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chrix

Classical Chinese study group

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roddy

I've added 文言文 to them - the extra tag won't hurt.

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chrix

it seems that the text of Pulleyblank is not available online through legitimate sources. It's definitely worth it, even though sometimes I wish I had a machine-readable copy so I could search for certain keywords and so on...

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gato

I'm interested in classical Chinese (I'm working on 《古文观止》 right now), but I'm not sure how much interest there would be on the board. There have been threads about classical Chinese in the past, but most die pretty quickly. Most regular posters here are studying Chinese on their own and are doing it for practical purposes, which means that few are going to touch classical Chinese, which requires even more work than modern Chinese (substantially more so, in my experience). Classical Chinese (like Latin) is almost entirely only studied in school where it might be part of a required curriculum. Understandably enough, few are interested enough to keep it up outside of schools.

Anyway, if there's going to be subforum, the following threads could be moved there. I think I participated in almost all of them (except the one from forumosa :mrgreen:).

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/19823-studying-chinese-literature-at-bnu&highlight=classical

Studying Chinese literature at BNU

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/13600-which-books-to-use-to-learn-classical-chinese&highlight=classical

Which books do Chinese use to learn Classical Chinese?

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/18384-%e6%96%87%e8%a8%80%e6%96%87%e8%ae%a9%e6%88%91%e5%a4%b4%e5%be%88%e7%97%9b-%e8%80%85%e4%b9%9f&highlight=classical

文言文让我头很痛 者也

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/7612-resources-for-literary-chinese-wenyan&highlight=classical

Resources for Literary Chinese (wenyan)

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/15-cctv-learn-chinese624&highlight=classical

Classical Chinese: merely an academic persuit?

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/3857-any-good-advice-on-starting-to-study-classical-chinese&highlight=dragon

Any good advice on starting to study Classical Chinese?

http://www.forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=75516

When to learn Classical Chinese? (if at all)

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chrix

hey gato,

thanks! I think I already marked many of them with the tags suggested above. I will see which ones are not marked yet and will add them accordingly.

I certainly see that threads die after a while, but they do keep coming back, and my idea is that if we have a place for inquiries regarding Classical Chinese, it will make it much easier for people to find it and make use of it. (But is it really true that the majority here study Chinese on their own? My impression was that was also a sizeable number of college students here, and some of them might even major in Chinese studies).

For instance, if you make the Fuller and Pulleyblank threads sticky in the subforum, people can always add to it later, while this would not be ideal in another subforum.

And I've found nice threads where people have translated 文言文 stories, so if somebody wanted to do that again, it would be much easier, if there was one central place.

I think I bought 古文觀止 years ago in Beijing too, but I don't where it is now, hehe. Feel free to start a thread on it :mrgreen:

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gato
But is it really true that the majority here study Chinese on their own?

Yes, most regular posters here are studying on their own. For whatever reason, we don't get that many Chinese majors here, or even non-Chinese majors who are studying Chinese in school.

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chrix

ah ok, you mean regular posters. Well but there's surely a lot of less regular posters here though, who are Chinese majors, like all these scholarship people?

Ok, so the question is if enough people will be actively developing contents and so on, that's indeed unclear. But I'm sure the subforum would still generate enough questions and such. I'm still curious about what kind of English language Classical Chinese forums Hofmann was referring to. Googling only gives the aforementioned Chinese history forum, and Chinese-forums.com is already No. 2. Even Unilang doesn't have a specific Classical Chinese forum, it's just buried in their Mandarin forum, which I think is a pity too. So I think this would fill a need.

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gato

True, there are a bunch of one-off posters who are Chinese majors, but most don't come back after their questions are answered. I guess they get enough Chinese at school and don't want to talk about it on an online forum in their spare time.

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chrix

but a forum always has a mix of frequent posters and sporadic posters. I think a lot of inquiries about Modern Mandarin vocab / grammar get started this way...

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gato

Just wanted to let you know what you are up against if you want to start a classical Chinese pow wow.

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chrix

haha, I'd love to have study groups, reading groups etc., but I won't probably have enough time for that. But it should be enough for Q&A, and study notes. Maybe "Classical Chinese word of the week, poem of the month, and chengyu of the month (by which I mean the classical source behind the chengyu, not how the chengyu is used in Modern Mandarin)". And I see that people ask the same questions from time to time, like "what book should I use, why should I study Classical Chinese anyways". So some of those threads could be made sticky in the subforum.

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Daan

Ah, well, be that as it may, but: here's a Chinese major who is absolutely in love with classical Chinese reporting for duty! I would definitely like to participate in such a forum, particularly in a few weeks' time after my exams.

As for a reading group: I think the first chapter of the Mencius is pretty much covered in every single textbook there's to be found, and as such there's a fair chance any Western learner will have read it. The story from the Zhuangzi that you referred to is one I would like to read anyway at some point, so count me in if you decide to read that.

