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I must apologize for being lazy that I directly seek for others' help in translation, instead of trying to learn Latin myself. But anyway, I translated a famous quote from the Chinese philosophical classic "Zhuang Zi" into English, and I want to have the Latin version of it. The English translation is:

"From ego the perfect abstain;
From credit the immortal abstain;
From fame the holy abstain."
--Zhuang Zi

The meaning of this sentence is about the high level of a human being's life values: "The perfect", those regarded as the perfect people, abstain from "ego" and are selfless (altruism). "The immortal", those regarded as immortal people, abstain from "credit". They contribute to the society but don't want people to know it's because of them and don't ask for any return. "The holy", those regarded as holy spirits, abstain from "fame". They do so many to help the world, but they don't want the fame.

I recollect the words' sequence (instead of "The perfect abstain from ego", I use "From ego the perfect abstain") to give it a classic/antique feeling, as well as the aligned appearance and vocal rhythm between the these subsentences.

Thank you so much.

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    Do you happen to have the original Chinese or a citation to find the passage?
    – cmw
    May 18 at 21:47
  • 2
    The original Chinese is "至人无己,神人无功,圣人无名"。It is from Chapter 1 (逍遥游) of Zhuang Zi. Here's a link to the sentence (Page 13 before "1.2"): scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2022/23427/… But this English translation might not be good as mine, and I prefer to use my translation as the basis for a Latin version :D
    – Shrinetown
    May 18 at 22:01
  • Thanks! I'll cook up a translation or two later on.
    – cmw
    May 18 at 22:08
  • Thank you so much! Does it mean that you also read Chinese?
    – Shrinetown
    May 18 at 22:23
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Here is just one translation of your English interpretation. I'll keep it close to your word order as well.

"From ego the perfect abstain;
Se perfecti abstinent.

From credit the immortal abstain;
Laude immortales abstinent.

From fame the holy abstain."
Fama sancti abstinent.

Just a few points. First, this isn't the Chinese. (You know this, but future readers should be aware of it.) Second, in Latin, you don't get that "antique" feeling from reversing the word order. What putting those words in the beginning of the sentence in Latin (and honestly in English, too) does is emphasize their importance. Putting the actors in the middle decreases their importance. The sentences being so short, though, no part of them is de-emphasized by any great margin, so it shouldn't really matter what goes first, second, or last, except that typically subjects precede their verbs.

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  • Thank you so much! And I really appreciate your understanding of Chinese classics especially the Taoism. But could I ask an indelicate favor? The reason I provide my translation is because I would like to translate my understanding of this sentence into Latin. As you can see, there are various understandings/translations of this sentence. The previous link I provided makes it "Person A has no X", which I actually totally disagree XDDDD.
    – Shrinetown
    May 19 at 5:02
  • So what I want to do, is to translate 至人 into "the perfect" (I think perfectus looks great. I don't know if Latin also has the structure of "the+adj=plural form"), 神人 into “the immortal” to emphasize the "never die" part instead of using religious word like "divine/sacred", 圣人 into "the holy" (alright, I fail to find another proper word that is not religion-related).
    – Shrinetown
    May 19 at 5:04
  • For the 無 part, I intentionally make it an "action" instead of a status (haven't). I'd like to embody the procedure of having it first but abstain from it when enlightened (since no holy/immortal person was born to be like that, in a mundane setting of speaking). That's why I want to translate it to be "abstain from". I'm really sorry for having such a brutal request. But could you please try to translate my English translation into Latin XD I really appreciate it.
    – Shrinetown
    May 19 at 5:05
  • 1
    @user38830 Edited it to conform to your English.
    – cmw
    May 19 at 5:40
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    It looks perfect! Thank you so much for your patience and generosity!!
    – Shrinetown
    May 19 at 5:50

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