River of Goodness

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Lola Li

New Member
Spanish
Hi!
I'd like to translate "River of Goodness" (it's the title for a short video) into Chinese.
As I have no idea about Chinese language I used Google translator, which suggests: 善良之河
but I'd like to make sure that it's correct, that it's sounds natural.
Thanks for the help!
 
  • retrogradedwithwind

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    We will not give you an appropriate translation when we know nothing about the video.. I could just say 善良之河 is a possible translation and it's correct.
     

    Lola Li

    New Member
    Spanish
    Thanks for your replies. I didn't know the song!

    The video is a short animation showing a happy community fishing and helping each other.
    "River" is literally river (a river appears in the video) and can also have a metaphor meaning referring to the flow of goodness that is inside us.
    "Goodness" refers to kindness, benevolence.
     

    SimonTsai

    Senior Member
    Taiwanese Mandarin
    a happy community fishing and helping each other.
    That reminds me of '桃花源', which is a utopia similar to what you described.

    If you, for some reason, want to have the river emphasised in the Mandarin translation, I would suggest '桃源流水', which vividly pictures '桃花源', where goodness can be found; '流水' means a streamlet.
     
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    Shazhudao945

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mainland China
    Thanks for your replies. I didn't know the song!

    The video is a short animation showing a happy community fishing and helping each other.
    "River" is literally river (a river appears in the video) and can also have a metaphor meaning referring to the flow of goodness that is inside us.
    "Goodness" refers to kindness, benevolence.
    Well, my opinions:
    1. As for me, depends on what you described, a happy community fishing and helping each other has nothing to do with benevolence and goodness... a little bit about kindness yes. The scene of a happy community fishing and helping each other gives me the first impression of harmony, happiness, and friendly people (being friendly doesn't mean being of goodness, right?)...So maybe the title the river of goodness is not the best one?
    2. 善良之河 is not recommended. Although in Chinese we hide a lot of information in short expressions but it is not the way we do it. 善良 and 河 don't match. We do have expressions like 悲伤之城, but here the sorrow is inside the city when 善良 is not inside the river.
    3. My suggestion: 善良河(Try to feel the difference with/without 之 if you can)
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    I didn't mean "goodness" (noun) and "friendly" (adjective) have the same definitions. I meant: Between the two, there are shared connotations, which can be conveniently conveyed by the character 善.
    Friendly: (1) showing kindly interest and goodwill, (2) serving a beneficial or helpful purpose.
    Goodness: (1) the quality or state of being good, (2) the beneficial part of something.
    Collins English Dictionary: the quality of being kind, helpful, and honest.

    River of Goodness is beneficial (e.g., "fishing") and helpful (e.g., "helping each other") to the community that live by it. It is a "good" (善) river. It is a "friendly" (善) river. It is a "kind" (善) river (#5: "kindness, benevolence", "flow of goodness that is inside us").
     
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    Shazhudao945

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mainland China
    River of Goodness is beneficial (e.g., "fishing") and helpful (e.g., "helping each other") to the community that live by it. It is a "good" (善) river. It is a "friendly" (善) river. It is a "kind" (善) river (#5: "kindness, benevolence", "flow of goodness that is inside us").
    In regard to this meaning, the most common expression should be 母亲河 instead of 善良之河.
    If we stick to what #5 says, that the video describes the life of the local people and their relationship among themselves, not how the local people live on the river, 善良河 is good.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    In regard to this meaning, the most common expression should be 母亲河
    母親河 (mother river) strongly connotes "birth" (cradle of society or civilization), whereas "a river that is beneficial and helpful" does not. Someone who is beneficial or helpful to you does not automatically become your mother. 她是我母親 (like "It is the mother river of the community") and 她助益良多 (like "It is a river that is beneficial and helpful to the community") express two different thoughts (different ideas, different emphases, etc.) although they may be talking about the same person (or the same river).
     
