John DeFrancis, *The Chinese. Language: Fact and Fantasy*. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii. Press, ). Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. The Chinese Language has 65 ratings and 11 reviews. Christopher said: THE CHINESE LANGUAGE: Fact and Fantasy, by the legendary pedagogue of. title: The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy author: DeFrancis, John. publisher: University of Hawaii Press isbn10 | asin: print isbn

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This statement relates to the original state of Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese when they first came in contact with Chinese te 1, to 2, years ago. The number of speakers who can converse with speakers from Shanghai is about 85 million. Principle 6 involves a tiny group of “derived characters” about which there is so much disagreement Chao A brief examination of this passage shows that the characters are not being used in their semantic values, for their meanings, as the following glosses show, make no sense: The remaining quarter to a third of the Chinese-speaking population are chiness into several groups, such as the Cantonese, Hakka, and Min, with forms of speech so distinctive that they are mutually unintelligible.

Tone fadt is high level, tone 2 high rising, tone 3 low dipping, tone 4 high falling. The phrase “four score and seven” could be rendered by replacing the whole-character approach shown first below with the reduced-character modification shown in the second line for the characters representing the sound and: He did not envision that the more complex characters would ever be completely eliminated from the Singlish script, however, since the scholars could be counted upon, as always, to show their erudition by larding their compositions with as many characters as they could.

DeFrancis begins with an introductory essay which he later revealed to be a joke about a World War II committee of Asian scholars attempting to design a character-based writing system for Western peoples once they were subjugated by the unstoppable Japanese. What else, he observed, could one expect of people who perpetrated such monstrosities lxnguage the GI distortion of “Chiang Kai-shek” as “Chancre Jack”?

Learners first practice basic strokes and then combine them to form characters. Cover of the paperback edition. In this way every syllable in English would be written with a distinctive character that would at least give some indication of the sound and might in some cases, as in the one just cited, also provide a semantic clue.


In the process some changes took place under the influence of the local forms of speech. Emulating the operatic Mikado’s “object all sublime. Nor can Asians read each other’s writing any more than can an Englishman and a Frenchman merely because they have some written words like “nation” in common. Reviewed by Matthew Y.

This fundamental distinction is lost when all such distinctive Chinese terms are jonn rendered as “dialect,” as is usually done by both Chinese and Western writers on the subject. Page 53 3 Idiolects, Dialects, Regionalects, and Languages In round figures there are about a billion people who are considered to be speakers of Chinese. Fact and Fantasy by John DeFrancis.

Mouton,pp. The non-Chinese languages are spoken by fifty-four national minorities with a total population of some 50 or 60 million.

The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy – Wikipedia

John DeFrancis Find more information about: In short, calling someone Mr. Calligraphy as Art Regular, running, and cursive styles of writing displayed respectively in a a stone rubbing of a pair of commemorative scrolls written in by Shao Lizi, a prominent Guomindang supporter of the PRC; b a rubbing of a commemorative inscription written about the same time for the same commemorative purpose by Mao Zedong; and c a hanging scroll with a poem written by the seventeenth-century poet and calligrapher Fu Shan.

University of Hawaii Press isbn10 asin: As he himself was only semifacetiously fond of saying, he was for a while the only speaker of the Chinese national language. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus.

The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy

It is not aggravated, as it is in Belgium, by economic differences teh further separate French- speaking Walloons from Netherlandic-speaking Flemings. Chinese is probably easier than French also with respect to the manner in which each language represents its sounds. In Korea and Japan this phonetic use of Chinese characters to represent indigenous words has an even longer history.

The calligraphic style is one of a wide variety of styles, somewhat analogous to the type fonts and individual writing in alphabetic scripts, that are conditioned by the instrument used in writing, the degree of deliberateness in executing the strokes, and individual idiosyncrasies of different writers.


Character 5 means “year. When his language is seen in adn deeper levels, his family, his tools, his work in the fields, daily life and in the village, differences in vocabulary become very striking, to the point of mutual unintelligibility from region to region. A native of Peking and a native of Canton, for example, cannot understand a word of what the other says in his own form of speech.

The tone symbols imitate these contours. Tonal differences are widespread. The classification of words, which means identification of parts of speech, is another matter of disagreement.

The Chinese language : fact and fantasy

Text B makes greater use of characters as phonetic symbols. The Singlish Affair 1 Part I. After this brief piece, the reader will already see that characters are unsuitable for most of the world’s languages. Return to Book Page.

If I can’t understand why my professor recommended this book for me. The approach has proved to be a particularly effective teaching device because students who might ordinarily be daunted by a straightforward analysis of complex problems have been led to ponder the issues so unconventionally illustrated in the introductory essay and have been stimulated to go into them more deeply.

I am also indebted to Professor Zhou for making the seal design on the half-title page and for finding another expert calligrapher to write the characters for the cover.

Nevertheless they are not insignificant. Sumerian dact is older by about a millennium and a half Gelb Paper ruled into squares of an inch or so on each side is used for practice by beginning students of writing. Chinese language — Psychological aspects. Designations such as graphs, characters, signs, or symbols apply equally well to all kinds of writings. I read this as a sort of introductory guide to the Chinese language, which sounds like it would be both fun and impossibly difficult for fantasu to learn.