2

The poem 守岁 by 李世民 ends with the following line:

共欢新故岁,迎送一宵中。

It's apparently a well-known line and even Chairman Xi used it in one of his speeches:

“共欢新故岁,迎送一宵中。”忙碌了一年,一家人一起吃年夜饭,一起守岁,享受的是天伦之乐、生活之美。在家尽孝、为国尽忠是中华民族的优良传统。没有国家繁荣发展,就没有家庭幸福美满。同样,没有千千万万家庭幸福美满,就没有国家繁荣发展。

  ——习近平在2019年春节团拜会上的讲话(2019年2月3日)

There doesn't seem to be a lot of English translations though. Here are two I found:

Two poems for guarding the year (one for Taizong, and the other for Dazhou)

We celebrate the new year and the old,
and welcome each other for a night.

【中国诗文外译(特刊)】春节║总第8期

All people celebrate the turn of old and new year,
Greeting and Seeing-off one night with good cheer;

Do other translations not exist? (Published translations would be preferable.)

1

I think the translations you provided does not accurately reflect the literal Chinese meanings. Although I do not know other published translation, I can explain the poem word by word, so that you can have a better understanding of its meaning.

In the first part "共欢新故岁": "共" means "together". "欢" means "happy" or in this case "celebrate". "新" means "new". "故" means "old" and in this case, it means "the past". "岁" means "age" in modern Chinese, but here in ancient Chinese, it also means "year".

In the second part "迎送一宵中": "迎" means "welcome". "送" means "send" or "farewell". "一" means "one". "宵" means "night". "中" means "within" in this case.

So the poem should mean "Together we celebrate the new and old year. The welcoming of the new year and the farewell to the old year are both within this night."

What I wrote is just a literal translation. There might be other translations as Chinese and English are culturally different and it is very hard to translate literature works. Also, ancient Chinese often have multiple meanings so it is also very difficult to interpret poems using modern Chinese. Hence, different people will definitely have different interpretations.

| improve this answer | |
  • Is there such a possibility that "新" does not mean "new" but means "make...new"? – T-Pioneer Aug 23 at 11:36
  • That is possible. This is a grammatical phenomenon in ancient Chinese called "使动用法" ("causative". I'm not sure if it is translated in that way). In ancient Chinese, adjectives and nouns can sometimes be used as causative verbs. – DONGHANG Aug 24 at 13:27
0

Have a look here.

Well, I had to try, but I can't reach the 'crypticity' of Chinese:

暮景斜芳殿,年华丽绮宫。
Evening sun slants on the palace halls, years beautify this already beautiful palace.
寒辞去冬雪,暖带入春风。
Cold go, go winter snow, bring warm spring wind.
阶馥舒梅素,盘花卷烛红。
Scented steps release plum fragrance, hold offerings and red candles.
共欢新故岁,迎送一宵中。
All happy at New, Old Year time, this welcome lasts on through the night.

芳殿:华丽的宫殿。下文绮宫亦同。
fragrant palace hall: gorgeous palace. Following beautiful palace also the same.

丽:使动用法,使······美丽。
beautiful: used as verb, make .... beautiful.

馥(fù):香气。
fragrance: fragrance.

盘花:此指供品。
plate flowers: this indicates an offering.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.