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马年说“马” :盘点中外历史马的故事(双语)

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鲜花(126) 鸡蛋(3)
东南西北人 发表于 2014-2-20 07:41:20 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

The era when people depended on steeds for transportation or warfare has long gone, but the zodiac animal has left numerous genetic footprints on spoken Chinese, writes Raymond Zhou。


Yao Shaoshuang has been the most photographed horse rider in China in the past month. Donning a cowboy hat and boots for three days, he rode a black horse from his workplace in Pixian to the city of Dujiangyan, where his mother-in-law lives, after failing to secure a bus ticket for Spring Festival travel. (The county and city lie to the northwest of Chengdu, the provincial capital。) His image appeared all over the Internet, and Yao said he received hundreds of calls, including interview requests, from the media. Apart from his inability to obtain a ticket, Yao said he made his trip on horseback as he was eager to reach his destination and to impress his in-laws on his first visit to his wife's family。


In Chinese, there is a common word, mashang, literally "on horseback" and means "right away" or "fast". It was clearly not coined after modern modes of transportation were invented. But the irony in 24-year-old Yao's case is that he covered the 70 km in three days, slower than most hikers。


The truth, when it emerged, proved to be an anti-climax. Yao works for an equestrian club and the horse he was riding was a Dutch Warmblood (a horse of medium build designed for sports) from the Netherlands worth half a million yuan ($82,000)。

Normally, such an expensive import would not appear on a hard, asphalt road, but this may also explain the ultra-slow speed, complete with numerous photo opportunities。


Moreover, the journey was a publicity stunt, not for himself but for a business。

Yao, a local equestrian sports champion, kept quiet. However, other clubs said they had received requests from advertisers who wanted to get in on the horseback bandwagon, but owners could not bear to see their costly investments stray far from soft grass and well-maintained stables. Some even viewed Yao's actions as animal abuse。


Good humor

The fad for placing objects on horseback in the hope of fulfilling financial dreams started rather innocuously and in good humor, but quickly transformed into materialistic vulgarity。


Blessings and good wishes were quickly replaced by hard cash, such as placing a wad of banknotes on horseback. Since real horses proved hard to come by, enlarged toy horses were used. People even piled miniature houses on the horses in a desperate bid for the financial wherewithal to purchase apartments。


One man, with a touch of ingenuity, reportedly placed a pair of toy elephants on top of a toy horse, because the Chinese word for "date" has "xiang" in it, which can be stretched to encompass the elephant。


If you let a smaller horse piggyback on a larger one, it could mean that the object of your desire is a BMW, as the German car has a vague Chinese transliteration as "precious horse"。


Word games involving the horse appear frivolous, but often have cultural and historical connotations. Chinese like to describe being victimized by foreign invasion as being trodden under iron hooves。

In Chinese history, the economically developed and culturally sophisticated Han majority on the central plains were repeatedly attacked and pillaged by northern tribes。


Part of the reason, many scholars believe, was the mode of travel used by the nomads. While they swooped down in an iron-hoofed stampede, the Han could only flee on foot. Hence, the vivid depiction of being trampled。


Celebrated stallions

The Han were not as expert at horse riding as the northern tribes, but horses were not uncommon. It was rare, though, for them to be venerated like the Six Steeds of the Zhaoling Mausoleum in Shaanxi province。


These warhorses belonged to Emperor Taizong (AD 598-649), also known as Li Shimin, of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). He commissioned artisan Yan Lide and painter Yan Liben, who were brothers, to carve six warhorses he rode before he built his empire. The reliefs, each standing 1.7 meters high and 2 meters wide, used to flank the sacrificial altar to the north of the mausoleum。

The steeds have poetic names that mostly denote their markings. Four of them were hit by arrows and the emperor left memorial tributes to each of them along with records of the military campaigns in which they carried him or in which they fell。

The carvings were broken apart early in the 20th century and two of them were smuggled out of China. They are now housed in a museum at the University of Pennsylvania, while those remaining in China are in a museum in Xi'an, the Shaanxi provincial capital。


