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Translator in China

Posts tagged culture
Celestial Stems and Earthly Branches

Concerning ancient Chinese time measuring methods, and what's left of them today.

"To say that Chinese culture is old, is to state the obvious. Same goes for dwelling on the fact, that on every turn there, we stumble upon elements that were constituted ages ago. And it is also a false truism, as those elements were oft razed, repainted, refurnished and reconstructed manifold, just as the vast majority of historical landmarks in China, bearing a "wet paint" plaque. Nonetheless, one would ask, whether (and if so, how) this antiquity of Chinese culture manifest itself in everyday life, most notably in a translator's everyday life. One way it actually does, is the usage of two sets of characters, 10 piece set called Celestial (or Heavenly) Stems (天干 tiāngān), and to lesser extent a 12 piece set called Earthly Branches (地支 dìzhī) in modern Chinese, for example in legal contracts as the ways to denote the parties, as page numeration in legal documents, in tests as the available answers and so on. [...]"

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