Greetings to all,
Steve, I think I can add to what has been said about "pie" and "Flip the Fist Past the Body"/"Chop with Fist."
You originally talked about "pi shen." If memory serves, this phrase shows up with this "spelling" (as opposed to "pie shen") in the Yang Saber Form and a similar posture in the Chen barehand form. I understand it to mean something like "cloak the body" or "drape something over the body." The movements in these postures are different from "Flip the Fist Past the Body"/"Chop with Fist," but there is some similarity. Perhaps this accounts for where you get "Cover body (with fist)."
As for "zhuan" and "hui," I think that "zhuan" applies a rotation through any number of degrees. "Hui" means "going back to the point of origin." In the form names detailed on this site, I think that "Hui" only appears once and is used to describe the change in orientation after Strike Tiger Right. Here, the transition feels to me like a unique one in the form. I have always assumed that "turning back" referred to "turning back to the primary kicking direction." Does this make sense for the way the Fu's teach the form?
Jerry, Steve, and Louis, thanks for your comments on "Step up" and "Step Forward," but I think my question still remains. After the second "Step Forward, Defect Downward Parry and Punch," we then have "Step Up, Grasp Sparrow's Tail." After using the phrase "Step Forward" ("Jin Bu") twice in the form, and once in the immediately preceding posture, why change the terminology in "Step up, Grasp Sparrow's Tail"?
Steve, thank you very much for your link. With an electronic Chinese file, I may now have a chance to dig into some of the Chinese texts with the help of my trusty Wenlin software and its instant vocabulary.
Since I am anxious to try it out and want to give those who know little or no Chinese a sense of why interpreting these passages is difficult, let me offer a translation of the short section that is being discussed. I am a rank amateur at such endeavors, but I think I can defend 90% of my choices on the basis of grammar, if not on the basis of theory or textual research. (I am flat out guessing on the other 20%.)
I am doing this not to contest any other translations, but to show the difficulty of relying on only one interpretation. One major difficulty with my rendering is that I am not sure how much to trust the punctuation I see. My understanding is that such punctuation was not used in this type of text. If that is true, there are even more possibilities of interpretation. It is not easy to know what to translate as a command, a statement, a question, or even a condition for what follows.
Here is my attempt:
"The Taiji Circle
"In retreat, the circle is easy, in advance the circle is difficult; so do not neglect the waist, the crown of the head, back, and front. What is difficult is the central ground and not leaving your positioning, so the ease of retreat and the difficulty of advance is a meticulous study. This is a matter of movement training, not standing in a fixed posture, of coming in close in advance or retreat keeping even shoulder to shoulder. The skill is like the rush of a water wheel, fast and slow, like dragons (gathering Qi) through the clouds, and tigers (dispersing Qi) through the winds. If you want to use the Disk of Heaven, carry out your search from here; with the passage of time, it will naturally emerge."