Dinner with colleague

On Saturday, I had dinner with my program colleague Ms. Hong, who is one of our Chinese teachers. We talked about graduate school, history, and Chinese. I am curious to know how hard it is to learn enough characters to be able to read in the dynastic histories of China. Well, there are twenty-four of them, which together make up a large work in many huge volumes. But I mean to read just a little, for example in the 元史(Yuan shi), the official Ming-era history of the Mongol Yuan dynasty. Just another of my hare-brained ideas that is going nowhere. But I would not have to learn much more than a thousand characters, which strike me as potentially possible. Then, of course, there is a great risk that the lapidary formulations of classical Chinese will make no sense even if one knows a thousand characters.

In any case, Ms. Hong is good to talk with about such things, for she spent last academic year teaching Chinese at the great sinological center at Leiden University, Holland, where people work really seriously with the ancient Chinese texts.

Funny detail: we were chatting about this in the bus back from the Wall on Friday, of course sitting down. When we got out of the bus, she looked up at me and said words to the effect of: Gosh, you are tall.

This is me on Saturday.

Postat av: Anonym

Snygg jid och söt bild på din kollega! :-)

2010-10-18 @ 00:07:38

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