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Old 01-02-2019, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,360 posts, read 547,271 times
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Written Vernacular Chinese, aka Baihuawen, the written form of Chinese language based on Beijing dialect, is also a recent development which just started about 100 years ago. Before that, written Chinese was always Classical Chinese that most people had hard time to comprehend.

And the proliferation of written vernacular Chinese are mainly contributed by three scholars:

Hu Shih -- a scholar who studied under John Dewey in Columbia. As the chancellor of Peking University, he promoted vernacular Chinese in earnest.

Chen Duxiu -- Founder of CCP as well as pioneer in vernacular Chinese.

Lu Xun -- everybody knows about him.

But for political reason, China hardly mentions the former two figures.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Lee View Post
Written Vernacular Chinese, aka Baihuawen, the written form of Chinese language based on Beijing dialect, is also a recent development which just started about 100 years ago. Before that, written Chinese was always Classical Chinese that most people had hard time to comprehend.

And the proliferation of written vernacular Chinese are mainly contributed by three scholars:

Hu Shih -- a scholar who studied under John Dewey in Columbia. As the chancellor of Peking University, he promoted vernacular Chinese in earnest.

Chen Duxiu -- Founder of CCP as well as pioneer in vernacular Chinese.

Lu Xun -- everybody knows about him.

But for political reason, China hardly mentions the former two figures.
No, Baihuawen was not invented 100 years ago. It has been used since Ming dynasty or earlier. As I said, the famous classical novels were written in Baihuawen, not Classical Chinese.

Hu Shih etc. only promoted it and developed it. Before the early 1900s, Wenyanwen had been widely used although there was Baihuawen.

Of course, the Baihuawen of Ming Dynasty was not exactly the same as today.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ian_Lee View Post
Mandarin means the language spoken by the officials in that era. It changed over time depending on where the political center is.

For example, in the novel "Water Margin", there are a lot of conversation with people saying 俺 when they say "I". So that may most likely be a common word used in Song Dynasty based on the Henan dialect at that time.

Such term is hardly used in Mandarin nowadays which is based on Beijing dialect. On the other hand, this character is still commonly used in Japanese language.
Water Margin uses not only 俺, but also 我,我们,我等,咱... basically all first person pronouns found in north China show up in the novel.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,360 posts, read 547,271 times
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Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
No, Baihuawen was not invented 100 years ago. It has been used since Ming dynasty or earlier. As I said, the famous classical novels were written in Baihuawen, not Classical Chinese.

Hu Shih etc. only promoted it and developed it. Before the early 1900s, Wenyanwen had been widely used although there was Baihuawen.

Of course, the Baihuawen of Ming Dynasty was not exactly the same as today.
Famous novel like "Dream of Red Chamber" was written during mid-Qing Dynasty. Without the help of modern digital equipment, I seriously doubt if the author could exactly tell how the people who lived 200-300 years ago spoke.

Probably he was applying the spoken language of his time in the novel.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:52 PM
 
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what is Shih exactly?

Why people keep those strange spellings for chinese charaters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Lee View Post
Written Vernacular Chinese, aka Baihuawen, the written form of Chinese language based on Beijing dialect, is also a recent development which just started about 100 years ago. Before that, written Chinese was always Classical Chinese that most people had hard time to comprehend.

And the proliferation of written vernacular Chinese are mainly contributed by three scholars:

Hu Shih -- a scholar who studied under John Dewey in Columbia. As the chancellor of Peking University, he promoted vernacular Chinese in earnest.

Chen Duxiu -- Founder of CCP as well as pioneer in vernacular Chinese.

Lu Xun -- everybody knows about him.

But for political reason, China hardly mentions the former two figures.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_Lee View Post
Famous novel like "Dream of Red Chamber" was written during mid-Qing Dynasty. Without the help of modern digital equipment, I seriously doubt if the author could exactly tell how the people who lived 200-300 years ago spoke.

Probably he was applying the spoken language of his time in the novel.
The author Cao Xueqin lived 1715-1763. Of course he used the language of his time.
Some other famous novels such as Journey to the West, Jin Ping Mei, Water Margin and so on were written in Ming Dynasty.

If you were talking about spoken language (pronunciation). The Italian missionary Matteo Ricci transcribed Nanjing dialect with Latin alphabet in Ming Dynasty. He also described Beijing dialect to some extent.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,360 posts, read 547,271 times
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Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
what is Shih exactly?

Why people keep those strange spellings for chinese charaters.
Hu Shih (胡適)

Because he had never lived one day under PRC rule, so I adopted the Wade Giles pronunciation which has been used in ROC.

Hu was the idol of Mao. What Mao did the first thing after he got a job as librarian in Peking University was to attend Hu's class even though he was not a student.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,876 posts, read 6,618,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen2010 View Post
what is Shih exactly?

Why people keep those strange spellings for chinese charaters.
Well, it depends on the location and the era.

Everything isn't all in Pinyin romanization.

Even in the PRC - there are two universities that still keep their old Romanized names - Peking University and Tsinghua University. Tsingtao Beer is still spelled that way rather than Qingdao. It has a lot to do with familiarity and name brand.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,360 posts, read 547,271 times
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Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Well, it depends on the location and the era.

Everything isn't all in Pinyin romanization.

Even in the PRC - there are two universities that still keep their old Romanized names - Peking University and Tsinghua University. Tsingtao Beer is still spelled that way rather than Qingdao. It has a lot to do with familiarity and name brand.
Actually the airport code for Beijing is PEK instead of BEI or BEJ.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
1,360 posts, read 547,271 times
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Though it is unrelated, the liberal use of X and Z in those pinyin names seem odd to westerners.

I have known some students change their family name from "Zhang" to "Chang" (which is the same character).

IMO if Xi can get rid of the X, it may help trade talk with U.S.
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