makes his win obscure

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Is the word "win" used properly in English? I tend it to mean "victory."

****************************
Zhou Yu plans to take Jingzhou into hand,
Yet Kongming knows it beforehand.
Zhou longs his plan to be secure,
Unaware what makes his win obscure.

Source: My translation from Chinese poem to English. The original Chinese poem is from Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong.
 
  • NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Zhou expects that his plan to take Jingzhou would be secure. But he's unaware of the fact that Kongming has worked secretly to undermine his plan (Zhou has once sighed: "Dear God, why did you make Kongming come into being if you have made me come to this world?" Zhou is an excellent general yet Kongming is smarter than him).

    So if Kongming worked against him, his plan would be in vain - I describe this as "what makes his win obscure/unlikely."
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    So if Kongming worked against him, his plan would be in vain - I describe this as "what makes his win obscure/unlikely."
    Obscure doesn't mean unlikely. That line as you've written it means he's already won, but his victory's obscure--not certain or not generally known, and he doesn't know why. That's very different from your intended meaning.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Thanks. I did originally think of "loss", somehow misused "lose."

    Then edit it into:

    Unaware what makes him obscure.*

    Kongming is the smartest man in Chinese legend, obscuring Zhou Yu.

    Now it sounds more fluent:

    Zhou Yu plans to take Jingzhou into hand,
    Yet Kongming knows it beforehand.
    Zhou longs his plan to be secure,
    Unaware what makes him obscure.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    "Obscure" does not fit well in any of those lines. It would probably be better to give it up, and find a different rhyming word.
    ensure
    procure
    sure
    unsure
    premature (his rejoicing is premature)
    etc.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Here "obscure" would mean "forgotten in the future" and also "unimportant". It is the opposite of "famous; long-remembered".

    It only talks about the future: it cannot describe the current situation. It does not mean "unknown to the enemy".
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    You are trying to say that Kongming deduces (figures out) Zhou Yu's plan,
    even though Zhou Yu's plan is secret from his enemies ("secure"),
    simply because Kongming is very, very smart. Right?

    I used this "rhyming dictionary" page that lists all words that rhyme with "secure":

    50 best rhymes for 'secure' - Ultimate Rhyming Dictionary

    Here is one that I found. There may be others that let you say things better:

    Zhou knows his plans are safe, secure.
    But hopes of victory are premature.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Thank you. :)

    ..........
    Zhou longs his plan to be secure,
    Unaware his confidence is premature.

    "But his confidence is premature" appears to be okay.
    I wonder whether "But his confidence to win is premature" could work fine too.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    You can say "He is confident that he will win". :)
    You can say "He is confident of winning." :)
    You can say "He is confident about winning." :)
    But you cannot say "He is confident to win." :(

    In other words, you cannot put an infinitive after "confident" to say what the person is confident about.
     
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