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    #1

    There was once a time when the forests of the Niu Mountain were beautiful.

    https://books.google.com.tw/books?id...ul.%22&f=false
    There was once a time when the forests of the Niu Mountain were beautiful. (Mencius, translated into English by Lin Yutang)
    It is not acceptable to use the before mountains (e.g. Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro). Why use the before Niu Mountain?
    http://www.grammarly.com/handbook/gr...e-article-the/
    Last edited by sitifan; 31-Jan-2016 at 18:27.
    I need native speakers' help.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: There was once a time when the forests of the Niu Mountain were beautiful.

    There are exceptions to that rule.

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    #3

    Re: There was once a time when the forests of the Niu Mountain were beautiful.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Sitifan:

    I have some information that may interest you.

    It comes from a huge book written by four respected scholars. Perhaps you have a copy of it, as do many teachers throughout the world.

    1. They tell us that "certain names of individual mountains and lakes take 'Mount' and 'Lake' .. . as a title [my emphasis]."

    a. Mount Everest, Mount Vesuvius, Lake Michigan.

    2. They tell us that "Most other geographical names take a determiner [like "the"], the general term being proceeded by the proper noun as a premodifier [my emphasis].

    a. the Atlantic Ocean. [my emphases]; the Rocky Mountains; the Nile Valley.

    i. Is that perhaps the explanation for: the Niu Mountain ?


    Source: Quirk, et al., A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (1985), page 1317.
    Last edited by TheParser; 30-Jan-2016 at 15:51.

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    #4

    Re: There was once a time when the forests of the Niu Mountain were beautiful.

    Mencius said:
    “Once there was a time when the trees of Ox Mountain were beautiful, but
    standing on the outskirts of a great city, they soon met with axe and saw and
    were felled.
    https://timcronintranslations.wordpr...9%9B%E5%B1%B1/
    Another translator of Mencius doesn't use the definite article before Ox Mountain. (ox in English=niu in Chinese)
    Last edited by sitifan; 31-Jan-2016 at 18:30.
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #5

    Re: There was once a time when the forests of the Niu Mountain were beautiful.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Sitifan:

    As one of our presidents used to say, "I feel your pain."

    I went to Google and typed in "the Niu Mountain," "Niu Mountain," "the Ox Mountain," and "Ox Mountain."

    I checked the regular results pages and the "books" section (where thousands of books have been digitalized.)

    Since you live in Taiwan, I believe that you can also access Google.

    I respectfully suggest that you do what I did in order get a sense of how translators handle this matter.

    I may be completely wrong, of course, but I seem to get a feeling that many translators seem to be more comfortable with "the Niu Mountain" and with "Ox Mountain."

    Please remember that native speakers often start to drop the definite article.

    For example, basketball games in my city take place at a stadium now referred to as "Staples Center." When it first opened, everyone (including the media) referred to it as "The Staples Center."

    I think that everyone will be fascinated (as was I) by the following explanation:

    The Chinese philosopher Mencius's "simile for human nature is Ox Mountain [notice there's no "the"], once verdant and lush with forest, but then stripped by firewood cutters and overgrazed, and now an eroded waste. Similarly, a bad person is only a good person managed unwisely."


    -- E.N. Anderson, The Food of China (1988).
    Last edited by TheParser; 01-Feb-2016 at 13:51.

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    #6

    Re: There was once a time when the forests of the Niu Mountain were beautiful.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post

    Please remember that native speakers often start to drop the definite article.

    For example, basketball games in my city take place at a stadium now referred to as "Staples Center." When it first opened, everyone (including the media) referred to it as "The Staples Center."
    This evening, I went to the National Taiwan University Library to consult different English translations of Mencius. The results were as follows:
    1894, James Legg, the Niu mountain
    1938, Lin Yutang, the Niu Mountain
    1984, D. C. Lau, the Ox Mountain
    1998, David Hinton, Ox Mountain
    1999, Chao Zengtao et al., the Ox Mountain
    2009, Philip J. Ivanhoe, Ox Mountain
    Last edited by sitifan; 02-Feb-2016 at 14:52.
    I need native speakers' help.

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