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old Victorian resources online for Hokkien and Cantonese


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As non mandarin dialects recede a bit from prominence its interesting to look back to a period when Southeast China and Singapore were a window to the Middle Kingdom and its people. Also from a practical point of view sometimes the online resources can be limited for some of these other dialects. They are published in the Victorian period or just after. 



   There is an online resource called open library that hosts a list of library catalogues. For the older texts which I think are 100 years or older they can also digitize them so they can be read with online readers.




Two that are interesting for me


A Lexilogus of English, Malay and Chinese languages. published 1841


It has written Hanzi, and phonetic Cantonese and Hokkien. For the good imperial lad on his way to Singapore it has phrases. Phrases about coolies, opium and horses kicking over the lantern and starting a fire. We are a bit more politically correct now.



Everybodys vocabulary English, Malay,Hindustani, Hokkien and Nipponese.  published 1910


 A dictionary and phrasebook for the man who ship sails into many ports. There is also a cool old french-vietnamese dictionary. 


Sorry if you guys already know about this I just thought these were neat little gems.



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Yes, those old texts are fun.


I have a copy of Ball's Cantonese Made Easy (Hongkong, 1888), reprinted in facsimile (Taipei,1971).


From Lesson V:


"He wanted to snatch that pair of bracelets. Take him to prison. Afterwards give him twenty blows with a rattan. Warn him not to do it again. If he does he will be more severely punished."


Many of Ball's works are available online:



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