Sanjiazi 07: Showing off students

Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

A couple of students came to the office to demonstrate their Manchu skills.  Mrs Guan was given the third book I mentioned in the last post (which you can open up and look at to follow along, if you like), so she could say some words in Chinese and have the students say their Manchu equivalents.  Continue reading Sanjiazi 07: Showing off students

Kids’ Corner 01

Often children’s stories feature language that native speakers know and take for granted, but is not often found in texts that are intended for the day to day business of adults.  They often include animal names, as well as words denoting things and actions one might encounter in daily life, but would not normally write about.  This series of posts will explore stories that are found in one of the books I purchased in Taipei: Manju gisun aji gurun gisun i jube, 满语童话故事, by 庄吉發, who is a researcher in residence at Taipei Gugong.


Continue reading Kids’ Corner 01

Let’s study Möllendorff! 01

By “Möllendorff”, I mean A Manchu Grammar with Analysed Texts, by P.G. von Möllendorff, Shanghai, 1892.  It is the first English language Manchu grammar textbook.  Since then, there has only been one other one published (actually not a textbook, but a reference grammar), in 2002 by Liliya Gorelova, but it’s very expensive, and according to the one review of it on Amazon, contains many typos and other errors.  It’s too expensive for me to buy it myself to make my own judgement.  Möllendorff is reasonably well written, even considering that it’s more than 100 years old.  And it’s free!

Gertraude Roth Li’s (GRL) book, Manchu: a textbook for reading documents (MTRD), is excellent, but it does not purport to be a grammar textbook.  It is designed primarily to help historians to be able to read Manchu documents, so although it is permeated with wonderful grammatical notes, it (deliberately) doesn’t explore syntax in a very complete way.

So exploring the texts in Möllendorff may be a good foothold and introduction to Manchu grammar.  In this series of posts, I will go through the texts in Möllendorff and explain the grammar in light of all the resources I have at my disposal, and provide a fresh translation.  I warmly welcome comments and corrections from readers. Continue reading Let’s study Möllendorff! 01

Sanjiazi 06: Textbooks

Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

After dressing up and taking pictures, Shi Junguang, the Manchu teacher, brought out the books he uses to teach the children in their Manchu language classes.

They are not professionally published, but rather printed out using a color printer.  I’m not sure who wrote these books, but I suspect they were written by Zhao Jinchun, who was the former Manchu teacher at the elementary school, and who now is the vice commissioner of Fuyu county. Continue reading Sanjiazi 06: Textbooks