Friday, March 5, 2010

Chinese translation of "Insight"

According to, "insight" primarily means "A sight or view of the interior of anything", as in "He had an insight into almost all the secrets of state." According to|zh-CN|insight, however, the Chinese translation is "洞察", or "慧眼", "内省力", "眼光". But it does not sound natural when you substitute 洞察" for "insight" in the Chinese translation of the above sentence ("他对国家的几乎所有秘密都有洞察"). In fact, a far better choice for this word is "真知灼见", i.e., valuable views about something ordinary people cannot have thought of. The words "慧眼", "内省力" and, "眼光" are even more remote from the true meaning, because they mean the capability to gain the insight, not insight itself.