意境 yi jing translation

意境 yi jing translation

Postby Mike Lucero » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:44 am

For the current Association journal, we needed a translation for yi jing 意境 , which Master Yang says is a common Chinese expression. It has already gone to press, but we're still interested in a good translation. An explanation was the feeling you get looking at a photo/painting where you are drawn into the scene - something like that. The translation we printed was "an exceptionally high level of mind" though we soon (but too late) thought a better one would be "an exceptional state of mind". If this is a good translation, it still doesn't explain it.

Could anyone here enlighten us?

Thanks,
Mike
Mike Lucero
 
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Re: 意境 yi jing translation

Postby Audi » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:28 am

Hi Mike,

I believe the expression 意境 does indeed come from artistic fields. As far as I understand, it refers to the intensity of mood or feeling that a work of art conveys, as well as to what the artist has done to the work in order to create that mood or feeling. Literally, it means something like "circumstances of what is meant/intended" and could be translated out of context as "artistic conception" or "creative mood/feeling." One of my dictionaries (Wenlin's ABC Dictionary) gives the following example and translation :

这幅画很有意境 (zhèfú huà hĕn yŏu yìjìng): This is a very creative painting.

You might also be able to translate that example as "This painting has a strong intensity of feeling."

I hope that helps.
Audi
 
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