By aesthetic standards of the day, they were quite realistic. Horses made frequent appearances in ancient scroll paintings, but most were static and inconspicuous, acting as loyal companions to reclusive scholars or officials seeking sanctuary in nature。

Unlike ancient artists obsessed with saddled horses, Xu Beihong (1895-1953) preferred feral and wild ones. Trained in France, the Chinese master studied equine anatomy, spending hours observing horses' movements and expressions. Especially fond of Mongolian breeds, he left a treasure trove of up to 1,000 sketches。


Xu's portrayals of horses galloping or trotting past, in a rich variety of poses, are some of the most captivating of their kind. Using mostly black ink, they combine the best methods from East and West. The lines and brush strokes are simple, yet invariably evoke the essence of the animals。


They are a contrast to the horses painted by Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), an Italian missionary who created many eight-horse images for the Qing emperors. In full color and resembling traditional European oil paintings, they were, however, closer in spirit to the Chinese style of depicting horses. There was nothing of the energy and exhilaration found in Xu's drawings。


Different emphasis

While the tale of Pegasus is not widely known in China, "flying horse" is by no means a strange term. Several brands are named after it, most notably a cigarette with a long history。


It is true that China may pale in comparison with the West in creating talking horses or weeping horses in art and literature, with most of our horse-related prominence being in our vocabulary。


But before we get to that, I'll point to the different emphasis, or rather East-West focus, on different aspects of the horse. For example, most English words for "horse" define the animal by age and gender, such as colt for a male horse under the age of 4, filly for a female horse less than 4 years old, mare for a female aged 4 or older, yearling for one between 1 and 2 years old, and foal for one younger than a year old. Gelding and stallion denote castration or non-castration。


In contrast, most Chinese descriptions for the horse concern colors. Biao (骠) is yellow; liu (骝) is red with black mane and tail; yan (骃) is grayish; li (骊) is black; guo (騧) is yellow with black mouth; qi (骐) is purplish black; hua (骅) is red like the fruit date; xing (骍) is another kind of red; cong (骢) is blue; zhui (骓) is black with white feet; and mang (駹) is black with white face. Ju (驹) and ji (骥) refer to young and old horses, but not how young or how old, while jun (骏) and nu (驽) are names for fast and slow ones。


We have more names for different horses than there are zodiac animals, but most of them appear to have been inspired by the color spectrum。


We Chinese also have an equivalent for the term "prince charming" that has a whiff of the fairytale about it. It is "prince on a white horse" or "white-horse prince"。

But a study of the colors of horses' coats made me realize the inherent irony in this Disney-like phrase: With rare exceptions, a horse turns gray or white as it ages, and is usually born with a darker shade. If you are not sure, check the skin underneath a white horse's coat。


So, associating a prince with mortality is not really the best way to present his youthful charm. However, since most of us are not equine veterinarians, we can be excused for envisioning this most desirable companion for females in the color of purity and forget about old age。


Linguistic record

The Chinese attitude toward the zodiac animal of 2014 is embedded in a profusion of expressions handed down and enriched through centuries of man-horse dynamics。

Apart from serving as a symbol of loyalty and bravery for military heroes, the horse is often praised for its endurance, as illustrated in the proverbial thousand-mile horse。


Perhaps the best analogy for man's relationship with the horse concerns Bole, a wise man with an eye for the next thousand-mile horse. Here, the human being is the talent scout, manipulator and trainer, while the horse is to be observed for potential, and groomed. A mentor-protege parallel is quite obvious。


As such, the horse may also become the recipient of tiger-mom-style Chinese tough love, as in the phrase "A horse has to be whipped to run."


