Wednesday, December 13, 2017

USING CHINESE LANGUAGE IDIOMS IN YOUR STUDY OF CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES: ''有備無患'' = ''preparedness averts peril'' (''forwarned is forearmed'')


Chinese saying:
(SPOKEN AS y''ou3 bei4 wu2 huan4'') numbers correspond to the 4 different tones used in speaking Chinese

''preparedness averts peril''

So as we approach the coming Climapocalypse in future centuries, not now but much later, we need to start preparing for many different kinds of events due to global warming impacts events. This proverb can help you think in a novel way about the need to remember that ''FOREWARNED is FOREARMED"

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英文諺語「forewarned is forearmed」的概念並非新創,早在拉丁文中,就有意義類似的諺語「praemonitus, praemunitus」(有備無患)──這句話在當時是軍事方面的用語,現今則常當做是座右銘(例如澳洲陸軍情報部隊的隊訓)。字首prae同pre,意為「之前」、「事先」,例如英文presume、predict、prefix等字。「monitus」是拉丁文,意為「警告」,相關的字有admonishment、monitor、premonition等。而「munitu」意為加強的,munitions和ammunition皆為相關的字。
在「forewarned is forearmed」這句話中,forearmed這個字跟作名詞用的forearm(前臂)並無關聯。forearmed一字是介詞fore(如before)和arm(如作動詞的「武裝」之意)的結合。forewarned is forearmed這句英文最早見於劇作家羅伯特‧格林一五九二年出版的小冊子《詐騙的藝術》,整句是這樣寫的:「forewarned, forearmed: Burnt children dread the fire」(有備無患:被燒傷的孩子會怕火)。
(We should start saving for a rainy day, just in case we lose our jobs or get sick. It’s best to be prepared.)
(This fire safety pamphlet is really useful, it shows you how to prepare in advance so that you know what to do when there’s a fire.)
forewarned is forearmed
The ancient Chinese classic zuo zhuan (Commentary of Zuo) is a series of commentaries on political and military affairs covering the Spring and Autumn period (722 to 481 BC). It includes an account of Wei Jiang, the prime minister of the powerful state of Jin, advising Duke Dao of Jin to 居安思危,思則有備,有備則無患: “In times of peace, think to danger; in your thought, you will be prepared; if you are prepared, then there will be no calamity.”
Wei Jiang’s advice has given us two idioms: 居安思危 and 有備則無患, the second of which also appears in the Order to Yue II chapter of an earlier classic, the shang shu (Book of Documents).
The Book of Documents records that, even after the official period of mourning for his father was over, King Wuding of the Shang Dynasty had little confidence in his own ability to rule, and would not give directives to his ministers. He had a dream in which the Supreme Deity Shang Di introduced him to a sage. On waking, the king remembered the man’s likeness in meticulous detail, and sent officials to search for him. A worker named Yue, found in a remote town called Fu-yan, was found to fit the description. The king made him prime minister, and the Order to Yue II chapter relates how Yue responds during his inauguration. Among other things, he talks of the importance of meritocracy (“Offices should not be given to men because they are favorites, but only to men of ability. Dignities should not be conferred on men of evil practices, but only on men of worth”) and of preparation in order to avoid calamity (“For all affairs let there be adequate preparation; if you are prepared, then there will be no calamity”).
In English, “forewarned is forearmed” is neither a new proverb nor a new sentiment. A similar phrase exists as the Latin proverb praemonitus, praemunitus, then used in a military context, now often used as a motto (for example, by the Australian Army Intelligence Corps). The prefix “prae” — an alternative form of “pre” — means “before” or “in advance,” as in presume, predict or prefix; “monitus” is Latin for “warning,” giving us admonishment, monitor and premonition”; while “munitus,” meaning fortified, gives us munitions and ammunition.

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