山村訓長但知覓

The Sanchon Hunjang
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12/28/2005

 

Introduction to Classical Chinese

The Sanchon Hunjang was going through some old files and stumbled across one from a long time ago. In the school library there was this old, hand-written mimeographed manuscript that was bound together. It was titled Introduction to Classical Chinese and was apparently written by Professor Peter Boodberg of the Unviersity of California at Berkely.

The manuscript was a series of 10 chapters, each of which had 20 characters that were introduced and then used in four different sets of drills. The first set glossed pronunciation in the traditional way you would see in a traditional dictionary or notes to a text, the second set glossed meaning again in the way you would find in a dictionary or textual annotation, the third set was a series of parallel sentences and the final was practice with short sentences. In addition to the 10 chapters there was also an introductory chapter called A, that uses the 214 radicals under which characters are filed in traditional dictionaries as the basis for its drills rather than 20 characters and also contains an additional section of proper names.

I'm not a copyright lawyer, but the condition and age of the manuscript leads me to believe that nobody would be bothered or harmed to see it come to light. I am not convinced how much time it is worth investing in, but I'll post the first chapter (Chapter A) as a barometer for interest.

A. Pronunciation Glosses
(1)非音飛 (2)无音毋 (3)匸音方 (4)雨音羽 (5)赤音彳 (6)黍音鼠 (7)首音手 (8)夂音黹 (9)囗音韋 (10) 冖音糸

B. Definition Glosses
(1)竹皮曰靑 (2)大鼓曰田 (3)一人曰一口 (4)大曰門小曰戶 (5)土山曰阜 (6)十斗曰石 (7)水豆曰豆 (8)馬二目白曰魚

C. Proper Names
(1) 老子 (2)比干 (3)鬼谷子 (4)尸子 (5)黃香 (6)高辛氏 (7)高齊 (8)田齊 (9)非子 (10)小白 (11)方言 (12)玉門 (13)金山 (14)長白山 (15)鳥鼠山 (16)黃巾 (17)鬼方 (18)黑齒 (19)月氏[氏音支] (20)大食,黑衣大食

D. Parallel Phrases
(1) 二人一口 (2) 木人石心 (3) 日赤月白 (4) 目見足行
(5) 牛角羊毛 (6) 香風甘雨 (7) 金谷玉田 (8) 竹馬木牛
(9) 黑衣玄玉 (10) 赤子老人 (11) 山雨谷水 (12) 白日靑山
(13) 羽足飛走 (14) 食麥衣皮 (15) 十日一雨 (16) 自小至大
(17) 鳥身人言 (18) 黃金白韭 (19) 血赤骨白 (20) 入門見子
(21) 白首黃口 (22) 石衣山韭 (23) 鼎大魚小 (24) 玉門金山
(25) 白毛黑文 (26) 文身皮面 (27) 行尸走肉 (28) 一目十行
(29) 大言小心 (30) 龜毛馬角 (31) 黑角白羽 (32) 一玄二黃
(33) 玄鳥靑龍 (34) 飛鳥走犬 (35) 弓人田父 (36) 龍文魚目
(37) 卜人方士 (38) 甘言鼎食 (39) 干戈弓矢 (40) 火老金生

E. Short Sentences
(1) 入山,入谷 (2)食魚,食肉 (3)土赤,面赤 (4)山高,食甘,毛長 (5)日入,日長,日食 (6)風生,生子,木生 (7)雨止,止雨 (8)風入衣,鼠入穴 (9)食大麥,食羊肉 (10)鼠食豆,人食麥 (11)入玉門,至馬邑 (12)玄鳥至,馬毛長 (13)大麥黃,衣食足 (14)見大人,子入戶 (15)小人鼓舌 (16)犬食人食 (17)見龍无首 (18)一角鹿見 (19)八月大水 (20)馬氏生女 (21)見一老人 (22)食一豆肉 (23)示人赤心 (24)水鳥食魚 (25)衣白麻衣 (26)子生而色赤 (27)士食十八人 (28)小水入大水 (29)至赤石川口 (30)見鼠白日行 (31)生子又生二女 (32)子八月而生齒 (33)子曰白馬非馬 (34)土生甘金生辛 (35)八月乙酉日食 (36)八月辛酉雨黃土 (37)牛生子二首一身 (38)十一月乙酉大風 (39)老子曰山生金石生玉 (40)八月石邑言黃龍二見 (41)自谷口至龍文山二十里 (42)見一黃衣人入門 (43)又行八里見一高山 (44)人十月而生馬十二月而生 (45)大而行小小而行大 (46)十月八日行二十里至大川又行十八里至火山 (47)木生火火生土土生金金生水 (48)龍首山長八十里 (49)大食人鼻大而長 (50)又曰囗山羊食鹿豕

Two quick notes:

  1. Sound glosses are simple critters. Knowing or not knowing the sounds may be another matter... If it says X音Y, then that means X has the same sound as Y. There's also another system for "spelling" the sound of one character using two others. This pattern is XYZ切 or XYZ反, either way, the meaning is "X is prounounced with the beginning sound (opening consonant) of Y and the closing sound (vowel and any closing consonant as well as tone) of Z. So, for example, 二而至切音貳 would say 二(이) sounds like the first part of 而(이☞ㅇ) and the last part of 至(지 ☞ ㅣ) [so ㅇ+ㅣ = 이], and the same as 貳(이).

    Sometimes the sounds have shifted somewhat so they are not always 100% accurate. But it doesn't matter because in a text, they are usually trying to give you a hint as to the tone of the word, so you can tell the difference between 好 (rising 上 tone) "good" versus 好 (departing 去 tone) "to like," for instance.

  2. Anyone with interest can see these sound and meaning glosses in action in the traditional dictionary, the Kangxi Dictionary 康熙字典, which has been scanned and had the scanned pages posted online at www.kangxizidian.com. You find the radical on the left part of the page and the scans appear on the right. The big characters with no circles or anything around them are the dictionary entries and the double column stuff below each one is its definition, which includes the sources cited (characters enclosed in a box).


Comments:
Hi, I read your blog, and I am definately interested in knowing more about the "Classical Chinese Primer", that you talked about. Also I am curious as to what you do ie... Translator, Interpreter, Student? Anyways good luck and thanks for writting an interesting blog.
 
Thank you for the kind words. In the past I hae been a translator, an interpreter and a student. Currently I'm none of them. Just a sorry 샐러리맨. ^^
 
Yes please, more. I've had a go at the Dawson 'New Introduction to Classical Chinese' in the past but never completed it. So something else that I can browse but feel guilty about never completing will be very useful. ^^
 
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