But ancient Chinese tended to identify with the animal so closely that when they talked about their horses they could be talking about themselves. "To err is human" has a Chinese equivalent: "Man may make mistakes and a horse may miss a step"。


Chinese in general have a weakness for patting a horse on the butt, a friendly gesture that has since evolved to mean sycophancy. When you miss a beat and end up patting it on the leg, you have failed in the unctuous act of flattering someone。


In these sayings, the horse is no longer man's servant or apprentice, but an object of appreciation and power. This kind of duality is also present in the traditional Chinese perspective on entertainers。


While the man-horse power dependence may change with different situations, the horse reigns supreme in the equine hierarchy。

The donkey and the mule usually appear as sidekicks or foils in Chinese folktales to make the horse appear as magnificent as the superhero in a Hollywood fantasy film. About the only time the horse is overshadowed is by the appearance of the camel, which is so much bigger that, according to Chinese lore, even the thinnest one is still larger than the horse. But then, the camel has never been credited as a conqueror of the world。


There is no doubt that Chinese, ancient or modern, love the horse. But those who take "ma" (horse) as their surname cannot prove they are any different from the rest of us。


As it happens, Chinese Muslims took the sound for Muhammad and sinicized it to ma, hence the largest family name in this ethnic group. Also, Chinese rarely use the word in any last name for its literal meaning, otherwise wang (or wong in Cantonese, meaning king) would be the most coveted of all。


But even a king or emperor could enhance his regal stature while posing on a horse。



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鲜花(126) 鸡蛋(3)
 楼主| 东南西北人 发表于 2014-2-20 07:41:44 | 显示全部楼层
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虽然马匹用于交通和战争的年代一去不复返了,但是,与十二生肖中的“马”相关的语句在中国语言中留下了印迹。

过去的一个月中,“马上哥”姚少双的照片频繁 出现在各大媒体上。春运买不到车票后,姚少双戴上牛仔帽、蹬上靴子,骑着一匹黑马从工作地郫县到都江堰市去拜见岳母。这趟行程历时3天。(郫县和都江堰市 在四川省会成都的西北部。)姚少双在网络上火了,他说自己收到了近千个电话,媒体的电话采访也包含在内。姚少双说,除了买不到车票这个原因外,自己骑马还 因为想要早点到目的地,第一次拜访岳母,要留个好印象。

汉语中有一个常见词语叫“马上”,字面意思是“在马背上”,也有“立刻”和“很快”的意思。这个词语当然不是依据现代的交通运输方式衍生出来的。但是,这个词语对于24岁的姚少双而言,颇具讽刺意味了。姚少双用了3天时间走了70千米的路程,这比徒步走还慢。

当真相浮出水面的时候,令人大[微博]跌眼镜。姚少双为一个马术俱乐部效力,他骑的马是荷兰温血马(一种体型中等的体育竞技马)价值50万元。

一般来讲,这么贵的进口马不会出现在硬硬的柏油马路上。但是,这也解释了为啥这匹马走路速度奇慢,给别人提供了那么多的拍照机会。

此外,这次骑马行为纯属作秀,姚少双不是要自己出风头,而是为了商业炒作。

对于这些,姚少双这位当地的马术冠军不予回应。然而,其他的马术俱乐部也收到了广告商的邀约。广告商们想要用“马上”这个词做噱头。但是,马术俱乐部拒绝了,因为他们不愿意看到这么昂贵的马离开软 软的草地和维护良好的马厩,走在硬梆梆的柏油路上。有些人看了有关姚少双的报道后,认为他是在虐待动物。

幽默

人们把东西放在马背上,表示对实现经济梦想的希望。这种风尚在最初流行的时候是一种幽默表现形式,没有什么不好的。但是,这件事很快就变得粗俗起来了。

美好的祝愿很快被物质欲望所取代。比如,有人把一团伪钞放在马背上,表示马上有钱。因为真实的马匹很少见,人们用填充的玩具马代替真实的马。有人甚至把微型的房子堆在马背上,迫切希望能够经济宽裕、马上买房。

