Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

laohu489

Which books to use to learn Classical Chinese?

Recommended Posts

laohu489

2010 Admin edit: Check out this link for a list of threads on various textbooks and grammars on the Classical Chinese forum

 

I am looking for some material to help study 文言文. I am currently using Outline of Classical Chinese by Pulleyblank and An Introduction to Literary Chinese by Fuller. I prefer the Fuller book to be honest, even though it gets a lower rating on Amazon. I absolutely hate the Language of the Dragon as I think it is nothing more than a collection of 成语. It also has too much English for me.

Actually, one of the techniques that I tried and liked is purchasing 初中文言文 [一年版]. This is a textbook that is used in Chinese schools, not sure which year as I have never been able to understand which is which. :wink:

Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

bokane

I used the Shaddick textbook, which is actually a few different books: one for characters (繁体 all the way), one for romanization (Wade-Giles), and one for explanation. I thought it was pretty good, though I haven't had much experience with anything else -- though the BLCU textbooks look OK as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zhwj

Fuller's good. I'd imagine his lower rating is because he doesn't put in any answers. Pulleyblank isn't really a textbook but rather more of a reference (and his general ideas show up in the back of Fuller anyway).

The 《文言读本》 by 朱自清、叶圣陶、吕叔湘 is pretty good, if you can find a copy. It was written in the 1940s to give children who only knew 白话 an introduction to the classical language, and it was revised and reissued after the CR. The notes are pretty good, comparing and contrasting expressions with modern Mandarin (although the technical aspects of the grammar aren't as thorough as, say, Pulleyblank). Oh, and this is the source of the function word appendix in Fuller.

Or pick up a 《古文观止》 that has annotations in modern Chinese and work through that for gems of prose through the ages (if you don't want modern annotations, reprints of the 1959 version are quite nice).

Really, with the aid of the grammar in Pullyblank and Fuller, any reader will do for exposure to new vocabulary (and different usage of familiar vocabulary) - your textbook (7th grade, perhaps?) should be fine (though you are aware that no matter what you use, you need to memorize everything, right...;))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
laohu489

Thanks, I will check out these resources. What I have been known to read in the past are some little blue books put out by the 山西古籍出版社. Really nice but it is easy to get bogged down in them. I would highly recommend them though if you can pick them up (6.8RMB each at any 新华书店.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zhwj
...some little blue books put out by the 山西古籍出版社. Really nice but it is easy to get bogged down in them. I would highly recommend them though if you can pick them up (6.8RMB each at any 新华书店.
Oh, they must've raised the price, then. My copy of 《诗经》 has a list price of 10元 (although I bought it at a local discount bookshop for 8 ).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pravit

I was just at the 西安图书大厦 today looking for Classical Chinese textbooks, specifically, the kind that has some simple texts in ancient language with annotation and a modern translation. But I could only find some books that I would consider very academic, which began with a history of Chinese characters, went into a very long and detailed explanation of grammar, and ended with a large selection of sample reading material, with annotations.

The only book similar to what I was looking for was 古文观止, which was nice, but a bit big and heavy. What sort of books do adults use to start learning ancient Chinese? Is it because everyone learns it in school that there are so few books for adult learners available, or have I just not found the right books?

I'm quite open to using 高中 textbooks too, but I couldn't find the actual official textbook. What I did find were dozens and dozens of 高中辅导 books about Classical Chinese that mentioned they would supplement the 人教版. But where is this 人教版 to be obtained, or is it even worth getting? The 辅导 books on the topic seemed quite decent, actually.

Another question: The 高中辅导 books seem to use the terms 古文 and 文言文 quite interchangeably, yet I had the idea they referred to different things. In many of the 文言文 books I saw reading material that I would have considered 古文, like stuff from 史记. Are the terms really interchangeable or have I just mistaken what each refers to?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rootfool
Are the terms really interchangeable or have I just mistaken what each refers to?

文言文=古文。

Apparently I'm not proper to give advices to these "how to learn" threads.:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gato

I've looked at many classical Chinese text books. The best I've found are the 《轻松学习文言文:三行编排精析》 by 汪钰明 published by 上海远东出版社.

http://search.dangdang.com/search.aspx?key=%CD%F4%EE%DA%C3%F7+&selbook=0&selmusic=0&selmovie=0&key1=&key2=&key3=&key4=&key5=&catalog=

http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?product_id=485735

轻松学习文言文--初中文言文原文注释翻译

http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?product_id=354153

轻松学习文言文 (高中)

The junior high school edition tracks the mainland jr. high textbooks, and the high school edition tracks high school text. You won't need the actual textbooks because the classical Chinese original is included.

What makes this series stand out is that every single word of the original has its modern Chinese equivalent written directly below. The 三行 in the title refers to (1) the original classical Chinese; (2) word-level translations; and (3) sentence-level translation. I find this very helpful because in classical Chinese, each character has even a larger number of possible meanings than they do in modern Chinese (There is a higher degree of overloading to use a programming term). The modern Chinese translation for every sentence is also provided just below the word-for-word translations.

I've now working through the high school edition, just about half-way through. Before starting with this book, I read Language of the Dragon: A Classical Chinese Reader (Volume 1 and 2) two, years ago. That's a very good series, too, but at a lower level since it's meant for foreign learners.

If you are just starting to learn classical you would probably want to start with the junior high edition. Mainland students typically don't start learning classical Chinese until the first year of junior high school. I also bought a copy of that, but after looking through it, I realized that it overlaps a great deal with the lessons in "Language of the Dragon". So I skipped ahead to the high school edition to push myself a bit harder.

