深以为苦

bankei yotaku

Member
Italy - Italian
我自海儿死后,心中若有所失,胃疾愈而复发,时时扰人,近来更甚,深以为苦。

I myself after Hai'er's death, it's as if I lost my place in the heart, my stomach disease gets better and recurs, constantly bothering me, lately even more extremely, (so much that) I thought (contrary to fact) of a deep illness.

Shortly:

(1) in 心中若有所失 I read on the dictionary that 若有所失 can be read as “look distracted”. It seemed as yet to me that it didn’t fit well with the fact that it is something happening to who’s speaking. So, 若 = seem, as if; 所 = place; 失 = lose, and I understand “in the heart (it is) as if (I) have (my) place lost”.

(2) 深以为苦 is rather elliptical. Not sure whether 深 here functions as modifier of 以为 or of 苦. Because 以为 is glossed as “think/believe/consider erroneously” I take 深 to be adjectival and modifying 苦, which I interpret as “illness”, instead of “hardship, sufferance, pain” as it’s glossed, because of what he just said on his 胃疾.

(3) in 时时扰人, I translated 人 as “me”, because I take 人 to refer to his own “person”, as in the physical body, for he has a sick 胃.

It seems to me, that I got the other clauses more or less right, of course in the sense that they in this form make more or less sense to me, within the sentence, and in the context of what he’s been saying. Thanks everybody in advance.
 
  • hx1997

    Senior Member
    汉语普通话 Chinese - Mandarin
    For (3) you got it right.

    For (1), 所 doesn't mean "place". 所 acts as a pronoun here, meaning "something that ...". It's a construction common in classical Chinese (and still in use today).

    For (2), yes it's elliptical. 深以为苦 in its full form should be 我深以之为苦, with 之 referring back to the disease (or the fact that Hai'er died, or both). 以A为B means "consider A to be B" (not necessarily erroneously). I take 深 to be modifying 以为, meaning "deeply". Again, this is a classical Chinese construction.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    深 deeply, strongly (e.g., with intense feelings, with heartfelt emotions)
    以: take (as in "take it lightly"), think 覺得, 認為 (e.g., 《列子·汤问》我日始出时去人近)
    为: think 覺得, 認為 (e.g., 《列子·汤问》孰汝多知乎)
    以为 (synonymous-compound): think 覺得, 認為 (e.g.,《史记》自以为不失天下之士;《资治通鉴》自以为必死)

    深以为豪 (对深深覺得光榮驕傲) ==> not elliptical (obviously not a transformation from *对深以为豪 :cross:)
    深以为然: 深深覺得如此, 深深認為正確, 深深認同, 非常贊成
    不以为然: 不認為正確, 不覺得是如此, 不認同
    深以为苦: 深深覺得苦楚, 深深認為痛苦 strongly feel in pain, suffering, or hardship (e.g, 《中國報》一般民眾對深以為苦).

    深以為苦 is structurally ambiguous:
    (1) elliptical construction: 深深以此為苦
    (2) synonymous-compound: 深深覺得苦楚
    Both interpretations work in this context.
     
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    bankei yotaku

    Member
    Italy - Italian
    Both of your analyses very useful, thanks. Skatinginbc's one a bit hard because I can't fully understand all the examples you make :confused:; from what I got anyway, I think I grasped the main point.

    Both of you agree that 深 is an adverbial. I then guess that the interpretation of 以为 suggested by Skatinginbc might be on point, because in the context of what the narrator is saying, it makes sense that he's speaking of something he feels rather than something he thought. It sounds odd to me of someone thinking "deeply" about an illness, even though one can certainly "think of a deep illness" in the interpretation I first gave. But if 深 is adverbial, than it makes full sense that he would "feel deeply in pain and sufferance", even because I stretched a bit the meaning of 苦 to fit my understanding. I only wonder:

    (1) why did the author not directly use 覺得 or 觉得 instead? Is it simply a stylistic choice?
    (so much that) I thought (contrary to fact) of a deep illness.
    (2) is there an understood logical connection, such as I translated in the first attempt, "(so much that)"?
    For (1), 所 doesn't mean "place". 所 acts as a pronoun here, meaning "something that ...". It's a construction common in classical Chinese (and still in use today).
    The translation then would be, something like this?

