Learn classical Chinese the sensible way! This unique functional approach provides the perfect balance of linguistic detail and applied practice for students learning classical Chinese for literary study, historical research, or to improve their knowledge of modern Chinese.

Classical Chinese : A Functional Approach is a comprehensive and accessible one-year introduction to classical Chinese for students with advanced proficiency in modern Chinese. This innovative textbook focuses on key function words, with carefully selected brief excerpts from classical sources arranged to provide a structural approach to the language. Written by expert teachers based on decades of pedagogical experience, Classical Chinese is ideal for students who would like to extend their understanding of Chinese literature and culture and comprehend the roots of modern Chinese. This unique functional approach to classical Chinese supports practical knowledge from the start; students can apply their reading skills to concrete examples to delve into important sources from the very beginning, while gaining a detailed understanding of the nuances of classical vocabulary and syntax.

Each of the twenty-two lessons in the book focuses on a selection of related grammatical function words, such as 也, 乃, and 是, and the syntactic structures defined by these words. These terms are introduced with clear, jargon-free bilingual explanations of their meaning and functions, followed by twenty to thirty example sentences from classical sources. Each illustrative example sentence is accompanied by a modern Chinese translation and thorough glosses of key function words and new vocabulary, and each lesson also includes longer excerpts for additional reading practice. The nearly two thousand vocabulary items glossed in the text are listed in an index alphabetized by pinyin for easy reference and review.

While this book is ideal for classical Chinese courses at the undergraduate or graduate level, it is also suitable for independent study by advanced students with a strong background in modern Chinese. The strong focus on important function words and applied practice provides an efficient yet comprehensive introduction to classical Chinese, whether it is studied for its own sake or to master classical elements in contemporary prose.

In simplified characters with pinyin. Includes an appendix of traditional characters.

SKU: 9780887276309 Language: Chinese Series: OTHER Volume: N/A Edition: N/A Categories: ,


This textbook provides readers with a solid foundation for learning classical Chinese as well as a bridge between classical Chinese and modern Chinese...students will not only learn Classical Chinese words and grammar structures, but also get acquainted with the values and philosophies of Chinese tradition.

—Dr. Yu Feng, Director of the Chinese Language Program, Brandeis University
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