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Worldwide solicitation for English translation of Sun Ranweng's Long Couplet in Daguan Park

By : InKunming|Updated: 2011-05-05

Kunming is providing a reward to solicit an English translation of Sun Ranweng's Long Couplet in Daguan Park to promote the international image and introduce the long history and profound culture of the city.

As one of the 24 historical cultural cities recognized by China's State Council, Kunming enjoys a history of almost 30000 years of human inhabitation. It has long profited from its position on the caravan roads through to South-East Asia, India and Tibet. Early townships in the southern edge of Lake Dianchi (outside the contemporary city perimeter) can be dated back to 279 BC, although they have been long lost to history. Early settlements in the area around Lake Dian date back to Neolithic times. The Dian Kingdom, whose original language was likely related to Tibeto-Burman languages was also established near the area.

The deadline of the solicitation is December 5th, 2011. All entries should be sent to or posted on:

Sina microblog:  http://t.sina.com.cn/kmxcb2011

E-mail: kmswx@sina.cn

Web: Kunming Information Hub http://www.kunming.cn/

Mailing address: Room 348, Building7, Kunming Municipal Administrative Center, Chunrong Road of Chenggong New City District, Kunming, Yunnan, China

(Please mark "Solicitation for translation of Long Couplet "on the face of envelope)

Zip: 650500

Tel/Fax: 0871-3196300 3200012

All full-text and outstanding translators will receive a special souvenir. Prize winners will obtain a certificate, cash awards and prizes.

Daguan Park (simplified Chinese: 大观公园; traditional Chinese: 大觀公園; pinyin: Dàguān Gōngyuán), located in the southwestern suburb of Kunming City, is a lakeside park. Today many locals come to sit, drink tea, fly kites, and go boating. Among shady walks and pools, Daguan's focal point is Daguan Ge, a square, three-storeyed pavilion built to better Kangxi's enjoyment of the distant Western Hills and now a storehouse of calligraphy extolling the area's charms. The most famous poem here is a 118-character verse, carved into the gateposts by the Qing scholar Sun Ran, reputed to be the longest set of rhyming couplets in China.

The park is set on Daguan Stream, which flows south into Lake Dian, and there are frequent hour-long cruises down the waterway, lined with willows, to points along Lake Dian's northern shore. Lake Dian, also known as the Kunming Lake, is the largest lake on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. At Longmen of the Western Hills, there is a panoramic view of the lake.

Chinese couplets known as duilian or "contrapuntal couplets" may be seen on doorways in Chinese communities worldwide. Couplets displayed as part of the Chinese New Year festival, on the first morning of the New Year, are called chunlian. These are usually purchased at a market a few days before and glued to the doorframe. The text of the couplets is often traditional and contains hopes for prosperity. Other chunlian reflect more recent concerns. For example, the CCTV New Year's Gala usually promotes couplets reflecting current political themes in mainland China.Some Chinese couplets may consists as simple as two lines of four characters each. Couplets are read from top to bottom where the first line starts from the right.

The original version in Chinese:

大观楼长联原文(孙髯翁著)

上联:五百里滇池奔来眼底,披襟岸帻,喜茫茫空阔无边。看东骧神骏,西翥灵仪,北走蜿蜒,南翔缟素。高人韵士何妨选胜登临。趁蟹屿螺洲,梳裹就风鬟雾鬓;更萍天苇地,点缀些翠羽丹霞,莫辜负四围香稻,万顷晴沙,九夏芙蓉,三春杨柳。

下联:数千年往事注到心头,把酒凌虚,叹滚滚英雄谁在?想汉习楼船,唐标铁柱,宋挥玉斧,元跨革囊。伟烈丰功费尽移山心力。尽珠帘画栋,卷不及暮雨朝云;便断碣残碑,都付与苍烟落照。只赢得几杵疏钟,半江渔火,两行秋雁,一枕清霜。

 (Reporter:Lynn,editor:Minnie Mao)

Click here to view Chinese report.