Maybe because I've read that earlier series and certainly because of the word-for-word translation that's included, I've found it fairly painless going through it.

After finishing this, I plan to read more of 《古文观止》. 《古文观止》is more advanced; the passages are longer. It's probably more appropriate for those who've already gone through the high school-level material.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gato

You should also get 古汉语常用字字典 by Wang Li. It's probably the most useful and most practical classical dictionary for everyday use.

http://product.dangdang.com/product.aspx?product_id=9017036

古汉语常用字字典(第四版)

# 作者:王力 等著

# 丛书名:

# 出版社:商务印书馆

# ISBN:7100042852

# 出版时间:2005-7-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pravit

Thanks for the reply, gato!

You should also get 古汉语常用字字典 by Wang Li.

Lucky me, that's the ancient Chinese dictionary I just happened to decide on after poring over the selection at the bookstore for such a long time! There was another one from CIP which didn't look too bad, but the font was terribly small.

The book you mentioned looks good, hopefully I can find it somewhere - I found a few books that had modern Chinese translation written below the ancient Chinese, but no word-for-word translation.

文言文=古文。

I read on Wikipedia here that these refer to different things, but of course Wikipedia isn't the most reliable source ever. Anyone else have any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mugi

Stick with the Wikipedia definition:

"While the terms Classical Chinese and Literary Chinese are commonly used interchangeably, this might not be strictly accurate. Sinologists generally agree that they are in fact different things..."

To laymen, they are one and the same; to academics, they're different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gato
The book you mentioned looks good, hopefully I can find it somewhere - I found a few books that had modern Chinese translation written below the ancient Chinese, but no word-for-word translation.

It's probably easiest to order them online. The books I mentioned are published by a Shanghai publisher and you might not be able to find them easily in Beijing bookstores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
aimering

1.

http://product.dangdang.com/product....uct_id=9017036

古汉语常用字字典(第四版)

# 作者:王力 等著

# 丛书名:

# 出版社:商务印书馆

# ISBN:7100042852

# 出版时间:2005-7-1

This is the very dictionary that our teacher asks us to buy! Very concrete and detailed definitions.

2.

文言文=古文。

I'm a high school student who is studying classical Chinese. However, I still could not tell the difference between "文言文" and "古文". Maybe "古文" may have a wider inclusion of literature.

3. About the books you use...

Please try to study the textbooks first!

I remember I embarked on classical Chinese when I was in the 5th grade. "古文观止" might be too complicated even to me.

Study the textbooks carefully.

Buy reference books to help you understand them and practise what you've learnt.(BTW,those explanations might not be 100% correct!)

Turn to dictionary when you need help.

Get more books for you to practise. I would personally recommend the test-prep materials for high school entrance exams. e.g "初中文言文读本", (光明日报出版社) which is the very book that I used to prepare for the exams. It highlights the usages of several very important words in classical Chinese and provides detailed translation to every passage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
rootfool
Quote:

文言文=古文。

I'm a high school student who is studying classical Chinese. However, I still could not tell the difference between "文言文" and "古文". Maybe "古文" may have a wider inclusion of literature.

I agree with aimering.

A friend of mine,use an strange method to learn classical chinese.That is, see only the word-explaination.Because we discussed the issue once time.we agreed that the explaination is of sentence is not always right,cause of the lack of punctuation in ancient artical.So he only see the word-explaination and comprehend the sentence by himself.

this is very hard for foreigner,but I think a book with more word-explaination will give you more helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark Yong

The books in my repository are:

  1. Edwin Pulleyblank "Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar"
  2. Michael Fuller "An Introduction to Literary Chinese"
  3. Yuan Naiying, et al "Classical Chinese - A Reader in Three Volumes"

These books have served me pretty well in my learning of the Literary Language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atitarev

"Brighter Readings in Classical Chinese" by Zhong Qin (钟梫), "Everyday Chinese" (每日汉语) series. Like other Zhong Qin's books, it's out of print but still available.

It features - Chinese, Pinyin, detailed vocabulary and English translation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wangleen

Have you found the book轻松学习文言文?It can be bought on www.dangdang.com

Actually, it was written by my father:)

And recently, he has published another book which you might find useful:中国高中生必读文言文, following are the books he has written and can be bought on dangdang:

http://search.dangdang.com/search.aspx?key=%CD%F4%EE%DA%C3%F7&selbook=0&selmusic=0&selmovie=0&key1=&key2=&key3=&key4=&key5=&catalog=

Hope it can make your study much easier!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gato
Have you found the book轻松学习文言文?It can be bought on www.dangdang.com

Actually, it was written by my father

Wow, tell your dad that I love his book, and that you should write another one using the same format, but with more classical Chinese essays that are not in textbooks. See here for some examples:

http://search.dangdang.com/search.aspx?key=%BF%CE%CD%E2%CE%C4%D1%D4%CE%C4&selbook=0&selmusic=0&selmovie=0&key1=&key2=&key3=&key4=&key5=&catalog=

高中课外文言文精讲精练

高中卷-课外文言文导读与精练

中考文言文课外阅读训练100篇

Or maybe a version of 《古文观止》 using the same format as 《轻松学习文言文》, but that would be a huge project. Maybe you can work with your dad. Haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wangleen

Thank you for your appraisal! Do you think it is necessary to have pingying for the words?:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...