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

  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
OneEye

Outlier Linguistic Solutions

Recommended Posts

OneEye

Those are really cool ideas, guys! Thanks!

 

I'll run these by the other guys, and we'll have to look into how much it would cost to make them happen, but I definitely like them.

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.

Shelley

I really like the idea of some sensible character etymology being done.

 

Integrating sound, meaning, history and culture is the ideal way of learning characters as far as I am concerned.

 

I think one way of delivering this information would be in a mock flashcard format with animation and audio. So you could look up a character with pinyin, or by inputting the character with handwriting input. Once you had found the one you want you could have the information start off on 1 "side" of the card simply and as a virtual card can have as many sides as you want you could put more and more detailed info on successive sides so that you are not presented with a wall of text but interesting and intriguing multi-sided cards.

 

One side could deal with the audio for example, one for stroke order, and so on. Have sides 1 and 2 with some basic info available for free and then to access the virtual other dimensional sides of the card some sort of payment scheme. We know all this hard work can not be done for nothing, but this might be a way to introduce, entice and inform for free but for those serious scholars payment would be worthwhile.

 

Some animations of stroke order would good, to add a bit of moving interest, but not in a childish way :)

 

So this is my wish list for character learning tool :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tysond

Don't need no perks, just early access is enough.    Put up the kickstarter link!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lechuan

Kickstarter!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

Well, before we do the Kickstarter we need to get that paper published (it's a key part of the dictionary which I can't say much about yet) and get the distribution locked down. That way we can say how it will be released on our Kickstarter page.

 

But! We should get the Kickstarter going within a few months. Meanwhile, we'll be doing the research and occasionally posting findings to our blog (like the 高興 post...that was a lot of fun). We do take requests, too, so if there's a certain character you'd like to see explained, let us know. If it's an interesting one, we'll do a post about it. We'll also be detailing our philosophy about learning characters (and language in general) in the meantime. By the time the Kickstarter rolls out, we should have a decent amount to show people so that we actually have a shot at getting funded.

 

Thanks for the support, everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yadang

Any chance of making some kind of Defrancis-like graded readers to go along with the dictionary? Progressive, teaching words not characters, gets the student used to reading longer pieces, introduces native content as soon as possible... That would be awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

We don't currently have any plans for that sort of thing, but we're always on the lookout for new ideas. Thanks for the suggestion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

We do take requests, too, so if there's a certain character you'd like to see explained, let us know

When I was reading the book Wolf Totem, the author put forward a theory that Chinese 龍 and the general reverence given towards 龍 is actually based originally from the worship and reverence given to wolves by northern Mongolian nomadic tribes, which then worked its way in to Chinese culture. The author cites similarity in pronunciation and also how early jade pieces depicting dragon heads actually look just like wolf heads.

I've never bothered doing any further research in to that theory, but it would be interesting to see if there was any evidence in early characters of 龍 and 狼 that gave credence to such a theory or not.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

Interesting.

 

At first glance, it doesn't seem very plausible, I'm afraid. The character 龍 was around long before 狼 (甲骨文 vs. 秦代, and it was very serpent-like), the forms were never anything like each other, and the two words weren't especially close in their pronunciation (the main vowel was different, which is a big strike, and 龍 had a medial/glide while 狼 didn't). I'm no expert in art history or archaeology, but I know that early depictions of dragons also often resembled pigs. A possible explanation for this is that we're likely to refer to something we do know when depicting something we don't, like a mythical creature — hence the large number of chimerical creatures in cultures worldwide and fewer truly original creations.

 

Anyway, like I said that's just my first impression. I'll look into it some more and if there's anything to report I'll see about doing a post on it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

We've just started a new series of blog posts on corruption (訛變) in Chinese characters. It gets a bit technical, but we've tried to make it as clear as possible. Let me know, either here or on the blog, if you have any questions!

 

Edit:

 

Part I: Looking at the Etymologies for 面、友 and 匯

Part II: Looking at the Etymologies for 黑、粦、無&舞

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

Interesting considering my enlightenment with the thread about the tattoo and the changing of four dian to a straight line. will definitely read this with interest and wait for part 2 :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

Thanks! However, 魚 becoming 鱼 is a different process than corruption, called 草書楷化 (turning 草書 forms into 楷書). Corruption is unintentional, while 草書楷化 is generally deliberate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
xiaokaka

Are there any plans to include reconstructed pronunciations of, e.g., Old- or Middle Chinese? Or word etymologies (i.e., not character structure) like in Axel Schuessler's ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese [1]?

[1] http://www.amazon.com/ABC-Etymological-Dictionary-Old-Chinese/dp/0824829751/ref=la_B001JS6DA8_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409753153&sr=1-1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shelley

Ok, there you go, learn something new everyday :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

xiaokaka,

 

We do make use of research on word etymology and other scholars' reconstructions in our research, but we're not actually doing any reconstruction ourselves. Our goal is to help people learn to read and write Chinese characters more efficiently. This necessitates a lot of specialized research on our part, but that's mostly behind the scenes. Presenting all of that in the dictionary would just overwhelm the learner. What we're trying to do is take all that research and distill it into something that's easy to use, even for people who have no interest in historical linguistics or palaeography or what-have-you. We want the guy who simply wants to learn Chinese as quickly as possible (ha!) so he can do business in China to be able to use it. People who want to be able to look up Old Chinese reconstructions should consult all the excellent books on the subject by people like Baxter & Sagart or 鄭張尚芳, because we can't compete with them.  :)

 

We will be publishing some of our findings as we go, though, so I'll update here when that happens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realmayo

FYI I am getting this error message when following the link in #30:

Warning! Domain mapping upgrade for this domain not found. Please log in and go to the Domains Upgrades page of your blog to use this domain. b.gif?x_graceful=missingdomain&v=wpcom-n

I am in the UK

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

Yeah, we're working on that. For the moment, that can be found here. Fixed, it's here.

 

We're working on getting Wordpress set up on our own site rather than redirecting from Wordpress.com, and this is a hiccup caused by that. Something about DNS propagation, should resolve within a day or two. In the meantime, Also fixed: our blog is here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
xiaokaka

Yes, that was my guess. I'm quite interested in histrorical linguistics, but at a hobby level, and it would be nice to have a dictionary as accessible as Karlgrens' (or even more in electronic format). If you release your project in electronic format, could you not include the old readings as a feature that is turned off by default?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

It's possible, I'll have to talk to them about it.

 

I wonder about copyright issues though. If we wanted to include, for instance, Baxter & Sagart's reconstructions, would we even be allowed? I'd be surprised, but then again I don't know much about that sort of thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneEye

OK, our new website should be fully up and running, with the blog now a part of the site. I've gone through this thread and edited the links to reflect that. The original WordPress.com blog will be deleted soon.

 

I'll be posting Chinese versions of some of the articles soon, with German ones soon to follow. We also have a new series from Chris coming soon about semantics and how Chinese characters convey meaning, as well as more posts on corruption and etymology.

 

I'm the one designing and maintaining the site, so please let me know if you have any issues or feedback!

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...