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古代汉语, by 王力

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As discussed over on the Classical Chinese forum thread, here's the thread for discussing anything related to the Classical Chinese textbook by 王力.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:


As the textbook is written in Mandarin, and presupposes some high school Classical Chinese, it might present quite a challenge to the Western learner. All the more reason to have a thread on this book!


We will discuss the texts of the various chapters in separate threads:

- The first book (out of four) starts off with 左傳 in its first chapter

- then followed by the 戰國策 in its second chapter

Edited by chrix
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You can download a copy of the Wang Li classical Chinese book here:


Wang Li, Classical Chinese, Volume 1


Wang Li, Classical Chinese, Volume 2


Wang Li, Classical Chinese, Volume 3


Wang Li, Classical Chinese, Volume 4


Wang Li, Classical Chinese, Volume 4, Cosmology Map supplement

Edited by gato
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I just bought a study guide for the Wang Li classical Chinese book. It's excellent and provides a lot of helpful additional background on the vocabulary introduced in the main text.

I've uploaded scanned pages from the study guide for the section on 左传 below.

chrix, some of your questions are answered in the guide.




Wang Li Study Guide Sample pages

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thanks, gato. This definitely looks like a book one would like to read in full :mrgreen: Even though for most of my important points raised it doesn't provide an answer, but it seems like a valuable resource nevertheless...

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Thanks for bringing that book to our attention, gato! Looks very good. I'll see if the bookstore here can help me order a copy of those two volumes. chrix, would you like to have them as well? If so, and you can't get them over there (which might be the case if Germany's Chinese bookstores are as non-existent as Dutch ones), let me know. I'm sure we could arrange something.

Anyway, I've now almost finished the second text and will be back tomorrow with all the answers I have to offer, as well as some questions of my own. I was thinking, by the way. Should we perhaps create a new topic for every text we discuss? That would make for easier and more structured discussion, I think. We could then use his one as the main discussion thread. How do you all feel about that?

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That sounds great! Well, as for creating several subtopics, as long as we don't have a separate subforum yet, I feel that we would clutter the Textbooks forum if we created several threads.

At least that's how I understand our venerable admins....

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Looks like roddy granted our wish a bit earlier than we thought :clap

So we can discuss each text in its own thread, and use this one as the main thread, just as you suggested!

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You might also try ordering the books from amazon.cn or dangdang.com, though others have been getting errors with international credit cards because verification issues.


International Credit Cards on Amazon.cn

I've scanned most of the 左传 section from the study guide for you guys in the sample pages I attached above.

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You guys are going to love this. I just about a book of maps of ancient China (with labels for both ancient and modern cities) edited by the famous leftist writer Guo Moruo. It should be a great help to sort through the city and state names you see in the readings.

See below for links to the maps relevant to the classic Chinese readings I scanned.



作者:郭沫若 编者:郭沫若


Ancient China Maps (Spring Autumn era, Warring States, Qin Dynasty)


Map Legend

[EDIT: Updated the file for the map legend (that's the word!).]

Edited by gato
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  • 4 weeks later...

So now that the postman brought me the books (dank je wel, Daan :clap), Daan and I are both in possession of two study guides for Wang Li's textbook (tells you something if you need several study guides and annotations to get through one textbook :wink:)

- 古代汉语辅导及习题集

- 王力古代汉语同步辅导与练习

the first one includes translations into Modern Mandarin of all texts used, and both also discuss the other parts of Wang Li's textbook, such as the commonly used vocabulary, and explanations of grammar in general etc.

I find those two books very useful, but unfortunately neither explains the larger context of the texts used and some questions the learner might have regarding the contents. Well, of course, we can discuss these questions here in this forum :mrgreen:

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  • 1 month later...

So now that the first chapter is (almost) finished, let's discuss this Wang Li study group:

Any comments about how the first chapter was done here?

I was thinking it might be useful to include the entire text sentence per sentence, as we did for the text on 桃花源記, so let's try this for the second chapter, I hope this will encourage participation :mrgreen: Check out the Zhanguoce thread, I posted comments on the first text in that format, and fire away :)!

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