昆仑月窟重译不致

English translation: remote countries that envoys don't reach

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Chinese term or phrase:昆仑月窟重译不致之地
English translation:remote countries that envoys don't reach
Entered by: Huijun Suo

03:36 Jan 16, 2008
Chinese to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - History / 中国历史:从成吉思汗到忽必烈
Chinese term or phrase: 昆仑月窟重译不致
据所载,他"灭国四十,平夏克金,有中原三分之二:兵行西海北海万里之外,昆仑月窟重译不致,皆马足之所蹒,如出入户闼焉."
chica nueva
Local time: 10:07
remote regions that envoys don't reach
Explanation:
Or remote regions inaccessible to diplomatic envoys.

昆仑 (Kunlun) and 月窟 (Moon's Cave) are place names often used in ancient literature to refer to remote regions, in particular to the west of the Central Kingdom.

重译, also 重九译, literally means that the regions are so remote that their languages have to be translated through multiple medium languages to be understood. It can also refer to such regions themselves or to translation officials responsible for communicating with people from there.

不致 not reach, inaccessible

http://baike.baidu.com/view/29840.htm
昆仑
昆仑,即昆仑山,又称昆仑虚、昆仑丘或玉山。地理观念上的昆仑山,指西起帕米尔高原东部,横贯新疆、西藏间,伸延至青海境内,全长约2500公里。古代神话的西方昆仑,是汉以前地理上的昆仑一名与传说中昆仑的结合。

http://www.keysoo.com/dict/F/月窟.html
月窟在千搜词霸中的释意:
1.亦作"月"。2.传说月的归宿处。3.泛指边远之地。4.月宫;月亮。

http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kz=146262164
“胡马”与中国的文化生活
唐诗中所谓的“月窟”,基本上是泛指极西之地。有时候是指今天的中国新疆地区,有时候是指今中亚的几个国家,如哈萨克斯坦、吉尔吉斯坦、乌兹别克斯坦、塔吉克斯坦、土库曼斯坦等,有时候,则是指更远的国家和地区,如西亚的波斯、南亚的印度等地。

http://www.chinagreatwall.org/detail/news_detail.jsp?info_id...
西汉属部朝贡制度
《后汉书·西域传·叙》综合评价西汉、东汉经营西域时称:“于是(西域)五十余国悉纳质内属,其条支、安息诸国至于海濒四万里外,皆重译贡献。”这里提出的“纳质内属”和“重译贡献”两个概念,代表着两类与西汉王朝保持不同政治关系的其他民族政治实体。西汉时期已经出现了这种界定,《汉书·平帝纪》称:“元始元年春正月,越裳氏重译献白雉一黑雉二。”《汉书·南粤传》记:“(南粤)太后恐乱起,亦欲倚汉威,劝王及幸臣求内属。”“重译贡献”者,是指和西汉没有政治隶属关系的境外各政权,“重译”,亦称“重九译”,字意是要经过多重翻译才能沟通、往来的边远绝域之地;“纳质内属”者,即本文所说的“属部”,系指与西汉中央政府有明确的政治隶属关系的边疆民族,西汉对各部的管理,有设郡县、设“属国”(由属国都尉管理)、设专职机构(西域都护、护羌校尉、护乌桓校尉)以及以较松散的羁縻统治(如对匈奴)等多种方式。

http://www.zdic.net/cd/ci/2/ZdicE4ZdicB9Zdic9D296770.htm
九译(九譯)
《ZDIC.NET 汉 典 網》
1.辗转翻译。《史记·大宛列传》:“重九译,致殊俗。” 张守节 正义:“言重重九遍译语而致。”《文选·张衡<东京赋>》:“重舌之人九译,僉稽首而来王。” 薛综注:“重舌谓晓夷狄语者。九译,九度译言始至中国者也。”《晋书·文帝纪》:“虽西旅远贡,越裳九译,义无以踰。” 唐柳宗元《唐铙歌鼓吹曲·东蛮》:“睢盱万伏乖,咿嗢九译重。”
2.指边远地区或外国。《晋书·江统传》:“周公来九译之贡,中宗纳单于之朝。” 唐包佶《送日本国聘贺使晁巨卿归国》诗:“上才生下国,东海是西邻。九译蕃君使,千年圣主臣。” 元耶律楚材《为子铸作诗三十韵》:“东鄙收 句丽 ,西南穷九译。” 清王士禄《诏罢高丽贡鹰歌》:“真人御极临八荒,百蛮九译皆享王。”
3.官名。 汉有九译令,犹后世通译官。见《汉书·百官公卿表上》。

