Many thanks to @yanzhiao for sharing the poem, and for help with translation.

贺麟《斯宾诺莎像赞》

宁静淡泊,持躬卑谦。
道弥六合,气凌云汉。
神游太虚,心究自然。
辨析情意,如治点线。
精察性理,揭示本源。
知人而悯人,知天而爱天。
贯神人而一物我,超时空而齐后先。
与造物游,与天地参。
先生之学,亦诗亦哲;
先生之品,亦圣亦仙。
世衰道微,我生也晚;
高山仰止,忽后瞻前。

zh, py, en

贺麟《斯宾诺莎像赞》
Hè Lín “sī bīn nuò shā xiàng zàn”

He Lin “Inscriptions on a Portrait of Spinoza”

1. 宁静淡泊,持躬卑谦。
níng jìng dàn bó, chí gōng bēi qiān.

Living life simply, peacefully,
keeping yourself modestly.

2. 道弥六合,气凌云汉。
dào mí liù hé, qì líng yún hàn.

Dao fills the universe,
Spirit soars to the stars.

3. 神游太虚,心究自然。
shén yóu tài xū, xīn jiū zì rán.

Mind travelling the universe,
your heart investigated nature.

4. 辨析情意,如治点线。
biàn xī qíng yì, rú zhì diǎn xiàn.

Analysing affection and idea
by the rules of point and line.

5. 精察性理,揭示本源。
jīng chá xìng lǐ, jiē shì běn yuán.

A close examination of properties
brings to light the roots.

6. 知人而悯人,知天而爱天。
zhī rén ér mǐn rén, zhī tiān ér ài tiān.

Knowing humanity but pitying humanity,
Knowing nature but loving nature.

7. 贯神人而一物我,超时空而齐后先。
guàn shén rén ér yī wù wǒ, chāo shí kōng ér qí hòu xiān.

Connecting God and man, unifying object and self;
Beyond time and space, uniting before and after.

8. 与造物游,与天地参。
yǔ zào wù yóu, yǔ tiān dì cān.

both immersed in substance,
and engaged part in the world.

9. 先生之学,亦诗亦哲;
xiān shēng zhī xué, yì shī yì zhé;

Teacher of science, both poetic and wise.

10. 先生之品,亦圣亦仙。
xiān shēng zhī pǐn, yì shèng yì xiān.

Teacher of morals, both sainted and celestial.

11. 世衰道微,我生也晚;
shì shuāi dào wēi, wǒ shēng yě wǎn;

The world wanes and the way is dim,
I was born late.

12. 高山仰止,忽后瞻前。
gāo shān yǎng zhǐ, hū hòu zhān qián.

A high mountain, a summit to aim for,
Forget the past and face the future.

Notes

He Lin 贺麟 was a twentieth century philosopher, a representative of the Chinese new Confucianism, also with interests in Hegel and Spinoza.

The title is an allusion to 《历代古人像赞》 (“Lì dài gǔ rén xiàng zàn”, “Praise for the ancients”), a 15th century book of portraits of classic thinkers. Each portrait had a short poem inscription.

*** 12.1 Book of Songs

The first part of line 12 is an allusion to a poem in the Book of Songs (《诗经》, “Shī jīng”). Although the allusion is perhaps to the line’s Confucian reuse in the Shǐjì (史記):

《诗》有之:”高山仰止,景行行止”。虽不能至,然心向往之。

The poem says: “Look up at the high mountains and walk along the wide road”. Although I can not reach this level, my heart desires to be there.

(source)

*** 12.2 Confucius

The second part of line 12 is an allusion to analect 9.11 from Confucius’ Analects:

颜渊喟然叹曰:‘仰之弥高,钻之弥坚,瞻之在前,忽焉在后。夫子循循然善诱人,博我以文,约我以礼。欲罢不能, 既竭吾才,如有所立卓尔。遂欲从之,末由也已。’

Yan Hui, with a deep sigh, said, ‘The more I look up at it, the higher it soars; the more I penetrate into it, the harder it becomes. I am looking at it in front of me, and suddenly it is behind me. The Master is good at drawing me forward a step at a time; he broadens me with culture and disciplines my behavior through the observance of ritual propriety. Even if I wanted to quit, I could not. And when I have exhausted my abilities, it is as though something rises up right in front of me, and even though I want to follow it, there is no road to take.’