据说,有人很有创意地把一对玩具大象放在了玩具马的背上。因为在汉语中,“对象”一词有“象”字在里面。这样以来,往马背上放的东西的范围延伸到了大象。

如果你把一个小的马宝宝放在一匹大马上,这意味者你想要拥有一辆宝马汽车。因为,德国出产的汽车BMW在中文中的音译是“宝马”。

关于马的文字游戏看起来很没意思,但是它一般有文化、历史内涵。中国人在描述遭到外国侵略时,喜欢用到“铁蹄之下”这个短语。

在中国历史上,经济文化先进的汉族人口占大多数,居住在中原地区。他们经常遭到北方游牧民族的劫掠。

学者们认为,汉族受游牧民族侵扰的部分原因在于游牧民族的活动方式。当游牧民族骑着铁蹄马南袭的时候,汉族人只能徒步逃跑。因此,“铁蹄之下”很生动地描绘了游牧民族对汉族的蹂躏。

名马

汉族不如北方游牧民族那样善长骑马,但是,他们的马却非同寻常。马很少像陕西省的昭陵六骏那样受到人们的推崇。

这六匹战马是唐朝(公元618-907)皇帝唐太宗(公元598-649)李世民的坐骑。他命令工艺家阎立德和画家阎立本兄弟二人雕刻出他建唐朝前骑过的六匹战马。昭陵六骏位于昭陵北面的祭坛两侧,每块石刻高约1.7米,宽约2米。

战马的名字很有诗意,大部分马是根据马身上的斑纹命名的。有四匹马在战争中中箭。为了纪念战马,李世民给每匹马写了墓志铭,上面记载着哪场战役用的哪匹马、在哪场战役马死了。

在20世纪早期,昭陵六骏的雕刻被分割开来,有两个走私到了国外,现收藏在美国宾夕法尼亚大学博物馆。剩下的保存在陕西省省会西安的博物馆。

从当今的审美水平来看,马的形象很逼真。马的形象经常出现在古代的卷轴画上。但是,许多马都是静态的,与画面不协调:它们或是忠实地陪伴着隐居的学者,或是忠实地守候着隐居田园的官员。

古代的艺术家热衷于画被驯服的马,画家徐悲鸿(1895-1953)却对画野马情有独钟。这位国画大师在法国进修期间学习了马的解剖,他花费大量的时间观察马的动态和表情。他非常喜欢画蒙古马,为后世留下了1000副素描绘画珍品。

徐悲鸿画的马,有的飞奔,有的小跑,形态各异,非常有魅力。他画的马多是黑色,结合了中西方绘画手法,线条和笔画简单,但是每幅画所画的动物却都十分传神。

徐悲鸿的画与意大利传教士郎世宁(Giuseppe Castiglione)(1688-1766)为清朝皇帝绘画的八骏图风格迥异。这幅画是全彩的,代表了欧洲油画的风格,与中国画画马的风格神似,但没有徐悲鸿的画中展示的能量与欢乐氛围。

侧重不同

也许很少有中国人知道希腊神话中关于飞马珀加索斯(Pegasus)的故事。但是,人们“飞马”这个词汇并不陌生。一些牌子以“飞马”命名,其中最有名的要数老牌子的飞马香烟了。

西方的文学和艺术作品中有会说话的马和流泪的马。在中国,与马相关的最多的要数语言词汇了。这样一来,就马而言,中国的文艺作品要比西方的苍白得多。

但是,在谈及此之前,我将会指明中西方侧重的 不同所在。换句话说,也就是中西方强调马的方面不同。例如,大部分英语词汇是根据年龄和性别来定义“马”的。比如,小马指的是4岁以下的公马;小母马指的 是4岁以下的母马;母马指的是4岁或者4岁以上的母马;一岁马指的是年龄在1岁到2岁之间的马;驹指的是1岁以下的马。骟马指的是去势的马,种马是没有去 势的马。

相反,汉语中许多马的描写与颜色有关。骠是黄 色的马;骝是带有黑鬃和黑尾的红色马;骃是灰白色的马;骊是黑色的马;騧是有黑色马嘴的黄色马;骐是紫黑色的马;骅是枣红色的马;骍是另外的一种红马;骢 是蓝色的马;骓是带有白蹄子的黑马;駹是白面的黑马。驹是年轻的马,骥是年老马。年轻或年老的具体程度不详。骏是跑得快的马,驽是跑得慢的马。

