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Ian_Lee

Honorific Terms

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Ian_Lee

In modern Chinese (post May Fourth movement), there is a striking difference between it and other neighboring languages like Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese which exist as many as 5-6 levels of honorific terms.

Much thanks to pioneers like Liang Chi-Tsao and Hu Shih. Otherwise we may have to juggle like the Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese do.

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Quest

or we would be calling each other 前辈,兄台, 君,大人,etc?

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smithsgj

blimey it's quite complicated enough with half a dozen words for auntie!

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roddy

Smith大人 has a good point.

Any info on the two pioneers you mentioned? Never heard of them before (showing my ignorance, I know).

So were these terms already extinct / largely unused by 1949?

Roddy

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skylee

I bet OP was talking about 梁啟超 and 胡適. Very famous scholars in early 1900s really. 胡適 wrote, among other things, a very famous and interesting short story 差不多先生 and also poem 希望, which has been made into a, again, very famous song 蘭花草.

As to 梁啟超 , he was a revolutionary. His famous works include 飲冰室文集. In one of the museums in HK, the refreshment corner is called 飲冰室, and it immediately reminds me of 梁啟超 .

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pazu

The standard romanization used in mainland China of Liang Chi-Tsao and Hu Shih should be Liang Qichao and Hu Shi, so it gives an excuse to Roddy's ignorance. :P

But Cantonese is even "BETTER" than Mandarin as there's only one single form of YOU (nei) in spoken Cantonese, though it can be written as 妳, 你 or 您 , just as you like.

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confucius

I've been to Liang Qichao's house in Xinhui. He didn't live too far from his good buddy Kang Youwei. (I visited his house too.)

I once referred to a Chinese friend's daughter as "ling ai" in polite conversation. He didn't know what the heck I was saying. Haven't said it since, but I still use it in writing Christmas cards.

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skylee

I seem to remember that 康有為 was 梁啟超's teacher, or the other way around?

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pazu

Miss Skylee, you're right, Liang was Kang's student.

I think one of the most famous quote from Liang Qichao was "吾愛吾師, 吾更愛真理" (I love my teacher, albeit I love the truth more", and he said this to Mr Kang... hey, but was it really Liang who said this first, I've heard that this was actually a quote from Aristotle!

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Ian_Lee

Skylee:

Watch the TV epic "Advance Towards the Republic". There are lengthy stories covering the relationship between Kang and Liang.

Even though both Kang and Liang were monarchy constitutionalists, essentially they were different.

When Yuan Shih Kai tried to proclaim emperor himself, Liang stood out and heavily critiicized Yuan on the newspaper albeit he was rallied by Yuan to come back from exodus in Japan as one of his closest aides.

Kang was dogmatic while Liang was progressive.

I read Liang's writing about the three heroes that unified Italy in the late 19th century and was really overwhelmed.

Liang's writing was more influential than any other peers in changing people's thoughts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in China.

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Ian_Lee

Another influential scholar in early 20th century China was the chancellor of Beida -- Tsai Yun Pui.

May Fourth Movement happened during his administration and he was one of the pioneers in modernizing Chinese language.

And interestingly Mao was an assistant librarian in Beida when Tsai was the chancellor.

(Maybe if Tsai gave Mao a pay raise by a few "Yuan Daitou", Mao would not have gone to Shanghai to attend/organize the 1st CCP conference.)

Tsai died in Hong Kong and was buried in the Aberdeen cemetry.

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skylee
Skylee:

Watch the TV epic "Advance Towards the Republic". There are lengthy stories covering the relationship between Kang and Liang.

Yes I will. But later.

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