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chrix

Classical Chinese study group

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Don_Horhe

The link should be working now, I got it mixed up with something totally different.:oops:

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Daan

I'd be fine with all of the suggestions in chrix's post, so I'd say go for it and we'll see what happens. My command of classical Chinese is certainly not up to scratch yet, but the only way for me at this stage to get a better grasp of the language is to read a lot more.

By the way, another text I started reading a few months ago is the biography of 荊軻 from the Shiji (to be found within 刺客列傳), and the story of his attempt to kill the king of...gosh, it's been so long I've even forgotten the name of the state whose king he was trying to kill. Was it Qin? I should really get back to that piece sometime soon. It's not that it's not an interesting text, but I sort of got "distracted" by some books on Old Chinese.

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Daan

Oh! And I have another suggestion, in fact. Is anyone else interested in obscure texts such as the Mu tianzi zhuan?

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chrix

Yes, Jing Ke 荊軻 was asked by Price Dan of Yan 燕太子丹 to assassinate King Ying Zheng 贏政 of Qin, who would later become Qin Shi Huangdi 秦始皇帝, for both personal and political reasons. This is the background story to the chengyu 圖窮匕見 túqióng-bĭxiàn ‚the real intention is revealed in the end‘.

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chrix

Daan, as far as obscure texts go, while I'd be up for them as long as they are interesting to read, at my current level of Classical Chinese I'd need somebody to guide me through them. With more popular texts, looking at the English, Japanese and Chinese versions of Wikipedia usually is enough to get enough background information for me to be able to read the text.

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chrix

This was supposed to be a new post:

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.

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calibre2001

Could anyone recommend books used by high school kids in China, Taiwan, HK ifor learning classical chinese??

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gato

Calibre, take a look at this thread:

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?

And also this post where I listed a number of threads that discussed classical Chinese study materials:

http://www.chinese-forums.com/showthread.php?p=186801#post186801

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chrix

hey, just wanted to make sure, I haven't forgotten about this thread :mrgreen:

just been busy with other things, and might still do some more Fuller lessons, so in the meantime I suggest we discuss some things on this thread.

I'll come back to this in the foreseeable future and will start working through one of the texts on the list.

If you feel like pressing ahead, by all means do so, and don't forget to leave a link to that thread here :D

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Daan

Neither have I! Fortunately the semester has now ended, which means I have plenty of time to dedicate to reading on traditional China and reading in classical Chinese. I spent last weekend reading an excellent book (in Dutch) on the Mozi and am now reading a book on manuscripts dug up in recent years, very interesting. I hope to be reading some stories in classical Chinese this weekend and will post any questions that I might have. I'm thinking about reading some of the easier texts from the Han shu...or perhaps the Shi ji, if I have a copy here. Which of Fuller's lessons are you planning to do in the foreseeable future?

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calibre2001

Is there a thread to specifically post 古文 texts (short ones) for discussion and analysis? I figure this would be beneficial to everybody.

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roddy

Just start one for each text. Remember to include your own discussion and analysis.

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chrix

Great, then we'll use the link provided by skylee for shorter texts!

Daan, these are the texts I have on my list:

But feel free to add anything from Mozi or Shijing, add the relevant portion in the list above, and start a thread if you want to lead us through it and discuss it.

This is how I'd proceed:

  1. post chunks of text, either sentence by sentence or paragraph
  2. explain difficult vocabulary and grammar (especially if they're ambiguous, unclear or disputed)
  3. bring up anything that's unclear
  4. wait for comments before proceeding to the next chunk

I'm not sure about the pace, up to you, or we just have to see how people will react to it.

As far as Fuller goes, last time I got up to lesson 19, I will probably do lessons 20-24 next time.

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Mark Yong

I, for one, would definitely want to see 文言文 Classical/Literary Chinese restored to its rightful place as what I consider to be the only true form of written Chinese. I shared my views on the universality of Literary Chinese in the following thread:

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/9426-literary-chinese-bridging-the-east-asian-nations

Needless to say, I am a fervent supporter of the preservation of the dialects. :D

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Mark Yong

One Classical Chinese text that I like is "Classical Chinese: A Basic Reader in Three Volumes" by Naiying Yuan, Hai-tao Tang & James Geiss.

http://www.amazon.com/Classical-Chinese-Volumes-Princeton-Language/dp/0691118310/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249392855&sr=1-2

I own a copy of Fuller, which I also flip through from time to time. However, the 3-volume reader above provides a more palatable transition, and has excellent glossaries and grammatical analyses. I normally read it alongside Pulleybank.

A couple of often-neglected sources of Literary Chinese that I find fascinating are:

1. Informal texts dating from the late-Qing period, e.g. newspaper articles and letters, to have a glimpse into how Literary Chinese was actively used as a written medium in daily life barely a century ago.

2. Literary Chinese texts of nin-Sinitic sources, e.g. Japan, Korea and Vietnam. I recently came across some Literary Chinese texts written by the 19th century Vietnamese nationalist Phan Boi Chau, and a letter from Ho Chi Minh to his wife written in a four-character meter of the Classical Chinese tradition.

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calibre2001
A couple of often-neglected sources of Literary Chinese that I find fascinating are:

1. Informal texts dating from the late-Qing period, e.g. newspaper articles and letters, to have a glimpse into how Literary Chinese was actively used as a written medium in daily life barely a century ago.

2. Literary Chinese texts of nin-Sinitic sources, e.g. Japan, Korea and Vietnam. I recently came across some Literary Chinese texts written by the 19th century Vietnamese nationalist Phan Boi Chau, and a letter from Ho Chi Minh to his wife written in a four-character meter of the Classical Chinese tradition.

Can you share with us some samples of both?

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Mark Yong

Here you go:

A sample of a late-19th century Chinese newspaper:

http://cprr.org/Museum/Chinese_Newspapers.html

An excerpt from Phan Boi Chau's 越南亡國史:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/56/%E8%B6%8A%E5%8D%97%E4%BA%A1%E5%9C%8B%E5%8F%B2.jpg

A letter from Ho Chi Minh to his wife:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/LetterByHoToWife.jpg

The Hunmin Jeongeum 訓民正音 by Korea's King Sejong:

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/HunminJeongeum01.jpg

An imperial letter from Kublai Khan to the Emperor of Japan dated 1266:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/LetterFromKhubilaiToJapan1266.jpg

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gato
On Page 182 is a page from the Penang Sin Poe (檳城新報) dated 16 May 1904 that records the speech given by Vice-Consul Leong Fee (梁碧如副領事) on the opening day of the Chung Hwa School 中華學校 the day before. The entire speech as shown on the newspaper excerpt is written in Classical Chinese. I am just wondering what language Leong Fee actually used when he was delivering the speech.

I am guessing that it cannot have been Classical Chinese, so what dialect did he use - was it Hokkien?

And if he really did use Classical Chinese(!), what dialect's pronunciation was he using?

That's a pretty esoteric question for this forum. :-?

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