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New Online Course: Intro to Classical Chinese


OneEye
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On 2/24/2022 at 3:22 PM, Zeppa said:

@PerpetualChange - mine is revised edition 2004, does that mean the 2nd edition 2005 was different? I was just looking at the Syntax of Literary Chinese, p. 39, and following - of course I can look them all up - it was harder in the 1970s when I had to count the strokes. Is Pulleyblank easier going?

Mine is Revised 2004, Harvard East Asian Monographs. There should be pinyin in the words in the vocab list. I've got no idea what you're looking at if that's not the case. I remember having Pulleybank but didn't like it as much. 

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On 2/25/2022 at 2:27 AM, realmayo said:

Well you could just work through the book yourself! Plenty of assistance already on these forums.

 

This is absolutely true, and it's exactly what I did (as I mention in my recent guest post on Hacking Chinese). I worked through the book by myself, and posted here in the forums when I got stuck. Nothing wrong with that at all!

 

I recommend some other textbooks in that article as well. I know Fuller's book isn't to everyone's taste, but maybe something else there will be. Kai Vogelsang's recently-published Introduction to Classical Chinese, in particular, is excellent. I bought it recently and I'm very impressed.

 

On 2/25/2022 at 4:23 AM, Jan Finster said:

This may be naive, but instinctively, I would rather try to read one of the classics and as I come across "problems", I might consult this or other books

(rather than reading this book first as a preparation to reading classical texts !?)

 

This may work, too, although I'd think doing at least the first 8 lessons in Fuller would help a lot, as they familiarize you with the basic syntax of Classical Chinese. I'd be interested to hear how you get on if you try this approach though!

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On 2/24/2022 at 4:39 AM, OneEye said:

I started learning Classical Chinese when I was at a lower intermediate level, and it helped me tremendously when I got to higher levels in modern Chinese.

Would you (or anyone else) mind elaborating more on this? I've read the material on your website, watched the video, and read the blog post, and it's only fleetingly mentioned that classical Chinese shows up in modern Chinese. I guess I'm wondering whether the time spent on this course would be better spent reading (modern) Chinese, if my end goal (in terms of reading, anyways) is to read modern Chinese...

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On 2/24/2022 at 7:23 PM, Jan Finster said:

This may be naive, but instinctively, I would rather try to read one of the classics and as I come across "problems", I might consult this or other books

(rather than reading this book first as a preparation to reading classical texts !?)

Personally I think this is a little bit like learning modern Chinese by reading modern Chinese novels and looking up the grammar for things like 了 and 过 as and when. It's also how I first tried to read Classical Chinese! And then I quickly bought some textbooks.

  

On 2/25/2022 at 4:04 AM, OneEye said:

Kai Vogelsang's recently-published Introduction to Classical Chinese, in particular, is excellent. I bought it recently and I'm very impressed.

Is there much new/interesting that I wouldn't have come across when working through the Fuller and Rouzer books?

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@Perpetual Change

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I've got no idea what you're looking at if that's not the case.

No, you're right. What I am referring to is the introduction, which is an introduction to classical Chinese and is outside the lessons. It has a lot of examples. I did give the page number. I suppose I should not read it but just look at the lessons.

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On 2/25/2022 at 5:26 PM, Publius said:

The thing is, a modern writer, unless he's writing a graded reader, does not assiduously differentiate between classical Chinese and modern Chinese. It's all Chinese. An educated Chinese person should have no problem understanding it. It's that simple.

Excellent explanation, thanks. I was going to reach for Expressions of Written Chinese (which I'm pretty sure I found out about on Chinese-forums), because if I remember correctly the author shows a lot of examples of classically-influenced writing. But that book is in storage right now and your post summed it up really well.

 

On 2/25/2022 at 8:50 PM, realmayo said:

Is there much new/interesting that I wouldn't have come across when working through the Fuller and Rouzer books?

 

Vogelsang goes into much more detail with the grammar explanations than Fuller or Rouzer. It's a fairly dense book. There's a pretty extensive preview available through Amazon though, so you can check it out and see what you think.

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Vogelsang goes into much more detail with the grammar explanations than Fuller or Rouzer.

 

My mind has a hard time with written grammar explanations.  I understand the idea (and learn how to apply it) much better with a lot of examples.  Explanations of the examples gets an idea into my head much better than technical expositions of grammatical principles.

