China's transport, tanker & heavy lift aircraft

Dfangsaur

Junior Member
Registered Member
Oomph. This one is a bit hard to translate directly. 鲲鹏 is the word for roc, a mythical giant bird from Middle Eastern mythology. 加油 means to add oil, but it’s also used as a word of encouragement, so there’s a double meaning behind it. Neither “Go roc!” nor “Add oil roc!” capture the full meaning of the phrase, and both sound weird in English, but the meaning is the amalgam of both.
huh, didn't know 鲲鹏 came from middle eastern mythology. according to baidu, 鲲鹏 first appeared in 庄子-逍遥游, which was written between around 200-400 BC or so. Good chance that mythological existence of a giant bird is universal though (likely based on some extinct big bird).
 

latenlazy

Colonel
huh, didn't know 鲲鹏 came from middle eastern mythology. according to baidu, 鲲鹏 first appeared in 庄子-逍遥游, which was written between around 200-400 BC or so. Good chance that mythological existence of a giant bird is universal though (likely based on some extinct big bird).
Probably what happened was the term existed before in Chinese language and got applied to the roc over the centuries as stories got traded across the Silk Road.

We could just go with a more generic translation for 鲲鹏 and translate it to “big bird”, so the translation would just be “Big bird, add oil!/Go big bird!”
 

taxiya

Major
Registered Member
Oomph. This one is a bit hard to translate directly. 鲲鹏 is the word for roc, a mythical giant bird from Middle Eastern mythology. 加油 means to add oil, but it’s also used as a word of encouragement, so there’s a double meaning behind it. Neither “Go roc!” nor “Add oil roc!” capture the full meaning of the phrase, and both sound weird in English, but the meaning is the amalgam of both.
Well, I doubt any foreign relationship of the mythology. 鲲鹏 was first mentioned in the book 逍遥游 attributed to 庄子 who is one of the early founders of Chinese pagan faith (Daoism 道家), 庄子was born 369BC and passed away 286BC when China has almost zero contact with outside world.
Besides, 鲲 is a giant fish which when jumping out of the water becomes 鹏, a giant bird.
 

latenlazy

Colonel
Well, I doubt any foreign relationship of the mythology. 鲲鹏 was first mentioned in the book 逍遥游 attributed to 庄子 who is one of the early founders of Chinese pagan faith (Daoism 道家), 庄子was born 369BC and passed away 286BC when China has almost zero contact with outside world.
Besides, 鲲 is a giant fish which when jumping out of the water becomes 鹏, a giant bird.
By the middle of the Zhou Dynasty China was already trading with the Middle East.
 

taxiya

Major
Registered Member
By the middle of the Zhou Dynasty China was already trading with the Middle East.
Except that there is no reference or indication in 逍遥游 of the animals origin. Also if you read the text, the myth has its origin much earlier than Zhou Dynasty, at least attributed to the first King of Shang (汤) 1675BC to 1587BC. It also said that the animal lives in the sea to the extreme north.
汤之问棘也是已。汤之问棘曰:“上下四方有极乎?”棘曰:“无极之外,复无极也。穷发之北有冥海者,天池也。有鱼焉,其广数千里,未有知其修者,其名为鲲。有鸟焉,其名为鹏,背若太山,翼若垂天之云,抟扶摇羊角而上者九万里,绝云气,负青天,然后图南,且适南冥也。斥鴳笑之曰:‘彼且奚适也?我腾跃而上,不过数仞而下,翱翔蓬蒿之间,此亦飞之至也,而彼且奚适也?’”此小大之辩也。
China is vast country even 3000 thousand years ago, the west most kingdoms like the Qin might very well has contact with the Persians (China is Qin which was persianized to Chin, then passed on to Europe), but most kingdoms to the east have near zero contact such as Song where 庄子 lived.
 

latenlazy

Colonel
Except that there is no reference or indication in 逍遥游 of the animals origin. Also if you read the text, the myth has its origin much earlier than Zhou Dynasty, at least attributed to the first King of Shang (汤) 1675BC to 1587BC. It also said that the animal lives in the sea to the extreme north.


China is vast country even 3000 thousand years ago, the west most kingdoms like the Qin might very well has contact with the Persians (China is Qin which was persianized to Chin, then passed on to Europe), but most kingdoms to the east have near zero contact such as Song where 庄子 lived.
Trade networks don’t require direct contact to pass on goods or stories. Anyways you should read my edit from my first comment where I briefly ponder a bit about retroactive attribution of 鲲鹏 to Middle Eastern mythology (I was still adding that thought bubble when you responded). It makes sense to me that the specific term itself originally came from China, because it doesn’t sound borrowed (or at least not borrowed from a western language). Don’t want to dwell too much longer on this one since we’re off topics.
 
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jon88

New Member
Registered Member
Oomph. This one is a bit hard to translate directly. 鲲鹏 is the word for roc, a mythical giant bird from Middle Eastern mythology. 加油 means to add oil, but it’s also used as a word of encouragement, so there’s a double meaning behind it. Neither “Go roc!” nor “Add oil roc!” capture the full meaning of the phrase, and both sound weird in English, but the meaning is the amalgam of both.
Wow, I know what it means but translating it...it's a challenge. Even my Japanese friends could not translate it eventhough we know what it is. Basically most NorthEast Asians know what it means but they won't be able to explain it well to people who are not well versed in Hanzi or the myth or culture behind it.
In the end, China will probably give it a Western name that somewhat will give a vague idea of what it means. I can bet they won't be able to give an accurate translation on this one.
 

latenlazy

Colonel
Wow, I know what it means but translating it...it's a challenge. Even my Japanese friends could not translate it eventhough we know what it is. Basically most NorthEast Asians know what it means but they won't be able to explain it well to people who are not well versed in Hanzi or the myth or culture behind it.
In the end, China will probably give it a Western name that somewhat will give a vague idea of what it means. I can bet they won't be able to give an accurate translation on this one.
I don’t think the Y-20 is actually called 鲲鹏. That’s just a nickname the artist chose.
 
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