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Chinese Translation Help Needed

Discussion in 'Asia' started by onebaduce, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. onebaduce

    onebaduce .

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    Hey Guys, I need some help translating a gift my Dad received. It is called a Temple Stone. Any help greatly appreciated.





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    #1
  2. KTM_Paul

    KTM_Paul Sans KTM

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    I think the last one says "Made in China" :evil :lol3
    #2
  3. KTM_Paul

    KTM_Paul Sans KTM

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    Ok seriously now, I asked a friend at work and she says ...

    The 1st photo, it was made in Qian Long year, which was about 200 years ago.
    The 2nd and 3rd photo, emperor (Qian Long) has used and collected for himself only

    So apparently the 3rd photo is saying it's for the emporer only and the second photo is like a receipt or a Seal of the Emporer acknowledging it, What was it used for do you know?
    #3
  4. riverage

    riverage Adventurer

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    agree, I'm a Chinese, but the words in the second photo is too hard for us to recognize now because it is an acient style of words.
    #4
  5. dlew

    dlew Daypass Adventurer Supporter

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    this explanation comes from my fifteen year-old son, gordon, who is on an exchange program in shanghai for five months:

    The first picture says that the piece was made for the last of the
    Chinese emperors, Qian Long, during the fourth lunar month of 1774.
    Here is a literal translation:

    1. First two characters mean 'Qian Long'
    2. Next two characters mean 'Thirty first year of the 60 year cycle.
    e.g. 2014 or 1954.
    3. The next two are a way to say the fourth lunar month.
    4. And the last character means to make.

    The second picture is perhaps purposely rotated, but it should be read
    rotated clockwise 90 degrees. It's read top down, right to left. The
    first three characters mean that it was used in the emperor's study
    room. I'm not sure about the next three. The first means to evaluate.

    The third picture is pretty simple. It just means that the thing was
    used by the emperor. The first character means 'used by the emperor'
    and the second means 'to use'. Hope that helps and maybe I can find
    out the remaining two characters in the second picture.
    #5
  6. dlew

    dlew Daypass Adventurer Supporter

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    and my son adds:

    The left three characters on the second picture mean to evaluate
    hidden treasure, literally. This stone could be incredibly valuable,
    so you may want to have it checked out.
    #6
  7. Pine Sol

    Pine Sol Been here awhile

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    key word here is "could"

    but not to sound negative, its most likely recently made in a factory (here in guangdong) to look old, antique, and valuable, sold to tourists that think it "might" be valuable.
    #7
  8. onebaduce

    onebaduce .

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    Wow Dlew thank your son for me! I forwarded this on the my Dad. I am the one who took the pictures and I can assure it is genuine.
    #8
  9. dlew

    dlew Daypass Adventurer Supporter

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    No problem. I'll pass on the thanks.

    Nice job on the pictures for your 12.5K mile trip.

    The fox pictures!

    And you were pretty damn close to those grizzlies!
    #9
  10. onebaduce

    onebaduce .

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    Thanks for the props...Ya those Grizzlies were the highlight of the trip. Can't wait to go back some day. sigh*
    #10
  11. jcc147

    jcc147 Adventurer

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    The first photo:
    Mainly, it says when this paper weight was made. It was made in April 1840.
    Chinese calendar use Celestial Stems (12) &Earthly Branches (10) to calculate years. The least common multiple of Celestial Stems & Earthly Branches is 60. A cycle in Chinese calendar is 60 years.
    甲午 is one combination in the 60 years. So you would see 甲午 every 60 years. But which 甲午 year was this paper weight made? Answer is the first two words - 乾隆 (an emperor A.D. 1711 - 1799).
    乾隆甲午 means 甲午 year in 乾隆 period. That means year A.D. 1840.

    The following question is which month. The answer is 余月.
    月 means month. 余月 is April. Chinese usually say "4th month" for April.
    余月 is more elegant or educated way to express April in Chinese.

    Finally, the last character 製 means "made"

    So over all, it says made in April 1840.
    #11
  12. jcc147

    jcc147 Adventurer

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    The 2nd photo:
    It should turn CW 90 degree.
    From Top to bottom, left to right is the way to read Chinese.
    Those are ancient Chinese characters. Those characters are not used in present days, but still can be seen in calligraphy or arts.
    Map to current Chinese character is 御書房鑑藏寶.
    Means this paper weight is private treasure of royal study room.