(tr. Roger T. Ames)
(source)

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A New Year wish from Yang Lan

Saturday, 2nd January, 2016

Yang Lan (杨澜) sends a New Year message from her Weibo account:

http://www.weibo.com/1198920804/DbdtTgUAT

** gloss

In the New Year, with love at the centre, extending life’s radius, your world flourishing brilliantly!

** original

新的一年里,以爱为圆心,延长人生的半径,你的世界繁盛精彩!

** new words

圆心 yuán xīn centre (circle heart)
延长 yán cháng extend
半径 bàn jìng radius (half path)
繁盛 fán shèng thriving, flourishing, prosperous
精彩 jīng cǎi brilliant, splendid

A New Year Wish from Sammi Cheng

Friday, 1st January, 2016

Sammi Cheng sends a New Year message from her Weibo account:

http://www.weibo.com/1689219395/Db3zExUjl

** gloss

At last we are in 2016. All hope this year is better. But what do we mean by “good”? More successful? Richer? More beautiful? More “the best”? These definitions might conform to the standards of the world, but really in our hearts we might have a better “good”. For example: More loving. More forgiving. More kind-hearted. More humble. Let’s go!

** original

终于处身2016,任谁都希望一年比一年好。但是,「好」的定义又是什么?更成功?更富有?更美丽?更顶尖?这些也许是世界提供的标准,但其实我们心中可能有比这些更好的「美好」。例如:更有爱。更包容。更善良。更谦卑。共勉之!

** new words

终于 zhōng yú finally, at (long) last; 于 (yú) = at (time)
处身 chǔ shēn dwell
定义 dìng yì definition
顶尖 dǐng jiān peak, centre, “best”
也许 yě xǔ perhaps
标准 biāo zhǔn standard, criterion
其实 qí shí in truth; 实 (shí) = solid
包容 bāo róng forgive
善良 shàn liáng kind-hearted
谦卑 qiān bēi humble

** constructions

[notes forthcoming]

任谁都 rèn shuí dōu
一年比一年好 yī nián bǐ yī nián hǎo
yòu
比这些更好的「美好」 bǐ zhè xiē gèng hǎo de “měi hǎo”
共勉之 gòng miǎn zhī

王菲 in 音乐周刊

Tuesday, 21st October, 2014

Faye Wong was recently in the Chinese pop music magazine 音乐周刊 (yīnyuè zhōukān, Music Weekly). Here are the front page and the page about Faye (screenshotted from my iPad):

1cover

2page

高级Erlang开发工程师

Monday, 14th April, 2014

This job notice was posted to the erlang mailing list recently (here). As I’m interested in erlang and interested in Chinese, I thought I’d have a go at translating it.

** original

本公司天朗时代科技有限公司,面向文化产业,提供数字多媒体内容从生产到发布、到运营的全流程整体解决方案和服务系统。公司现诚邀对Functional Programming有极大热诚并对Erlang开发有丰富经验的人士加盟,有意者请联系:0755-83597260 苏小姐

高级Erlang开发工程师

职位描述:

  1. 参与核心网络服务产品的开发,负责产品模块的软件设计开发
  2. 参与公司核心技术系统的架构设计
  3. 使用erlang进行分布式计算系统开发

岗位要求:

