Character Translation to English
November 21, 2011 7:43 AM   Subscribe

Needing a translation of the characters in this picture to English. (Also on DeviantArt)

I'm not sure what language the characters are in, unfortunately. If there's a better place to ask this question, please tell me! (And yes, I have permission from the artist to ask.)
posted by saveyoursanity to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
It's in Chinese, I will post a translation in a moment!
posted by Yellow at 7:54 AM on November 21, 2011

The phrase in the two lines of larger characters reads, '取其吉祥之音也', which doesn't seem to be a quote from the classics but is in the form of wenyanwen, and could be rendered, 'Take from it the sound that is auspicious'. Looks like there's preceding lines we can't see (just the edge of the line visible), which would give more of a context and hence affect the translation; the character 音 which I've done as 'sound' here could be interpreted in other ways, including 'music', 'voice' and 'news'.
Can't make out all the smaller characters to the bottom left, it's the place where there'd normally be a date and signature etc., and the couple I can make out (凉秋 AFAICT, someone surnamed 吴) would fit with it being that.
posted by Abiezer at 11:25 AM on November 21, 2011

Thank you!
posted by saveyoursanity at 1:55 PM on November 21, 2011

One possibility as to what it's a reference to (pretty speculative as we've only got the one short line) is the practice of making lucky signs and symbols based on homophones, of which Chinese has many, such as a bat symbolising good fortune, as both are pronounced , or fish symbolising plenty (both )。
posted by Abiezer at 3:08 PM on November 21, 2011

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