為武學文化正名

 
翻译者之前言 (Translator’s foreword)

When I decided to translate this article I had to clarify two major points:
1. The word wenxue should be discussed when compared to the word wuxue and translated to avoid a confused and simplistic understanding.
2. The difficult task is how to translate wuxue 武学? Is it the “Study of War” of the “Study of Military Arts”; “Study of Martial Arts”; the “Study of Fighting”? What do we exactly mean? Why making a difference? Consequently, which one do we choose?

Sinological analysis:

When we read wenxue 文学 we find “literature”, but if we have to compare it to 武学 what do we have then? If we are going to see more closely the meaning of the word, we find wen 文 and xue 学; originally wen meant a pictorial representation, a “pattern”, later on to “adorn”. So, these two words combined together meant “the study of the adornment”? Later on it came to signify “literature”.
The same can, in my view, be claimed be the words wuxue 武学; where wu 武 means “war”.
However in this context does not seem appropriate when counter-balanced by wuxue 武学, which cannot simply be read as “Military Studies”.

If Wenxue 文学 implies the analysis; translation and critic of a given texts therefore wuxue 武学 implies the textual analysis; translation; its critic; description of methods of fighting, and related styles, with all the critical body of theories about philosophy; sociology; anthropology and so forth…

My first idea for this translation came when I was writing some notes about sinology, which in Chinese is Hanxue 漢學. This helped by applying the same method I took the words Wushu + Hanxue and translated Wushu de hanxue 武藝的漢學, at first. Thereafter, I was happy to see that few other Chinese researchers shared the same idea abbreviating it by taking the first and last words of the whole sentence 武術的漢學; the result is Wuxue 武學 (Sinology of the Martial Arts).

© Copyright by Tommaso Gianni August 2006. This work, or part of it, cannot be quoted without the written permission of author. Contact the author if you want to quote it or if you are interested in the full articleTGianni
TommasoGianni@yahoo.co.uk
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