this question is made, and answer provided; in response to a comment in another question:

How to translate the phrase 利而物利章 in context?

cause, my explanation is too long to put in the comment area; sorry about that.

so, let's start: how to translate "何如", particularly in the book 呂氏春秋?


there're 7 occurrences of "何如" in 呂氏春秋:


translate "何如" as "how" is appropriate, in some of them.

1 季冬紀﹒不侵 http://ctext.org/lv-shi-chun-qiu/bu-qin/zh?searchu=何如&searchmode=showall#result


何如 is how --> how is (何如) mr maang (孟嘗君) fond of (好) gentlemen? (士)

2 審應覽﹒應言 http://ctext.org/lv-shi-chun-qiu/ying-yan/zh?searchu=何如&searchmode=showall#result


何如 is how --> how (何如) is your (公之) business (事)?

3 離俗覽﹒離俗 http://ctext.org/lv-shi-chun-qiu/li-su/zh?searchu=何如&searchmode=showall#result


何如 is how --> how (何如) about mr yi (伊尹)?

4 先識覽﹒悔過 http://ctext.org/lv-shi-chun-qiu/hui-guo/zh?searchu=何如&searchmode=showall#result


this 何如 can be shortcut to result, or outcome; from "what's the result", or, "how's the outcome"

i (寡人 is a specialised first person pronoun used by sovereign) send the troop, unknown (未知) the outcome (何如)

5 貴直論﹒過理 http://ctext.org/lv-shi-chun-qiu/guo-li/zh?searchu=何如&searchmode=showall#result


this "何如" should be "what" --> what type (何如) of sovereign (主) am i (我)?

to be balance, treat "何如" as "how" is also possible:

how do (何如) you think about me (我), as a sovereign (主)?

6 審分覽﹒審分 http://ctext.org/lv-shi-chun-qiu/shen-fen/zh?searchu=何如&searchmode=showall#result


this "何如" should be "what" --> what's (何如) his (其) means (轡)

轡 (u+8f61) means bridle, a gear for a rider to "control" his horse. it was used here as a metaphor of sovereign's means to employ his officials. (有道之主﹒其所以使群臣者亦有轡)

then, last one:

7 恃君覽﹒恃君 http://ctext.org/lv-shi-chun-qiu/shi-jun/zh?searchu=何如&searchmode=showall#result


"how should a ruler rules" is good, in english. however, as a translation, it's not.

"何如" --> "how should, it's ok; but the remaining, "君道" --> "a ruler rules", well, improper.

cause, "君道" as a noun here, is an entity, which is the same, in verses before this one:


and (而), the principles of sovereign (君道) is not (不) discarded (廢)


and (而), support (立) the one who (其) carry out (行) [according to] the principles of sovereign (君道)

briefly, "何如" can be translated to "how", in most occurrences in the book 呂氏春秋. sometime, it's better to translate it as "what".

about "君道", it's an entity. divide it into subject + verb; well, would be betrayal :)

  • Great explanation again! It is hard to think of 1 word to translate 君道。 'Leitmotiv' comes to mind, a word borrowed from German. In English we could write 'guiding principle'. Normally 'Leitmotiv' is a musical term translated '主旋律‘ 君道何如? What (should be his) Leitmotiv? 利而物利章。 Your translation: [he should make it] obvious (章) that [his acts are] beneficial to people (利), and (而), not to himself (物利) – Pedroski Aug 16 '17 at 22:37
  • "君道" is extracted from "為君之道" --> the tao (道) of (之) being (為) sovereign (君). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao : tao is a taoism concept, roughly as "proper way", "doctrines", or "principles". in taoism, tao is omnipresent, it's we, as human, can detect it or not. so "君道", "the tao of sovereign" implied it's about the proper, maybe, "perfect" ways of being sovereign. – 水巷孑蠻 Aug 17 '17 at 3:15
  • so "君道", "the tao of sovereign" implied it's about the proper, maybe, "perfect" ways of being sovereign. meanwhile, the character "行" used in 行君道者, is derived from "大道之行也﹒天下為公". then, the character "章" (a substitute of "彰") used in 利而物利章; which implied the governing is in accord with the tao of sovereign; such governing is obvious that, people can observe it. "章" excluded the scenario, that the sovereign only say, believe, or write down the tao; without the intention, or energy to perform. – 水巷孑蠻 Aug 17 '17 at 3:17
  • imo, the musical term "Leitmotiv" is, inadequate to translate 道. maybe, adding omni to it, create a new word "omni-leitmotiv"?  😼 – 水巷孑蠻 Aug 17 '17 at 3:21
  • Before, you said '君道‘ is an 'entity'. I thought you meant it was to be understood as 1 word. That is why I suggested 'Leitmotiv'. 'Leitmotiv' is a recurring theme which runs through a whole composition. '為君之道' is not 1 word. The phrase to translate is then: '為君之道何如’ I still like 'How should a ruler rule?' but 'What is the (proper) way to rule?' might express this too. ‘君道’ might translate 'the king's way' or 'the (proper) way of kings' – Pedroski Aug 17 '17 at 22:44

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