KEY CONCEPTS

TERMBASES

Dragon

The dragon is a mystique and auspicious animal in Chinese mythology, with its image having the features of a number of animals: bull's head, deer antlers, shrimp's eyes, donkey's mouth, human beard, snake's body, and eagle's claws. It can walk, fly, swim, and even raise clouds and make rain. It holds boundlesssupernatural powers and can transform itself into different creatures at will. As one of the oldest totems of the Chinese nation, the dragon became a symbol of the emperor or the imperial house after the Qin and Han dynasties. Later, it further evolved into a common spiritual and cultural symbol of the Han ethnic group and all Chinese people. In China, the dragon represents unity, power, reverence, dignity, excellence and good luck, which is quite opposite to the evil and greedy dragon in Western mythology and tradition.

【CITATION】

The most powerful among scaly animals, the dragon can hide itself or be visible, be small or huge, be short or long. At the Spring equinox it mounts into the sky, and at the Autumn equinox it hides deep in the water. (Xu Shen: Explanation of Script and Elucidation of Characters)

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jhuang@comm.ecnu.edu.cn2018-09-18
Dragon 在东亚以外地区的象征意义极其负面,中国的龙不应该与之同名。不能因为部分了解中国情况的外国人知道中国的 dragon 不同于外国的 dragon 就译龙为 dragon,这是在放弃中国文化的解释权,任由外国人决定龙的含义。影视作品里有可爱的 dragon,不能改变 dragon 的基本含义。就好像虽然有可爱的米老鼠,但仍然是“老鼠过街,人人喊打”。如果某个民族自称自己是“鼠的传人”(或“Descendants of the Mouse(老鼠的后代)”),我们中国人可能尊重他们吗?(上海黄佶)
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