Thursday, March 08, 2007

Translate This?

A few years ago, I was given a t-shirt by a standup gentleman after he returned from a trip abroad that included a visit to the Great Wall of China. The front of the shirt displays what he says is a famous Chinese poem. I've wanted to get it translated but haven't actually done anything to achieve that goal, until now. I took the shirt into work where there are some ESL kids but they couldn't help me out. So now I ask you, can you help me out? Click the pic to enlarge it. If it contains offensive language, I apologise.

added later: I emailed this post to my friend Jason, who teaches ESL students, and he emailed a same-day response. My shirt has these six poems by Mao Zedong, check them out. Thanks Jason!


rob said...

I think I've got it. I've taken a bit in University. It seems kind of disjointed though, almost like a bunch of proverbs rather than a poem. Anyways, here it is:

The man who live is a glass house should change in the basement.

The crowded elevator smells differently to the midget.

The man who fishes in another man's well, may come away with crabs.

The man who scratches his ass should not bite his fingernails.

jblueafterglow said...

rob - i've just updated my post with a link to the translation(s). you were soooooooo close.