http://baike.baidu.com/view/57259.html
九译令
《汉书·百官公卿表》载:典属国之下设有“九译令”一官。典属国是掌管当时少数民族事务之官,因各少数民族语言不同,彼此交往,必须经过翻译,故设九译令。“九译”是多次转译之意,即所谓“重译来朝”。

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2008-01-16 08:29:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

As to 重译不致, I think Angus Woo's interpretation is more reasonable. That is, the languages can't be understood even after multiple relay or secondhand translations. Imagine how far away the countries should be! 不致 more likely refers to the "insurmountable language barrier"; it does not mean actually sending diplomatic envoys there.

So a more cogent translation of the whole phrase might be:

remote(st) countries out of the reach of multilingual officials


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs (2008-01-16 08:54:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

致, literally "reach", figuratively "succeed"
Selected response from:

Huijun Suo
China
Local time: 06:07
Grading comment
Thank you everyone!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +5remote regions that envoys don't reach
Huijun Suo
3 +1the language barrier between Kunlun, Yueku and the Court is insurmountable
Angus Woo
3even remote areas beyond Kunlun and Yueku, where the languages were unheard of
rushidao


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
remote regions that envoys don't reach


Explanation:
Or remote regions inaccessible to diplomatic envoys.

昆仑 (Kunlun) and 月窟 (Moon's Cave) are place names often used in ancient literature to refer to remote regions, in particular to the west of the Central Kingdom.

重译, also 重九译, literally means that the regions are so remote that their languages have to be translated through multiple medium languages to be understood. It can also refer to such regions themselves or to translation officials responsible for communicating with people from there.

不致 not reach, inaccessible

http://baike.baidu.com/view/29840.htm
昆仑
昆仑,即昆仑山,又称昆仑虚、昆仑丘或玉山。地理观念上的昆仑山,指西起帕米尔高原东部,横贯新疆、西藏间,伸延至青海境内,全长约2500公里。古代神话的西方昆仑,是汉以前地理上的昆仑一名与传说中昆仑的结合。

http://www.keysoo.com/dict/F/月窟.html
月窟在千搜词霸中的释意:
1.亦作"月"。2.传说月的归宿处。3.泛指边远之地。4.月宫;月亮。

http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kz=146262164
“胡马”与中国的文化生活
唐诗中所谓的“月窟”,基本上是泛指极西之地。有时候是指今天的中国新疆地区,有时候是指今中亚的几个国家,如哈萨克斯坦、吉尔吉斯坦、乌兹别克斯坦、塔吉克斯坦、土库曼斯坦等,有时候,则是指更远的国家和地区,如西亚的波斯、南亚的印度等地。

http://www.chinagreatwall.org/detail/news_detail.jsp?info_id...
西汉属部朝贡制度
《后汉书·西域传·叙》综合评价西汉、东汉经营西域时称:“于是(西域)五十余国悉纳质内属,其条支、安息诸国至于海濒四万里外,皆重译贡献。”这里提出的“纳质内属”和“重译贡献”两个概念,代表着两类与西汉王朝保持不同政治关系的其他民族政治实体。西汉时期已经出现了这种界定,《汉书·平帝纪》称:“元始元年春正月,越裳氏重译献白雉一黑雉二。”《汉书·南粤传》记:“(南粤)太后恐乱起,亦欲倚汉威,劝王及幸臣求内属。”“重译贡献”者,是指和西汉没有政治隶属关系的境外各政权,“重译”,亦称“重九译”,字意是要经过多重翻译才能沟通、往来的边远绝域之地;“纳质内属”者,即本文所说的“属部”,系指与西汉中央政府有明确的政治隶属关系的边疆民族,西汉对各部的管理,有设郡县、设“属国”(由属国都尉管理)、设专职机构(西域都护、护羌校尉、护乌桓校尉)以及以较松散的羁縻统治(如对匈奴)等多种方式。