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    Shazhudao945

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mainland China
    It is Good.
    1. If you want to use emotional adjectives to characterize a river, to describe it like a human, in mainland China we call it 拟人化.
    Pity 善良 and 河 don't match. We do have expressions like 悲伤之城, but here the sorrow is inside the city when 善良 is not carried by the river.

    In other words, the expression XX之XX, if the adjective is used to describe emotion or mentality, the adjective does NOT modify the noun that follows. Take 悲伤之城 again for example, it is the people inside the city who are really sad.

    But judging from #5, I think Lola wants to keep the style. (Skip the rest of the text if that is not what she means)

    2. Just like we discussed in other posts, there is no good literal translation for "the river of goodness" in this situation. The definition itself is already seldom since we don't tend to use 善良 to modify a river. 难道天下英雄好汉是自己封的吗
    3. And in Mainland China we use the word 母親河 to praise any river, from which the local people profit a lot, regardless of the identity of the birth giver. As we all know, the Yellow River is the mother river of all Chinese, how could we still call other rivers the mother river?
    I am not sure if you are familiar with the use of 母親河. It seems it is an expression used mainly in PRC. Search 母親河 by Google, and you will find most of the answers are 母亲河 instead of 母親河。

    Name me another idiomatic expression that we really use in our daily life, whatever you give, it is better than 善良之河.
     
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    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    no good literal translation for "the river of goodness"
    "善之河" (#6) is a literal translation of "river of goodness". And I think it is a pretty good one.
    there is no good literal translation for "the river of goodness" in this situation.
    In this situation (i.e., "River" refers literally to the river that appears in the video), I suggest 善河 instead of 善之河 because it is an actual river, not a mere metaphor (e.g., 良善匯成的河).
    Name me another idiomatic expression that we really use in our daily life, whatever you give, it is better than 善良之河.
    Used as a common noun, for example: 谈(16)|| 河- 知乎: "说起这径河...造福百姓,是一条善河, 养育着周边四方百姓。 但是啊,坏就坏在,1958年这次围垦,上下游被截断,断了这条善河的头。"
    Used as a metaphor, for example: 慈濟全球新聞: "點滴匯聚成善河。"
    Used as a proper noun, for example: 中国河南省新乡市牧野区王村镇善河
    the Yellow River is the mother river of all Chinese, how could we still call other rivers the mother river?
    The Yellow River is "the Mother River of China" (i.e., the cradle of Chinese civilization).
    The Fen River is "the Mother River of Sanjin" (汾河是三晉母親河; i.e., the cradle of Sanjin civiliation).
    The Ting River is "the Mother River of Hakka" (汀江是客家母親河; i.e., the cradle of the Hakka people).
    The Yitong River is "the Mother River of Changchun" (伊通河是長春的母親河; i.e., the cradle of the Changchun city).
     

    Shazhudao945

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Mainland China
    The Yellow River is "the Mother River of China" (i.e., the cradle of Chinese civilization).
    The Fen River is "the Mother River of Sanjin" (汾河是三晉母親河; i.e., the cradle of Sanjin civiliation).
    The Ting River is "the Mother River of Hakka" (汀江是客家母親河; i.e., the cradle of the Hakka people).
    The Yitong River is "the Mother River of Changchun" (伊通河是長春的母親河; i.e., the cradle of the Changchun city).
    I should have finished the whole sentence or maybe you misunderstood me.
    As we all know, the Yellow River is the mother river of all Chinese. How could we still call other rivers the mother river?(when
    母親河 (mother river) strongly connotes "birth" (cradle of society or civilization)


    Any big/important river could be called 母亲河 if needed/on certain occasions, as long as the local people profit a lot from it. This expression shows the importance of the river/how the local life relies on the river. When we say 母亲河, it is not required that the river has to be the Birthplace of the local people. We are only saying the river is of importance to the people and people could profit/had once profited a lot from it, and they (probably) love it.
    After all, foster mothers, stepmothers are also mothers. :D
     
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