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Is the following indeed a Chinese proverb and if so, is the author known, is it still commonly used and how is it spelled in Chinese?

If you want happiness for a lifetime, help the younger generation.
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closed as off-topic by 杨以轩, xiaohouzi79 Aug 4 '13 at 23:57

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking for translations are off-topic unless prior research effort is clearly indicated; we're here to help you learn, not provide a bulk translation service." – 杨以轩, xiaohouzi79
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Drux, as stated in our FAQ, this is not a translation service so asking to translate something is off topic. What you can do is propose a translation you came up with, showing how you got it (something more than pasting on Google Translate) and then asking the parts you're not sure of. –  Alenanno Aug 2 '13 at 9:21
@Alenanno: I think this question is clear: it's not asking for a translation but "whether there's an origin of this proverb in China". I did some search and only found its English and Japanese versions and some personal translation (from English) by native Chinese. However, although all those pages say this is a Chinese proverb, I can't find a convincing original version yet ... –  Stan Aug 2 '13 at 9:38
@Drux - Can you please do some prior research. I appreciate that you are trying to learn the language, but we want to be 100% sure that questions on this site are on topic otherwise people not trying to learn the language can ask many similar type questions. Asking whether or not a proverb is Chinese is off-topic. –  xiaohouzi79 Aug 2 '13 at 10:24
@Drux, can you include some reference where it is claimed this English is from Chinese proverb? –  NS.X. Aug 2 '13 at 19:15
@Stan, there is no way to prove a negative. There could be hundreds of questions like this and OP did not even quote a single reference. It is commendable that you do what the OP is supposed to do though. –  杨以轩 Aug 3 '13 at 10:34

1 Answer 1

Yes! there is a very close proverb. 养儿防老, it's not said by any known author, but just very commonly used in Chinese daily life.

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+1. Quite close. Better than what I found on the Internet: "教育下一代,幸福一辈子。", "落红不是无情物,化作春泥更护花。", etc. BTW, it's from Song Dynasty 陈元靓's 事林广记: "养儿防老,积谷防饥" –  Stan Aug 2 '13 at 10:35
I think this is semantically different: it seems to indicate e.g. that children may care for their parents in old age whereas the other proverb indicates e.g. that teaching can be a noble profession. –  Drux Aug 2 '13 at 10:57
@Drux: the problem is, when a proverb is translated to another language, the translator tries to recover the "true" meaning from it. As there would be different understandings/interpretations, the final translation result is sometimes strange to native speakers. I admit, as a native Chinese speaker I felt that proverb quite "Chinese culture style" when seeing the English version you posted, but I cannot recall an exact proverb in Chinese. Personally speaking, this answer would be a good candidate -- though it's not often translated into English like that. –  Stan Aug 2 '13 at 12:06
@Yang, Note OP is trying to verify the source of the English translation instead of looking for alternative Chinese translations. If none of us native speakers can think of a proverb, we should say 'we couldn't think of it, the English translation might have misinterpreted the original proverb, or it was not from Chinese', which is precise and valid, instead of providing an answer off from the question. (My comment is toward your comment above, not your answer - I think this answer is good.) –  NS.X. Aug 3 '13 at 0:29
@Drux Given Chinese culture and tradition, I don't believe there is a famous old saying that cultivates childcare without selfish causes. If it's indeed from Chinese, it's likely from modern time, in which case it's hard to distinguish proverb from propaganda slogans. –  NS.X. Aug 3 '13 at 0:39

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