http://www.zdic.net/cd/ci/2/ZdicE4ZdicB9Zdic9D296770.htm
九译(九譯)
《ZDIC.NET 汉 典 網》
1.辗转翻译。《史记·大宛列传》:“重九译,致殊俗。” 张守节 正义:“言重重九遍译语而致。”《文选·张衡<东京赋>》:“重舌之人九译,僉稽首而来王。” 薛综注:“重舌谓晓夷狄语者。九译,九度译言始至中国者也。”《晋书·文帝纪》:“虽西旅远贡,越裳九译,义无以踰。” 唐柳宗元《唐铙歌鼓吹曲·东蛮》:“睢盱万伏乖,咿嗢九译重。”
2.指边远地区或外国。《晋书·江统传》:“周公来九译之贡,中宗纳单于之朝。” 唐包佶《送日本国聘贺使晁巨卿归国》诗:“上才生下国,东海是西邻。九译蕃君使,千年圣主臣。” 元耶律楚材《为子铸作诗三十韵》:“东鄙收 句丽 ,西南穷九译。” 清王士禄《诏罢高丽贡鹰歌》:“真人御极临八荒,百蛮九译皆享王。”
3.官名。 汉有九译令,犹后世通译官。见《汉书·百官公卿表上》。

http://baike.baidu.com/view/57259.html
九译令
《汉书·百官公卿表》载:典属国之下设有“九译令”一官。典属国是掌管当时少数民族事务之官,因各少数民族语言不同,彼此交往,必须经过翻译,故设九译令。“九译”是多次转译之意,即所谓“重译来朝”。

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2008-01-16 08:29:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

As to 重译不致, I think Angus Woo's interpretation is more reasonable. That is, the languages can't be understood even after multiple relay or secondhand translations. Imagine how far away the countries should be! 不致 more likely refers to the "insurmountable language barrier"; it does not mean actually sending diplomatic envoys there.

So a more cogent translation of the whole phrase might be:

remote(st) countries out of the reach of multilingual officials


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 hrs (2008-01-16 08:54:27 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

致, literally "reach", figuratively "succeed"

Huijun Suo
China
Local time: 06:07
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Thank you everyone!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Xiaoping Fu
6 mins
  -> Thanks!

agree  Jason Ma: So resourceful.
32 mins
  -> Thanks, the Web is powerful, we are empowered.

agree  orientalhorizon: yes, the most remote regions that were not even imanginable are now like front yards.//I know "most remote" = "remotest", I was just confirming that you were right, and just added the next sentence to do that.
2 hrs
  -> Thanks! Both are used, "the most remote" and "the remotest"; the latter seems more poetic. :-) // Your input is a good prompt for me. Thanks again!

agree  ttyang
5 hrs
  -> Thanks!

agree  CHEN-Ling
6 hrs
  -> Thanks!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

8 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
even remote areas beyond Kunlun and Yueku, where the languages were unheard of


Explanation:
Since even multiple relay-translations cannot make the languages understandable, they must be "unheard of".

rushidao
Local time: 06:07
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 4
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
the language barrier between Kunlun, Yueku and the Court is insurmountable


Explanation:
this is my 2 cents, maybe other colleagues have a better version.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 22 hrs (2008-01-17 02:20:47 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

If so, then it's "the realm of Kunlun, Yueku between which and the Court , the language barrier is insurmountable".

Angus Woo
Local time: 06:07
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Jason Ma: This one also works, if taken literally,
25 mins
  -> Thank you Jason.
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