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Oh so that's why-- - Off the Cliff

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Sun Jan 19th, 2014

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12:32 pm - Oh so that's why--
The kanji for what is puzzlingly called the Great Vehicle of the Law, Mahayana Buddhism, are 大乗仏教- great ride buddhism teach. Not that 乗 is a vehicle where I come from, but possibly in ancient Chinese it was, in addition to the 'numerary adjunct for vehicles' that mandarintools says it can be.

I did always wonder about that.

Information courtesy of this Buddhist blog. (I have too many blogs book-marked. I need a way to make the occasional ones accessible. But if I stuff the rarities into a new file, I forget about them, as I would have with this one, which was way down at the three-scrolls bottom of the list.)

(4 comments | post comment)


[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2014 01:20 am (UTC)
come to think of it even in today's mandrin there's no more precise translation for vehicle than 乘。as a verb it means to ride on, so as a noun it means something that you can ride on - ie a vehicle.
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2014 02:49 am (UTC)
So what's 車 or its simplified equivalent?
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2014 05:23 am (UTC)
車 means cart, carriage, automobile. I don't think it has a verb function. You can 乘 a 車, or a taxi, train, airplane, horse, mule. I've just been reading a tome on classical vocabulary and it points out that each of the major specialized areas (history, poetry, Buddhism) have different takes on the same characters, so I'd have to get a religion specific tome to translate Buddhist terminology.
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2014 06:06 pm (UTC)
车can be a verb to. it means to transport. 乘 means to ride on. so it's a difference of perspective.

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