  1. 精通erlang语言,熟悉OTP设计模式,有项目开发经验;或有Functional Programming开发经验
  2. 熟悉HTTP、TCP/IP网络协议
  3. 熟悉缓存技术以及分布式开发部署
  4. 熟悉RDBMS,分布式数据库及Nosql技术,对Mysql、Postgresql等有实际开发经验
  5. 熟悉各种数据结构和算法
  6. 熟悉数据结构与算法的复杂度分析
  7. 拥有较强的数学基础
  8. 熟悉Linux的常用命令操作以及应用系统部署、运行维护
  9. 具有大数据量高负载产品/系统的设计或核心开发的经验
  10. 热爱软件开发工作,熟悉软件开发流程,有良好的技术文档习惯,具有规范化,标准化的代码编写习惯
  11. 大学本科及其以上学历
  12. 良好的英文阅读水平,能轻松阅读各种英语技术文档

** gloss

The company Titan Times Technology Co., Ltd. works in the cultural industry. They provide digital multimedia content from production to release, including the operation of the complete process from planning to maintaining the system. The company sincerely invites persons with (high) enthusiasm for FP combined with (plentiful) experience in Erlang to join their team. Those interested please contact: 0755-83597260, mprtimes@mpreader.com, Miss Su.

Senior Erlang Development Engineer

Job Description

  1. Participate in core network/internet service product development, having responsibility for software module design and development.
  2. Participate in the company’s core technology systems architecture design.
  3. Use Erlang to conduct distributed computing systems development.

Position Requirements

  1. Proficiency with Erlang, familiarity with OTP design patterns, experience with product development; or at least experience in FP development.
  2. Familiarity with HTTP, TCP/IP network protocols.
  3. Familiarity with caching techniques and distributed deployment.
  4. Familiarity with RDBMS, distributed databases and NoSQL technology, practical development experience with MySQL and Postgresql.
  5. Familiarity with all kinds of data structures and algorithms.
  6. Familiarity with data structure and algorithm complexity analysis.
  7. A strong foundation in mathematics.
  8. Familiarity with common linux commands, and system deployment, operation and security.
  9. Experience with “big data” high load product/system design or kernel development.
  10. Love of software development work, familiarity with the software development process, good habits of technical documentation, and following recognised coding standards.
  11. Undergraduate degree as well as school records.
  12. Good English reading level, can easily read all kinds of technical documentation in English.

** vocab highlights

产业 chǎn yè estate, concern, sector
内容 nèi róng content
分布式 fēn bù shì distributed
协议 xiéyì protocol
各种 gèzhòng every kind of …
多媒体 duō méi tǐ multimedia (lit. all/many medium body)
岗位 gǎng wèi post, station
工程 gōng chéng engineering
工程师 gōng chéng shī engineer
开发 kāi fā develop/ment
描述 miáo shù describe/description
数字 shù zì digital
数学 shùxué mathematics
数据库 shùjùkù database
数据结构 shùjùjiégòu data structure
有意 yǒu yì “have a mind to …” / intention
有限公司 yǒu xiàn gōng sī limited company
xiàn currently (adv)
科技 kē jì technology — (cf 科学技术 / kē xué jì shù / science and technology)
算法 suànfǎ algorithm — (cf 方法 / fāngfǎ / method)
zhě “-er” (see notes)
职位 zhí wèi position, post
联系 lián xì contact (verb/noun)
要求 yāo qiú require/requirement
设计模式 shè jì mó shì design patterns
软件 ruǎn jiàn software
jiào comparatively — (cf 比较 bǐjiào comparatively)
部署 bùshǔ deploy
面向 miàn xiàng facing, involved in
高级 gāo jí high rank

*** some conjunctions

and
及其 jí qí and
bìng and
huò or

** notes

*** 本 běn

本公司 …
běn gōng sī …

I know 本 běn as a measure word for books. Here it looks like it might be a measure word for companies too.

Or, perhaps it is here as “established” and is part of the full characterisation of the company 天朗时代 (tiān lǎng shí dài / Titan Times)

*** 位 wei

位 wei means “place” and it can act as a polite measure word for people. “Job description” (岗位要求 / zhí wèi miáo shù) and “position requirements” (岗位要求 / gǎng wèi yāo qiú) each use slightly different terms based on 位:

职位 zhí wèi position, post (职 zhí duty)
岗位 gǎng wèi post, station (岗 gǎng position – as in sentry post on a hillock)

*** 者 zhě

者 zhě is an agentive suffix, like “-er” in English. e.g.:

工作 gōng zuò work
工作者 gōngzuò zhě worker

It seems to be much more productive than the English equivalent however. The notice has 有意者 (yǒu yì zhě), where 有意 can be translated as a verb like “have a mind to”, “be inclined to”, or an adverb like “deliberately”. I have translated 有意者 as “those interested”.

