Open main menu

Page:Chinese Speaker (E. Morgan, 1916).djvu/13

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
iii
INTRODUCTION

part in the structure of the sentence, and in analysis it should be asked what function they fulfil. Some are connectives; some are prepositions; some are interrogatives; some may indicate mood or tense; and some may fill the function corresponding to the prefix, or suffix in English, and so on. A list of many of these words has been added in Part IV.

Sometimes the Chinese dispense with connectives where they would be used in English and vice versa. Keep this in mind and make a note of such sentences.

It is not always easy to determine where to place the full stop and break up sentences. But initial or terminal words, or the meaning, or the general idea should generally help to determine this. And so, in translating, it is well to pick out first the main clause, and then the subject and main verb; subsidiary words and clauses after. Sometimes too it is a help to write down a literal translation Of each word.

No word should be approached with the preconceived idea that it means only what you have been accustomed to think it means. Approach words always with an open mind. For it often is a cause of difficulty that the student endeavours to insert into a word he meets with, in a new connection, a meaning he has been used to, but which will not fit that word in this particular passage. To take a very simple example the beginner is told that 是 is a verb and means is: but sometimes this preconceived knowledge of it does not fit in, and so difficulty arises. Shih of course means many things. It is a verb: a demonstrative adjective: a pronoun: and so on. Again 一般人 and 與人一般 i pan has different meanings in these two phrases. Therefore the same words should not be translated by the same English word in every case. They contain shades of meanings that demand different words in English.

When the subject comes before the predicate it will be generally found the mood is indicative: but when subject is not stated it is participial, conditional etc. For Ex: ― 他有了 He has it: 有了 Being, when, if.

Many other suggestions will be found in the Annotations and other parts of the book.

It was intended to insert an outline of grammar in this work, but that grew to such dimensions that it had to be abandoned as an integral part of this hook. The author has to thank Rev. H. R. Williamson, B. I), for his valuable additions to the notes in Chapter VIII: Miss Thomas, Shantung, for additions and suggestions to the annotations in Chapter I, in addition to her work on the analysis: as well as other friends. He is also much indebted to Dr. Mateer's Mandarin Lessons.