’s.
Chinese are fond of big families,
so their kinship is a complicated conception, with many certain terms. In fact,
English vocabulary is far lack in terms to describe Chinese appellation in
kinship. For example, the word “aunt” in Chinese refers to a lot of people who
are called different in
Pressure is caused by restriction, while restriction is caused by complicated rules. Students are thought to be the most stressful Chinese. As under teachers’ strict tutor and parents’ great expect, students impose themselves to study hard and rarely relax for a moment. Bunches of exams, changeable ranges and endless homework bother them a lot. Students are supposed to devote themselves to working hard in the fierce competition today, because they shouldn’t disappoint their parents, and breaks the general rule in society, “Diploma is an expressway to promotion”.
In some way it is rules that restrict Chinese creativity. First, Chinese believe in complex rules, as they adore sages and take whatever they said as granted. Then they are used to not breaking rules and seldom creating something themselves, except by accident. Second, the idle ideology “Happy is he who is content”, “not to seek to understand things thoroughly” affects people’s thoughts deeply. Third, there’re so many different rules around Chinese that they drown themselves in the swamp of rules long and deep. As the saying goes, “Habit is second nature”, they fit in with the calm circumstances and incline to avoid commotion or changes. They just enjoy the present. Therefore, plenty of perfect rules make Chinese inferior in inventing or creating.
Now that Chinese are immersed in rules, how did they get to this place? Here is the history of changes of Chinese character.
Between 770B.C. to 476B.C., it is the Chunqiu Times. When its neighbors were still uncivilized, Chinese had initiated to develop culture. There were breathtaking and moving stories, like Yue Fei, “Jinke assassinates the Qin emperor”, which indicated Chinese dignity and spiritual impulse. That was called “to value morality and ignore interests”. People were simple, gentle and upright, with live thoughts. Many new theories sprung up.
Unfortunately, the prosperity didn’t
last long. In 221 B.C., the Qin Emperor, Yingzheng, unified
During the next hundred years, Chinese
people lived a comparatively simple and calm life, with several dynasties
changing, in isolated circumstances.
Grand Tang Dynasty is a forever
memory to Chinese, when
However, in the following 1000
years regimes changed quickly and outlanders aggressed frequently, which had
important effect on Chinese mind and character. As “changing regimes” had a
different meaning in
Nevertheless, dynasties changed
frequently just the same. Between the Tang Dynasty and the Song Dynasty, which
was 54 years,
Along with changing dynasties, autarchy became more and more severe. From Yingzheng, every emperor had been thinking about one question, “how to maintain their forever rein?” And almost every of them gave the answer, “ restrict common’s activity and to stabilize the society at all costs.” So Chinese thoughts became stiff under those circumstances.
After Yingzheng, Han Wudi deposed all the other theories, and held Confucius in esteem solely. That was a kind of idealistic dictatorship. Tang Taizong prevented multicultural development effectively by imperial examination. The Qing Emperors used imprisonment or execution to an author if he wrote something considered offensive by the imperial court; literary inquisition; literary persecution，to stop people from thinking or speaking freely.
As a result, liberal atmosphere got thinner and thinner, with the history proceeding. Numeral rules and regulations pile up after thousands of years. Chinese are fettered tightly, and always have an urge to break rules, but with too much difficulty. Seemingly they may break rules in public, because they won’t take responsibility and may get instant benefits.
Chinese disorder in public is due
to their extreme repression inside. Chinese are fettered too much.
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