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Help to read this Chinese?

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UKgirl posted 4/1/2014 06:10 AM

Mr UKg was given (gift) two large rice paper paintings while he was in China. We don't know what they mean. DS19 has a friend who had an inkling and said that the pure writing one meant that Mr UKg was held in high esteem. Or something. The other is (apparently) quite valuable and has a lot of meanings within the picture. But again, we don't know what the writing means. I've just picked them up from the framers.

I feel a bit cheeky asking here, but can anyone help?

itainteasy posted 4/1/2014 07:59 AM

I have no idea what they say, but they are certainly beautiful.

UKgirl posted 4/2/2014 03:01 AM

Bumping this in the hope that someone can read this for me. I don't know where to start on the internet - the only thing I have come up with is one character probably meaning longevity, so I assume the other three are some kind of good wishes; luck, fortune, love, health, that sort of thing.

The other painting is (apparently) "in the style of" a famous painter from about 200 years ago. That's all we know on that one. Everything in it has meaning.


Cally60 posted 4/2/2014 04:36 AM

The paintings are indeed lovely. It must be very frustrating not to know what the symbols mean. (I've looked at your thread several times, because even I would love to know!) I think there are SI members who speak at least some Chinese, so I hope they might be able to help once they see your message. Though would the script on the paintings perhaps be more difficult to read than print?

If no one here can help, there is a very good online Languages forum at:

It has many native speaker contributors. I've just checked and they have a section for Chinese. So if no one here is able to help you, perhaps you'd be able to find a contributor there who could. I'm not sure whether they allow photos (I know they don't allow audio or video) but if not, perhaps you could post your photos on a photo site and then post a link? Or perhaps you could simply explain the situation as you have here, and ask for advice or help?

Actually, I'm sure that Google would bring up lots of other places online where you'd be able to find help from people who are bilingual. (For example, there are loads of Silicon Valley residents who speak both languages fluently.)

Holly-Isis posted 4/2/2014 05:47 AM

Try asking here:

It's mainly tattoos but I've seen other objects posted there. From the sounds of the latest entries, it sounds like he's getting bored with the same tat mistakes and might like seeing something new.

Also, PM Amazonia. I know she speaks Chinese. Not sure how well she reads it.

[This message edited by Holly-Isis at 5:55 AM, April 2nd (Wednesday)]

Amazonia posted 4/2/2014 07:02 AM

I used to read (and write) but I've lost it. Especially with the calligraphy - and these look like poetry, so a totally different grammatical structure from spoken Mandarin. Poetry in Chinese is very symbolic, so hard to translate even if you're a native speaker.

I would PM TCD. She reads more than I do.

UnexpectedSong posted 4/2/2014 08:46 AM

The first one has something to do with books and music (it's actually the word for "instrument" - a poetic way of saying "music").

The others are too stylized for me. Kind of like reading calligraphic cursive Shakesperean English.

UnexpectedSong posted 4/2/2014 08:50 AM

The second one is something about "the person who (works for - "strive"?) book ("wisdom") ... (Something)."

UnexpectedSong posted 4/2/2014 09:15 AM

I think the second one is (from right to left):

Listen instrument read book (good for) person (something...)

Ama - do you concur?

Basically, music and studying molds the scholar.

TattoodChinaDoll posted 4/2/2014 18:16 PM

Music and reading are the most enjoyable things in life.

I usually tell people things say crazy white man.

UKgirl posted 4/3/2014 08:01 AM

Thanks TCD.

Someone from work suggested the artist enjoyed playing instruments and reading and was eager for the leisured life.

So we've got the gist of it now. Thanks. We'll enjoy the other painting as just that. A nice painting!

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