 

When I was in grade school, I was very good at diagramming sentences for English class, but I think that was more because of intuitively grasping sentence structure rather than understanding the grammatical terms involved.

 

So @OneEye, how do you tend to explain grammar when you teach?

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On 2/25/2022 at 2:46 PM, Moshen said:

I understand the idea (and learn how to apply it) much better with a lot of examples.

 

This book is basically explanations of Classical Chinese grammar in English followed by lots of example sentences in Classical Chinese which are translated into modern Chinese:

 

https://www.cheng-tsui.com/browse/classical-chinese

 

https://www.cheng-tsui.com/sites/all/libraries/pdf.js/web/viewer.html?file=https%3A//www.cheng-tsui.com/sites/default/files/previews/Classical%20Chinese%20Sample%2022208_0_8.pdf&width=80%&height=90%&iframe=true

 

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On 2/27/2022 at 10:02 AM, Yadang said:

I had read OneEye's blog post, but I must admit it was your post that convinced me. 

Hi, thanks.  Just to be clear, I'm not endorsing this particular online course.  200 USD seems a lot to a third world poor guy like myself.  I do agree though that learning Classical Chinese is beneficial for everyone.  When I learned of a forum member's plan of tackling one of the Four Classics, this is what I suggested :P

On 11/30/2021 at 9:28 PM, Publius said:

That being said, a little knowledge of Classical Chinese certainly won't hurt. I recommend An Introduction to Literary Chinese by Michael A. Fuller. You don't need to be an expert on pre-Qin philosophy and such. Just grab a pirated copy, quickly go through the introduction and the basic grammar part and you're set.

 

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On 2/22/2022 at 9:40 AM, OneEye said:

I wanted to make a quick announcement about our new online course: Intro to Classical/Literary Chinese.

(as an aside) I'm sure I recognise you from youtube adverts. Do you advertise on there?

 

The course does look interesting! If I wasn't on a tight budget right now, I would like to join. Looks very interesting. 👍

Though, I can't read traditional characters (other than very common characters that I see on wechat group conversations)

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The course is OK.  It's simply following along the Fuller textbook week by week, doing the exercises and adding a bit of explanation to what Fuller says.  It's worth the $$ to have that straightforward structure for learning something that initially seems difficult.

 

I've gotten a lot more out of supplementary readings people in the class have suggested.  Turns out I'm more interested in Chinese philosophy than in the ancient language per se, and that's valuable for me to find out.  Looking forward to going through a bilingual text of Zhuangzi after the course ends.

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On 4/25/2022 at 4:31 PM, Moshen said:

Turns out I'm more interested in Chinese philosophy than in the ancient language per se, and that's valuable for me to find out.

That's so true. This is the number one reason for many people, including Chinese, to learn Classical Chinese. 

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On 2/28/2022 at 9:20 AM, TaxiAsh said:

(as an aside) I'm sure I recognise you from youtube adverts. Do you advertise on there?

 

Yes, we do run ads on YouTube from time to time.

On 2/28/2022 at 9:20 AM, TaxiAsh said:

Though, I can't read traditional characters (other than very common characters that I see on wechat group conversations)

We provide all of the readings in simplified characters too. I'd say the course is split pretty evenly between users of traditional and simplified.

On 4/25/2022 at 5:31 PM, Moshen said:

Looking forward to going through a bilingual text of Zhuangzi after the course ends.

Reading Zhuangzi is definitely the fun part of learning Classical Chinese. 😁

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On 4/25/2022 at 9:31 AM, Moshen said:

Looking forward to going through a bilingual text of Zhuangzi after the course ends.

Hi Moshen. May I know which book you use? I’ve been looking for a good Zhuangzi text. Thanks so much!

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On 4/25/2022 at 4:31 AM, Moshen said:

The course is OK.  It's simply following along the Fuller textbook week by week, doing the exercises and adding a bit of explanation to what Fuller says.  It's worth the $$ to have that straightforward structure for learning something that initially seems difficult.

Having tried to go it my own a few times, it can be tough because of how vague Fuller can be, plus he explains everything in a needlessly arcane way. I agree with you that the structure is nice, but also having more of a layman's explanation is also a benefit. 

 

I fell off the wagon a few weeks ago - just have less time than I envisioned. Thankfully, I have lifetime access to the course. I do have some constructive feedback to leave, should it be solicited, that would qualify recommendations to others going forward. I do hope to catch up, just don't really see it happening for me.  

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