Big Dragons Never Die

    Keywords: Proverb

Actually it is a controversial statement to say that "Big dragons never die". Sometimes they die with a bang.

The proverb reflects the fact that a big group that stretches across the board (dragon) has a lot of possibilities to either form two eyes or to get engaged in a semeai that is easily won because the group is so big.

As with all proverbs it is just a hint and does not replace actual reading.

It is believed also that a side that has only one group wins the game.

There is a practical application of this proverb. Don't let two weak groups connect, because while they are disconnected they are weak, but two connected weak groups are much stronger. As always, there are exceptions :)

In oriental languages

  • Chinese: 棋长一尺,无眼自活 (literally: "Stones extended by a foot will live on their own [even] without eyes.")
  • Korean: dae-ma-bul-sa[1] or "large horses do not lose" [2].

Notes

[1] Since the pronunciation of the four characters sound similar to that of the Chinese language (which I do understand), I typed in my best guesses of the Hanja (Chinese characters used in the Korean language)--大馬不輸--into Google Translate and clicked on the "Read Phonetically" button. To my surprise, the pronunciation was actually "Daemabusu." However, changing the text to 大馬不死 (which would be "large horses do not die" if I interpret the characters in Chinese) does result in the "Daemabusa" rendering. To be safe, I also consulted an online Hanja dictionary, and the pronunciations I got for the corresponding Hangul equivalents of 輸 and 死 were also "su" and "sa," respectively.

So, part of me wonders if we have a case of mistranslation in the quoted text. Could anyone who understands Korean please verify the accuracy of the literal translation? (Again, the literal translation doesn't really matter here since the phrase is meant to be metaphorical. But it doesn't hurt to ensure that SL has correct information on linguistic notes.) --Mr Tenuki

zxb: Your dictionary might be incorrect. In mandarin, “输”(simplified) or “輸” is pronounced "SHU", not "SU". “死” is pronounced "sssssssss" (I can't find the equivalent in English!), without an "A" sound. However I think Korean and Chinese is really too different.

MrTenuki: By "su" and "sa" above, I was referring to the Korean pronunciation of 輸 and 死 rather than the Mandarin pronunciation (which I already know). Again, I was under the suspicion that the phrase might be a cognate-- hence the idea of looking up logical guesses of the last character in Chinese but rendering the pronunciation in Korean.

[2] (quoted from page 54 of Joongi Kim's article [ext] A Forensic Study of Daewoo’s Corporate Governance: Does Responsibility for its Meltdown Lie Solely with the Chaebol and Korea



Big Dragons Never Die last edited by MrTenuki on August 25, 2013 - 06:57
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