English-Chinese Vocabulary of the Vernacular Or Spoken Language of Swatow

The use of hyphens, though most essential, is yet difficult to regulate by any stringent law, and much must be left to discretion.

English-Chinese Vocabulary of the Vernacular Or Spoken Language of Swatow

There are many matters which it would be interesting and useful, and even indispensable, to set forth in the introduction to a complete Dictionary of this language, but from causes already referred to, most of them cannot even be touched upon here. A few notes, however, are imperatively necessary.

kh may be thus described: Pronounce….look here!rapidly and clearly, cut offloo- and -re, and you have the Chinese khi.[1]The other aspirated consonants might be illustrated in a similar manner.

This page was last edited on 8 June 2018, at 03:28.

While any benefit to be derived from the vocabulary must be credited to its original author, Mr Lechler, enough has been changed and added to remove from him all responsibility for its mistakes and faults.

Rudolf LechlerSamuel Wells WilliamsWilliam Duffus

There arefourgreat classes of tones1st, Phⁿ(or, Pⁿ); 2d, Siãng; 3d, Khṳ̀; 4th, Ji̍p. In the Swatow Colloquialeightseparate tones are distinguished from one another:

when he hears familiar words pronounced in quite another tone. It would be difficult, and is quite unnecessary, to describe here the characters of the various tones and the changes which they undergo in combination, as they can be most easily and correctly learnt by listening to the speech of a native.

Any attempt to write the colloquial language of Swatow without indicating the tones carries its condemnation on the face of it. It is utterly impossible to speak intelligibly while disregarding this essential feature.

English-Chinese Vocabulary of the Vernacular Or Spoken Language of Swatow

In combinations of two or more syllables, very important modifications occur in the tones. A learner is apt to think tliat, the tone of a word having been once fixed, he will find it the same in all circumstances, and to be surprised

h is always sounded except when final.

s, always as inso,sing; never as inlose.

From Dr. Carstairs Douglass admirable Dictionary of the Amoy Vernacular, an invaluable work to the student of the closely allied vernacular of Swatow.

From many varieties of dialect found in the Swatow region that has been chosen which is spoken in the city of Chao-chow-foo; and no words or phrases not current there have been knowingly admitted. By this rule many expressions are excluded which must be amongst the most familiar to persons acquainted with the general speech of the Swatow people.

The general idea involved in the use of hyphens is to link together those syllables which are so closely connected that the tones of certain of them are affected by the connexion. This principle, however, is not carried out to the full extent, because in many cases the words thus influencing one another would be too numerous to link together in this manner.

Whatever errors may be found to exist in the vocabulary, it is quite certain that their number would have been muchgreatterbut for the kind assistance of Miss C. M. Ricketts and the Rev. H. L. Mackenzie in correcting the proof sheets; and theMedical terms owe very much to their revision by Dr Alexander Lyall.

English Presbyterian Mission,⁠William Duffus.

m and ng will be found written without any vowel (e.g. n̂g, m̃); often also preceded by a consonant (e.g. hm̄, sg, kng, hñg). The nature of these syllables without a distinct vowel becomes at once unmistakable in singing, as at such a word all vocal sound at once ceases, and nothing is heard but a dull nasal murmur.

On the next page are a few errors, chiefly misprints, which have been observed. It would be too much to hope that many more will not appear afterwards.

Adouble hyphenimplies that the word preceding it retains its own proper tone in full force, and that the word or words following it are either enclitic or unaccented, and as far as possible deprived of distinctive tonal character.

When it is stated that the type-setting and printing have been done by two young men who do not know a word of English, and have not even been trained in the art of printing; and further, that the work has sometimes been hampered by scarcity of type, a kind indulgence will be extended to any typographical shortcomings.

g is always hard as ingo; never as ingin.

Theaspirated consonantsare a very remarkable feature in all the languages of China, and require very special attention. They are kh, th, ph and chh. The sounds are the same as those indicated by the same notation in the languages of India, being formed by a real distinct aspiration pronounced after the respective consonants……The sounds are almost the same as those often used by Irishmen when pronouncing with a strong brogue such words as come, pig, they are also often heard in the mouths of the Scottish Highlanders.

If youd like to help expand it, see thehelp pagesand thestyle guide, or leave a comment on thisworks talk page.

A small ⁿ written above the line at the end of a syllable indicates that the whole syllable becomes nasal. In words beginning with m, n, and ng this symbol has been in some cases omitted where it ought to have been written.

It may be confessed that one motive for printing this vocabulary was the hope of raising some funds for the support of the Mission Press, most of its work being unremunerative.

(sources:Index:English-Chinese Vocabulary of the Vernacular Or Spoken Language of Swatow.djvu)

The consonants are nearly all as in English.

[ch isnotan aspirated consonant see above.]

No time has been taken, because none could be spared, to do much more than rapidly write a copy for the press, making such additions and alterations as were attainable in the circumstances.

z, always asdsorda; never as inzeal,zone.

A purpose having been formed to copy Mr Lechlers MS. for personal use, with no further thought regarding it, the suggestion was made to have it printed in the Mission press, and so made available for general use. Hence its appearance in this form.

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k and t as finals are so much alike as to be scarcely distinguishable.

related portalsLanguages and literatures of Eastern Asia.

Rudolf LechlerSamuel Wells WilliamsWilliam Duffus

English-Chinese Vocabulary of the Vernacular Or Spoken Language of Swatow

The vocabulary makes no pretension to completeness in any sense. Very many words and idiomatic phrases are omitted; comparatively few of the terms given have been strictly defined and discriminated; for which reason the contents must be used with cautious regard to distinctions of meaning and usage. Years of labour and a very complete knowledge of the unwritten speech of the country would be necessary to make a work of this kind what it ought to be; and the difficulty is immensely increased by the absolute non-existence of native books in the vernacular. The exception of two or three broadsheets of proverbs and ballads is not worth mentioning. But if it be clearly understood that the present vocabulary is merely a collection of useful words, tolerably correct (it may be hoped) so far as it goes, but not by any means a work judged ready for publication, it may escape undue severity of criticism and prove of some service to those who make use of it.

This vocabulary is based on a manuscript work prepared about thirty years ago by the Rev. R. Lechler of the Basel Mission, Hongkong, who was the first Protestant Missionary resident in this part of China. Mr Lechlers vocabulary was founded again on one by Dr. S. Wells Williams.

ai, au, oa, oai, oi, ou, ua, ui. In all these each vowel is pronounced with its own proper sound.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in thepublic domainworldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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