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"淡泊名利才能显示出自己高尚的志趣,保持心态平和宁静才能在思想上达到高远的境界。这是诸葛亮表达自己作为一个读书人志趣清高的名言,被历来的读书人所推崇。尽管不少人汲汲于名利焦头烂额,但其照样可以请人将此言书写悬于客厅,以显示自己志趣的不同凡俗."

I've been trying to 'block' this according to its syntax units, but I keep getting stumped.

  1. What does 志趣 mean here? (nciku gives it as 'aspiration,' but that doesn't seem appropriate in this context.
  2. "这是诸葛亮表达自己作为一个读书人志趣清高的名言" Does this mean that Zhuge Liang regards HIMSELF as a scholar? Again, the 志趣 is confusing me.
  3. What does 其 refer to here?
  4. What would be a decent translation for these three sentences? Everything I've attempted so far sounds terribly awkward.

Thank you for your time. Rachel

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  • somewhat literally: only when indifferent to fame and wealth can one demonstrate one's noble and virtuous aspirations, only the thought of those maintaining a tranquil and serene attitude can attain a lofty plane. This well known saying expresses Zhugeliang's aspiration as a scholar aloof from worldly matters, ever since revered by scholars and students. Even though many people are beating their heads off striving for fame and gain, all the same they will hang up this handwritten saying in their living room, to demonstrate their distance from worldly customs. – user6065 Aug 27 '17 at 18:55
  • 1. 志趣: interest and enthusiasm. 2. Zhuge Liang, as a scholar, expresses her interest with this quote. 3. 其 can be a pronoun for former ones. Here it refers to 不少人 – sunfy Aug 28 '17 at 3:02
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  1. 志趣 can be understood as 志向(your goal/dream) 和 兴趣 (things you are interested in). Your goal/dream is often the things you are interested in. So, 志趣 conveys the sense, kind of combination of 'goal/thing you're interested in'.

  2. 这是诸葛亮表达自己作为一个读书人志趣清高的名言. The main body of the sentence is 这是名言. '诸葛亮表达自己作为一个读书人志趣清高的' is attributive to 名言。Well, "诸葛亮表达自己作为一个读书人志趣清高" itself is a sentence too and its main body is 诸葛亮(subject)表达(verb)志趣清高(object). 自己作为一个读书人(himself as a scholar/reader) is an adverbial phrase. As for 志趣, refer to '1'.

  3. 其 is a personal pronoun. Here means 他们 the substitute of 不少人, which is mentioned in '尽管不少人汲汲于名利焦头烂额'.

  4. Someone already did the translation in the comment above.

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志趣:志向与情趣;心意所向 (zdic.net)

汲汲: 形容急切的样子,急于得到 (zdic.net)

其:‘不少汲汲于名利焦头烂额的人’

My spin:

淡泊名利才能显示出自己高尚的志趣,
Being indifferent to mundane matters reveals ones noble aims,
保持心态平和宁静才能在思想上达到高远的境界。
only by remaining tranquil in thought can one aspire to higher ideals.

这是诸葛亮表达自己作为一个读书人志趣清高的名言,
This well known saying by Zhu Ge Liang expresses his aloof scholarly interest,
被历来的读书人所 推崇。
which has been esteemed by scholars through the ages.

尽管不少人汲汲于名利焦头烂额,
Although many people (nowadays) suffer from stress and are anxious for fame and fortune,
但其照样可以请人将此言书写悬于客厅,
nevertheless one can still ask them to write down these words and hang them in their living room,
以显示自己志趣的不同凡俗.
as a symbol of their transcendental aspirations.

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  • Pretty well! I have some comments.淡泊名利:indifferent to fame and wealth, so the first sentence could be like: Being indifferent to fame and wealth reveals ones noble aims. As for 但其照样可以请人将此言书写悬于客厅, I would translate like: nevertheless they still ask/call somebody's help to write down these words and hang them(substitute for 'these words') in their living room. I replace 'one' with 'they', because '不少人' denotes more than one person. 'them' to 'somebody's help', because they would not do it by themselves, but somebody else (maybe some expert's', we just don't know who they can get to do this yet). – dan Aug 28 '17 at 2:56
  • Yeah, why can't these ‘不少汲汲于名利焦头烂额的人’ write? It's a bit weird! Maybe a typo. If you take '请人’ as 'invite' it kind of makes sense. I'll ask around. – Pedroski Aug 28 '17 at 8:09
  • No doubt they can write if educated, but they may not have a good handwriting. If I want to hang some famous saying in my living room, I'd rather ask someone with good handwriting to write it for me because I don't want poor writings hanging in my living room. That's the point. 请人 could mean 'invite people' to a dinner, party, and etc. It can also convey the idea calling/asking helps from someone, for example, 请人做事情,请人写字 in this case. – dan Aug 28 '17 at 8:25

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