By the way, I've been meaning to buy a copy of Pulleyblank's Outline, but its price is fairly high, so I keep consulting it in the library instead..oh, well, let me take this question to the other thread.

And then another by the way: is anybody else also interested in Old Chinese (the language of the Shijing, Guoyu, Zuozhuan etc)? I plan to read more about it over the summer, fascinating language. Oracle bones are even more interesting, but I'll put them off till I have a decent grasp of classical and modern Chinese. Will be going to NTNU next year and plan to take classical Chinese there as well, in addition to Mandarin language traning.

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chrix

Hi Daan,

thanks for your post. It's definitely a good point you make about Mencius, Maybe a chapter from Mencius though that's not often discussed in textbooks might be better then, what about the story about the man trying to helping his grain grow (揠苗助長)? We could start with that or with Zhuangzi's story. What about the Huainanzi? There seems to be an interesting anecdote mocking the Han Feizi.

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chrix

On second thought, what about the first part in Gongsun Chou (the story behind 事半功倍) rather than the second (揠苗助長)? I think it's quite interesting, and not too difficult, but also not too easy. (Both can be seen here, with an English translation)

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gato

I'd be up for anything -- laozi, zhuangzi, hanfeizi are all fine -- though I'd have a preference for 古文观止, which is basically a reader, since I have a great copy published by 三民 and I'm currently working on it.

By the way, those interested in classical Chinese should try out the 中华诗词 software that I mentioned here. It is a great all-in-one classical Chinese reader and dictionary.

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/7612-resources-for-literary-chinese-wenyan&highlight=classical

http://download.pchome.net/detail-8974.html

中华诗词 2008

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Daan

Yes, so would I, although there are some limits to what I would read (Zhu Xi or Wang Bi, no thanks, it'd be for fun!). Zhuangzi, Laozi, Hanfeizi, Zhanguoce - you name it. I also thorougly enjoyed some of the stories from the Soushenji. Some passages from the Shi ji are also certainly worth reading.

古文观止 sounds very interesting, I'll see if I can get my hands on a copy here in Europe. Otherwise I'll buy one in Taiwan this summer. Thanks for the hint!

edit: Wait, it was by 三民, right? Then I should certainly be able to get my hands on a copy, as there is a bookshop in Amsterdam that sells pretty much all of 三民's classical Chinese publications. I'll go there sometime soon (and will probably end up buying much more than my poor wallet would like me to). Thanks again!

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gato

Great. The link below to the online 三民 bookstore is of the version of 古文觀止 I have.

http://www.sanmin.com.tw/page-product.asp?pid=115274&pf_id=99J155H10t100p7N102w65O112B125SMKyZPn1234CeHAdK1101o&cat=UBkBIpNPiXUo867&pos=TeBGtY695rUAuMFpXYqARz&item=23YbHPvB114&kind=oIKnTLiBKoT&no=Pq1619KuSStE1551bGY

新譯古文觀止(二版)

I S B N:9571419826

作 者:謝冰瑩-等 注譯

It's probably the best version on the market. Pronunciation key is given for each character with zhunyin fuhao (unfortunately not pinyin). For each passage, a full glossary is provided (it'd be difficult to know who is who, without it), as well as a vernacular (白话) Chinese translation and commentary. I find the commentary interesting because it's from a traditional Confucian perspective (rather than the anti-traditional perspective one usually gets in China).

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Don_Horhe

I recently got 简明留学生古代汉语读本 off of Amazon.cn - it's all in simplified Chinese, the explanations seem quite detailed, every text comes with a translation into modern Mandarin, exercises and etymology for a number of characters. I'm not sure how it compares to the other options, like BLCU's books, though.

Edit

Fixed the link, sorry.

Edited by Don_Horhe

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chrix

@Don Horhe, something's wrong with your link...

I also have the 進階文言文讀本 Liteary Chinese for Advanced Beginners, by SMC Publishing. ISBN 957-638-419-2. It doesn't have much in the way of grammatical explanations or translations, but they do a good job of explaining the vocab. There's actually a nice section from the Shiji there, the well-known story of 完璧歸玉. I'd suggest that one too.

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chrix

feel free to chime in. I'd like to start a reading thread by the end of the weekend, so if you could give me your opinion on which text you would like to start with, that would be great!

Since many people also seem to like 韓非子, the background story to the jade discussed in the Shiji story can be found here:

  • 韓非子, 和氏. Incidentally, the first part is discussed in Fuller's ch. 19, but the rest would also be worth reading.

Edited by chrix

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chrix

gato, as far as the 古文觀止 goes, maybe you have a piece from 韓愈 you'd like to suggest? (Wikisource has almost the entire work online)

Edited by chrix

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