*** 对X有Y duì X yǒu Y

This pattern accurs a couple of times:

对Functional Programming有极大热诚
duì Functional Programming yǒu jí dà rè chéng
for Functional Programing have great enthusiasm

对Erlang开发有丰富经验
duì Erlang kāi fā yǒu fēng fù jīng yàn
for Erlang have plentiful experience

对 can be used to topicalise object phrases (eg below) and that seems to be what is happening here.

她对我说“。。。”
tā duì wǒ shuō “…”
she said to me, “…” (lit. she to me say, “…”)

择善 — zé shàn — choose the good

Thursday, 20th March, 2014

A weibo from 杨澜 (Yang Lan):

#杨访晚安句子#择善人而交,择善书而读,择善言而听,择善行而从。晚安。

** gloss

The post is in the form of a 五絕 (wŭjué), a five-character line 绝句 (juéjù). Actually, it seems to be a popular title for blog posts on the interwebs, but I haven’t been able to find an author. A commonly known homily perhaps.

择善人而交,
择善书而读,
择善言而听,
择善行而从。

py

zé shàn rén ér jiāo,
zé shàn shū ér dú,
zé shàn yán ér tīng,
zé shàn xíng ér cóng.

en

Choose good people and make friends,
Choose good books and read,
Choose good speech and listen,
Choose good conduct and follow.

Web service translations:

google

Choose the good people and pay,
Choose the good books and reading,
Choose the good words, and listen,
Choose the good from the line.

bing

Optional good Samaritan,
Choose the good book and read,
Good listening,
Optional good deeds.

Life’s greatest mistake

Wednesday, 19th March, 2014

杨澜 (yáng lán / Yang Lan) is a Chinese media proprietor, journalist, and talk show hostess. She hosts an interesting interview programme called Yang Lan One-on-One (杨澜访谈录 yáng lán fǎng tán lù), and she has a couple of microblogs on Sina Weibo (1, 2). Plenty of realia for the dilettante language learner.

The microblog linked to her TV programme often has themed posts — e.g., quotations translated from English, excerpts from recently published books. One theme is called #杨访晚安句子# (yáng fǎng wǎn ‘ān jù zi / Yang’s goodnight sentence). These posts have a mildly uplifting or challenging homily, with a “goodnight” (晚安 / wǎn ‘ān) sign-off.

Here’s one from 18th March 2014:

#杨访晚安句子#每一次轻易的放弃,都是人生的一处败笔。晚安。

(src)

** gloss

zh: 每一次轻易的放弃,
py: měi yī cì qīng yì de fàng qì,
en: every time easily give up,
zh: 都是人生的一处败笔。
py: dōu shì rén shēng de yī chù bài bǐ.
en: this is life’s one mistake.

A full idiomatic translation might be something like, “to give up easily every time is the greatest mistake in life”.

Some web service translators:

  • google: Each easily give up, life is a big mistake
  • bing: Give up easily every time, is the life of places

** style notes

Chinese and English are so different that anything beyond a literal translation, which would not be very idiomatic English, must be regarded as an interpretation, or a paraphrase, or a version.

** vocabulary

轻易 qīng yì (adv) easily, lightly
放弃 fàng qì (v) abandon, give up
人生 rén shēng (n) life
chù (m) place, event, location
败笔 bài bǐ (n) false stroke, mistake

** grammar notes

  1. 都 (dōu) is used to emphasise the second phrase.
  2. 处 (chù) is a measure word for places or locations, e.g.,

    发现两处错误
    fā xiàn liǎng chù cuò wù
    find two mistakes