Some of these reclarified compounds will, in their new guise, be simple sound-meaning compounds, and some of them—if the reclarified character itself was already a sound-meaning compound—will be. CAR radical [A] The character is a picture of a car or chariot top view—the top and bottom horizontal strokes being the two wheels. KEY: 1. Hanyu Shuiping Cihui New HSK Exam level i. MN indicates a mnemonic tip Chao Yuen Ren treats reclarified compounds as a sub-class of sound-meaning compounds: see Mandarin Primer Cambridge University Press, , pp.
Let us consider this point a little further. Chinese Word-classes acc. Chao verbs including adjectives nouns proper names place words time-words determinatives measure-words localizers suffixes that convert non-place words to place words pronouns other substitutes adverbs prepositions conjunctions particles interjections.
The editor of Reading and Writing Chinese, in preparing the definitions, has given the student as much help as he could with this problem. English verbs are used to translate Chinese verbs, English nouns to translate Chinese nouns, etc. Where grammatical categories do not match, explanations and paraphrases are given especially for Chinese measure-words, localizers, and particles. As is stated in the Preface, the student should be using Reading and Writing Chinese in tandem with classroom work or with a tutor. The achievement of that kind of comfort is, of course, one of the pleasures of studying a foreign language.
In addition to their use with slang terms, or for clarity, quotation marks are used around character-compound definitions that are contextually proper in English but which cannot be derived from the characters themselves. Always compare a character which appears in a compound, with its written counterpart as you work through this book.
The typeset list below provides the most common of these variant forms. Numbers refer to the serial number of characters in the first half of this book characters 1—1, ; page numbers are for characters in the second half. So all dictionaries organized phonetically, as just described, also have an index—an index organized by some modern adaptation of the traditional radical system.
There is no universally accepted adaptation, however, so different dictionaries use slightly different radical systems. But all such systems are derived from the traditional radical system, all of them overlap to a great degree, and all follow quite closely the logic of the traditional system.
Many of these common combinations are given in this book so that you will get used to seeing the characters within important expression and words. Learning the combination in which a character occurs can be a valuable aid to understanding that character. Moreover, these combinations provide review as well as usage examples.
Finally, practice with two-character combinations and fourcharacter set expressions will tend to break down the illusion, which the writing system so insistently encourages, that Chinese is a monosyllabic language. The different meanings are established, of course, by using a different meaning-component in each character. In Reading and Writing Chinese we have therefore introduced common characters as part of a phonetic series if the characters belong to a phonetic series. The remarkable thing about the Chinese writing system, including the simplified form of it which is studied in this book, is that a literate native speaker of one dialect can communicate with another person of a different native dialect by xvii.
The other party will immediately understand—although if the two tried to speak in their native dialects, neither would understand the other.
That is, with the Chinese writing system, you can simultaneously write down a message in 13 different languages! Some foreign students, initially vexed when they realize that the Chinese writing system is somewhat more complicated than their own, think that the Chinese should switch to an alphabetical one.
To do so, however, would eliminate the increment of universal intelligibility which exists in China. Furthermore, while it does take some months longer for a Chinese child to master the writing system than it does for an American or French child, say, to master their own writing systems, in the long run there is little difference. Japan, whose writing system is based on the Chinese system, has one of the highest literacy rates in the world illiteracy in Japan is about one-fifth that of the United States.
And James Traub notes that only slightly more than four percent of Taiwanese fifth graders and slightly more than 10 percent of Japanese scored as low as the average American fifth grader on a battery of reading tests. Study Methods Each radical introduced in this book is assigned a number in parentheses. This number is the radical number and indicates where the radical occurs within the sequence of radicals. Every effort you make to memorize the number, at least for radicals having two, three, four, five, or six strokes, will pay off in time saved after you start to use dictionaries.
You are also advised, when first learning a character, to be conscious of all the radicals that appear in it. Say aloud the radicals while writing a new character.
