The Chinese language and how to learn it
HOW TO LEARN IT
A MANUAL FOR BEGINNERS
SIR WALTER HILLIER, K.C.M.G., C.B.
LATE PROFESSOR OF CHINESE, KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON, FORMERLY CHINESE SECRETARY TO H.M.'S LEGATION AT PEKING AND SOMETIME H.M.'S CONSUL-GENERAL IN KOREA
KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO. Ltd.
Broadway House, 68-74, Carter Lane, E.C.
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY
18, DEVONSHIRE ST., BISHOPSGATE, E. C. 8;
AND ASHFORD, KENT.
PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION
The issue of a second edition of this volume has afforded the writer an opportunity of making certain alterations which it is hoped will add to the utility of the work and secure continuity between this and the second volume of the Course which was issued in 1909. The last 180 characters in the List under Section XII. of the first edition have been struck out and others substituted for them. These are embodied in three stories contained in Section XI. of the present volume, in which exactly one thousand characters are now made use of.
In deference to a suggestion made by various critics, the Chinese text has now been placed in one section near the end of the volume, and the index of characters under their radicals has been changed by the substitution of reference numbers for the meanings given in the first edition.
Reference has been made towards the close of the first edition to a vocabulary which it was intended to embody in Volume II. After this vocabulary had been practically completed the writer came to the conclusion that the needs of the student would be more adequately met by the compilation of a comprehensive dictionary of Northern colloquial Chinese. The vocabulary was accordingly discarded, and its place has been taken by an Anglo-Chinese Colloquial Dictionary containing over twenty thousand separate expressions.
This will enable students to find Chinese equivalents for a number of expressions which they would otherwise have great difficulty in rendering, at any rate for many years.
WALTER C. HILLIER.
PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION
The present work is intended to meet the wants of those who think they would like to learn Chinese but are discouraged by the sight of the formidable text-books with which the aspiring student is confronted. It is especially intended for the use of Army Officers, of Missionaries, and of young business men connected with trade interests in China who wish to commence the study of the language in England with a view to continuing it in the country itself.
The exercises contained in this volume, with a total capital of one thousand words, should be mastered in six months by any one who will devote an hour or so a day to the task, and the student who has mastered a thousand words, with some of the many combinations they can be made to form, will have a sufficient stock at his command to make his ordinary wants known. If he wishes to do more than this he must turn to the larger text-books which he will then find to be much less formidable than they appear to be at first sight.
With a stock of from fifteen hundred to two thousand of the right words, if he knows how to use them, any one can speak Chinese intelligibly, and a good knowledge of the thousand words which this book contains will take the student, theoretically at any rate, at least a third of the distance. He will find the remaining two-thirds somewhat stiff climbing, but with the start that this volume will give him he will be in a position to decide when he has gone through it whether or no it is worth his while to proceed farther.
I am indebted to His Excellency Wang, the Chinese Minister in London, for the introductory page and for the inscription which appears on the cover of the book.
My thanks are also due in no small measure to Mr. Reginald Lake, of Messrs. Gilbert & Rivington, for the courteous attention he has devoted to the production of a work that has called for an exceptional amount of care and patient revision.
WALTER C. HILLIER,
King's College (University of London).
- Anglo-Chinese Dictionary of Peking Colloquial—Sir W. Hillier. Presbyterian Mission Press, Shanghai.