He who knows the Truth is not equal to him who loves it, and he who loves it is not equal to him who delights in it.

[知之者、不如好之者、好之者、不如樂之者]

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [論語, 论语, Lúnyǔ], Book 6, verse 20 (6.20) (6th C. BC – 3rd C. AD) [tr. Soothill (1910), 6.18]
    (Source)

Earlier translations use Legge's verse numbering, 6.18. The source material uses 之 (zhi, "it") without a clear antecedent. Soothill suggests it may refer to Truth, Virtue, or the Right. Some translations provide what they think is the reference; others leave it ambiguous or footnote it, as shown below.

(Source (Chinese)). Alternate translations:

They who know the truth are not equal to those who love it, and they who love it are not equal to those who delight in it.
[tr. Legge (1861), 6.18]

They who know it are not as those who love it, nor they who love it as those who rejoice in it.
[tr. Jennings (1895), 6.18]

Those who know it are not as those who love it; those who love it are not as those who find their joy in it.
[tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898), 6.18]

Those who know aren't up to those who love; nor those who love, to those who delight in.
[tr. Pound (1933), 6.18]

To prefer it is better than only to know it. To delight in it is better than merely to prefer it.
[tr. Waley (1938), 6.18; "the Way"]

The man who loves truth (or learning) is better than the man who knows it, and the man who finds happiness in it is better than the man who loves it.
[tr. Lin Yutang (1938)]

To be fond of something is better than merely to know it, and to find joy in it is better than merely to be fond of it.
[tr. Lau (1979), 6.20]

Those who understand a thing are not equal to those who are fond of it, and those who are fond of it are not equal to those who delight in it.
[tr. Dawson (1993), 6.20]

To know something is not as good as loving it; to love something is not as good as rejoicing in it.
[tr. Leys (1997), 6.20]

The persons who know something are not better than the persons who favor something; The persons who favor something are not better than the persons who enjoy something.
[tr. Cai/Yu (1998), 6.20, #140]

To truly love it is better than just to understand it, and to enjoy it is better than simply to love it.
[tr. Ames/Rosemont (1998), 6.20; "knowledge and learning"]

Knowing it is not as good as loving it; loving it is not as good as taking delight in it.
[tr. Brooks/Brooks (1998), 6.20; virtue]

To understand something is nothing like loving it. And to love something is nothing like delighting in it.
[tr. Hinton (1998), 6.19]

To know it is not as good as to approve it. To approve it is not as good as to find joy in it.
[tr. Watson (2007), 6.20]

To know something is not as good as to have a love for it. To have a love for something is not as good as to find joy in it.
[tr. Annping Chin (2014), 6.20; learning, cf. 6.11 and 7.19]

Learned people are inferior to those who are eager to learn. Those who are eager to learn are inferior to those who enjoy learning.
[tr. Li (2020), 6.20]

Better than the one who knows what is right is he who loves what is right.
[Common English translation]


 
Added on 12-May-04 | Last updated 20-Jun-22
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