Confucianism was and still is the backbone of Chinese culture. The 論 語 (Confucius --- the Analects) is the nutshell of the Confucianism. Yet, 100% of middle school Chinese language teachers both in China and in Taiwan does not read 論 語 in its entirety, and they cannot understand 50% of the book as they no longer understand the Chinese language at that level.
Before 1920s, 85% of population in China were illiterate, but those 15% were able to understand the entire ‘scope’ of Chinese language. Today, Chinese government claimed that 85% of population in China are now literate (able to read and write on the street talk level, no more classic canons). Yet, 99.99% of this literate population cannot understand 論 語 by reading even with the help of dictionary. That is, with the 1920s standard, the illiterate rate on Chinese language is now 99.999%.論 語 is only about 1/20 the length of Bible. While many Westerners did read Bible in its entirety and have no problem of understand its language, it is truly a shame that 99.99% of Chinese population cannot understand the language of 論 語, let alone to appreciate its essence and its spirits. This shameful situation was brought by the May 4th movement, led by 胡 適、 陈 獨 秀、 鲁 迅、 钱 玄 同 in 1919.
胡 適 brought up the slogan ‘打 孔 家 店 [“Smash the Confucius’ flea market (swap meet) "]’; then it became a new cultural movement (see, http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%96%B0%E6%96%87%E5%8C%96%E8%BF%90%E5%8A%A8 ). In addition to outcaste the Confucianism as the malignant tumor in Chinese culture, it killed the Chinese language proper, and everything which remains is the ‘street talk’ language.
Thus, I have two missions for translating the 論 語.
a. Allowing the Westerners to read and to understand the nutshell of Confucianism.
b. Allowing the Chinese to read and to understand 論 語, as there is not much chance for them to understand it with their Chinese language. The English translation will help them to jump over that great canyon. At the same time, it will provide them a chance to learn that great language.
This new translation is available at http://www.chineselanguageforums.com/chinese-idioms/confucius-the-analects-a-new-translation-t2062.html