Such incantations may be of considerable help in recalling characters to memory three or four days after first encountering them. You should read the explanation of the sources of new characters, but you need not formally study these explanations unless as sometimes happens you become fascinated by the Chinese written character itself. In that case you may want to learn all the explanations given and even to carry your own studies further afield into the various books which present such explanations in greater and sometimes fanciful detail.
A reference which can be useful for such study is Bernhard Karlgren, Analytic Dictionary of Chinese and Sino-Japanese see note above, p. Cover the character with a blank piece of paper placed along the vertical line that separates the character from the box containing its pronunciation and meaning, then try to write out the character, and immediately after doing so, pull the answer sheet away and compare the character you have written with the character in the book.
If you have written the character incorrectly, take note of the error or errors and write the character correctly before proceeding to the next one. After working to the bottom of a page in this way, reverse the procedure and try to write down the pronunciation and meaning while looking only at the character. Immediately check your work against the pronunciation and meaning that appear in the text. The Chinese Language Fact and Fantasy. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, Norman, Jerry.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Taylor, Insup and M. Martin Taylor.
Writing and Literacy in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Pub. How to Write the Characters The Chinese learn to write the characters by using an easy and effective method. The essential ingredient of this method is the fixed order in which the strokes of a character are written.
Although Chinese people occasionally disagree among themselves about minor details, the method has been developed and perfected through centuries of experience. Follow the stroke-order diagrams presented in this book in order to acquire the correct habits early, and remember to keep your characters uniform in size. The rules below explain the method in general. Top to bottom:. The Pronunciation of Chinese The system used in Reading and Writing Chinese to write romanized Chinese is the Hanyu Pinyin system which is standard in mainland China and is now used almost universally, too, in printed materials newspapers, magazines, books, textbooks , and so on—used, that is, whenever the writer wants, for some reason, to give a word or words in Roman letters.
The student should remember that Chinese is written with the characters, not with the Roman alphabet. The following letters are pronounced like the English sounds indicated: a except as described in 8, below , as in father; i, as in machine except when appearing immediately after u—see end of this paragraph—or when appearing immediately after c, ch, r, s, sh, z, or zh: see 9, below; o as in worn; ai in aisle; and ui, wei in weight 3. The following combinations are pronounced like the English sounds indicated: ao like ow in how; ou like o in so; and e except e after i or y: see point 8, below , like o in done.
The following letters are pronounced as explained: b, like p in spy; d, like t in sty; g like k in sky; that is, like English p, t, or k but with less aspiration compare with point 1, above ; 5. The following letters and combinations are pronounced as described: sh as in shred, tongue very far back; ch, tongue flat against roof of mouth, very far back; zh, like ch just described but with less breath; and r, tongue flat against roof of mouth, far back—like a j and r pronounced together.
The following letters are pronounced as described: j, like English j but with tongue tip forward where teeth meet; q, like j just described with more breath; and x, tongue tip against back of lower teeth like a lisping English s. The letter u when followed by another vowel or pair of vowels is pronounced like English w; the combination iu at the end of syllables is pronounced like the American greeting Yo!
Many details, therefore, have not been worked out; the division into words is one of them. I recommend that the student follow the advice I used to give to my students at City University of Hong Kong: look it up in a good dictionary, like Han-Ying Cidian! As to the correct placement of tone-marks when a syllable has two or more vowel-letters in it, the situation is fairly simple, and practice and observation will help a great deal.
The letters a and e always get the tone-mark in combinations, and o always gets the tone-mark except when the combination is ao or iao, in which case the a gets it. When the i and u appear together—as in iu or ui— whichever one comes second gets the tone-mark. Tones result from changes in pitch which the speaker produces with the vocal xxiii. The difficulty of learning these tones has been much exaggerated. The way in which the speaker uses the vocal chords to change the pitch can be written on a musical staff, as below. Pitch will normally be somewhere near the center of the speaking voice and will vary according to the individual and to his or her mood.
The description of tones given here is the simplest and is the one most often presented in texts. It is intended to enable the student to pronounce words in isolation. In such cases in this book, the tone-marks have been omitted. We have indicated such changes in this book if the expression is a very common one.