不同的马,名字不同。马的名字要比十二生肖的名字多多了。但是,大部分马是根据颜色命名的。

在中国,与英文“prince charming”(白马王子)相对应的汉语词是“骑白马的王子”或者说是“白马王子”。关于白马王子,还有个小小的童话故事。

但是,一项关于马皮颜色的研究让我感觉这个与迪斯尼童话故事有关的词语颇具讽刺意味。随着年龄的增长,出生时肤色较暗的马会出人意料地变成灰色或者白色。如果你不相信,你可以看看白马的马皮。

因此,把一匹行将就木的白色老马和一位王子相联系,并不能表现王子的年轻和魅力。然而,既然我们大部分人都不是医治马的兽医,我们可以忽略掉白马是老马这个事实,想象一下那象征纯洁的白色吧,白马王子是女性朋友的最佳伴侣。

文字记载

几世纪的人马互动,使得那些关于马的词汇代代传承、丰富发展,它们体现了中国人对2014年马年的态度。

马除了作为军队英雄忠诚和勇敢的化身外,还因为其自身的耐久性受到人们的赞扬。谚语千里马就体现了马的耐久性。

或许,人和马关系的最佳类比跟伯乐有关。伯乐是能够识别千里马的人。在这里,人类是人才的发掘者、支配者和训练者;马是有待被发掘、培养的人才。很明显,这是一个类似于师徒的关系。

就此而论,马也可能成为虎妈式严格教育方式的接受者,正如词组“快马加鞭”表现出的一样。

但是,古代的中国人有认同动物的倾向。他们认为人与动物的联系如此紧密,以致于当他们谈论自己马的时候也可能是在谈论他们自己。“To err is human(人非圣贤,孰能无过)”这句话在汉语中对应的句子是:“人有失足,马有失蹄”。

一般,中国人拍马屁的偏好,这种表示友好情谊的姿态已经演变成为一种谄媚了。当你拍得不当的时候,就拍到了马腿上,那油腔滑调的谄媚以失败告终了。

在这些谚语中,马不再是人的仆人或者门徒了,而是欣赏的对象和权利的象征。马的这种双重含义也在中国人看待艺人的那些传统观念中体现出来。

人和马的权力依赖关系因情形的不同而不同。驴子、骡子和马这三种动物里,马居于最高等级。

在中国民间传说中,驴子和骡子通常被看作是马的朋友,它们通常被用来衬托马的伟大。马总是作为好莱坞魔幻电影中的超级英雄出现。只有一次,马的风头被骆驼盖过了。在中国的传说里,骆驼的个头比马大,即使是最瘦的骆驼也比马大。然而,骆驼从来没有被誉为是征服世界的动物。

毫无疑问,无论在古代还是现代,马深受中国人的喜爱。但是,那些把“ma”(马)作为姓氏的人与其他人相比,并不能以此证明有过人之处。

恰巧,中国的穆斯林把“穆罕默德”这个名字的读音中国化,称为马。从此之后,“马”姓成为这一民族中的大姓。另外,因为字面意思的原因,很少中国人名字叫“马”,否则“王”就应该是最受欢迎的名字了。

但是,即使是一位国王或者皇帝大概也要在马背上巩固江山大业。
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zspkd 发表于 2014-2-20 11:19:49 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 三T上人 于 2016-7-22 20:07 编辑 <br /><br />英中对照,好人!

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xxm564 发表于 2014-2-20 21:31:04 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 三T上人 于 2016-7-22 20:07 编辑 <br /><br />呵呵呵  终于知道回族为啥多姓马了

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lsjia2088 发表于 2014-2-23 08:51:39 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 三T上人 于 2016-7-22 20:07 编辑 <br /><br />美好的祝愿很快被物质欲望所取代

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fox3021 发表于 2015-9-16 14:24:37 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 三T上人 于 2016-7-22 20:07 编辑 <br /><br />真是汗啊  我的帖子好少啊  加油  支持东南西北人

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mastercard 发表于 2017-11-3 15:29:22 | 显示全部楼层
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