    御 means royal. Whatever stuffs used by Emperor is 御 some thing, some thing.

    書房 means study room.
    鑑 meaning here is certified. i.e. certified by royal study room.
    藏 meaning here is to own. i.e. owned by royal study room.
    寶 means treasure.

    Over all, it says this paper weight is certified & owned by royal study room.
    #12
  13. jcc147

    jcc147 Adventurer

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    The 3rd photo is easy:

    御用


    Again, whatever used by Emperor we put 御 in front.
    用 means to use.

    Other words, 御用 means only Emperor has privilege to use.

    It looks to me it is a paper weight used by Qianlong Emperor.
    I would said this is a real treasure if it's authentic.
    #13
  14. dlew

    dlew Daypass Adventurer Supporter

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    again, from my son.

    You're right that the object would have been made in the Jia Wu
    year(甲午)during Qian Long's reign, but your dates for his reign
    are wrong. Also, no matter which dates are correct, 1840 isn't during
    any of them and not even a Jia Wu year. He reigned from 1736-96. The
    next Jia Wu year from now is 2014. Count back in 60's and you get to
    the only Jia Wu dates during his reign, 1774. In addition, you're once
    again right that it was made in the fourth month, but that's during
    the lunar calendar, not the solar, so it wouldn't necessarily be
    during April.

    To the owner: I don't know how much you value this. Enough not to sell
    it? It could be worth a hefty sum considering it's been around for
    over 200 years. Because it's possibly worth so much, it'd it'd be a good
    idea to have it actually checked out.
    #14
  15. Pine Sol

    Pine Sol Been here awhile

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    am i sinical? i dont think so, but i do find it rather interesting. after living in southern china for more then 12yrs. (ya , i know my location says hk, but i travel alot between guangzhou and hk). primarily i export semi precious stones, but i also sell alot of "antique" looking items. dont get me wrong, they are very interesting, but i would be extremely surprised if it was more then a few years old. nearly everything is mass produced here, good and bad.

    my 2 cents. enjoy it for what it is, correct me if i am wrong....
    #15
  16. textman

    textman n00b

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    Picture One:
    Chinese Characters: Qian Long Jia Wu Yu Yue Zhi
    English Translation: Made in the Leap Month of Jia-Wu Year of Qian-Long Reign (1774)

    Picture Two:
    Chinese Characters: Yu Shu Fang Jian Cang Bao
    English Translation: For stamping on the hidden treasures in the royal study

    Picture Three:
    Chinese Characters: Yu Yong
    English Translation: For Royal Usage Only

    As a native Chinese speaker myself I believe my translations are accurate enough and hope it helps you in a way.
    ________________________________________________

    Hi Dlew, hats off to your son, Gordon. He is right about the year. Yes Jia-Wu Year of Qian-Long Reign is indeed 1774! Surprisingly that Gordon can get this right. But "Yu Yue" might be a little bit beyond his understanding, as it means the "leap month", which does not exist in the Gregorian calendar. It's not the "fourth lunar month" as you suggested.

    And I kind of agree with Pine - these 3 items each, if authentically antique, could be priced over tens of thousands dollars in the market... But most likely they are just a few years old actually.

    Good for ornaments anyway. Nice artifacts.
    #16
  17. Farang Paul

    Farang Paul A Late Convert

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    I too have lived in China for a number of years.
    I grew up in Singapore and remember my father proudly showing a beautiful vase he had purchased to a well connected Chinese friend.
    Of course it came with a certificate of provenance and details of its history. His friend merely commented that since his father made such antiques my father should contact him if he wanted to buy any more.
    There are many instances of museums being fooled by Chinese antiques, let alone uninformed members of the general public.
    Either enjoy it for what it is or spend the money to have it appraised and risk being disappointed.
    I have no recollection of the term "temple stone" ever being used in any description of any Chinese antique paper-weight which raises a flag as maybe someone has tried to elevate the interest in this piece with a fancier name.

    Let us know what happens and I do hope you prove all us Doubting Thomas wrong!
    #17