1. The Master said to Yan Yuan, “If I’m employed, I’ll show my talent; If not, I’ll hide my light under a bushel, only you and I have the ability to do it!”
2. Zi Lu said, “If you lead troops, whom do you want to work with you?”
3. The Master Said, “If someone attacks a tiger unarmed or crosses a river without a boat, and he died without any regret, I would not work with him. What I need definitely is someone who is careful and fond of making plans for success.”
1. The meaning of 用 should be 重用 or 任用 in this chapter, the translation of 用 is “employed,” it’s unclear whether “put on an important position” is an appropriate translation, Legge translated 用 into “called to office,” maybe it’s appropriate to describe 用 in Chinese traditional culture. 行 is a verb in this chapter, refers to 从事 or 实行. 用 and 舍 are opposites, thus the translation of 舍之 is “if not.” The meaning of 藏 is “hide” or “store” as a verb. In this chapter, the translation of 藏 is a proverb from the Bible, “hide a light under a bushel”. But the problem is, this proverb contains negative meaning. Legge’s translation of 藏 is “lie retired,” it’s more descriptive in reality. The meaning of 有 is 拥有 or 占有, therefore,e the translation is “have” or “get.” Legge’s translation is “attained to,” it also makes sense but has been old-fashioned than “have the ability” from the 1970s.
2. The meaning of 行 in this chapter should be 统率, it’s used as a verb, so the translation is “lead.” But Legge’s translation is “conduct,” it’s a noun. If the translation of 行 is conduct, the meaning of this sentence may be changed. 三 should be a fuzzy quantifier, so the translation of 行三军 is “lead troops.” But it’s wrong in this chapter, only a great state has the permission to own 三军. So Legge’s translation is “armies of a great State.”
The meaning of 与 is “with” or “praise”, they all make sense. In this context, the translation of 不与 is “don’t work with.” Predicate verb is omitted in the sentence of 则谁与. It is difficult to add a verb, in this degree the translation of 与 is “work.” Legge translated 与 into “act with.” According to his translation of “conduct” in this chapter, if the Master didn’t need to lead troops, Legge’s translation also makes sense.
3. The original meaning of 暴 is “expose” or “fierce.” 暴虎冯河 is a proverb from Shijing. In this sentence, 暴 refers to “fight with a tiger unarmed.”
In the sentence of “必也……,” there is no subject and predicate, thus “what I need” is added in the translation. Legge’s translation is “my associate,” It’s a different way to translate this sentence.
The original meaning of 惧 is 恐, “fear.” But in this chapter, it doesn’t make sense if translating it into “fear”, according to the next context 好谋而成, the person who is 好谋而成 is full of positive traits, and he is fond of making plans. Therefore, 惧 should be translated into a positive word instead of “fear.” It’s unclear whether “fearful of failure” is an appropriate translation or not. Therefore, the translation of 惧 is “careful”. Legge translated it into a “full of solicitude.” “Solicitude” is more advanced than “careful,” since it has been rarely used since the 1820s. There is trouble when translating 好谋而成, because 好谋 and 成 are both difficult words for translation. In addition, it is difficult to translate 好, 谋 and 成 respectively, and combining them in one sentence. Maybe due to this reason, Legge divided this sentence into two parts and translated them respectively. Legge translated 好谋 into “fond of adjusting his plans,” As for 而成, the original meaning of 成 is “succeed,” Therefore, the translation of this sentence is “success.” Legge translated it into “carry them into execution.”