29 Levine

29 Levine

Dr. Levine’s surname is transliterated as 勒范恩 (lēi fàn ēn) in Taiwan.

 

Chinese character: 勒
Chinese character: 范
Chinese character: 恩
勒 (lēi) means control, in command, lead, or force. A Qing dynasty royal title, 貝勒 (bèi lè), a transliterated word from Manchu, was reserved for Lord, Prince, or Chief in Manchu.

 

范 (fàn) means rule, model, or pattern. It’s also the simplified character for 範 (fàn).

 

Meaning-wise, 范 (fàn) is the same as 範 (fàn). However, these were two separate surnames. Merging more than one character together has created some problems, just like if you decided to use “dear” to be both “dear” and “deer.”

 

恩 (ēn) means grace, favor, kindness, blessing.

 

If I were to recommend a name for him, it would be 樂民 (lè mín).

 Chinese character: 樂Simplified Chinese: 乐
Chinese character: 民
Simplified

Why? 樂 (lè) because it sounds like “le-” and its meaning of cheer and happy suits his passion for teaching, research, and life.

 

民 (mín), meaning people, sounds like “-ine” and suits him as a professor of social psychology.

 

We’ve covered 5 characters today. But if you want to learn more, keep reading.

 

Most Chinese characters have one pronunciation. A few have 2 or 3 pronunciations depending on the meaning. One example is the 說 character you learned yesterday (url) that can be pronounced shuō or shuì.

 

Another example is the 樂 (simplified: 乐) character we just learned. 樂 is pronounced lè when it means happy. For example: 快樂 (kuài lè) means happy, cheerful, joyful. 歡樂 (huān lè) means joy, gladness, or pleasure. 喜樂 (xǐ lè) is joy. 享樂 (xiǎng lè) means pleasure or treat. 樂觀 (lè guān) is optimistic or hopefulness. 樂天 (lè tiān) is also optimism. Lotte, the Japanese food company with a Korean founder, uses 樂天 (lè tiān) as its Chinese name. Another Japanese company, Rakuten, uses 樂天 (the Japanese kanji form: 楽天) in Japan and Taiwan.

 

樂 is pronounced yuè when it means music. For example: 音樂 (yīn yuè) is music.

 

Here’s a well-known Chinese saying from the works of Mencius, the most famous Confucian after Confucius himself, that you can use to test whether one is well versed in classical Chinese literature:

 

獨樂樂,不如眾樂樂 (dú yuè lè, bù rú zhòng yuè lè)

 

It’s pronounced “yuè lè”, not “lè lè” or “yuè yuè”.

 

The meaning of this is it’s better to enjoy music with many than alone by self.

 

From a chapter titled King Hui of Liang, Part II, from the Works of Mencius:

 

 

Chinese character: 獨Simplified Chinese: 独
Chinese character: 樂Simplified Chinese: 乐
Chinese character: 樂Simplified Chinese: 乐
Chinese character: 不
Chinese character: 如
Chinese character: 眾Simplified Chinese: 众
Chinese character: 樂Simplified Chinese: 乐
Chinese character: 樂Simplified Chinese: 乐
Mencius said, “If your Majesty’s love of music were very great, Qi would be near to a state of good government! The music of the present day is just like the music of antiquity, as regards effecting that.”

 

The king said, “May I hear from you the proof of that?” Mencius asked, “Which is the more pleasant - to enjoy music by yourself alone, or to enjoy it with others?” “To enjoy it with others,” was the reply.

 

“And which is the more pleasant - to enjoy music with a few, or to enjoy it with many?” “To enjoy it with many.”

 

Mencius proceeded, “Your servant begs to explain what I have said about music to your Majesty. Now, your Majesty is having music here. The people hear the noise of your bells and drums, and the notes of your fifes and pipes, and they all, with aching heads, knit their brows, and say to one another, ‘That’s how our king likes his music! But why does he reduce us to this extremity of distress? Fathers and sons cannot see one another. Elder brothers and younger brothers, wives and children, are separated and scattered abroad.’ Now, your Majesty is hunting here. The people hear the noise of your carriages and horses, and see the beauty of your plumes and streamers, and they all, with aching heads, knit their brows, and say to one another, ‘That’s how our king likes his hunting! But why does he reduce us to this extremity of distress? Fathers and sons cannot see one another. Elder brothers and younger brothers, wives and children, are separated and scattered abroad.’ Their feeling thus is from no other reason but that you do not allow the people to have pleasure as well as yourself.

 

“Now, your Majesty is having music here. The people hear the noise of your bells and drums, and the notes of your fifes and pipes, and they all, delighted, and with joyful looks, say to one another, ‘That sounds as if our king were free from all sickness! If he were not, how could he enjoy this music?’ Now, your Majesty is hunting here. The people hear the noise of your carriages and horses, and see the beauty of your plumes and streamers, and they all, delighted, and with joyful looks, say to one another, ‘That looks as if our king were free from all sickness! If he were not, how could he enjoy this hunting?’ Their feeling thus is from no other reason but that you cause them to have their pleasure as you have yours. If your Majesty now will make pleasure a thing common to the people and yourself, the royal sway awaits you.”

 

 

So which is the more pleasant — to enjoy learning Chinese with yourself alone, or to enjoy it with others? Share what you learn and find a learning buddy. You’ll learn faster and be happier!

 

http://boblevine.net

Eighteen years of providing meaningful Chinese characters for 3,000+ small businesses in North America and 45 countries worldwide. Created and Crafted in California, U.S.A.

Copyright © 2001-2020 Good Characters, Inc. All rights reserved. Good Characters — That's who we are; that's what we do. Privacy Policy