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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/17/2019 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    A few problems here. For one, these aren't pictograms. They're Chinese characters, and they're a fully fledged writing system by the time they were using these tortoise plastrons for divination. You can't try to interpret them like pictograms (men standing on land, "I think mountain fits better," etc.). If 火 is what's written (and it is), it doesn't make sense to call it 山. The two forms are quite distinct. Also, in this context, "mountain" wouldn't really make sense. "Men standing on land" is 並, meaning together with, or perhaps in this context "next to/near." Another issue is that you can't really read this stuff without a lot of specialized knowledge. The best you can do is read what actual specialists say about it. I can read most of the characters, but I'm not an oracle bone script specialist by any means. These inscriptions have their own grammar, they're highly formalized because they're used for divination, and a correct interpretation requires a massive amount of knowledge about Shang culture, astronomy and how the Shang talked about it, etc. The best I can do is read what actual specialists say, keeping in mind what each scholar's particular strengths and weaknesses are, and try to arrive at an interpretation that seems reasonable. And related to that issue is the fact that this particular inscription is quite controversial. There seem to be a lot of different interpretations out there, and I can't really hope to add anything meaningful to the discussion because this isn't my specialty. Another issue is that two people may read it the same way but transcribe it differently. There are a lot of different ways to transcribe this stuff. Do you stay as close as possible to the form of the original? Do you transcribe it using modern characters? The character that looks like three circles is 晶, but 晶 is the original form of 星, so which should I transcribe it with? Some scholars prefer one, some prefer the other, and some will write 晶(星), and any of those three ways would be fine, but to a layman they may seem completely different. And just keep in mind that things aren't nearly as cut and dry when reading these texts as we're used to them being in modern writing. Part of that is due to the limited evidence we have available, part of it is due to differences in thinking, and part is due to the fact that many texts (including this one) are fragments. With all those things in mind, here's what I think is the most likely transcription, using modern characters. 七日己已夕(?)...有新大星並火,咎其有來艱...不吉 Not sure what the character I transcribed with a question mark is. One interpretation I saw is that it means 曀, or cloudy skies. That makes sense in context, but I'm not sure. On the seventh day, 己已, in the evening (it was cloudy), there was a large new star near Antares (or Mars?). Something about calamity and bringing hardship (not really sure how to read this phrase)....Inauspicious. Don't quote me on that though! That's just the best I'm able to do with my limited knowledge and time. Much better would be to read the published research (most of which will be in Chinese, of course) on this particular inscription.
  2. 1 point
    It’s just a different romanization system. Depending on your native language and some background in Mandarin, you can guess it quite easily. Compared to the sounds my native language use, the Taiwanese romanization makes more sense from a proniunciation point of view.
  3. 1 point
    There are many other apps, programs, textbooks and more that are there to "train their ability to recognise the characters" Pinyinput is useful because it speeds up input, I am not always looking to "train" sometimes I just want to type some things asap and get on with other things.
  4. 1 point
    Still not that literal despite your context I'd say, it's just an extra play on words. I'd go with, "The coffee here is to die for."
  5. 1 point
    Quite why I'm spending so much time on this, I don't know, but here's a site that looks like it might have some useful info. More about the tests and licenses than equipment. https://www.youting.com/article/442 Scroll down for pictures of vellocet's private yacht.
  6. 1 point
    No, not true whatsoever. This is the kind of nonsense that keeps getting propagated and causes so much confusion for learners. Read earlier posts in this thread—radicals are for dictionary lookup. Period. Yeah, a lot of the so-called meanings that get attached to these components have no basis in reality. 尸 is one of those—it just depicts a person squatting, and generally just means "person" as a semantic component. Same with 儿 as "legs" or 夂 as "go" as you see in the poster screen shot above, along with a few others. 儿 doesn't mean "legs," it's a person, a variant of 人. 夂 doesn't mean "go," it's a foot, originally an upside down 止. Trying to learn characters via radicals is bad enough, but when you bring these spurious "meanings" into it, it's much worse.
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