    (我自海儿死后,) 心中若有所失 ==> (I myself after Hai'er's death,) in my heart it seems there is something that went missing

    Such as the narrator says, "I myself ... in my heart ... my stomach ... I feel deeply in sufferance and pain".
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    It is literally "deeply think/feel in pain", but it does not sound good in English, and so my initial translation was "feel deeply in pain", which unfortunately may mislead people into thinking that 深 (deeply) modifies 苦 (in pain, suffering, or hardship). I thus finally changed my translation to "strongly feel in pain." Anyway, he "strongly", "intensely", or "really" thinks/feels that he is in suffering--He suffers greatly from it.
    why did the author not directly use 覺得 or 觉得 instead? Is it simply a stylistic choice?
    Yes. 深以為苦 is a four-character idiom with Classical Chinese syntax, which goes in harmony with 若有所失,愈而复发,时时扰人,and 近来更甚--All of them are four-character phrases in Classical Chinese style.
    (2) is there an understood logical connection, such as I translated in the first attempt, "(so much that)"?
    No.
     
    Last edited:

    bankei yotaku

    Member
    Italy - Italian
    深以為苦 is structurally ambiguous:
    (1) elliptical construction: 深深以此為苦
    (2) synonymous-compound: 深深覺得苦楚
    Both interpretations work in this context.
    The construction (1) to me is then rather opaque. How should I understand it?

    I deeply feel (all this) as hardship

    That is, what is happening to me I regard it as great affliction (regardless, for example, of something anybody else could say), and I'm very much, profoundly, convinced of this? Or is this the sense both constructions convey?
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    以(此/之/其)為苦: take it as suffering, think of it as suffering, consider it suffering
    : take (as in "take it as a compliment", "take it as an example", "take her as a royal concubine"《后汉书》长女选入掖庭, 桓帝为贵人)
    為: as, to be
    以: take (as in "take it lightly"), think 覺得, 認為 (e.g., 《列子·汤问》我日始出时去人近)
    What is your take on this issue? ==> opinion or subjective interpretation.
    I think...==> opinion or subjective interpretation.
     
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    retrogradedwithwind

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    they are some phrases, which have deeply discussed before.

    所字结构
    以为
    以……为……

    They are structures in classic Chinese but still widely used in modern Chinese. perhaps they are discussed in your grammar book too.
     

    bankei yotaku

    Member
    Italy - Italian
    They are structures in classic Chinese but still widely used in modern Chinese. perhaps they are discussed in your grammar book too.
    Unfortunately it does not cover Classical Chinese, and I can't seem to find them in the book I've been reading. But I have another, more technical one, which I will take a look into.

    以(此/之/其)為苦: take it as suffering, think of it as suffering, consider it suffering
    : take (as in "take it as a compliment", "take it as an example",
    What is your take on this issue? ==> opinion or subjective interpretation.
    I think...==> opinion or subjective interpretation.
    Very loosely:

    elliptical construction
    (1) I really think I'm living through hardships (in this period)
    (2) I really take what I'm going through as hardships

    synonymous-compound
    (3) I strongly feel to be in sufferance and pain

    Unless of course the two interpretations do yield the same meaning. 非常感谢大家!
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    I think:
    elliptical construction (以...為 = take...as...)
    (2) I really take it (= what I'm going through) as hardships

    synonymous-compound (以為 = think/feel...)
    (1) I really think so (= I'm living through hardships)
    (3) I strongly feel so (= to be in pain and suffering)
     

    sorrowispower

    Member
    汉语,中国话,普通话
    one thing you should notice is that "自" in "我自海儿死后" doesnt mean myself.it is a phrase"自/自从……后/以后"
    e.g. 我自上大学后
    or 我自从上大学以后
    normally we use "自从" in spoken chinese instead of “自”
     
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